Emīls Jānis Ungurs: Let others get to know you better

This year Creative Fellowship extended the list of its participatory collaborations and partnered with Attitude Ballet Studios Vienna to introduce International Ballet Intensive to young talents looking into increasing their dance skills and gaining international experiences.

In June 2023 we released an open call and offered young talents to apply for the value-in-kind scholarship that covered a 3-days intensive dance training, Gala performance and solo-accommodation in Vienna. After completing selection process and interviewing, the teaching staff chose Emīls Jānis Ungurs, a 17-year-old ballet student from Riga Ballet School in Latvia. The jury appreciated his proactive approach, openness in communication, adventurous spirit, clearly articulated expectations, thoroughly prepared application documents and good quality exhibition of performing skills.

In the past days of the 2-week International Vienna Ballet Intensive Emīls Jānis Ungurs joined 22 participants from 11 countries to learn from celebrated ballet professionals and work together on staging the Gala performance. After the show that took place at the Moliere Studio Theater we asked Emīls to share his experiences and pass the message to future generations of Creative Fellows.

CF: How did you know about Creative Fellowship and the opportunity it gives to the young talents?

My classmates saw the announcement on Instagram, and we all applied. I was very surprised to know that I was chosen I thought it would be difficult to get through.

CF: Have you ever participated in other international intensives or workshops?

No, I have never done anything like that outside my academy. We had workshops at school, but Vienna was my first experience of its kind.

CF:  How difficult was the application process?

My parents wrote the letter of motivation, and I filled the application form in and attached a link to the performance video and a few dance photos. In the future I will probably share not only my classical ballet exhibition but also some footage from character and modern dance, just to show more of my skills.

CF: Why did you decide to apply?

I applied for this program to advance my skills in different dance styles. I really liked that the teachers here taught me some stuff that other educators at school either overlooked or never got into. Here they explained me carefully every detail and made corrections.

CF: What was your most favorite moment in these past few days at the International Vienna Ballet Intensive?

My favorite moment was the morning classes. It was something familiar and there was always this sweet feeling as if something big would happen soon. I could show myself to others and I could see what other participants were capable of.

CF: How was the atmosphere on the stage? Did you make any friends?

I didn’t really make friends but enjoyed every moment with the rest of the participants. I will definitely remember these days and people who made them so welcoming. I hope they will remember me too.

CF: What was your experience with the final performance?

It was marvelous! I could have done better, but there is always a room for improvement. I would say, the most difficult part was getting back into shape and working rhythm. No one likes doing classes in summer and here you had to get yourself back on the track fast. It was a very good feeling.

CF: Is there a room for our improvement?

I was a bit disappointed that there was too little of contemporary, neo-classical and character dance. We touched the subject a bit but didn’t go into details. I wish there was more of this.

CF: What would you advise to the next generation of Creative Fellows?

I advise them not to be afraid, not to be shy. Always show a bit more of yourself than you want initially. Let others get to know you better.

CF: Will you be joining more CF activities?

It was a great experience, I really liked it. I would advise others to take these opportunities and apply. I would certainly want to have more experiences like this one in the future.