If you’ve never experienced the intrinsic delight of a night at the ballet, I would encourage a revaluation of your priorities. If it is inspiration that you search, I suggest you look no further than Rachael Walsh – Principal dancer with Queensland Ballet.
In one of her most recent, in a long list of stellar (if you pardon the pun) performances, Rachael undertakes the journey that is Blanche DuBois in Francois Klaus’ adaptation of Tennessee Williams’ immortal classic – A Streetcar Named Desire.
This artist who describes the stage as her ‘home’, is indeed a talent to behold.
The decision to dance for herself rather than aspire to the expectations of a profession was the catalyst for growth and ultimate self-belief.
According to the artist herself, “I think it was in a performance of Giselle when I first felt that. It was a big role … I was so nervous about it … and that’s when I knew it was actually right for me to be here.”
For the uninitiated, the role of Giselle is cavorted by ballerinas worldwide because it demands a technique bordering on perfection, astonishing grace and a great sense for the theatrical.
You will, of course, be familiar with the name Michael Jordan. His many feats, much documented, were often displayed whilst encapsulated within the so-called ‘zone’ of athletic prowess. It was this imagery of perfection that entered my mind as I listened to Rachel describe dance as the ability to reveal the drama of many lives lived in one lifetime.
Where there is great risk, more often than not, there is also great reward.
The risk for a dancer who strives for perfection, is invariably, injury. Injuries are often the precursor to surgery followed by months of rehabilitation.
Rachael has not been immune. But then there is a moment, and that moment may be fleeting, when an artist understands the significance of the spotlight and that it is shining on them for a reason.
At the conclusion of our interview I asked Rachel to finish this sentence … It’s all about me, it’s my time to … to which she responded ‘be real’. ‘To be even more brave in life … to be really ugly as well as portray something beautiful in life … being really honest … be honest on stage … that’s my goal”.
Rachael is currently touring A Midsummer Night’s Dream throughout regional Queensland, playing the lead role of Titania/Hippolyta. For more details please visit www.queenslandballet.com.au