Our Monthly “Meet the Artist” Series — Voltaire Wade-Greene
Charlottesville Ballet’s “Meet the Artist” profile for March 2012.
This issue features company artist Voltaire Wade-Greene– check out his interview below and enjoy!
Name: Voltaire Wade-Greene
Astrological Sign: Leo
Hometown: Bakersfield, California
Role in C’ville Ballet: Company Artist
Food: Sushi and pickled ginger…TONS OF PICKLED GINGER!!!
Book: Ender’s Game
Movie: Ip Man and Ip Man 2 (I’m a sucker for martial arts movies)
Musician/Band: My favorite band would be Lettuce and Musician would be Ed Sheeran…two totally different styles, but I don’t really listen just to any one genre! It’s fun liking a lot!
Quotation: I’ve got a long one…
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” –Marianne Williamson
Spot in C’ville: Para Coffee off the corner of UVA on Elliewood Avenue. They have cool bands that come through to play there. It’s a two-in-one deal where I can drink all the coffee I want and listen to great music!
Business/Store in C’ville: Urban Outfitters. I’m a sucker for clothes and randomly will go and spend way more than I need to on cool shirts!
NERDY BALLET QUESTIONS
- Tell us about your dance background and training:
I started dancing at age 11 because my mom wouldn’t let me play tackle football until I had some coordination. If I took one ballet class a week I could play football…and that’s exactly what I did! The next year, I signed up for a jazz and a tap class and that’s when I really fell in love with dance! I started going to summer programs like The Rock, San Francisco Ballet and Dance Theatre of Harlem. I got accepted into The Rock School’s year round program where I finished out my junior and senior year of high school.
After graduation, I went on to study at University of the Arts in Philadelphia. I danced shortly for Eleone Dance Theatre before I got a contract for Contrast Dance Theater at the end of my freshman year. The next fall, I went on two tours with Circus Nexus performing in “Rites and Rituals” and “Sugar Plum Dreams.” After the second tour I came down to Orange, Virginia to teach at Orange School of the Performing Arts….and that’s how I found Charlottesville Ballet!
What genres of dance do you enjoy?
I really love all genres of dance because it’s all a form of self-expression. But if I had to really pick one, I would have to say tap. Tap is so fascinating and so complex, but so much fun at the same time. It’s great because you can look up the history of tap and see the originals on YouTube and you also see where it’s going because the people out there today are just amazing and are constantly pushing the boundaries!
Favorite dancers or role models?
My favorite dancers are: Carlos Acosta (Royal Ballet), Herman Cornejo (ABT), Daniel Ulbricht (New York City Ballet), Osiel Gouneo (National Ballet of Cuba).
My role models would definitely be my Mother and Father, and my Uncle Ricky.
Do you have a favorite ballet:
I do enjoy Swan Lake. That was the very first ballet I saw as a kid and I fell in love with it because of the beautiful dancing and powerful music! I went with my regional ballet company in Bakersfield (now known as Imagine Ballet Company) to see ABT perform in Los Angeles and after that performance, I knew I wanted to dance!
What’s your favorite ballet/dance step:
You can ask anyone in the company– I love to turn. It’s one of those things I could do forever and ever and never be tired of! I like to really push myself to do absolutely ridiculous things that I would normally never do in ballet or any other dance genre. It’s like a game for me to hit fifth position, tendu to second and then just go for whatever comes to mind! It’s so much fun for me and I always want to remember that even though this is my job, I’m having a lot of fun doing it!
Tell us, why do you dance?:
What other jobs/activities/academic pursuits are you involved in?
What other talents or passions do you have?
I love to play music! I play bass, saxophone, harmonica and guitar! If there were more instruments around me I’m sure I’d pick them up and learn to play them as well!
Voltaire on Guitar (left) & playing with Boston-based band Meadowlarks
Anything else you’d like to express:
I absolutely love Charlottesville Ballet and all of the artists involved in it! The artistic team is full of such great people who want nothing but the best for their dancers. Everyone in this organization works so hard and they are so amazing as well. I’m truly blessed to be a part of this company!
Thanks for enjoying our “Meet the Artist” segment– and look for a new Charlottesville Ballet artist profile next month!
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(c) Charlottesville Ballet 2012