Perseverance is an important trait in a dancer but making Prima Ballerina was worth the decade plus of plies to Nicole Ferreira-Dill.

When it comes to ballet, there’s no app or looking to green screens and fireworks to make the show. On the stage, the dancers are the stars and the special effects.

We step behind the scenes with Principal Ballerina Nicole Ferreira-Dill to find out about the classical art-form through her personal journey and learn about the lasted production she’s working on with Joburg Ballet.

Nicole started ballet at the age of five and has danced many principal and solo roles, including Giselle; Odette, Odile and Big Swans in Swan Lake; Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty; Cinderella; and Snow White, and received numerous awards of excellence. 

While the very serene Nicole makes ballet look and sound like a dream, dancer turned artistic director Iain MacDonald was sure to give us a reality check.

“One of the biggest characteristics in my opinion for a dancer to join the company is determination. I think you have to have the drive, desire and passion for it. You are going to be dissapointed at times, there are going to be days when it’s not going to be easy, you’re not going to get cast in certain roles. It’s about having the discipline and the focus to keep going through this, and striving to achieve almost the unobtainable,” comments Iain. 

She’s currently dancing the role of Sugar Plum Fairy in one of the most popular and beloved classical ballets, The Nutcracker, which has just wrapped at Joburg Theatre. 

“In the past 15 years of being a professional dancer, I’ve probably done about ten to twelve different versions of The Nutcracker, yet every version that you do remains special. I think it’s just the music that’s so beautiful, the choreography is beautiful but what also makes it that extra little bit special is that I got the opportunity to choreograph the Snow Pas de Deux in Act 1. It’s my first time choreographing for the company, so I’m really excited to showcase my work on this amazing platform,” shares Nicole.    

For those near KZN, you can next see Nicole in The Nutcracker Suite at the Playhouse, Durban on 18 or 19 December 2021.




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