In the world of ballet, elegance is where grace meets unwavering dedication, and poise seamlessly intertwines with determination. Australian Ballet principal artist, Amy Harris, offers a glimpse into the preparation for her latest leading role in Marguerite and Armand, revealing how the pursuit of precision and our dreams are made possible with persistence and grit.
In her spellbinding performances, Harris embodies a balance of rhythm and grace, two traits that extend into her everyday life, where she deftly navigates the demands of her career with the responsibilities of being a mother of two. Now, on the brink of retirement, Amy Harris reflects on the invaluable lessons gleaned from her ballet career. And while we all would love to learn how to dance like Amy Harris, her one lesson to us all is that winding down with a piece of chocolate at the end of a big day, is the only way.
Here, Amy Harris tells RUSSH exclusively about how she's preparing for her Australian Ballet performance in The Dream/ Marguerite and Armand. This Australian-first double bill is coming exclusively to Sydney Opera House 10-25 November.
What does a typical day look like for you?
I'm usually up by 7am, then the morning rush to get out the front door begins. First Breakfast, then school and daycare drop off for my two kids, Willow and Phoenix at 8:30am. I have my daily ballet class at 11–12:15 pm; rehearsals from 12:30–3pm; the I pick up Willow and Phoenix, have a bite to eat and dinner prep. Then I'm into the theatre at 4:30–5pm to start hair and makeup, 6:30pm I attend an evening ballet barre, and at 7:30pm curtain's up. The show will usually finish anywhere between 9:30–10.30pm, after which I head home for a bite to eat, get school lunches ready for the next day, reset the house, check on my sleeping babies and head to bed around midnight.
Are you an early riser or do you sleep later because your nights are so late?
For the most part I’m up at 7am. Sometimes earlier, sometimes a little later. In saying that though, we only have Sundays off, and my little family and I all very much look forward to the slower start after a week of rushing.
What does your beauty routine look like in the morning?
It’s quite minimal. Cleanse with my Rationale cleanser #4, moisturise, always fluff and fill my brows, mascara and concealer. And that’s me ready for the day.
How do you unwind after a show?
Always a cup of tea and some chocolate on the couch and a little reality show catch up. I’m a reality show lover, it’s my guilty pleasure!
Do you have any beauty hacks for when you're tired or rundown?
We are very lucky to have Rationale as a partner with the Australian Ballet and honestly there is nothing more luxurious or relaxing than one of their facials. It is out of this world, absolute heaven!
How do you prep your skin before you begin your stage makeup?
After working with some lovely makeup artists on photoshoots over the years, I found my skin loved every time they would use any Embryolisse cream. So, I purchased some straight away as a moisturiser and primer, and I've never looked back.
What is your favourite way to connect with/move your body other than dance?
I’ll let you know in the next couple of months. I have never done yoga but it’s top of my list for when I retire.
What does your stage makeup look like?
It’s evolved over the years.
What's the one product in your kit you can't live without?
What's the best advice on health you've ever received?
To be honest, I don’t think I've ever had advice on health as such. I have just learnt over the years what my body needs to remain healthy and perform at its best. As a dancer, I feel like you are so in tune with your body, so I just learnt to listen to it. It's almost like my body would tell me what it needed when it needed it.
How do you take care of yourself in order to ensure you can keep up the busy schedule?
Eat well, get enough sleep, surround myself with the people that fill my cup and make me happy and laugh.
Do you have a beauty icon?
I’ve always loved Natalie Portman and Rose Byrne. Natural beauties.
What is the most valuable thing you've learned during your time at The Australian Ballet?
Remaining true to myself, no matter the circumstance or challenge. I never changed who I was. I remained me – hard working, dedicated, humble and kind.
Being on the cusp of retirement and heading into this new chapter of my life has been the most valuable take away. I will continue to face new challenges in this next chapter of my life, but I know that no matter what comes my way, good or bad, I will continue to remain true to myself knowing that in the end what is meant to be, will be.
Book your $99 tickets to the Australian Ballet's production of The Dream/Marguerite and Armand now. Limited time only, T&Cs apply.