Q&A with Trygve Cumpston
April 22, 2021

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Trygve Cumpston. Photo by Karolina Kuras.

What have you been doing in your spare time since the pandemic hit?

I’ve definitely enjoyed having more time to video chat with friends and family who live near and far. Also, I love movies, so I’ve loved taking the time to watch some classic films I had never seen before.

What would you have done as a career if you hadn't pursued ballet?  

I’ve always loved learning about history and science, so maybe something along those lines, but I’m not exactly sure.

Have you ever had an embarrassing moment on stage? 

For sure! But I think most mistakes are (hopefully!) not very noticeable to an audience. That’s part of our job, to cover it up well!

What is your work philosophy?

Work hard and have fun. It’s possible to do both!  


Miyoko Koyasu and Trygve Cumpston in The Dreamers Ever Leave You. Photo by Karolina Kuras.

How do you handle criticism? 

I try to remember that whoever is giving me the criticism is taking their time and energy to help me.    

What is your definition of a successful ballet dancer?  

I don’t know if there is one singular definition, but I know after a month of performances I feel pretty successful! 

What’s the best thing about being a dancer?

The best thing is finishing a performance knowing you’ve given all you can to the audience. 

What’s the worst?

The worst thing is knowing that the career of a dancer is so short.  


Trygve Cumpston and Giorgio Galli. Photo by Karolina Kuras.

What music are you listening to right now? 

Right now I’m listening to Sam Cooke at the Copa

What are three random things most people don't know about you? 

I like to bake, I enjoy creating cocktails, and I had a black belt in Tae Kwon Do before I started dancing. 

What was the last thing you changed your mind about?

I used to think I hated artichokes, but now I love them.

What cheers you up on an off day?

Watching a favorite movie while eating some kind of comfort food.

Do you have any bad habits that you're working on breaking?

I’m trying to spend less time on my phone.

What is your favourite onstage memory?

The gold confetti cannons onstage during our bows at the Mariinsky Theatre were pretty unforgettable.

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Trygve Cumpston. Photo by Karolina Kuras. 

What is your favourite ballet and why?

Onegin. I think it is so moving and has a perfect blend of story, dance, drama, and music.    

What's the biggest risk you've taken, either personally or in your career?

Probably deciding to move to Canada. I think it paid off!

When are you most proud of yourself?

When I feel that not only did I have a good performance, but my colleagues did as well.

Tell us about an awe-inspiring thing you've seen or experienced.

Seeing Mt. Fuji reveal itself from behind a cloud was stunning.  

If you could invite three people to dinner, dead or alive, who would they be?

Jules Verne, Carl Sagan, and Bill Gates.  

What’s the number one item on your bucket list?

I would love to take an extended multi-country trip without any set destinations, just exploring and finding interesting things along the way.

Learn More About Trygve

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