BWW Interviews: Nashville Ballet's EDDIE MIKRUT, This Dancer's Life


Eddie Mikrut is one of the leading lights of Nashville Ballet's professional company of dancers, taking on some of the most challenging roles in the dancer's repertory and consistently delivering awe-inspiring performances.

Paired with some of the exceptional women in the company, Mikrut shows a superb command of his talent and his abilities, in so doing lifting (both literally and figuratively) the women to greater heights and showing off the various choreographic challenges cast upon him.

And, apparently, I think he's very handsome since every review of him I've ever written has made reference to him as "the handsome Eddie Mikrut." Who knew? Guess I'll need to bring out the old thesaurus the next time I write a review of one of his thrilling performances.

For example, here's a portion of my Giselle review from 2009: "Paired with the handsome Eddie Mikrut as Count Albrecht, [Christine] Rennie is given ample support by his superb partnering, which effectively paints the romantic vision of the star-crossed pair that we've come to love and to expect. But Mikrut is so much more than just an effective partner to his Giselle, rather he is an exceptional dancer who is given the opportunity to display the range of his abilities."

In my review of Nashville's Nutcracker, from that same 2009-2010 season, I wrote "The professional members of the cast, the talented women and men who comprise the heart and soul of Nashville Ballet and who pursue their art in a city better known for its music, deliver superb performances throughout. The highlight of Act One, which is replete with gorgeous visual imagery and equally gorgeous dancing amid [Paul] Vasterling's staging, is most certainly the stanza-ending "Snow Scene," choreographed by Robert Rodham and staged by Fiona Fuerstner. The always beautiful and always graceful Christine Rennie and the always handsome and always authoritative Eddie Mikrut are expertly paired as the Snow Queen and King and they, once again, prove to be superior artists. It's a wonderful ending to Act One that elicits the audience's warm applause and cheers."

So, obviously, he's won me over and I suspect that this informative and enlightening conversation with him (he was in Austin Powers? Again, who knew? Okay, everyone who works with him, but that's beside the point!), will win you over. Read, enjoy and get to know "the handsome Eddie Mikrut" (and just so you know, the song "I Can Do That" from A Chorus Line could have been inspired by his life story!) and follow him on Twitter @emikrut.


What was your first introduction to dance as an art form? My first introduction to dance was waiting for my sister at the dance studio. She was taking tap with her best friend Donna and I had to wait in the lobby for the class to finish. I noticed that they were having way more fun dancing in the studio than I was waiting for them to finish. I told my mom, "I can do that" and she signed me up for dance classes. I owe my whole dance career to the fact that dance studio lobbies are extremely boring.

What was your first real job as a dancer? Growing up in Los Angeles I was always doing little day jobs acting or dancing in commercials, videos, and industrials, small jobs that you got paid for but never lasted for more than a couple of days. The first dance job that I did that lasted for a few weeks was dancing in Disneyland's Very Merry Christmas Parade. I was 10 or 11 and had the role of one of the Lost Boys dancing with the Peter Pan float. It was a fun job dancing down the streets of Disneyland and entertaining a whole park full of guests. At the time I thought being a chimney sweep on the Mary Poppins float was the coolest thing in the world. Of course now I realize we were dancing on concrete and getting paid minimum wage, but to the 10-year-old me it was an amazing time.

When did you know you wanted to pursue a career in dance? For me it was never a conscious decision to become a professional dancer, it just sort of happened. One dance job led to the next, and the next, until finally I ended up as a professional dancer. There was a lot of hard work and amazing teachers along the way, but that is pretty much how it happened. But I think the main reason I ended up a professional dancer is because that is what I am best at.

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Jeffrey Ellis Jeffrey Ellis is a Nashville-based writer, editor and critic, who's been covering the performing arts in Tennessee for more than 25 years. He is the recipient of the Tennessee Theatre Association's Distinguished Service Award for his coverage of theatre in the Volunteer State and was the founding editor/publisher of Stages, the Tennessee Onstage Monthly. He is a past fellow of the National Critics Institute at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center and is the founder/executive producer of The First Night Honors, held during Labor Day Weekend, which honor oustanding theater artists in Tennessee in recognition of their lifetime achievements and includes The First Night Star Awards and the Most Promising Actors. Midwinter's First Night, held the first Sunday in January after New Year's Day, honors outstanding productions and performances throughout the state. Further, Ellis directed the Nashville premiere of La Cage Aux Folles, The Last Night of Ballyhoo and An American Daughter, as well as award-winning productions of Damn Yankees, Company, Gypsy and The Rocky Horror Show, with Ellis honored by The Tennessean as best director of a musical for both Company and Rocky Horror.

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