A short talk with Dumitru (Dima) Taran: Soloist Vienna State Ballet
I was in quite a hurry to arrive punctually at “The Guesthouse“, also a background for many good interviews, at exactly 2:20 pm. I managed to arrive two minutes earlier and sat down, sort of out of breath. At precisely 2:20 Dumitru (Dima) Taran walked through the door reminding me of of Charles Dickens and „Mr. Pickwick's reputation for punctuality“. He was just coming from rehearsals and looked as cool and fresh as if he had been lounging somewhere...
We greeted each other warmly and sat down to order something to drink. While we waited for the waiter he started telling me about the present moment and the rehearsals for „Sylvia“ (in which he was going to play the faun – attitude published a review about this première on November 13th ( https://www.attitude-devant.com/blog/2018/11/12/qalhev2qi1dftsx0k7y9q7md53vk9o ) and about his planned performance as Orion to Maria Yakolevna's Sylvia ). Surely a busy schedule. But all this does not seem to rob his peace of mind. I admire such a „healthy posture“, such an attitude towards stress and obligations. Admirable.
„Dear Dima, I would like to start this „talk“ by expressing my sincere congratulations for your promotion after the last „Nureyev Gala“. Surely the most deserved promotion of the evening. I, personally, had been waiting for it since some years but in the mean time you were injured... You have the „stuff“ (technique, presence, looks, height) for being a soloist. I noticed how your colleagues were happy for you! The whole company infact! This is also beautiful! Congratulations!“
Instead of extending this (pleasant) subject, he just looked at me and said sincerely „Thank you, Ricardo“. Humbleness is an attitude that I most admire.
„How do you normally start rehearsing for a new role? How does you creative process start?“ I ask.
Neither surprised nor taken aback he answers quite analitically: „I read a lot – by the way , you should read „Der Trafikant“ by Robert Seethaler. I am loving it! - so I can read a lot about the character or times in which the story takes place in order to make a clearer picture of what I am supposed to play... When „it is all done and dusted“ I begin rehearsals, having understood the character. From now on the so-called symbiosis of technique and character understanding takes place and it never stops... “
„Which were your favourite roles until now?“
Without hesitating he says „Ètudes, Benvolio in „Romeo and Juliet“, the spanish dance in „Raymonda“, Gamache in “D.Q.”, Pas de Trois in „Manon“ and the Pas de Cinq in „Swan lake“.
„If by any chance I could make your wishes come true and would say „Just choose three roles you would like to dance“, which would those be?“ I ask.
He smiles and says „You won't believe me but I never make any thoughts about that – but perhaps Auguste Bournonville's „James“ - he displays, to my way of thinking, such „soul's fineness“. A beautiful role“
„What do you think about today's dancers and this overvaluation of technique?“
„This is surely an age question and I cannot say if it is necessary or not... Perhaps yes... The ballet world is developing in this direction... If one can cope with it... „
„But is it not a kind of circus?“ I ask impertinently.
„Yes“ he smiles „but a healthy, certain dose of circus belongs to ballet anyhow!“
„Where do you feel mostly „at home“? With classical roles, that have a story to tell, that are based upon literature characters or with abstract ones?“
„What would you say, Ricardo, if I'd tell you that Benvolio is one of my favouite roles?“ A clever answer.
„Nowadays I always ask myself about the importance of „style“ - for me personally, this is a matter that has been getting more and more forgotten and overlooked because of the rhythm in which companies have to work... are these „care and accuracy“ necessary? Your opinion, please“
„Style, care and accuracy should never die. They are part of what the choreographer thought – on the other hand, if you are referring to your very own style, I just say: NEVER COPY anyone! Analize your skills and capabilities and start creating your style from there!“
„My last question, Dima. Even at the risk of not being 100% „politically correct“, I will ask you which were your favourite choreographers until now!“
„I am more than grateful that I could work directly with Roland Petit, here in Vienna, in his „Die Fledermaus“! Then how could I not mention William Forsythe, Jiri Kylian and Sol Léon's and Paul Lightfoot's work? Amazing“
Thank you, Dima, for these two most interesting hours which were filled not only with great information for our readers but also with quite a few surprises!