Demi soloist Katharine Precourt was recently interviewed by balletconnections.com. Here’s an excerpt from that interview:
Born in San Diego, California, Katharine Precourt began her dance studies at the San Diego School of Ballet. From her early teens, she attended summer intensive programs on full merit scholarship at Houston Ballet’s Ben Stevenson Academy, the School of American Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, and the San Francisco Ballet School. Ms. Precourt joined Houston Ballet in 2004 as an apprentice and is currently a Demi Soloist. Some of her leading roles include William Forsythe’s In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated, Jirí Kylián’s Petite Mort, and the Dark Angel in George Balanchine’s Serenade. Ms. Precourt is an ARTS Awards winner in ballet.
Q. Houston Ballet has three levels of soloists—demi soloist, soloist, and first soloist. You’ve just become a demi soloist. What’s the distinction?
There is a difference in salary, and as far as I know, seniority is also a factor. Usually, a higher-ranking dancer is featured in more lead roles but at Houston Ballet that is not necessarily a rigid rule. I can speak from experience that if someone is well suited for a part, he or she will be cast for it regardless of rank.
Q. Who actually does the casting?
I think it depends on the piece to be performed. I believe it is a cooperative effort between the artistic director, artistic staff and the guest choreographer or artist who is setting the piece.
Q. In terms of your own career, do you have a strategy of where you want to be in two years or five years?
I definitely do. It is very important to have goals and use them to help guide your career, especially in a dancing career that is so short. I know some dancers set goals that have to do with progressing through the ranks. I would have to say my goals have a lot more to do with learning and performing a lot of the repertoire and in the process becoming a very versatile dancer.
Q. Do you set goals for yourself every year in terms of improving certain aspects of your technique?
Absolutely. Every dancer knows there is always something that needs improvement, something that can be better. This is the challenge that we face everyday during class and rehearsals.
Continue reading this interview on balletconnections.com…