An interview with our dancer Melih Mertel
Melih Mertel is a new dancer for the company, being in his first season with Les Grands Ballets. He previously worked with Les Ballets de Monte Carlo, Washington Ballet, and the Turkish State Ballet in Istanbul and Antalya.
You settled in Montreal and joined the company very recently. What are your first impressions?
What struck me first was the people: everybody’s so warm and friendly! Montreal also has a very active art scene. Thanks to its cultural diversity, there’s always something to do in this city!
You’re a dancer and also a Pilates instructor. Where does your interest in fitness come from?
I studied at a health centre in Istanbul. I chose this career path because I have to think of awaits me after my dancing career. I don’t want to end up with no options when I reach the stage where I can’t be a professional dancer anymore. Pilates is also a technique that perfectly complements dance since it helps me gain an ever better understanding of my body, its function and its limits.
Between rehearsals, your training, show performances and Pilates classes, how do you manage your schedule?
It really depends on what the rehearsals and performances require, not all shows need as much work. Most of the time, I train at the end of the day, after rehearsals. I haven’t even started to give classes in Montreal because of lack of time, but I certainly plan to!
How does your Pilates practice help you to better perform as a dancer?
After a training session, I’m much stronger: I can push my body to its limits. It’s all the more valuable in rehearsals when I feel I can really outdo myself!
What advice would you give young dancers?
Don’t take anything for granted! A dancer’s career goes by too fast to not fully enjoy it. All the rehearsals and time spent in the studio are truly precious so use them well! Work yourself to the bone and don’t be afraid to slave away because you might wake up one day and all of this could be behind you for good!