Reverence: Now, Voyager

Noelani Pantastico, Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo’s new American first soloist, looks back and ahead.
Published in the February/March 2010 issue.

Pantastico with Asier Uriagereka in Jean-Christophe Maillot's "Romeo et Juliette"

Photo by Marie-Laure Brianet

Do you miss classical tutus?
Not yet. But this morning Sleeping Beauty was on. Dancing Aurora took me to a different level at Pacific Northwest Ballet. That part of my life is done, but it was positive.

Where do you consider home?

I’m still finding myself. I don’t want it to be comfortable here—that was the whole reason I left Seattle.

What qualities do you admire most in other dancers?
Tenacity. In Monte-Carlo, I look up to Bernice Coppieters. She still strives to make each step count. She holds the bar very high for the company.

How do you prepare your pointe shoes?

It’s changed since Seattle. I have to dye my own shoes, and then I glue the insides, very lightly. We do a lot of demi-pointe work, and the shoes need to be softer for me to roll through them easily.

What talent do you have that few people know about?

I love origami. I know a lot of different styles, and I am pretty obsessive about that!

What was your worst onstage nightmare?
My Sanguinic première in The Four Temperaments. I overstepped in a turn and fell flailing. I was so shaken that I forgot what I was doing and just stood there.

What do you enjoy most about your dance career?
More and more, I enjoy working in the studio. It is a relaxed place, a time to think and process things.