Megan Fairchild © Steven Pan - Cole Haan

Megan Fairchild – Balanchine, Broadway and the stress of becoming principal at 20

Due to the shock of being thrust into the spotlight two years after joining the corps of the New York City Ballet, she hasn’t forgotten how tough early years in a ballet company are – that’s why she always tries to help newcomers of her company to keep calm and to give them some advice. Now that she is one of the brightest American ballet stars, Megan Fairchild explains how she’s keeping fit in these semi-lockdown months, why meditation is helping her to accept her perfectionist mentality and the way in which Broadway changed her. Here she even reveals she is known for having a bag of Peanut M&Ms during the rehearsal day
by Alessandro Bizzotto

Megan Fairchild © Steven Pan – Cole Haan
Megan Fairchild in Balanchine’s “Raymonda Variations” © Erin Baiano

How are you? Are you and your dear ones safe and well?

We are, thank you. After New York entered Phase 2, we are all trying to regain a kind of sense of normality wherever possible. I spend much of my time with my daughter: it requires energy and it can be very intense!

How physically fit are you after the lockdown?

I have been doing class at home every day since the beginning of this pandemic emergency. In addition, a former Soloist at the ABT often gives me and some colleagues some cardio lessons that use different combinations of ballet steps, push ups, crunches… They are unexpectedly intense! They are really helpful, an excellent way to keep fit in these months spent doing the morning class but without having any rehearsal. However, I have to say what I miss the most now is seeing my friends, hanging out with them, being in a studio with my colleagues, chatting, laughing… it might surprise you but I miss it even more than going on stage and performing.

Megan Fairchild in “Everywhere We Go” with Jovani Furlan © Erin Baiano.

I’d like to go back to your school years for a minute. What was the main difference you noticed when you left Ballet West Conservatory in Salt Lake City to enter the School of American Ballet?

The classes were different so I really had to focus. I always worked while the other group danced in centre, on my port de bras or whatever, but this time I really had to double down and understand the different way of moving. So maybe while classes seemed to be less frequent, they were much more intense for me. The plié had a different accent, the tendus, the footwork was preparing you more to move quickly in petit allegro. I loved it immediately.

Megan Fairchild and Gonzalo Garcia in “Rubies” © Erin Baiano
Megan Fairchild in “Swan Lake” © Paul Kolnik

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