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Interview with San Francisco Ballet's Principal Dancer Davit Karapetyan

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Have you met your prince yet? Born in Yerevan, Armenia, Davit Karapetyan trained at the Armenian School of Ballet and Schweizerische Ballettberufsschule. After dancing with Zurich Ballet, he joined San Francisco Ballet as a principal dancer in 2005 and is currently dancing the role of the Nutcracker Prince for the 2013 San Francisco Ballet’s The Nutcracker. Davit took some time to answer questions sent to the Examiner from young aspiring ballerinas ages 4-8 for this exclusive interview:

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Ballet students: How long have you been doing ballet?
Davit: I got a late start to dance but did six years of ballet school and have been a professional dancer for 14 years.

Ballet students: How long do you exercise, stretch and warm up before a show?
Davit: An hour but often even more—it’s important to be very limber by the time I get on stage.

Ballet students: Do you practice every day? How long do you practice?
Davit: During the season we usually practice about six hours a day, six days a week. When I’m off work, I like to do other physical activity like golfing and gyro tonics.

Ballet students: How high can you jump?
Davit: If I jump up into the splits, I can clear well over five feet.

Ballet students: Do ballerinas have a special diet?
Davit: Most of us just try to eat well and healthily since we need so much energy to dance all the Nutcracker performances.

Ballet students: What is your favorite part of the show?
Davit: My favorite part of Nutcracker is the Grand pas de deux because it’s really the pinnacle of the second act where the grown-up Clara finally gets to dance with her prince (me).

Since the American Premier on Christmas Eve, 1944 at San Francisco’s War Memorial Opera House the Nutcracker has become a national holiday tradition. Family performances are a wonderful way to introduce and inspire audiences of all ages to the magical world of ballet. Stop off before the performance or at intermission for a box of sweet treats at Candyland, now located in the North Grand Tier Lobby. Attending a matinee performance on Sunday, December 15, 22, or 29? Make it a full day of holiday celebration with Breakfast with Santa before the show. Opening this weekend, the Nutcracker will be running at the War Memorial Opera house through December 29th.

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