Bethany Lowrie (Apprentice) began her training at Ballet Lubbock under the instruction of Yvonne Racz-Key. She continued studying on merit scholarship at summer intensives including Exploring Ballet with Suzanne Farrell, School of American Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, and The Rock School. Bethany joined Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre's graduate program on merit scholarship in 2012. She performed corps de ballet roles in their company productions including Don Quixote, Swan Lake, and Terrence Orr's The Nutcracker as a Snowflake and Flower. Bethany performed with The Suzanne Farrell Ballet as a trainee in Balanchine's Episodes and Tempo di Valse, and Paul Mejia's Romeo and Juliet. This is Bethany's second season with The Suzanne Farrell Ballet.
A Conversation with Bethany
What is your favorite role to dance and why? There are many ballets I have yet to experience and I am still waiting to discover my favorite role. Each ballet is unique and special and I enjoy each of the roles given. As of right now, I would love to dance the lead role in Balanchine's Mozartiana and Kitri in Don Quixote.
What do you like to do when you are not dancing?
When not dancing, I enjoy hand embroidery and sewing. Cooking has also become an interest over the past couple of years and I also enjoy sipping tea and reading books.
How do you prepare yourself for the physical challenges of rehearsing, performing, touring?
I try to stick to my normal routines as much as possible. It can be hard because schedules sometimes change to accommodate theater rehearsals and performances, but I find I am both mentally and physically more relaxed and prepared when I treat it as an average day. For me this means staying as close as possible to my normal eating and sleeping routines, and making sure I properly stretch out and warm up.
What is it like to work with Ms. Farrell? Any fun and memorable stories or anecdotes about working with her?
It is an honor, a privilege, and a joy to work with Ms. Farrell. She is such an inspiring person and often pushes me beyond what I thought was my very best work without me even realizing it. Coming home and going back to ballet classes always proves to be an eye-opening experience as I realize how much I have grown by working with Ms. Farrell. Ms. Farrell cares deeply for each of her dancers and I completely trust her judgment in classes, rehearsals, and performances. Her memory and knowledge of Mr. Balanchine's ballets and his technique continues to amaze me and I look forward to learning more from her this season.
What music do you like to listen to when you warm-up?
I enjoy quite a variety of music and I mix it up depending on my daily preference. Inspirational music is the most common choice although I also listen to Country, Classical and Sound Track.
What do you think is the most common myth about being a ballet dancer? What do you wish people knew about what it's really like to be a ballet dancer?
I believe many people underestimate the hard work and discipline of ballet. Ballet dancers are often acquainted with tutus and tiaras, lean figures, and performing. What goes unnoticed is the fact that we work on the same steps and rehearse the same ballets almost every day for weeks at a time to create the lines, movements, and gestures seen onstage. We must also train our minds to quickly pick up all of the choreography given to us, since we often learn more then one ballet at a time.
Do you feel an affinity for any particular choreographer?
I absolutely love Balanchine's choreography. His choreography is brilliant and beautiful. The vast range of his pieces from soft and elegant to sharp and unique is marvelous and I am continually impressed with the precision, strength, and especially the musicality present in all of them. While the counts in the music can be challenging to learn at first, exploring the music is an enlightening experience and very rewarding once understood.
What is the biggest reward in your career?
For me the biggest reward in ballet is the performances. In performances, dancers possess the ability to draw the audience completely into the world of whatever ballet being danced, through lines, movement and motions. In this way, we are able to draw people away from reality and into another world, giving them respite from their daily lives and allowing them to walk away with a fresh perspective on reality.