Yang Ruiqi was born in Harbin. She started her training at Shanghai Dance School and graduated from the John Cranko School in Stuttgart in 2012.
She joined Hong Kong Ballet as a Coryphée in 2016. Yang was a finalist at Prix de Lausanne competition in Switzerland in 2009 and 2010, and at the Taoli Cup Dance Competition in 2008.
Interview by Dominique Musorrafiti
This is a selected interview from
Planet China Vol. 02 issue
celebrating International Women’s Day 2018]
China-Underground: When did you realize that dance could become your profession? Have you always wanted to be a dancer?
Yang Ruiqi: Pursuing my favourite job as a profession is one of the most wonderful things on earth! It is presumptuous to say “my life is all about dancing”, but nevertheless, dancing is indispensable in my life. Dancing is a tough job though, and I have faith to do my best as it is my own choice.
C U: Who has influenced you most?
Y R: It is hard to pick one person who has had the most influence on me. Life contains many joined dots, and we need to grab our opportunities. There are many brilliant people around me to learn from. If I really had to pick one person, I would definitely choose my parents (yes, I chose two people finally)!
She joined Stuttgart Ballet as an Apprentice in 2012 and was promoted to a member of the Corps de Ballet in 2013
C U: Is there a role you have dreamed of playing since you were a child?
Y R: I cherish all the roles that I play.
C U: What role did you play that will always have a special place in your heart? Is there one in which you identified more of yourself?
Y R: I would choose Olga in “Onegin”. She is a typical innocent girl with a subtle personality. This is my best memory of my time at Stuttgart Ballet.
C U: Can you tell us something about your experiences abroad and what differences you find compared to Asia?
Y R: I am still me. For me, I like the bustle of cities that make me feel energetic. Europe is a peaceful place to stay, and I learned how to enjoy moments alone.
C U: What limits of life did ballet help you overcome? What did dance help you strengthen?
Y R: We need to strengthen ourselves from our inner heart to face life issues, which is the same approach I have in my career. Strength is nurtured from the mind’s core, which is the most basic requirement for dance training.
C U: How important is discipline? How much time do you spend on training a week?
Y R: Discipline is a good habit, as we know what is essential and what is not necessary.
We wear our appetites on our bodies, so we need to control it by not eating too much. Sometimes you think you really want to eat a lot, but you may not actually be able to eat that much.
C U: What does a dancer have to take into consideration to achieve great goals?
Y R: As a ballerina, your natural body figure is very important, but we cannot all rely on
this. We still need a multi-faceted approach to work with sweat and exertion every day to enjoy those great moments on stage.
Photo courtesy of Yang Ruiqi