My Dance Hero: Constance Devernay on Monique Loudières

My Dance Hero: Constance Devernay on Monique Loudières

Constance Devernay in rehearsals at Scottish Ballet / credit: Christina Riley

The Scottish Ballet principal dancer discusses her dance hero

Hailling from Amiens in the north of France, and having trained at English National Ballet School, Constance Devernay first joined Scottish Ballet as a guest artist in 2008, by 2014 she was promoted to soloist and in 2016 became a principal dancer.

Here Devernay talks about Monique Loudières, the famed French principal from Paris Opera Ballet who was with the company from 1967 until she retired from the stage in 1996...

Who is your dance hero?
Monique Loudières, a principal ballerina from Paris Opera was my absolute dance hero.

When did you first discover her?
I was very young when I first saw her dance in Romeo and Juliet in Paris and I was completely mesmerised by her charisma, beauty, technique and grace. When she was on stage, I simply couldn't take my eyes off her. Later on, I saved money to be able to buy the DVD of the ballet with her as Juliet and I probably watched it at least three times a week. It was a true inspiration.

What is it about Monique's work that appeals to you?
She lives to the full every movement that she dances and every step is executed with such passion that as an audience member I was completely absorbed by the story and the drama of the ballet, as if I was living the role of Juliet with her on stage. She is a complete and true artist.

In what way has Monique's influenced the dancer you have become?
She was the director of Rosella Hightower's school in Cannes, and I was lucky enough to study there between the ages of 12–15. I believe she taught me what true dedication is, and simply being able to watch her move when she was teaching ballet class was truly inspirational.

Constance Devernay can be seen in the lead role of The Fairy in Kenneth MacMillan's The Fairy's Kiss and as Faith/Death in The Rite of Spring (now touring) and as the Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker (from Sat 9 Dec, Edinburgh).

Scottish Ballet: The Nutcracker

The festive favourite set to Tchaikovsky’s magnificent score. Peter Darrell’s production of The Nutcracker is unique in that the main character, Clara, is danced by a young girl performing alongside the Company’s 40 professional dancers. Booking is essential.

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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