My Dance Hero: Marge Hendrick on Monique Loudières

My Dance Hero: Marge Hendrick on Monique Loudières

credit: Christina Riley

Scottish Ballet soloist on the famed French dancer

Marge Hendrick trained at the Conservatory National Supérieur of Paris and Junior Ballet classique CNSMDP, before joining Scottish Ballet in 2012 where she was promoted to Soloist in 2016. Having starred in a number of productions over the years from Christopher Hampson's Hansel & Gretel to Cinderella, she is currently performing in The Fairy's Kiss.

Here Hendrick talks about Monique Loudières, Paris Opera Ballet's renowned principal dancer who was with the company from 1967 until she retired from the stage in 1996.

For more, read Constance Devernay on Monique Loudières, Grace Horler on Zenaida Yanowsky and Matthew Broadbent on Wayne Sleep.

Who is your dance hero?
Monique Loudières, a former principal at Paris Opera, an 'étoile' ('star') as we call them there.

When did you first discover her?
I was maybe 14. It was when I watched the DVD of Rudolf Nureyev's Romeo and Juliet.

What is it about Monique's work that appeals to you?
She was such a refined dancer, from her foot work to her upper body. She was not the kind of dancer with amazing lines and feet, she says that herself: she had to make her legs and feet look beautiful and interesting. Also, she showed so much pleasure while she was dancing, it was very inspiring!

In what way has Monique influenced the dancer you have become?
I was so lucky to meet Monique at the Prix de Lausanne when I was 16. She was coaching a candidate and I managed to have a chat with her after the competition. She talked to me for so long; I was overwhelmed with information and thought I would never be able to take everything on board. A lot of it was about letting go, finding the pleasure in the movement, not being scared about people's judgement and getting noticed.

When you're a 16-year-old student at a prestigious ballet school, you're in your own bubble and a lot of what you're being taught is about technique. I then realised how right she was and how far I still had to go. From that day, I changed the way I was working, and even my teacher noticed it. It was my first step toward becoming the dancer I wanted to be. I took many other steps and started to believe I could do it! My work is still very influenced by what she said that day, it will never be forgotten.

Scottish Ballet: Stravinsky

Two contrasting works set to the music of Stravinsky: The Fairy's Kiss by Kenneth MacMillan and Christopher Hampson's The Rite of Spring.

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