Daniel McCormick © Courtesy of English National Ballet
Daniel McCormick
© Courtesy of English National Ballet
Congratulations Daniel on winning the English National Ballet's Emerging Dancer award! It’s a unique opportunity for dancers in the company to work on soloist repertoire and to develop. How did you find the process?  

I found the process extremely rewarding, not only because of the competition aspect but because it gave me and my partner a chance to see how much we progressed and how much we are capable of progressing through the rehearsal process. It was also very fun to get the chance to play around and work on a high energy pas de deux like Le Corsaire in the studio.  

Why did you choose the pieces that you performed (solo and pas)?                 

Well our classical pas de deux, (in my case Le Corsaire) was chosen by ENB's artistic staff but we competitors were given the opportunity to choose a contemporary solo of our liking. I knew straight away when I found out I was nominated that I wanted to dance Leatherwing Bat by Trey McIntyre, one of my favourite choreographers of this time. It was a piece that I had the pleasure of learning and dancing in a competition in the United States when I was 14. The piece is more or less about the transition of youth to adulthood so I found it only fitting that I perform this piece for the Emerging Dancer Competition.  

Daniel McCormick, here with A. Ramirez and A. Hudson in the Spanish Dance from<i>The Nuctracker</i> © Laurent Liotardo
Daniel McCormick, here with A. Ramirez and A. Hudson in the Spanish Dance fromThe Nuctracker
© Laurent Liotardo

You moved to London to dance with ENB from the United States. What is it like dancing here, versus there and how are you adapting to life and dancing in London?

 Since ballet is a universal language I have to say that I see a lot more similarities rather than differences. I’m enjoying how connected the ballet world here in London is – there’s lots of opportunity to meet, interact, and work with other artists within this community - London is kind of the perfect hub for high calibre dance/ballet. I also like how well ballet is appreciated as an art form, and viewed in high regard.

What was your stage highlight from this season at ENB?

I'd have to say it was the moment that William Forsythe himself jumped onto the Sadler's Wells stage and started busting out some moves for the revved up audience with my colleagues and I on stage during the curtain calls for his ballet Playlist (Track 1, 2) which we premiered in April. That is a memory that will be imprinted onto my brain for the rest of my life.

What’s your dream classical role?

If I had to choose one dream classical role, it would probably Solor in La Bayadère

Daniel McCormick performing the pas from <i>Le Corsaire</i> during ENB's Emerging Dancer Award © Laurent Liotardo
Daniel McCormick performing the pas from Le Corsaire during ENB's Emerging Dancer Award
© Laurent Liotardo

Who are the choreographers that you would love to work with in the future?

Nacho Duato, Jorma Elo, and Justin Peck are three choreographers I would really enjoy working with in the future. It's quite hard to pick only three though as I want to work with as many as I possibly can during my career. 

If you were not a ballet dancer, where would you be, and what would you be doing.  

It's difficult to imagine my life without dance but I think that if I was not a dancer I could definitely see myself as oxf or a botanist as I've always been very attached to nature and other living organisms and intrigued by zoology and botany. I think I would find a great deal of fulfilment immersing myself in a profession within those fields.

Daniel McCormick performing in McIntyre's <i>Leatherwing Bat</i> © Laurent Liotardo
Daniel McCormick performing in McIntyre's Leatherwing Bat
© Laurent Liotardo