What are you ...? with Tulsa Ballet senior soloist Alexandra Bergman
BY BRAVETTA HASSELL World Scene Writer
Thursday, December 06, 2012
12/06/12 at 4:04 AM
Tulsa Ballet senior soloist Alexandra Bergman wasn't one of those little kids who saw "The Nutcracker" at Christmastime.
"My first time seeing 'The Nutcracker' was actually performing in it, and I was close to 15 or 16 years old then, so it wasn't really as magical as it should have been," Bergman said.
But her 3-year-old daughter who saw the timeless production for the first time last year was enamored by it, Bergman said.
This season, Bergman will be dancing a number of parts in the Tulsa Ballet's performance of "The Nutcracker," which opens this weekend at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center.
The corps has been dancing nonstop - starting as early as 9:30 a.m. and working until at least 6 p.m. with a break or two in between. However, Bergman has always been driven by the challenge and the entrancing power of the performance art that affects not only the artist but those who consume it.
"I feel like I can transform myself on stage. When you physically put everything into a performance, and emotionally put everything into the performance, you're kind of taking off the regular, everyday life of a human being," Bergman said. "Hopefully, the audience can be transformed in some way also into another world. And sometimes you hear that from people in the audience, that you've really made a difference in their day, or whatever was going on in their lives, they just forget about it."
Bergman's career path began because her mother wanted to accomplish two things: provide an outlet for her young daughter to burn off some energy and, second, meet a pediatrician's recommendation to help Bergman with her turned-in feet.
But now, Bergman can't see her future starting from any other point. When she fell in love with ballet, she took every class she could and practiced endlessly. In high school, when she wasn't studying, she was dancing. Dance class naturally evolved into a career in dance.
"It's hard, and you don't make a lot of money," Bergman said. "But if I had to do it all over again, I would do exactly the same thing."
Before getting back to a rehearsal session for "The Nutcracker," Bergman spoke with the Tulsa World about life in and out of ballet.
... most loving to hear when you dance?
Chopin. You have to just immediately get that sputtering feeling from the inside, that "Wow, my body can actually move through this music and fulfill this music."
... doing in your down time given your rigorous dance schedule?
I have a 3-year-old daughter now ... so there's definitely no unwinding. I just try to get as much quality time with her as I can. Taking her to all the fabulous things that Tulsa has to offer for kids, free museum days and parks.
... hoping to see more of for the Tulsa Ballet?
We rehearse so much, and we only really get one weekend of shows. My main hope is for the company to be able to have more performances that sell out.
... loving about Tulsa?
For such a relatively smaller Midwest city, it has the most amazing art community. There's just everything here, and now that I have children, I really appreciate all the wonderful community programs for children, as well.
... eating before a big production?
You want to have enough energy, but you just don't want to be too weighed down. So I've found the best thing is to eat maybe like an egg that gives you some kind of sustained energy, but it doesn't really fill you up too much. And I have to have my double espresso. That's definitely a ritual. I need to have that a couple hours before the curtains go up.
... looking forward to this holiday season?
I'm looking forward to my family coming. We're going to have a full house in Tulsa to celebrate.
Original Print Headline: What are you ... ? with Alexandra Bergman Tulsa Ballet senior soloist
Bravetta Hassell 918-581-8316
Tulsa Ballet dancer Alexandra Bergman will dance several roles in the company's production of "The Nutcracker." MICHAEL WYKE / Tulsa World
Tulsa Ballet dancer Alexandra Bergman waits to dance during rehearsal of "The Nutcracker" at the PAC in Tulsa. MICHAEL WYKE / Tulsa World