The Fringe is here, & so are the dancers; among whom are are Constant Vigier’s delicate angels…
Hello Constant, so where are you from & where are you at, geographically speaking?
Constant: I am French, born in Brittany and grew up next to Paris. I now live in Glasgow.
When did you first develop a passion for dance?
Constant: When my family moved in the suburbs of Paris I registered at the Conservatoire for music. As I was looking for gymnastics classes I realised the Conservatoire also offered ballet classes. So I started ballet quite randomly and grew fond of it very quickly as I loved the relation movement/music.
Can you tell us about your training?
Constant: I started in Rueil-Malmaison Conservatoire before joining Paris Opera Ballet School where I graduated. I added on that more training in Hamburg where I also worked with the Hamburg Ballet John Neumeier for a year. Following that I worked 6 months at Tivoli Pantomime Theatre in Copenhagen and then I started working with Scottish Ballet where I have been for five years now.
What are the key ingredients to your style?
Constant: My style is in the category “neo-classical”. The ladies are usually on pointed shoes yet I also like to have grounded steps with flex feet and parallel positions. The upper body is also important in my style and can be more challenged than the legs. I really enjoy using different levels and dynamics that are often set on how I feel the music I work with.
What are the personal highlights of your repertoire?
Constant: As a dancer I had the chance to perform very classical pieces and very modern ones too. My favourite pieces to dance were from Christopher Hampson (The Rite of Spring), Crystal Pite (Emergence), Angelin Preljocaj (MC 14/22), John Neumeier (Nijinsky) and Uri Ivgi and Johan Greben (Each Other).
You’ve got three famous dancers from history coming round for dinner. Who would they be & what would you cook; starter, mains & dessert?
Constant: I would invite Violette Verdy, Sylvie Guillem and Vaslav Nijinsky.
Starter : beetroot hummus, mozzarella burrata, olive oil and bread.
Main : pan fried leeks and scallops.
Dessert : Tiramisu.
But this menu will soon disappear from my diet as I am keen on helping save the planet and become a vegan.
You are bringing a show to Edinburgh this year, can you tell us about it?
Constant: The main inspiration of the piece is Heloïse Letissier, also known as Christine and the Queens. Her music but also the story of her life is a the centre of the show. The struggle you go through when you don’t fit the usual labels society wants to give people. She is a feminist who also fights for LGBT+ rights. I also questioned myself whether “feminist” could sometimes be more a weight than a power. But I wish everyone felt great in their own skin to be able to be whoever they’d want to be, as long as respect for others is there. The piece finishes on an optimistic note though.
Who are your dancers & where are they from?
Constant: There are multiple casts but most of the dancers are from the UK. Some of them are at the Conservatoire of Scotland, others are from Scottish Ballet.
Daisy Mullen-Thompson, Jessica Neilson, Nicola Scholefied, Kira Ewing, Lisa Elston, Meryem Segun, Sophie Martin (the only non-UK member, from France), Roseanna Leney and Grace Paulley.
What compelled you to handle the fight for female equality?
Constant: I think equality alone should be there for everyone from day one on this planet. Obviously it’s not a fact and I don’t think life is fair. But as human beings, I really hope our thinking will help us level up differences between us.
You’ve got 20 seconds to sell the show to somebody in an Edinburgh street, what would you say?
Constant: Hi! Would you like to see a 30min dance piece? 3 ladies fighting to find their own place in society. Music by Christine and the Queens and Perfume Genius! It moves, it’s fun and it is related to society today!
French Institute – Salle Emilienne Moreau-Evrard
Aug 4-5, 7-14, 16-27 (times vary)