When you meet Lucia Lacarra it is always a wonderful event. She is such a tiny person and you think her being fragile – but she wears her heavy leatherjacket as if it were as light as a stole, and there is an atmosphere of energy about her while her eyes beam at you soft and attentive at the same time. She is the most decorated prima ballerina in the world, now coming back from St. Petersburg with another award. She has done a lot of ballets from classical to modern, she is the darling not only of Munich ballet-friends but of the audience in the whole world having the pleasure to see her in a lot of galas. So Lucia Lacarra is the perfect person to speak about her experiences on stage.
What was your happiest moment on stage ?
In my whole carrier I don´t think I can choose one. There is not one, there are many. I have had amazing performances. When I am on stage I feel transported to another world and that is it. I am always happy being on stage.
Every time you are on stage you feel happy?
Yes. I really can be myself on stage, I love the passion. When you think how long it is in the career you are on stage and how many hours you work I always try to enjoy every moment.
I am fulfilled on stage.
What was the most dreadful moment on stage?
The most dreadful moment was few years ago when I broke my knee in the middle of the performance and I could not finish. I realized this could be the end of my dancing at all. But what happens happens. I heard the cracking noise when the knee broke and I went down to the floor. That was the worst. I could hear this crackling noise even month later in my head.
Was there a lot of pain in this moment?
There was pain, but the most pain was still to come. The ambulance brought me to hospital, it was friday and they sent me home. Only on monday an X-ray showed that the knee was broken. I prayed to god to allow my leg to heal, so that I could walk again. And perhaps sometimes in the future I could continue dancing. I worked a lot on the knee with a physiotherapist who worked wonders. I had small goals. First to walk with crunches, then to walk without crunches. Then to walk without limping, finally to climb stairs. It was a hard way and you have to have a wheel of fire inside you.
Did you ever have problems with technique?
It was a lot of work when you have an elastic body like I do. You have beautiful feet, but it is difficult to control. I did not have a straight line in my body. When they said to me stretch your knee I stretched my knee and then I could not go. So basically I work abdominal for I have to keep the body strong. A lot of people go stretching and stretching, but I go to the barre and balance all time. My priority is always the strong center.
How do you prepare a role?
As for example Neumeiers „Lady of the camelias”. You have to have a story and feel the character. You never can copy. That will never be real when you copy somebody else. The first thing for me is to read the book. And I was lucky to read the book in french because I needed to know how Dumas wrote how she felt, how she thought. Not only the story – everybody loves the story – but I wanted to know her thoughts. I want things to be natural.
I don´t like to calculate. So I don´t work looking at the mirror and think, okay, this movement looks good I put it in. I never act on the outside. I do everything out of the middle of my soul.
When you are creating your part you change things?
I will never change a step. It is like Shakespeare for an actor. A word is a word. You can choose interpretation. You can say it different it can be more positive or more dramatic or stronger. You can dance different. I never try to reach the same emotion on a step. It is different all the time. Just the same as with a joke. One day you can laugh aloud and the other day you don´t think it is really funny. We are human beings. I can not control and do always the same way. The step keeps the step, but emotionally things change.
Do you think this is the secret of your success? You always are true?
Yes. I am true to the story and to the moment. It is about real feeling, no fiction.
How do you see the development of dance, of body language with new choreographers.
Do you like it? Is it refined enough for someone like you?
I am not very objective in a way that I can appreciate much whether it is classical, semi-classical or modern. There are always interesting new choreographies. I can go to a performance and say well what I think about it. But for me I only like something I want to dance myself. Personally as most dancers, I prefer semi-classic. Classics keeps you in shape. I like artistic pieces. It is to tell a story, to play the role, to create a character, to be somebody else. I love drama, I love happiness. I love interpretation. But I also like new things. Like „Broken Fall”.
How is to work with new choreographers?
What I like is choreographers telling you, what they want to express and giving me the freedom to create it my way. As it was with Jorg Mannes Ariel in the „Sturm”. For Ariel not being a human creature and the choreographer wanting me just to stand there and watch. But I need to have an identity. I imagined that this ghost would never stand still, but always move a little bit with the wind blowing. And that Ariel never would be just straight. So I invented standing there and always work my neck this direction or the other. So we developed the part together. I think the second cast does often not know, why a movement should be done like this. With new choreographies it is a question of how it feels good.
When your life inflicts your characters is it also the other way around: can you learn from the characters for your own life?
No. It is all about true feelings. I can only put in my own feelings on stage. You can´t transform some fiction. You can´t invent emotions. They have to be real. I live real life on the stage.
What is important for you?
I have to be pure. And I like partnering. I am a very active ballerina and I don´t need the partner to take me around. The technique is only the base upon which we create. Dancing is not about steps but about creating and feeling. There is this energy between me and my partner. It enables me to do everything out of the middle of my soul.
Interview By Mihaela Vieru and Ute Fischbach-Kirchgraber