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Paulio Sóvári
October 25, 2019

Chapter 1, Paulio Sóvári: My Audition Story

Dancer with Oper Graz

My audition experience spans over fifteen years. While each differs greatly from one another they all served as a bridge to a new and different stage of my career, always furthering my dance training, experience, and network in the industry. I first started auditioning when I was thirteen, mainly for the Nutcracker and summer intensives which then led me to the Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan. From there I moved to Juilliard, an audition process that took eight hours plus interview and solo work as well as many weeks of waiting before being accepted!

Photo by Joaquim Dionisio

My first introduction to professional life was with Dayton Ballet at twenty-two and then with Aspen Santa Fe Ballet a year later — an audition process that took six months. From the States, I decided to chase my dream of dancing in the Berlin State Ballet. Little did I know it would take a total of two years and three countries (Russia, United States, Germany) just to get there.

My audition for Berlin took almost a week and I attended company class through a private audition, I don't think I saw the director until about the third or fourth day. We did repetoire from Sleeping Beauty and also a contemporary piece where I was lucky enough to be put in with the company's cast — where I was finally seen by the director. I got word two weeks later that they were offering me a contract. It was a dream come true at twenty-six.

Though I've never been cut from an open/cattle audition, I've learned that I perform best when I’m in a private audition. In this setting, I can just be myself where I’m comfortable in class with whoever is leading the audition. Over the years as I’ve matured into my own style of dancing, I've grown to appreciate the audition process. It used to be only about standing out but now it's shifted to this desire of wanting to belong in a company--to be a part of something bigger than yourself.

Photo courtesy of Paulio Sóvári

Top image: Photo by Joaquim Dionisio

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