Danill Skimin

I started performing when I was 5 years, often with my father. My parents were dancers and I was greatly influenced by them. I began learning gymnastics when I was seven years old and 2 years later I was given the option to choose either performing on stage or continue my gymnastics training and I chose the former. “You cannot really call what I was doing with my father ballet. My mother said ‘this is not cute anymore. Either we start training properly or you cannot continue performing.” And that’s when I took my training seriously.” I trained with her daily for 10 years, but I was never forced by either of my parents. They always gave me the freedom to choose my passion. I became sure of my choice when I won the Grand Prix at the Helsinki International Ballet competition and decided to choose ballet as a profession. I joined the ballet company of Vienna State Opera in 2002 as a demi-soloist and since then have danced in many classical, neoclassical and contemporary repertoires.

At 21, I did not have much experience dancing with a partner. When I trained at home, I had the luxury to train just the way I liked, but after joining the American Ballet Theatre I did not have the luxury and had to work hard on it. I began competing at 12 and I rarely worked with dancers my own age and competitions gave me perspective. “Because I had no spring performance or exams, competitions provided a goal for me to work toward.” I always tried a new variation and technique for every competition to avoid being repetitive and allow variation in my performances.

“I’m a bit of a geek”. Computer is my favourite way to get my mind off of ballet and relax. Unfortunately, people still have misconceptions about ballet and it still hasn’t gained much recognition in several parts of the world. . I developed “Intensio” as an opportunity to make a personal artistic statement that brings technology and ballet together. I’ve always wanted people to open up to the ballet world and see how much effort every dancer puts in for each performance. “People think of ballet as old-fashioned, but, we, the new generation can fix that.”