“Baryshnikov told me I was a good dancer”

Isaac Hernández will return to the Paris Opera and is nominated for Best Male Dancer in the UK
Isaac Hernandez – Photo: Jorge Ríos/EL UNIVERSAL
26/12/2017
12:33
Alida Piñón
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Outstanding Mexican ballet dancer Isaac Hernández, lead dancer of the English National Ballet (EN) since 2015, will present for the second time at the prestigious Paris Opera.

Moreover, he was recently nominated for Best Male Dancer at the 18th National Dance Awards, one of the most important dancing awards in the United Kingdom. The winners will be announced on February 9, 2018, in London.

The invitation to the Paris Opera came from the artistic director of the company, Aurélie Dupont, who has asked him to interpret the main character of the Don Quixote Ballet version created by legendary Russian ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev.

The first time Isaac participated as the lead dancer at the Paris Opera was in December 2015 and became the first male dancer to have ever danced for this prominent company.

Furthermore, he was recently invited to the Rome Opera as the main dancer, under the artistic direction of Mikhail Baryshnikov – an icon in the history of ballet.

During an interview, Hernández confessed he's had a very tough year. He performed “Despertares” (“Awakenings”) in Mexico City and “Expresiones” (“Expressions”) in Guadalajara.

“And now, at the end of the year, this nomination comes up as well as the invitation of the Paris Opera with Nureyev's Quixote. It's been completely unexpected and it's incredible to participate in this production and return to Paris,” Hernández said.

He confessed that he has five different productions in London and that he is presenting them simultaneously, so he had to sit down and think about the invitation but ended up deciding he should accept.

“I need to discipline myself, to be careful during training, study, perfect myself. I enjoy being in this mental state and it's interesting to see how the body responds. With this nomination, I end the year in the best way possible. I accept the challenge and I will start a new year in a spectacular almost unthinkable way.”

Hernández added that his experience has been his best advisor, as he has gained an awareness of his mind and body that allows him to be at ease when taking up challenges.

Regarding his work with Mikhail Baryshnikov, the ballet dancer admitted he was thrilled to work with the Russian legend.

“I asked him about my versions, about my dancing, my artistic decisions and my projects. He turned to me and said 'You're a good dancer, a beautiful dancer. You don't have to change a thing, you just need to do a bit more in this part of the ballet and less in this other one'.”

Physically, the production was exhausting for Hernández, remembering he performed the show six times in one week but that he was certain the project and the reaction of the audience were worth it.

After a show, recalled Hernández, he talked with Baryshnikov about his projects in Mexico and told him he was needed there.

“I'd love it very much if he could be a part of these projects somehow.”

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