This season we’re featuring a Eugene Ballet dancer every week to help you get to know these talented artists bringing our season’s ballets to life. Got something you’ve always wanted to ask a professional dancer? Email your questions to [email protected], and they may be featured in our next Dancer of the Week post!
This week we’d like to introduce you to Vivien Farrell, in her second season as a company dancer. Vivien trained for 12 years under the direction of Alexander and Kirsten Nagiba of Vermont Ballet Theatre. She joined Eugene Ballet as an Aspirant in 2015. For the last two weeks, Vivien has been preparing for her role as Ophelia in the upcoming production of Hamlet, opening Saturday, October 6.
What has it been like to acquire and rehearse the role of Ophelia? How are you preparing?
It has been an incredible experience working with Stephen Mills on his Hamlet. He is so hands on and passionate about coaching us on the characters. I am currently studying the play and focusing a lot on Ophelia’s monologues. My biggest inspiration is Helena Bonham Carter’s portrayal of Ophelia in Franco Zeffirelli’s film, Hamlet.
What are some of the challenges you have overcome in this role?
The biggest challenge for me so far is learning how to channel real life emotions into a fictitious character. Dance has always felt like meditation, so it’s tricky trying to bring raw emotion into rehearsals and eventually in front of an audience. That level of stage acting is something I’ve always wanted to achieve and I’m so grateful for the challenge.
What else are you looking forward to this season?
I am very excited to dance in Suzanne Haag’s new vision of The Firebird. And as always, I can’t wait to tour The Nutcracker.
Tell us a fun fact about you:
At age 12 I had to make the decision to pursue dance over ski racing. I always thought racing and performing were similarly thrilling. I guess I was a bit of an adrenaline junkie kid.