Our focus here on the BFan blog is usually on the company, but we also think it’s important to share about the next generation of young artists that study at BFan’s training school, The Academy of Ballet Fantastique.
And…we’re especially proud to share this snapshot of one of them.
This week, I interviewed Camille Morgenstern, an Academy of Ballet Fantastique Vaganova Syllabus Level V Professional Division student. Camille has been training with BFan since the age of 4 (she just turned 16) and is a junior apprentice with the Ballet Fantastique company. In the Q&A below, she describes her Summer Intensive at the world-class ballet training institution, The Kirov Academy of Ballet in Washington, DC!
One of the top programs internationally, even auditioning and being accepted into the Summer Intensive is a big deal for a dancer…and Camille just learned that she is one of a handful of students in the world who have been invited to join the Kirov’s year-round training program (!!!).
She has decided that she won’t be accepting her invitation this year–she plans to stay home, continue pursuing a full IB diploma at North Eugene High School, and of course, continue her pre-professional training with us here at BFan. We are SO PROUD of her for earning this honor with her talent and dedication!
Camille is an A+ student in school, a hard-working ballet student and a critically-acclaimed performer who has participated in dozens of company productions (including tours to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (and to a BFan performance in Seattle), and is humble, witty, and gracious. We wanted to share a snapshot of her incredible summer experience with you.
I grabbed her in between classes during a recent eight-hour training day at the BFan studios in downtown Eugene.
ME: So what would you do on a typical day?
CAMILLE: Classes started every day at the Kirov and ran from 9:45 to 12:45 p.m. Then we had lunch. After that, we had a classroom class from about 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. It was either Russian history, history of ballet, or special topics, which was like about health and stuff…a lot like our intensives here at BFan.
Then we would have either “Relax and Recharge,” or Pilates from 3:45 to 4:45 p.m., and on Wednesdays, we would have an acting class. From 5-6 p.m., we would take either Character or Contemporary.
ME: What did you like most about the Kirov summer intensive?
CAMILLE: I guess it would be learning Variations, which was fun, or my Character class. Although it was hard at first, once I got used to it, it was pretty fun. I also enjoyed going places on the weekends because we could take the Metro and go with friends.
ME: Where did you go on the weekends?
CAMILLE: We would go to the amazing art museum in DC, the National Gallery of Art, and the Air and Space museum. We also went to Union Station and Georgetown to see all of the monuments.
ME: What was the most challenging part of the summer intensive?
CAMILLE: Well, surprisingly, it wasn’t the ballet, but it was actually the Character class that was a bit challenging. I was lucky that I’ve had Character at BFan (a lot of other schools don’t offer it), but the Character teacher at Kirov was really intense, so I was freaked out by the material and pace of this class at first. The acting class was pretty difficult for me as well.
ME: Do you think Ballet Fantastique well prepared you?
CAMILLE: Definitely! I would also add that it was really helpful that I knew all of the steps and what they were called and how they should be done, whereas some of my friends struggled and were confused by a few of them.
ME: Do you have any funny stories that you’d like to share?
CAMILLE: Haha, well, we stayed in the dorms at Trinity College, and every morning there would be a shuttle that would take us to the Kirov, running between 6:45 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. I wear contacts, and one morning they got stuck in the drain in the bathroom, so I they had to call somebody to get them out. While we retrieved them, my roommate had closed our dorm room door behind her and so we were locked out of our room. We had to wait for somebody to come and get us. Then I missed my shuttle so I had to take the last shuttle to the Kirov. That was just my Bad Day, and it was pretty funny!