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Q&A: Pasha Kovalev

Posted on May 5, 2015


Pasha Kovalev’s Life Through Dance tours until June 21. He tells Nicola Rayner about the show…


pk 183How does Life Through Dance compare with your your show last year with Katya Virshilas?

There’s different music, different choreography and this time around I want to have a little story going from dance to dance about the things we encounter in our lives every day… but obviously it’s still a show that has people who love Strictly in mind.

Will it be your life or is it more general than that?

It’s both. Some of the pieces are about things I went through and some of the pieces are hypothetical things.

And Anya Garnis is appearing in the show?anya

Yes, Anya will be partnering me. She was my dance partner for 13 years and we have competed and performed together all over the world. It’s nice to reunite and do some dancing again, because I think she’s the best partner I’ve ever had.

How much time do you have in each venue to prepare?

About an hour in which we have to reshape things. All the people on my tour are professionals and they know exactly what’s going on; it’s not their first show, so they know how to adjust and how to watch one another to keep in sync. That’s the great thing about professional dancers: you learn how to be part of a team in a way. I always say… it’s not about you doing it right: if someone’s doing it wrong, you do it wrong with them, so it looks like [you’re doing] the same thing!

Why aren’t you doing the Strictly live tour this year? 

I’ve done the Strictly tour twice, and then last year and this year it didn’t work out, unfortunately. There are many different reasons, but the main reason was Strictly takes five months, then the tour takes a month and a half and then my tour takes four months – and I only had a week between starting one show and preparation for the next. I found myself really tired all the time and I realised if I don’t do anything about it, I’ll wear myself out. That happened to me in 2006 and I ended up in hospital. I overworked – I was working 24/7 – and I got this weird Lemierre’s disease, something that affects young professionals who work too much… If I continued that trend, I might end up in hospital again.

Have you seen the Strictly tour? Was it strange to see Caroline dance with Tristan?

That was so weird. Watching that, I told Caroline I wished I could be on the tour… because you spend so much time with a person, you form this bond and you have this dance connection with each other.

For tickets and dates, see

Photographs: Snooty Fox Images

Nicola Rayner was editor of Dance Today from 2010 to 2015. She has written for a number of publications including The Guardian, The Independent and Time Out Buenos Aires, where she cut her teeth as a dance journalist working on the tango section. Today she continues to dance everything from ballroom to breakdance, with varying degrees of success. Her debut novel, The Girl Before You, was published last year in paperback, ebook and audiobook.

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