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The Daisy Age: Dominique Larose

Northern Ballet's critically-acclaimed adaptation of “The Great Gatsby,” now in its tenth year, is back on May 16th at Sadler's Wells. With superb choreography from David Nixon CBE, audiences are sure to be dazzled by their highly visual, pulse-raising production, which promises to go deep into the scandals, decadence, wild parties and heart-rending tragedies. Above all, the piece will explore the huge moral ambiguity at the heart of the classic Jazz Age drama.

Dominique Larose as Daisy and Javier Torres as Gatsby in “The Great Gatsby.” Photograph by Emma Kauldhar

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Lorna Irvine catches up with first soloist Dominique Larose, who is set to revive her portrayal of the iconic Daisy Buchanan, and who celebrates a decade of performing with the company.

Born and raised in San Francisco, California, Dominique Larose was a prodigious talent, having started to dance at just three years old. A singular and expressive dancer, she is also an international talent. She trained at Ayako School of Ballet, CA, Tanz Akademie in Zürich, and at the Academy of Northern Ballet's Graduate Professional Programme. She's delighted to be back in the role of Daisy Buchanan.

Congratulations on reaching a decade with Northern Ballet. What have been your career highlights so far with the company?

Thank you! There have been so many highlights since I started with Northern Ballet. Most recently, it would have to be performing the Balcony pas de deux from “Romeo and Juliet” and an extract from “Paquita” for a special event we hosted for our benefactors. Dancing Daisy Buchanan for the first time in 2019 was an unforgettable experience, as well as dancing as the title character in “Cinderella,” after having watched its creation in my first year with the company.

Dominique Larose and Rachael Gillespie in “The Little Mermaid.” Photograph by Emily Nuttall

You have played some wonderful characters, including Beauty in “Beauty And The Beast,” Erina in “The Little Mermaid,” and Daisy Buchanan, of course. Who would you most like to portray?

I enjoyed playing all these characters, however, I would really like to portray Cathy in “Wuthering Heights,” because she is such a strong and emotional character. I would also love to dance in all the big classics like “Swan Lake,” “Sleeping Beauty,” and “Giselle.”

How do you approach getting into the mindset of a new character?

I always read the book and watch different movies to see how different people portray the character. This allows me to expand my mind to new possibilities and potentials. The more you know, the more you can understand how to identify with the character's emotions and fine-tune your interpretation.

Dominique Larose and Joseph Taylor in “The Great Gatsby.” Photograph by Johan Persson

People are still fascinated by Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby. Why do you think that it has endured for so long?

I think it remains so popular because the themes in the story are still relevant today. One of the major themes in Gatsby is this concept of the American Dream. Gatsby himself embodies this idea. he starts with nothing as a boy and creates a successful life for himself as a man. Yet is it enough? Can a person really break through social barriers and does love really conquer all? I think most people are still struggling to figure these questions out.

Daisy Buchanan is an often maligned, misunderstood character. She's divisive. Do you think that's why she is so appealing?

As humans, we like to think we are living the best we can and being good people. I think what makes Daisy special is that she reminds us that humans are not perfect. Everyone makes mistakes, we all have moments of self doubt and moments when our emotions outweigh our sense of reason. We might veer off track, but that ultimately doesn't take away from our positive traits. The charm of humanity is the beauty of imperfection.

Lorna Irvine

Based in Glasgow, Lorna was delightfully corrupted by the work of Michael Clark in her early teens, and has never looked back. Passionate about dance, music, and theatre she writes regularly for the List, Across the Arts and Exeunt. She also wrote on dance, drama and whatever particular obsession she had that week for the Shimmy, the Skinny and TLG and has contributed to Mslexia, TYCI and the Vile Blog.



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