Bernardo Betancor

Dancer

Born in Gran Canaria (Spain). Studied at Escuela Víctor Ullate, Washington School of Ballet and the English National Ballet School. Member of the NRW Junior Ballet since 2020.

Where are you from? Tell us about your home town or your family…
I’m Spanish and British, raised in the city of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, in the Canary Islands.

When did you start to train ballet? What was your motivation to start ballet? Is there any story behind?
I have always loved dancing.  From a young age I loved to put on shows for my family in my grandparent’s living room, clad with my Gran’s scarfs and shawls as improvised costumes and dancing to my Grandad’s extensive classical music CD collection. I asked my mother to enrol me in dance lessons, and after I persisted for a whole year, she realised it wasn’t a whimsical phase; at the age of 4 I started taking ballet lessons twice a week at the studio next to my kindergarten. Despite having started young, it was not until very late, aged 15, that I started vocational training.

What has been your most special moment in your dance career? Is there any moment you don’t want to miss?
This being my first contract, it is very much the beginning- and highlight- of my career as a professional. In terms of special moments leading up to this in my education, I have always relished the little things that seemed momentous at the time.  Those situations that I find where instrumental to get me to where I am today: moving to Madrid to commence vocational training, the first international summer courses, going to train to Washington DC, understudying the whole of the corps of Cranko’s Romeo and Juliet, learning how to sword fight, stepping on stage at the  Kennedy Centre Opera House, even more summer programmes and great teachers and experiences, getting accepted into ENBS, taking class with ENB, my first ever dance photoshoot, touring and performing with ENB, dancing at the London Coliseum… they all represent a little stepping stone, a moment of growth, memories that I will always cherish and that have made me into the dancer and person that I’m today.

How would you describe yourself? Where do you see yourself? In private and as an artist…
I see myself as an extroverted, bright, somewhat eccentric, fellow. I’m inquisitive and curious, opinionated and political, always up for a sharing and discussing ideas. I take my work very seriously, but I don’t like to take myself seriously: I always look at the silver lining and take the negatives with a pinch of salt and a bit of humour.  I really enjoy being around people, but also like time to myself to think and reflect, to read or cook, or watch  an episode of  (The Great British) Bake Off.

I want my work ethic, drive and passion, and love for the artform to be what propels my career as a dancer. I would like to consider myself to be an artist, whose medium of expression is dance. I find that being a dancer alone doesn’t necessarily convey the same thing. A dancer dances, a robot dances. A robot can execute steps but not create art; I aspire to be a dance artist, not a robot.

What has been your first experience in Dortmund? Why did you choose to come to Germany?
My first experience of Dortmund was on a cold March weekend when I came to audition. I can honestly say Dortmund stirred me, I was sick for a week after my visit. No more Curry Wursts from the Hbf for me, thank you very much 🙂

Since arriving to Dortmund, the city has grown on me. It’s modern and has an obvious appreciation for the arts: the performing arts, architecture, design and fashion. I enjoy walking around Dortmund and also getting away to the many parks around the city for ramble in nature.

Germany is a country that really values and invests in culture. I believe that for an artist, Germany is a utopia, as you rarely find a place where artists and institutions are regarded so highly by both a vast and passionate audience and the government, the former investing and caring for the industry and individuals like no other countries’ state does. Germany is really a fabulous place for culture and the Germans are a phenomenal audience.

Moreover, when I was little I spent the first two years of primary school (aged 5 to 7) at a half Spanish, half German school. Those two years and my continued study of German until I was 15 instilled in me an appreciation and appeal for Germany, and a curiosity to properly experience the country, the people the language and culture first-hand after having studied Germany from such a young age for so many years. I’m getting to really love Germany and feel very fortunate to be able to get to know it better each day.

What is your dream? Any role or piece you would love to dance once in your life?
I want to dance as much as possible, for as long as possible. My main goal is to dance as much and in as many different styles and by as many different choreographers as I can. I want to be able to enrich myself and inspire myself as an artist. I would very much like to dance classical roles as I enjoy the strive to reach perfection, as well as its simplicity and beauty, the purity of the steps that makes dancing it so difficult yet so rewarding and mesmerising to watch. I would really like to be choreographed on in my professional career, I find neoclassical work truly inspiring and gratifying, exploring how far you can push yourself and the art form.  I believe in the importance of ballet as an art to express and its responsibility to inspire and drive change in our civilisation. I feel that as a dancer, standing on a stage in front of an audience, one is lucky to have the chance to affect the audiences’ view of the world. I take this responsibility very seriously and consider it a privilege, which is why I am passionate about dance that discusses current affairs and aims to impact the audience and inform, inspire and sculpt society.

Beside Dance – what are you interested in? Which profession would be interesting for you, if you haven’t become a professional dancer? Or what’s your favourite way to spend your free time?
Outside of dance I have several interests both in the arts and elsewhere. I am an avid reader and art enthusiast. I’m also passionate about the humanities: history, geography, language and literature. Politics is another area that really interests me and I like to get involved in. I have always had a love for science and try to continue to nurture that passion also.

On my free time I relish time spent outdoors, usually in nature, and more often than not on my bike, although I do love exploring the city. I enjoy going to art galleries and exhibitions as well as the theatre, musicals and orchestra concerts. I also savour some restful time at home with some earl grey, biscuits and a book, perhaps a documentary or film, a bit of sketching. During my free time I also like to take the time to stay in touch with my friends and family and hear their news.

Food is another big passion of mine! I love to eat it, make it, and learn about it. I always strive to make interesting and delicious food for myself and friends, so I like to spend time doing my groceries and cooking. I also am a huge fan of cookery and baking shows and love to go out and try interesting places with friends and family.


NRW Juniorballett