An Interview with Royal Ballet Principal Nehemiah Kish

We’ve been busy guest blogging this month! Here is an extract of a recent interview with the Royal Ballet’s newest Principal dancer Nehemiah Kish that we did for the ROH blog:

Nehemiah Kish with Lauren Cuthbertson in La Valse. Photo: Johan Persson / ROH ©

New principal dancer Nehemiah Kish is featured in the Royal Opera House’s latest podcast where he talks about his experience of coming into the Company from outside, alongside colleagues Itziar Mendizabal (also a new joiner) and Sarah Lamb.

Nehemiah was formerly a principal at the National Ballet of Canada and then joined The Royal Danish Ballet in 2008. He made the move to The Royal Ballet this season appearing in three one-act ballets, as part of October’s mixed bill. As he now prepares to tackle Les Patineurs and Swan Lake, we had the opportunity to ask him a few questions about his debut with the Company and what’s in store for him this season:

How did your move to the Royal Ballet come about?

Nehemiah: I had been interested in The Royal Ballet for a long time, so I made it known how much I wanted to dance with the Company. The Company’s repertory, with all the MacMillan and Ashton work, was an incentive for me to join. I also wanted the opportunity to dance with the incredible artists that are here. I approached Monica Mason and invited her to watch me in the Copenhagen premiere of John Neumeier’s Midsummer Night’s Dream. She came with Jeanetta Laurence, the Associate Director and it went from there.

How are you adapting and what are you bringing from your previous experiences?

Nehemiah: I have adapted quite well. I feel more settled in now that I’ve danced a few shows and been on stage. I feel like everything I’ve worked on up to this point in my career and all the experience I’ve had has led into being here. Before I arrived I’d danced with Alina Cojocaru a couple of times but I’ve mostly met new people so that has been interesting.

You made your debut a couple of weeks ago in Ashton’s La Valse, followed by roles in Winter Dreams and Theme & Variations. How did you feel about your first performances here?

Nehemiah: It was amazing to be onstage at the Royal Opera House for the first time. My first three performances were in three different ballets, with three different partners so it was pretty challenging. But it was also exciting and extremely enjoyable. La Valse takes a lot of stamina; there is a lot more to it than you think and it is much more challenging than it looks. It involves a lot of bending from side to side and more exaggerated positions than most classical ballets. (…)

Read the full interview at the Royal Opera House blog

We started The Ballet Bag in April 2009 with the mission to prove that ballet is not stuffy, old fashioned and inaccessible; that it is quite the opposite: relevant, fresh and topical. With the aim to Give Ballet a New Spin we try to show it under a different light. When writing our capsule biographies, ballet fact cards, review roundups and commentary on social media, we cross it over with other art forms and cultural references (pop culture, cinema, rock music – ie. other things we love!).