At first glance, Zachary Rogers, Canadian dancer formerly at the Czech National Ballet, is a tall noble and elegant yet shy dancer. Discover his fascinating ballet journey from Winnipeg to Prague, passing by Tallinn, Lausanne and Varna.
In October 2018, on a cold but sunny afternoon, Zachary Rogers, then dancers Prague at the Czech National Ballet, sat with us in a park. Zachary takes you on his ballet journey from Winnipeg to Prague, passing by Tallinn, Lausanne and Varna. When you get to know him more personally, you discover a very funny man, a picky eater, and an art lover. In this interview, Zachary reveals his secret sweet spot and an incredible future ballet project involving a mysterious ingredient. Shortly after this interview Zachary Rogers was hired at the Stanislavsky Ballet company in Moscow, Russia.
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“I was dancing along to The Riverdance on TV”
Every dancer has their own story when it comes to how they fell in love with ballet. Although Zachary never really looks back, we asked him about the beginning of his journey to find out the path that led him where he is now. What (or who) made Zachary decide he wanted to become a ballet dancer?
“Time helped the most”
Zachary moved to Europe on his own when he was just 18, in order to pursue his studies and career as a professional dancer. How did he deal with being so far away from his family? Not to mention being unfamiliar with the language of the country. What is it like to be suddenly immersed into a completely different environment?“We still have some in the repertory now”
Each and every ballet company has its own style, its own characteristics. Knowing this kind of information is extremely helpful for young dancers who are looking forward to audition and dreaming of receiving a contract. Zachary will tell us what makes the Czech National Ballet different, describing it under a dancer’s point of view.“Tragic stories and beautiful music”
What is Zachary’s taste when it comes to ballets to dance and ballets to watch? And what about choreographies that get him outside of his comfort zone? We could spend endless time chatting about ballet with Zachary! Do you want to join us?“I never like to be in a rush”
Every dance company has a different typical day, despite having many things in common one to the other. What is a regular work day at the Czech National Ballet like then? And what else does Zachary do in his spare time? What about before a show?“I get all tensed, and it’s difficult to watch”
Why do dancers dance? What is the meaning of being a dancer? We asked Zachary and his answer was just mind-blowing. Zachary tries to bring something very special on stage, this is probably why his dancing is so mesmerizing! It’s difficult to enjoy a performance if this ingredient is lacking.“I felt like I was going to lose ballet”
Talking about obstacles to overcome, everyone has their own story. Zachary will tell us about the time where he felt like he was almost going to lose ballet and how he was able to stand back up and move forward. Have you been in the same situation as well?“It would prevent me from trying certain things”
Zachary says he tends to always be projected into the future, but what happens if we ask him to go back in time and give some advice to his younger self? This episode is filled with inspiration and words to live by. “I would like to try something new…”
What is a dancer’s opinion on competitions? Ballet in the end is an art form, and it’s impossible to judge a performance with a numerical score, like in any other sport. Zachary has had his own experience: from the Prix De Lausanne, to Helsinki IBC and Varna IBC. What were his reasons behind participating? What did he learn?“It’s something that I never thought I would do”
What makes a moment on stage so special that it becomes memorable? Zachary recalls here his best memories while performing at the Varna IBC, telling us everything that made the experience unique.“I don’t know if dancers would be pancakes…”
Sweet tooth anyone? Zachary definitely has one! There are also a couple of things that can never miss in a brunch. It doesn’t end here… ballet is involved as well! Let’s put waffles, pancakes and Tchaikovsky together. Any ideas for the costumes?“Minkus… it’s harder to catch Minkus”
Being a dancer requires passion, commitment and dedication, but this doesn’t mean that there shouldn’t be any space for other activities outside of ballet. What does Zachary enjoy doing in his free time? If anything, of course.
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