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Royal Ballet’s Lukas Bjorneboe Braendsrod: ‘Breakdancing was perfect training for ballet’

Lukas Bjorneboe Braendsrod. Photo: Frederic Aranda

Lukas Bjorneboe Braendsrod started breakdancing aged six before switching to ballet and training with the Royal Ballet School. He tells Giverny Masso about his latest role with the Royal Ballet in The Two Pigeons by Frederick Ashton…

How did you get into dance?

It started with breakdancing when I was about six, it was just a fun thing I did with another friend. I have other ballet dancers in my family and my mum suggested I try ballet. At first it was out of the question for me, but at some point I must have changed my mind. It’s very different from breakdancing in terms of the style. I had a lot of strength from the breakdancing, which involved doing a lot of handstands, which was perfect training for lifting.

How did you become involved with the Royal Ballet?

I did the Royal Ballet summer school twice. Almost by chance, I thought I might as well audition there. When I was 15, I joined the Upper School. It was tough but great. It wasn’t just the training that was difficult, it was moving to another country with people I didn’t know. I joined the Royal Ballet Company in 2016 and I was in Wayne McGregor’s Obsidian Tear, which was an amazing experience. I also danced as Polixenes in The Winter’s Tale with the Royal Ballet last season.

Tell me about your latest role in The Two Pigeons?

My character is the leader of a big gypsy gang, he’s called the gypsy lover because he’s the lover of the main gypsy girl. The other main guy falls in love with my character’s girl, so he needs to be protective of her.

How do you build a role?

I take a lot of inspiration from other dancers if it’s a role that has been done before, but I also try to find my own way of doing it. It’s particularly nice with this kind of thing because they leave it up to you to have the freedom to explore and create the character.

What has been your biggest career challenge so far?

Probably getting used to working with different kinds of people. The more professional you get, the more eccentric people you meet. While it can be a challenge, it’s also part of the fun.

What is your advice for emerging dancers?

There’s a big responsibility in that question. I would say: nurture your passion. That’s what’s going to make you want to work hard. Don’t be afraid to be passionate.

What is your future dream role?

There are no particular dream roles, but I want to see how I can grow as a dancer and an artist, that’s all I can hope for, to keep getting opportunities and keep exploring.

CV: Lukas Bjorneboe Braendsrod

Training: Norwegian National School of Ballet (2008-2012); Royal Ballet Upper School (2012-15)
First professional role: Various roles in The Nutcracker at the Opera House in Oslo
Agent: None

The Two Pigeons runs from January 18 to February 13, 2019

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