Andrew Shore Kaminski (Corps de ballet) was born in Annapolis, Maryland and studied at the School of American Ballet. He had additional training at The Royal Danish Ballet in Copenhagen, Pacific Northwest Ballet School, Academie de Danse Princess Grace in Monaco and Exploring Ballet with Suzanne Farrell. He danced with Boston Ballet before joining The Suzanne Farrell Ballet in 2004. Mr. Kaminski has also guested with The Washington Ballet, Benjamin Millepied & Company, and appeared in Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan.
What is your favorite role to dance and why?
One of my favorites thus far has been Bugaku. I really enjoyed the restraint, the subtleties, and the overall ritualized feeling. My partner Elisabeth [Holowchuk] and I really committed to it and the whole thing felt very charged and atmospheric. I also enjoyed being in Balanchine's Don Quixote, as it is a ballet that has always interested me. To be involved in the reconstruction of it was great.
What do you like to do when you are not dancing?
I have a very close group of friends from both The Suzanne Farrell Ballet and from other companies in New York, so I enjoy spending as much time as possible with them. I began courses at the Fashion Institute of Technology this past year, to make good use of my time when I'm not engaged with the ballet. I also adore travel; I recently returned from Tokyo and I try to visit other countries and experience different cultures whenever I can. Going to the Edinburgh International Festival with Balanchine's Don Quixote was a dream come true, as I got to visit Scotland and dance as well.
How do you prepare yourself for the physical challenges of dancing ballet?
Anyone that is familiar with me knows that I have a fairly set (and regimented) warm-up routine. Each morning, in the hour before class, I come to the studio and stretch to limber up my muscles and prepare them for the day ahead. I enjoy having that time before class to clear my mind of outside distractions and to review choreography if necessary. I never miss that extra hour of sleep because it is a relaxing way to begin the day and a time to center before the rehearsal day begins. I also like to work out at a gym 3 or 4 times a week.
What music do you like to listen to when you warm-up?
I've been listening to classical music for my entire life, but for warming up I prefer the complete opposite, mostly pop and rock. I've been really into some Japanese artists for years now, so more often than not it’s Ayumi Hamasaki or the brilliant green. I'm an avid music listener, and many of my friends come to me for playlists and recommendations.
Do you feel an affinity for any particular choreographer?
George Balanchine, first and foremost. I began my training in the Vaganova method, but I knew even before I moved to New York to attend S.A.B. that I wanted to dance Balanchine ballets. There is such a freedom when dancing his work, to inhabit the world in the way of your choosing. Obviously, you never stray from the choreography, but there are so many different approaches that are available for you to take so it never feels repetitious. Each new performance is a new opportunity to explore the ballet and by extension, yourself.
What is the biggest reward in your career?
In all honesty, being able to wake up and actually want to go to the studio. There are hard days and there are days when my body hurts, but I always look forward to going to class and rehearsals because of what I can learn; what I can work to accomplish. Having the opportunity to learn from Ms. Farrell is a gift and there are always ways to develop, to grow, and to build upon your foundation. For those who love to dance Balanchine ballets, most companies offer a couple ballets a season. The Suzanne Farrell Ballet rep is almost completely Balanchine, so there can be 7 different ballets going in a given Kennedy Center engagement. We are a mobile company, and our willingness to learn and our common purpose binds us together.