Dancing around the world with Toby William Mallitt
Toby was born in the UK. He started his ballet studies in the English National Ballet School. In 2005 he joined The Royal Ballet School, where he graduated two years later, joinin the main company. In 2008 he joined Corella Ballet, dance principal pieces from their repertoire. In December 2011 he joined the Compañía Nacional de Danza, under the artistic direction of José Carlos Martínez. In September 2014 he is promoted to the category of soloist.
Good morning Toby, how are you? And a very happy birthday.
Thank you so much for my birthday wishes. I’m feeling good thank you, ready to have another great year.
Tell us about you. How did you start dancing?
I started dancing when I was 8 years old in my town of Ipswich in the UK, and from then I got the bug and couldn’t stop. Starting with ballet, modern, jazz and tap I danced a lot at a young age until I was 16 when I moved to London to pursue more with classical ballet. After training with 2 of the top schools in London, is where I definitely gained most of technique to be where I am today.
For you, life is dance. Would you recommend others to try it out?
Dance is definitely a type of life style but one I gladly chose. To be able to survive this industry you have to a thick skin and a lot of passion to drive you, if not then dance is not for you. As an artist you need to be 100% invested in your craft, but with that you get so much in return.
nder your perspective, how important is technique?
For me dancing with the royal ballet school in London and training with some fantastic teachers from around the world, I’ve always thought that a good base of technique is key for any type of dance. You can use your ballet technique in many different genres of dance, hence why sports athletes even use in their training.
Only three years after joining the company you became a soloist. What did this mean to you?
Gaining a contract for soloist was a huge milestone, and it meant the world to me. Even from when I was younger I set a goal up in my head to be able to reach the stage of soloist, and when I got the promotion it felt good to be able to have reached that goal. But this does not mean I want more from my career, there is always something to strive for.
Is there any key point in your career for you development as a dancer?
So I actually have two, so the same year as my promotion was when I danced one of my dream roles In The Middle Somewhat Elevated. Dancing the main pas de deux from this ballet was always something I’ve aspired to dance, so when given the opportunity to dance it I was unbelievably excited, and the ballet didn’t disappoint me. Also being able to dance in New York was another highlight with my previous company, whilst dancing a ballet by the incredible Christopher Wheeldon. It was a win win.
In Joaquín De Luz’s Giselle you had an important role as Duke Courland. How was the process of building this character?
Being able to take a role in a ballet which has a set character is always really fun, and adding all the hair and makeup on top added to the character. It definitely made me see how I would possibly look in years to come haha.
What places in Spain do you know? Which one is your favourite?
So after being in Spain for 13 years now, I have visited more of this country than my home country. I’m truly in love with this wonderful country, it is without a doubt my second home. A few of my most favorite places have been San Sebastián, Sevilla, Valencia… always a joy to be able to visit these cities
What do you miss from the UK?
Well UK will always be home to me, so obviously the thing I miss most is my family, although I try and see them as much as possible the past year has been difficult with all the restrictions. Another thing I miss about England is pub culture especially in summer. I love the social scene of pub life, for lunch or drinks, I associate it all with bringing people together.
In your free time, do you enjoying dancing or prefer other activities? Tell us which?
I love to dance wherever I can, people think I’m crazy sometimes when I’ve been dancing all week and then on the weekends want to dance in a bar or a club. But it’s a way to disconnect and way of being out social with my friends. It’s something I have missed this past year with restrictions, I feel people need to this to feel free. I’m also a huge foodie, and love going out to restaurants or trying new cuisines
We all enjoy vacation and enjoying with friends and family, so a classic question. Beach or mountain?
From the UK where we have such beautiful nature, but not such great weather I’m definitely in love more with the beach. Although I never appreciated the beach as much as I do now until I moved to Spain.
Lastly, if your life wasn’t dance, what would it be?
It’s hard to imagine doing anything else but dance… but because I love social events I’ve always considered event planning. But I don’t see myself leaving the dance world for years to come, I’m very much interested being a ballet master in the future, or helping dancers train. I’m very passionate about ballet and technique, I would love to pass down everything I’ve learnt to the next generation.
TOBY WILLIAM MALLITT – SOLOIST CND
Interview by: Montserrat Martínez