The Joffrey Ballet’s Victoria
Jaiani cherishes the rehearsal
process. By Natalia Boesch
Online Bonus! For more
with Victoria Jaiani,
go to pointemagazine.com.
You’ve been at the Joffrey Ballet for your
whole career. What do you love about the
When I joined, at 16, I was drawn to their
repertoire. We were doing John Cranko’s
Romeo and Juliet, and not many companies
in the U.S. do that version. I was fortunate to
dance Juliet my first year. And I love working
with choreographers who have created on
me or had special visions for me—I love the
things they pull from my body and the way
they push me.
What do you enjoy more: performing or
being in the studio?
I cherish every moment in the studio, because
it’s vital. I believe in hard work and repetition,
although not to the point of killing myself. But
the more prepared I am, the more understanding I have of the role, the better I feel onstage.
You recently danced the goddess Diana
in John Neumeier’s Sylvia. What was that
It was magnificent just to be in the same
room with him. Neumeier kept saying, “This
is Chicago’s version.” He modified certain
things; it almost felt like he was creating or
recreating movement. He gave us an oppor-
tunity to show how we as people, how we as
dancers, express ourselves.
Your husband, Temur
Suluashvili, also dances
with the Joffrey and is a partner of yours.
What’s different about dancing with your
It’s very special because we have that love affair
in real life. We tend to understand each other
really easily. Perhaps we have higher expectations. When we get an opportunity to dance
together, it’s really fun, and it works for our
schedules with our baby, which is convenient!
You have an extraordinary extension and
an incredible jump. Are these both natural
I’ve always had flexible hips and a flexible
back. My jump was something that I developed—I worked hard for it. Now, I’m very proud
that I’m one of the jumpers in the company.
Do you have advice for the next generation
It’s so important for a dancer, especially now,
to be able to adapt. Like a chameleon, in a
way. Really listen to what the choreographers
want from you. P
Jaiani and Dylan
Gutierrez in S wan Lake