Never Stop Dancing: an interview with Wu Husheng
Dancers must contribute 100% of their affection to the character
Born in 1986, WU Husheng is currently a first-class national dancer and the principal dancer of the Shanghai Ballet (SB). In 2007 after winning the first prize in the 9th New York International Ballet Competition and the Igor Youskevitch award, he received an invitation from the American Ballet Theatre (ABT). Surprisingly, he declined the offer and chose to stay with SB.
His ballet career had begun with SB in 2003. Over the next ten years, he led a routine and full life occupied by ballet practice, rehearsal, and performance. He noted that “With each a role in the repertoire that I play, I can experience and enjoy other people’s life. The 33-year-old dancer is always passionate about a diversified life. So far, WU Husheng has starred in the leading roles of over ten ballets, but he is unable to pick his favorite one. "I gave 100% of my affection to each character, and I hold an equal expectation and curiosity for each of them," he explained.
Mature dancers need to have a third eye
Despite abundant experience at starring in works, such as Giselle and A Sigh of Love, WU Husheng believes that Hamlet is a big challenge for him. He commented that "Hamlet boasts a well-developed structure, amazing music of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, and exquisite choreography and lighting as well as stage design. Only under such a situation am I confident to present the audience with beautiful work and to convey Shakespeare’s humanistic spirit."
Apart from being a dancer, WU Husheng also identifies himself as a choreographer. Hard to Say Farewell and Thorns choreographed by him, will soon be staged at Inspire, the original ballet scene of SB. They both feature the neoclassical style with a tinge of modern dance. WU Husheng expected that Hard to Say Farewell will echo with audiences and touch their hearts and souls. He considers the present version of Thorns to be a working version that needs to be polished further. He is so devoted to the choreographic work that he often loses sleep. The young artist said with a smile, “Dancer and choreographer give me two distinct senses of accomplishment. The former conveys the idea of the latter. Whereas the latter is more concerned about self-expression.” He believes that choreographic experience gives him a third eye for dancing because now he is in a position to notice more details and think about dance from a more comprehensive perspective. This definitely helps him become a more mature dancer