When did you start dancing?
When I was three years-old.
Why did you start dancing?
I was born to dance!
Which dancer inspired you most as a child?
Which dancer do you most admire?
What's your favourite role?
I love all of them.
What role have you never played but would like to?
There aren't any.
What's your favourite ballet to watch?
I love watching Maurice Béjart's Bolero.
Who is your favourite choreographer?
Cranko, MacMillan, Béjart, Neumeier.
Who is your favourite writer?
Who is your favourite director?
Who is your favourite actor?
Who is your favourite singer?
What is your favourite book?
All by Paulo Coelho and Deepak Chopra.
What is your favourite film?
Gone with the Wind.
Which is your favourite city?
Rio de Janeiro.
What do you like most about yourself?
What do you dislike about yourself?
What was your proudest moment?
The première of Onegin in New York.
When and where were you happiest?
Whenever I'm in the theatre.
What or who is the greatest love of your life?
My husband, Cranko and Cragun.
What is your greatest fear?
I don't have any fears.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
The connection I have with other human beings.
What is your most treasured possession?
What is your greatest extravagance?
My whole life is an extravagance!
On what occasion do you lie?
I do not lie; I'd rather find a way to say things without hurting someone.
If you hadn't been a dancer what would you have liked to be?
What is your most marked characteristic?
Perseverance: I never give up!
What quality do you most value in a friend?
What quality do you most value in a colleague?
Which historical figure do you most admire?
Which living person do you most admire?
What do you most dislike?
Hypocrisy and arrogance.
What talent would you most like to have?
To be a painter.
What's your idea of perfect happiness?
You should always try to be happy, and not need something to make you happy.
How would you like to die?
In my sleep.
What is your motto?
The best is yet to come!
Marcia Haydée – a biography
Marcia Haydée was born in Niteroi, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil. She studied at the Royal Ballet School in London and subsequently joined the Marquis de Cuevas' company for four years. In 1961 John Cranko engaged her as his leading ballerina, and their creative relationship laid the foundation of what has since become the unique and internationally known Stuttgart Ballet.
Marcia Haydée has been acclaimed one of the great ballerinas of the post-war era. Not only did she inspire Cranko to create almost his entire repertoire on her – including Romeo and Juliet, Onegin, The Taming of the Shrew and Carmen – but her collaboration with Sir Kenneth MacMillan produced such works as Las Hermanas, Song of the Earth, Miss Julie and Requiem. Different roles were created for her by Glen Tetley in ballets like Daphnis and Chloé and Voluntaries, as was John Neumeier's Hamlet Connotations. Neumeier's Lady of the Camellias is dedicated to Marcia Haydée.
All over the world, audiences were fascinated by her breath-taking stage presence. As a guest performer she has danced with practically every great dance company in the world and with the most famous dancers as her partners: Rudolf Nureyev, Mikhail Baryshnikov, and many more.
In 1976 she took over the direction of the Stuttgart Ballet which she managed until 1996.
Marcia Haydée's new career as choreographer began in 1987 with a new version of Sleeping Beauty. Further creations followed: ENAS choreographed for Birgit Keil and Richard Cragun and her choreography for Giselle and the Willis.
She was also the director of the Ballet de Santiago de Chile from 1992 to 1996. For this company she choreographed Firebird and Coppelius, the Wizard, among others. In 1998 Reid Anderson invited her to Stuttgart to interpret the role of the soothsayer Madge in La Sylphide. In the same year she danced Lady Capulet in Romeo and Juliet with the Stuttgart Ballet on tour in New York.
Marcia Haydée received the “German Dance Prize” in 1989 and the “Nijinsky-Award” in 2003. In 2004 the president of the Federal Republic of Brazil awarded her with the “Orden al Mérito Cultural”. In March 2009 Marcia Haydée was honoured with the “German Great Cross of Merit with star”, her third Federal Cross of Merit. In 2007 the state of Baden-Württemberg payed tribute to her services for the state with the “Staufer-medal in Gold”. She is an honorary citizen of the city of Stuttgart, a Doctor of Philosophy h.c. of the University of Stuttgart and a Professor h.c. of the University of Mannheim.
Since the 2003/2004 season she has returned to direct the Ballet de Santiago.
[based on Stuttgart Ballet's biography]
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano') about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman's Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia' column for Dancing Times magazine.
Like the questions as much as the answers
Thank you very very much for this interview. I have a huge admiration for this incredible and amazing ballerina and teacher. I was a lucky woman because I’ve had the opportunity to watch her dancing several times in our Opera House, Colon Theater in Buenos Aires. I love Marcia and I always will!