So honored to have ballet superstar, Mr. Friedemann Vogel at Interview En L’air. We know each other from my Stuttgart days. Friedemann is a such a good energy and easy spirit. It is always a pleasure to see him in class or to see him on stage, his grace and facility stand out from the crowd… to say the least.
Friedemann Vogel was born in Stuttgart. He received his initial ballet training at the John Cranko Schule in Stuttgart and subsequently received the John Gilpin scholarship to study with Marika Besobrasova at the Académie de Danse Classique Princesse Grace in Monaco. He showed his outstanding talent by winning several international ballet competition awards including the Prix de Lausanne and the Erik-Bruhn-Competition for young dancers in Toronto. At the beginning of the season 1998/99 he joined the Stuttgart Ballet as a member of the corps de ballet. In June 2002, Friedemann Vogel was appointed to Principal Dancer.
With the Stuttgart Ballet Friedemann Vogel has danced numerous major roles in full-length ballets by renowned choreographers. His repertoire includes the leading roles in ballets of John Cranko such as Prince Siegfried in Swan Lake, Romeo in Romeo and Juliet and the title role in Onegin as well as Prince Desiré in Sleeping Beauty (Marcia Haydée nach Marius Petipa), Albrecht in Giselle (Reid Anderson, Valentina Savina), James in La Sylphide (Peter Schaufuss) and Armand Duval in The Lady of the Camellias (John Neumeier). Furthermore Friedemann Vogel has performed in ballets by Mikhail Fokine, George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Kenneth MacMillan, Maurice Béjart, Glen Tetley, William Forsythe etc. Many choreographers have created roles especially for him, including Wayne McGregor, Mauro Bigonzetti, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Christian Spuck, Itzik Galili and Marco Goecke who created his full length Orlando for him.
Friedemann Vogel is frequently invited to dance as a guest artist by prestigious companies all over the world including the Bolshoi Ballet, English National Ballet, La Scala in Milan and the Mikhailovsky Ballet in St. Petersburg. He is a regular guest at many international galas. In September 2015, he was awarded the national title of “Kammertaenzer” by the Ministry of Culture.
When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up? Did you always want to do what you’re doing now?
A ballet dancer!
Favorite Things to eat?
Schnitzel with French fries
At the moment Storyteller by Tim Walker
The Skin I live In by Pedro Almodovar
Favorite Dance Piece or Show/Musical or both?
New creations by Marco Goecke
I like dancers who…
work hard and go beyond their limits in every way.
I am afraid of…
A dance piece should…
move and inspire the audience.
Something you like to do other than your current job?
One of the happiest moments in your life?
This is too private to answer…
One of your most unusual or coolest experiences?
Walking and climbing on the interactive installation by Tomas Saraceno in the K21 Ständehaus of the Kunstsammlung NRW. It is a huge, net-like sculpture hanging many meters above the ground which visitors can walk on it… the feeling is incredible. The exhibition has been extended until July 2016!
One of the most embarrassing moments in your professional career?
I once wiped the sweat from my forehead between my variation and the coda with tissues and then ran back out on stage with a tissue sticking to my forehead. Eventually it fell off… maybe not the most embarrassing but one of the funniest.
Who has been the most influential person/people in your life? or Career? and why?
Marika Besobrasova. She taught me not only how to dance but also many life lessons which helped to shape me as a person. Her advice still guides me.
One of the hardest things about your job?
To be in top form for each and every performance in spite of all the travelling and performing that I do. I feel one always has to deliver a high quality performance no matter where one is, no matter what theater, what audience. That is a conviction of mine and sometimes hard to live up to.
Do you have any goals you still wish to achieve?
To share my vision of dance and performance with other dancers.
If you could change one thing in the dance world, what would it be?
Better medical treatment, better financial security for dancers when they end their performing career.
If you could change one thing in the REAL world, what would it be?
Stop terrorism and the causes thereof.
A piece of advice for aspiring artists?
The harder you work in ballet school and really prepare yourself, the faster and better you will advance in your professional career. Try things you CAN’T do and work at what you aren’t as good at as well as what you do best. Last but not least: shut up and dance!
© Sébastien Galtier
For more info about Friedemann, visit: http://friedemannvogel.com
A big THANK YOU to the Stuttgart Ballet for your help with his article!: www.stuttgart-ballet.de
Main photo is by ©Youn Sik Kim