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Joining the Corps de Ballet
Q&A with Jason Ferro

December 15, 2020

Alexander Skinner

Jason Ferro was born in Franklinville, New Jersey and trained at San Francisco Ballet School in California. Jason joined The National Ballet of Canada in 2018 as an RBC Apprentice and became a member of the Corps de Ballet in 2020.

Congratulations on joining the company as a member of the Corps de Ballet! 
Thank you! It’s so exciting to be on the main company’s roster. 

What was the RBC Apprenticeship Programme like for you and how important was the training for your growth?  
I was a part of the Apprentice Programme for two seasons, each of which brought their own unique set of challenges. My first year was such an exciting experience because I was working alongside the company I had admired for so long. Performing in John Neumeier’s Anna Karenina was certainly the highlight of that first season. Unfortunately, my first season was cut short due to injury, though looking back, I feel very fortunate to have experienced injury and the learning process that comes with it early in my career. Returning from injury made my second season as an apprentice feel like a fresh start, especially getting the opportunity to participate in YOU dance for another season. 

What were your best moments participating in the YOU dance programme?
The most rewarding experiences were interacting with the kids after the shows to hear what they were curious about and to see how exposure to dance inspired them. My favorite memory of YOU dance was when my parents were able to come see one of the shows. I had worked so hard to get to that point in my career, and I owed so much of my success to my parents, that having them in the audience felt like a significant moment in my life.

If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself at the start of the year about how to deal with being a performer in isolation? 
I would definitely tell myself to cherish the moments I have on stage. These days I try my hardest to remind myself that my craft and its worth are not defined by anyone watching. In the meantime, I can’t wait for theatres to be full again.

Tell us about the Harbourfront Residency and preparing for The Dreamers Ever Leave You
It was a pleasure to work at the Harbourfront Centre and great to be back in a traditional rehearsal environment, even in a socially distanced manner. Social distancing made the whole performance process operate differently, but in any performance setting the only thing I feel I have control over is my own performance and what I’m aiming to convey to the audience. I think putting forward my best performance amid things that are beyond my control is something great to strive for during such a tumultuous time for humanity.

What were your first performances like? And how hard was it to dance knowing – or expecting – that the rest of the performances would be postponed? 
That first performance back after months of dance confined to the kitchen floor brought me such a feeling of joy. I didn’t find that I was focusing on the possibility of another closure at all. For a couple of hours we had the opportunity to perform again.

What are your goals or hopes for your first year in the Corps de Ballet? 
I’m finding that during a time where the future doesn’t seem very predictable, it’s best to set short term goals. My goal for my first year with the National Ballet is to explore my creativity in different media until I am able to once again express myself in a live performance.

Learn more about Jason >

 

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