ALESSANDRO BIZZOTTO catches up with the Royal Danish Ballet’s Principal dancer to talk about feelings, challenges, future plans and being very busy, with no sign of slowing down
As he enthusiastically sits down to answer my questions, Marcin Kupinski reveals both a polite, nearly shy disposition and a passionate love for his profession.
Born and raised in Gdynia, Poland, he was 18 when he won the Grand Prix at the Eurovision Young Dancers contest. The following year, after finishing the ballet school, he got the Special Jury Prize at the Varna International Ballet Competition and flew to Copenhagen to join the world’s third oldest ballet company – the Royal Danish Ballet.
«I am happy I’ve found my place in such a company» Marcin tells me. «I’ve never thought about leaving Copenhagen».
His promotion to the rank of Principal came at the end of a performance of “A Folk Tale”, one of the best-known ballets created by August Bournonville, the ballet master and choreographer who founded his methodology for the Danish ballet school. Besides Bournonville, Kupinski’s roles have included Siegfried in “Swan Lake”, the prince in “The Nutcracker”, Basile in “Don Quijote” and prince Désiré in “The Sleeping Beauty” among many others.
Marcin Kupinski in 'Swan Lake' (© Royal Danish Ballet)
You started studying ballet in Poland, your home country.
I did, while I was attending the elementary school. And it was not my idea, at the very beginning!
You didn’t want to take ballet lessons?
I just didn’t know anything about that…! But I remember the National Ballet School in Gdansk, close to my home city, was missing boys among the students, and they made an audition inviting young kids that were attending the elementary school. They checked my body skills and so on… and offered me the opportunity to join the school. Everything looked new to my eyes. There was not a ballet tradition in my family.
Marcin Kupinski in 'Don Quijote' (© Costin Radu)