Tuesday 11 December 2018

CorkHi12°| Lo

Cork Independent

Cork Profile

Cork Profile: Alan Foley

Wednesday, 1st November, 2017 4:47pm

When you were small, what did you want to be as a grown-up?

A pilot or a train driver.

Tell us about your career progression to your role today:

I began my training with the renowned Joan Denise Moriarty School of Dance and the Cork Ballet Company. Further training included the Harrison College of Dance and Drama in London, the Vaganova (Kirov) Ballet Summer School in Russia in 1989, the Broadway Dance Centre in New York, and classes with many distinguished teachers and dancers in Pineapple Dance Studios in London.

I have produced all of Cork City Ballet's productions since 1992, including the hugely successful Ballet Spectacular seasons, which have toured to all the major venues in Ireland. During that time, I’ve worked alongside some of the most illustrious dancers of our generation including Veronika Ivanova, Sofia Gumerova and Nikita Shcheglov of the Mariinsky (Kirov) Ballet, Elena Koulagina the prima ballerina of the Perm State Ballet of Russia, Marie Lindqvist the prima ballerina of the Royal Swedish Ballet, and one of the world’s finest ballerinas Lucia Lacarra, who guested with Cork City Ballet in 2013, and is now the company’s sole patron.

In 1998, I was the first person in Ireland to be awarded (with distinction) the prestigious Fellowship Diploma in Classical Ballet, of the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing in London.

In November 2005, I produced and starred in the DVD ‘The Magic of Ballet with Alan and Monica’ and 2006 saw the launch of my first book ‘Ballet Through The Lens - Foley and Loughman: A Portrait’ with Irish ballerina Monica Loughman.

‘Cork City Ballet – The Story So Far’ was launched at the Millennium Hall in Cork's City Hall in 2008.

I retired from the professional stage in May 2007 but continue to work as Artistic Director of Cork City Ballet and Principal of the Alan Foley Academy of Dance.

What is the most enjoyable aspect of what you do?

I like having my hand in everything and working with small children right up to big international stars. No two days are ever the same, and I love that.

What motivates you?

Making people happy.

What advice would you give your 15 year old self?

Just do it! Get on with it, and stop faffing. Believe in yourself and your abilities and go for it.

If you weren’t in the job you have, what would you be doing?

Probably teaching some other subject.

What is your greatest life or career achievement to-date?

Surviving major heart surgery in Karolinska Institute in Stockholm…twice! When I was 38, I had to stop dancing because my aortic valve had to be replaced. When they opened me up, they discovered my aorta had dilated 78 per cent from ballet, so I had to have an aortic graft as well. Not pleasant.

Who has had the biggest influence on you in your life?

My family.

What is the life dream now?

To do what I want, when I want and with whom I want. Life is short, and it’s there to be lived…every moment of every day.

How do you switch off?

I love spending time with my two godchildren in Sweden. They’re eight and three, so we have lots of fun.

What is your favourite Cork memory?

Going in to town as a child with my father and my brother and sister at Christmas time to see Santa and the lights.

What is your favourite place in Cork?

Fountainstown, where I grew up.

Do you have a favourite quote or motto?

If you manage to reach the top floor – you have a duty to send the elevator back down.

When are you at your happiest?

When everyone else around me is happy.

Any regrets?

No, not really. For the most part, I don’t do regrets - but if I did have a small one, it would be that I didn’t believe in myself and my abilities more when I was younger.

What is your hidden talent?

Hmmm, I’m not bad at tennis.

What might we be surprised to know about you?

My favourite drink is tea. I have a very sweet tooth. I’m not bothered with alcohol at all.

Anything else you’d like to share with us?

Think you’ve got everything now!

ePaper Service

Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8
Desktop, Tablet & Smartphone friendly
Cookies on Cork Independent website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. We also use cookies to ensure we show you advertising that is relevant to you. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on the Cork Independent website. However, if you would like to, you can change your cookie settings at any time by amending your browser settings.
How does Cork Independent use cookies?
Cookies enable us to identify your device, or you when you have logged in. We use cookies that are strictly necessary to enable you to move around the site or to provide certain basic features. We use cookies to enhance the functionality of the website by storing your preferences, for example. We also use cookies to help us to improve the performance of our website to provide you with a better user experience.
We don't sell the information collected by cookies, nor do we disclose the information to third parties, except where required by law (for example to government bodies and law enforcement agencies).
Hide Message