Pain as a Constant Companion

Reflecting on my interview with Sarah Nagel about my career and life as a ballet dancer

When Sarah Nagel, a journalist and friend, asked if I would like to be interviewed by her for the Sunday newspaper here in Karlsruhe I jumped at the opportunity. It was a pleasure to wake up this morning with my face on the front page and a beautifully written article to read while sewing pointe shoes on my day off. I have to admit reading about yourself over morning coffee is a joy, but another part of doing interviews I really appreciate is getting the chance to remind myself of where I have been and where I am now.


‘Pain as a Constant Companion’ is the translated title of Sarah’s article in ‘Der Sonntag” as Sarah wanted to know the personal difficulties I have faced as a student and professional dancer and we talked about the hardship of physical and mental pain ballerinas face.

Things that affected me so much at a younger age seem so small now

While talking to Sarah I reminisced about the wonderful times I have had and of course the difficult ones alongside them. As I shared my story and seeing the chosen title of the piece this morning, I considered my past pains and difficulties compared to my current ones. Upon that, I realise how things that affected me so much at a different time and younger age seem so small now. How through time and experience, I can see how differently I would handle my past ‘pains’ now. It wasn’t necessarily wrong how I coped with them then but if I were to be put back into situations from my past I know I would be stronger and less defeated by them now.

Of course, these experiences made me who I am today, and now at this time in my life I can see the bigger picture and know how things turn out so it is easy to reflect on them – it’s just remembering to do so that may help me benefit from them even more. Life can get so busy and the difficulties we face in the present are forever the focal point, but taking some time to remember what each of us have gotten through before may help us get through the next hurdle in life. Maybe if we all did an interview about our pasts once in a while it would help us with the problems of today.

In rehearsal for Swanlake (Photo: Admill Kulyer)

Yes, pain can be a constant companion, and definitely not just for dancers, but hopefully remembering difficulties we have already faced will encourage us to overcome the next one.

I want to thank so much Sarah for asking me to be a part of this interview, I took a lot from it, and thanks to ‘Der Sonntag’ for publishing a small part of my story.

I hope people will enjoy reading it:

Der Sonntag – ‘Schmerz als ständiger Begleiter’

I have added this link but unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to work. Alternatively, here is an image of the article and if this is unreadable try entering ‘Der Sonntag Karlsruhe’ into Google and find the article from the date 04.11.18. My apologies for the inconvenience.

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With love



That Premiere Feeling

Ever wondered how dancers feel on an opening night of a production? Well you are about to find out…

Opening nights are always full of excitement for both the performers and audience, with a mixture of emotions flying through the theatre. When that curtain goes up the stage is filled with the productions highs or lows but today I wanted to share with you the emotions we dancers feel once the curtain comes down. The ones the audience never see.

The whole company & choreographer after the successful premiere of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’

A few weeks ago Staatsballett Karlsruhe had our third premiere of the season performing the colourful creation from Youri Vámos, ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’. With this piece being pure entertainment (not only for the public) it was another premiere I will remember always. Continue reading “That Premiere Feeling”

Goodbye My Friend

I wanted to show my appreciation for this great person by dedicating this post to him and his work. Including a short interview about him, his past and his future. Flavio Salamanka, you will be missed.

Last Sunday we danced our final performance of the season which is always an exciting evening – another year completed, another year survived. However this year, not only was it a great one, it was also a very sad show for Karlsruhe StaatsBallett, as it was the last ever performance of our Kammertänzer Flavio Salamanka, a dancer who has been with the company since the beginning and who I have had the chance to dance many roles with and learn so much from.

Flavio dancing Petrucchio in Taming of the Shrew (Photo: Jochen Klenk)

We have had the pleasure of watching Flavio in numerous classical leads such as Swan Lake and Nutcracker to the more modern lead roles in A Midsummers Night’s Dream and Rusalka. Flavio has done it all. And he has done us proud. He has been such a big part of the company and many members of the public have followed his career over the 14 years he has danced here. Continue reading “Goodbye My Friend”

“Dance Has to be Done by You and For You” – My First Interview

An interview with Alexandra Krohn

A few weeks ago I was asked by Alex if I would like to take part in her interview series about young creatives and their way of life for her blog page ‘Alex In Allem’, and of course, very flattered I said yes.

It was a great experience to work with her interesting questions and in the end, I found answering them showed me how much I have learnt through my life and helped me see my life as it is now. It was a really good exercise for me to express my past experiences and question my future ones. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it.

Find below the link to the interview – originally in English but translated into German for her page (a treat for all my German friends):

Mind Over Matter: Harriet

Ein Interviewreihe über junge Kreative und ihre Art zu Leben.

Alexandra Krohn

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❝Tanzen kann verdammt hart sein. Du musst es wirklich wollen und mit einem fröhlichen Geist bei der Sache sein. Dann kannst du es schaffen.❞

And for the benefit of everyone else, here is the interview in English:

Mind Over Matter: Harriet

An interview series about young creatives and their way of life Alexandra Krohn

Alexandra Krohn


❝I get so much out of working hard and improving, but I thrive off encouragement.❞

Alex: Hello Harriet. Will you give us a sneak peek into your most unconventional training method? Continue reading ““Dance Has to be Done by You and For You” – My First Interview”