Constance Devernay is a Principal dancer with Scottish Ballet. She is originally from Amiens in France and has been living in Glasgow for 8 years. Constance will be performing the role of Gretel in Scottish Ballet’s upcoming winter ballet Hansel & Gretel, which will be performed at Theatre Royal in January 2017.
Constance will mentor young dancers from across Scotland taking part in the production and Scottish Ballet will be raising money for this as part of the ‘Hansel & Gretel, And You’ fundraising appeal. Having made Glasgow her home for the last 8 years we wanted to know what Constance really loves about the city.
WHAT MAKES GLASGOW UNIQUE?
The people make Glasgow unique. The friendliness of the people who live here and the fact that everyone is individual and doesn’t follow trends make Glasgow what it is. Glaswegians are very positive and optimistic so the city is very uplifting.
I also love the Glaswegian accent. When I first arrived here I didn’t understand a word but I am much better at understanding it now and have even picked up a few Glaswegian words myself!
WHAT ARE THE MUST DO’S FOR A NEW VISITOR TO THE CITY?
I would say you should definitely visit Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum – the beauty of the architecture is breath-taking. Glasgow University has amazing gothic architecture too. I also love the Botanic Gardens in the West End – I like to go there on the weekend when I have finished rehearsal.
My favourite place in Glasgow is the Theatre Royal as it is feels like home to me. We perform there a lot and it is always a thrill to return each time. Glasgow audiences are the best – they are so encouraging and appreciative.
When friends come to visit and see me perform with Scottish Ballet, I always give them a backstage tour of Theatre Royal so they can see what goes on behind-the-scenes.
I really love Glasgow in winter. Walking down Buchanan Street and seeing all the Christmas lights twinkling is a very special feeling. I am really looking forward to this coming winter as my family are spending Christmas in Glasgow this year. My nieces will be here too so I have booked tickets for them to go and see our performance of Wee Hansel & Gretel at Theatre Royal. Wee Hansel & Gretel is a special condensed version of our main ballet aimed at young children, and I love performing in it and seeing the excited reactions of all the kids in the theatre.
When I am not rehearsing or performing, I love doing a class at Bikram yoga on Byres Road. Yoga is great for me as it helps to strengthen my muscles and improve my flexibility.
WHAT IS THE CITY’S BEST KEPT SECRET?
There are lots of great spots on the Southside of Glasgow. Scottish Ballet’s HQ is in Tramway on the Southside and I love checking out art exhibitions there or relaxing in The Hidden Gardens. It is an ideal place to catch the few rays of sunshine that we get in Glasgow! Also, Bakery47 in the Southside is a great spot for brunch and they bake delicious cakes. Or, if you are looking for somewhere to go for a romantic meal, I would recommend No.16 on Byres Road in the West End. They serve tasty Scottish food. I go there every year on my birthday, 16th of November, as 16 is a lucky number for me.
IF GLASGOW WAS A SONG WHAT WOULD IT BE?
Shiny Happy People by REM as Glaswegians are so warm and friendly!
Image credit: Scottish Ballet
Scottish Ballet will perform Hansel & Gretel by Christopher Hampson at Theatre Royal, Glasgow from 5 – 14 January 2017. For more information and to book tickets, visit Scottish Ballet.