• Julia Sumzina

Shale Wagman: "It is a joy to connect through creating movement..."

Shale Wagman, a Canadian dancer who has been astonishing the ballet audience around the world since his Prix de Lausanne triumph in 2018, works in Munich. This year he has been promoted to a first soloist by Laurent Hilaire after an amazing season with Bavarian State Ballet.

Shale is a great friend of La Notte Magazine and we have been planning to make the interview for quite long time and finally we've talked with Shale about the last season, the thoughts about profession, inspiration and some personal things.


Hello, Shale! How are you? This season has been full of opportunities for you, you’ve also been promoted to a first soloist, I’d like to ask you about you impressions?



Looking back on this season, I have immense gratitude. There were a lot of changes within the theatre and normally I get nervous with very big changes but somehow everything always works out even if at first I worry. I had the chance to dance a lot of new repertoire which fuelled me to push beyond what I thought were my limits and have some beautiful moments on stage. These new experiences gave me more comfortability so that I could have the confidence to go on stage and learn more about the qualities hiding deep within me that could only be let out when I let go. I think this season has taught me more than ever that even if I’m thinking about the next goals and aspirations, I’m in the middle of my living dream and to not take that for granted.


At this moment, I would really like to continue building my classical repertoire as I feel there is lots of space for exploration.

You have many contemporary roles as well as classical (and neoclassical) ones in your repertoire. What do you personally prefer to dance?


I like to dance everything. I love every style of dance and good quality work. I really enjoy working and creating with choreographers. It is a joy to connect through creating movement especially when there is a lot of chemistry and understanding in the studio. At this moment, I would really like to continue building my classical repertoire as I feel there is lots of space for exploration.



Do you have something special preparation for your roles?


I guess every role requires different preparation. I wouldn’t say I have a specific preparation though. I use my instincts.



What are your main sources of inspiration?


Nature, human discovery, spiritual guidance and imagination.


When I’m performing in Munich specifically, I like to think that I’m just going downstairs and welcoming people into my home.

How do you deal with your nerves before the performance or onstage?


When I’m performing in Munich specifically, I like to think that I’m just going downstairs and welcoming people into my home. Our studios and dressing rooms and day to day lives are at the theatre and that gives me a lot of comfort. In other instances outside of the theatre, I think about how small I am and how big the universe is; that normally makes me seize the present moment and enjoy the process on stage.




What are your dream roles?


I would like to explore a lot of the classical and neoclassical repertoire.


And dream partner onstage?


Partnerships can be very special and you feel the energy when you dance with the person. I can think of many dancers that I’d love to share the stage with but I also think you don’t know what you will share with that person until you experience it first hand.



What do you like to do when you have free time?


I like to examine nature, I like a good night out, spending time with friends and loved ones, thrifting, swimming, travelling, visual arts, museums and most of all adventure.



Blitz:



Favourite food: I can’t choose one but Asian fusion, and Italian

Favourite city: Paris

Favourite book: A body of work

Favourite film: It depends on the genre but I’ll say The boy in the Striped Pyjamas and Bridesmaids for now

Favourite flower: all flowers

Favourite perfume: Mont Blanc

Favourite clothes brand: For myself, I like to thrift but if I have to choose a brand that I love the fashion in, I would say Dior, Valentino and Off White



We wish Shale the great upcoming season and a lot of new opportunities!


Interview: Julia Sumzina

Photos: Serghei Gherciu, Carlos Quezada, Katja Lotter

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