Thursday, January 23, 2014

Sylvie Guillem: Ballerina, Animal Conservationist and Environmental Campaigner

Sylvie Guillem in a Sea Shepherd sweatshirt. ©euronews

Sylvie Guillem is one of the most famous Ballerinas ever. A Ballerina celebrity and she has a lot to say. She inspires me in dance and in life. I love that she was given the nickname Madame Non (Miss No) and I love that she is particular and against anything mediocre. A true artist with real opinions. At 19, she became the youngest ├ętoile at the Paris Opera Ballet and only four years later she left to be free and dance her own way. 

I really took a special interest in her when I read of her involvement with Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. They are against the slaughter of wildlife in the world's oceans. Sylvie became obsessed with the organization after seeing a TV show featuring them. The dancer who has never been on a diet changed her diet completely. She switched out meat and fish (which she loved) for vegetables, nuts and seeds. She even stopped eating cheese. It's amazing what happens when you make the connection between your food and where it actually comes from. "There's more protein in lentils than in meat" she said in an interview. 

When Sylvie performed at the Sydney Opera House she arranged for an information stand during each performance and before each show a flyer was put on every seat with more information about Sea Shepherd. I believe I read she did the same at Sadler's Wells in London and perhaps every show possible. Sylvie Guillem sits on the arts and media advisory board for Sea Shepherd with Sean Connery, Brigitte Bardot and Martin Sheen. 

I have two things I am really passionate about... ballet and animals. My Mom founded a non-profit when I was a toddler and I was always surrounded by rescued pets. I also helped my Mom campaign for Prop 2 in California when I was about 9. It was a proposition to make cages bigger on factory farms so animals can at least turn around or spread their wings. I wasn't old enough to gather signatures but I helped set up tables and hold the clip boards and supported my Mom. Right now we are following the Cove Guardian reports on the dolphin slaughter in Taiji, Japan. The Cove Guardians  are a part of Sea Shepherd. 

If you are not familiar with Taiji it is a cove in Japan where fishermen "drive hunt" dolphin pods into the cove and trap them there. They slaughter them for meat which is highly toxic in mercury. They steal the pretty ones from the sea and sell them for sea parks for about $150,000 USD each. Recently a rare juvenile albino dolphin was taken from her mother and pod to be sold. Her family was slaughtered and it is reported that the mother drowned herself in dispair. If hunting is a tradition (as claimed) what is stealing them to sell? I can't tell you how much it enrages me that this is happening right now. Please learn more about it and LIKE the Cove Guardians page on facebook so you can follow what is going on. 

Quotes from Sylvie below and links to interviews. Thank you to my Mom who helped me write this. xoxo Robbie

What you can do... click here

You can also watch an award winning film The Cove. 

"'s a fight that has real value. If we keep on destroying fish, there won't be any left. If the oceans die, we all die. It's as simple as that. People ask, 'Why not worry about saving children?' But we make the mistake of thinking humans are at the centre of everything, when we're only part of the whole. We're doing terrible damage. This is a fight against money and power, but also against people's ignorance." Sylvie Guillem in an interview for The Guardian 2/10/13

"We are deciding they are slaves, that we are superior beings ... and fur is part of it" she adds pointing to my fox-fur-lined raincoat." I do not go to supermarkets ... this horsemeat thing in England is just the tip of the iceberg. People should know that the meat they eat is created from such terrible suffering. If you don't care about the issue, at least care about that!"

Ah, so is this a regret?

"Oui, je regrette ... unfortunately, I opened my eyes too late or I would have become a vegetarian much, much earlier." Sylvie Guillem in an interview for The Australian 2/23/13


Sylvie Guillem: The most exciting dancer in the world is back at Sadler’s Wells – and she’s got scores to settle

Q&A Special: Ballerina Sylvie Guillem
Sylvie Guillem: 'I need to scare myself'
At 47, Sylvie Guillem continues to defy the rules of ballet – and gravity. She talks to Judith Mackrell about her new work, losing her temper – and her fight to save the world's fish

Sylvie Guillem is a ballerina barre none

1 comment:

  1. I did not know how sad that was with the dolphins :(