Q&A with Sven-Eric Muller

This month Sven-Eric Muller stars in the new Sean Bovim ballet, Private Presley. We chatted to him about his journey through the ballet and stage world:

Q1: I loved West Side Story and it seems like so did the rest of Cape Town! How was the whole experience?

WSS was fantastic!!! I really enjoyed Diesel, the hooligan I played. The set was outstanding and out of this world, I was surrounded by outrageous talent, everyone started to feel like family, and then to top it all off the full houses…it was an experience I will never forget.

Q2: What made you go to your first ballet class?

I started studying at the Waterfront Theatre School in 2009 and Ballet was part of the curriculum. As an 18 year old small town boy from Namibia, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. So I threw on some tights (protest did not help, it’s ballet), put my best foot forward and faked my way through it. Somehow it grew on me and became a vital part of my training as a dancer. I always say “fake it ’til you make it”, it hasn’t failed me yet.

Q3: How has it been working with Sean Bovim?

Working with Sean is truck-load of fun and has been a life changer for me. I started with him in 2011 in Romeo’s Kiss, I was terrible.  Hired as an apprentice, aka-glorified background noise, I worked hard and got to do more than was originally anticipated and he saw something in me. He continued to employ me willingly! I was shocked time after time. He had a big hand in my development as a dancer and a performer. I certainly would not be dancing a principal role if it hadn’t been for him. He allows you to enjoy the stiff discipline that is ballet by taking out the snobbery and adding the fun. Bovim Ballet is a great environment to work in.

Q4: How has it been returning to a ballet company after being in a musical?

Returning to ballet after a 1 week off is difficult. Returning to ballet after 1 and a half years of musical theatre was traumatising! I thought I had readied myself with copious hours of pilates and gym…but man was I wrong. Ballet requires constant ballet in order for you to stay and look ballet. It was a shock to the body going from Louisa Talbotts sharp grounded contemporary style straight into Sean Bovims rock n roll ballet that is nothing short of a gymnastic strength act at times. Note to self: do more ballet!

Q5: What are you most excited about for this production?

The biggest point of excitement in this production is that I get to play Elvis. In the past I’ve only ever been the understudy, which basically means IF you go on its under extreme pressure with minimal rehearsal. This season we have two casts so I got to rehearse the role properly and got more performances than I could have dreamed of. It’s very exciting. I really enjoy portraying Elvis in this production – his character and dance track is laced with challenges and I love it.
Aside from being Elvis there are two numbers that excite my being – the first is part of my first cast track its called “the moonlight pas de deux” which I perform with the exquisite Faye Dubinski, it encapsulates romance and its fleetingness, it warms my heart every time.
The other is as Elvis; he does a trio with Natalie and Nick (his friends), but this trio is infused with subtext and overflows with sexual energy. Performing this trio with Michelle la Trobe and Oleksii Ishchenko has to be one of my favourite numbers ever performed.
Catch Sven in his new unforgettable show as Elvis Presley on Sunday 22nd November (3pm), Thursday 26th November (8pm) and Saturday 28th November (3pm). Book here.
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