Glowing with pleasure and joy, Alicia Amatriain, 35, has finished an exceptional season of awards and recognition, in which she has been named as the " Kammertänzerin" of the State Baden-Wüttemberg (the highest honour that can be bestowed on a dancer in Germany) and has been awarded with the Faust Award and Prix Benois de la Danse (being this last one regarded as the Oscar of the ballet).
Principal dancer of Stuttgart Ballet since 2002, her story started 1400 kilometers away from Stuttgart, in a small town called San Sebastián, in the North of Spain, when Alicia's mother signed her up to ballet classes at the age of four. A star was born. “There is no specific reason why it was ballet: it could have been judo, English or anything else”, admits.
It is said by the critics that versatility is one of her best skills. She admits having fun with the change of roles, although she enjoys the dramatic parts best. In this interview given to DANCE FOR YOU MAGAZINE, Alicia Amatriain gives a review of her lastest succes and her overwhelming career in the Stuttgart Ballet.
Alicia Amatriain in Jerome Robbins’ Dances at a Gathering © Stuttgarter Ballett
You have just won Prix Benois de la Danse, why were you nominated?
Why I was nominated to the Prix Benois de la Danse, I don't know. I was nominated for two very special roles and both very different. They both have taught me very much, as the role of the devil in “The soldier’s tale”, choreographed by Demis Volpi, was created for me, as in the role of Blanche DuBois in “A streetcar called desire”, choreographed by John Neumeier, I was dancing a role that was created for one of the greatest Prima Ballerina actresses: Marcia Haydée. Both were very difficult in there own way, but fantastic to dance and become.
Alicia Amatriain in "Romeo und Julia" © Stuttgarter Ballett
Finally, Hannah O’Neill (Paris Opera Ballet) and you won. What did you feel when your name was read as winner?
I almost didn't hear my name (Alicia laughs). I really thought that Oxana Skorik (Mariinsky Theater Ballet) was getting the award, so when they mentioned Hannah’s name I was not really waiting to hear mine. I just heard the last bit of my last name and I was in shock. The first thing I did was to get up of my chair and give Hannah a very big hug.
It is said Prix Benois de la Dance is regarded as the Oscar of the ballet. Have you touched the top in the ballet world?
I don’t think I’ll know when I have touched top until I’m on my way down. I don't believe awards make you be the best dancer you can be, they are a beautiful reward to your career but I believe love to dance makes you to the dancer you can be.
Alicia Amatriain in "Die Geschichte vom Soldaten" © Stuttgarter Ballett
This season you have won many awards and recognition like “Kammertänzerin” title, Faust Award and Prix Benois de la Danse. How do you feel in this moment of your career?
I feel great, the prizes have been an incredible thing but I already felt in a great space in my life before them, (Alicia laughs).
Alicia Amatriain with her Benois de la Danse Award. Bolshoi Theater, Moscow, May 17th, 2016. Photos by Iratxe de Arantzibia
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Interview by Iratxe de Arantzibia