Women in Dance

Step into a world where movement meets elegange and strength, as Women in Dance take center stage, adorned with our fine jewelry creations. Documented by photographer Sigurd Grunberger with fashion by William Fan.

AERI KIM, Dancer at Friedrichstadt - Palast

How did you first discover your passion for ballet, and what inspired you to pursue it as a career?

I started dancing ballet in kindergarten, just for fun like any other kid, after watching a lot of ballet performances, I got a desire to be on stage like the dancers I admired. The way how they danced and of course the sparkling jewelry and ballet tutus captivated my heart.

My parents sent me to other activities too but ballet was always my absolute favorite, unlike piano or painting, I never wanted to miss a ballet class. The joy of learning, improving and achieving made me fall in love with ballet more, I found true happiness in expressing my emotions through dance.

The feeling of being on stage and receiving the applause from the audience was the most significant inspiration and motivation for me to pursue ballet as a career.

Jewelry often has a story or symbolism behind it. Can you share any pieces of jewelry that hold a special meaning for you?

I have jewelry collection handed down from my mom and they all are special but the earrings I picked for myself, the very first time to wear at one of the first ballet competitions I competed definitely have the most special meaning. I was dancing the Kitri variation in Don Quixote and wore a black and red tutu, I picked black flower-shaped earrings with delicate diamonds at the center, it's been almost 30 years but I still have them in my jewelry box.

The jewelry in this photography project is designed to reflect strength and beauty. How does it resonate with your experience as a ballerina?

The jewelry in this project shows the strength and elegance, which are core elements of both ballet and my journey as a ballet dancer. I've always tried to embody both strength and beauty in my performances. Ballet demands physical strength and grace, we dancers constantly push our limits for a graceful and expressive performance.

The jewelry in this project deeply resonates with the beauty of ballet and my experience as well. The jewelry reminds me of the inner and outer strength required in ballet.

FILIPA CAVACO, Dancer at Staatsballett Berlin

Can you tell us about your background in ballet and how you got started?

This is actually an interesting story, my mum danced ballet, not professionally, when she was pregnant of me. So I dare to say that, she had a strong influence on me. Later, when I was around 4 years old I saw some pictures of her, younger, dancing ballet in my grandmother’s house, so with that, I just copied the ballet position I’ve seen in the picture, and told her that I wanted to be “on the tips of my feet”. With 5 years old, I started with a Russian ballet teacher in my home town, Faro, until I was 18 years old, but always as a hobby. Was only when I was 18, that I decided to follow ballet as a career path when I was invited by the director of the Nacional Conservatoire in Lisbon, which I joined the last 2 years of the the course. I started my professional career in the National of Portugal, right after finishing the conservatoire, and there I stayed for 2 years. Later, I joined the Staattsballet Berlin, where I’m currently in my 6th season with the company.

Can you share a particularly memorable or challenging performance in your career and how it influenced your growth as a dancer?

I’ve had couple of memorable and challenging performances in my career, but the one that really stands out was dancing “The rite of Spring” by Pina Bausch, last year. It was a dream for me to dance this masterpiece since I was younger. It was not only exhausting physically but also mentally. It was a very long and methodical process, full of details, and the stagers who worked with us really took the best out of each dancer. The choreography was extremely challenging, but in a way very delicate. We were dancing on soil which added to the challenge but also added to the sensory part of the experience. I remember crying after most of the shows. Some dancers were even crying during the show. It was the most rewarding experience on stage I’ve had so far.

Beyond ballet, what are your hobbies and interests that help you find inspiration?

Beyond ballet, I’m also a freelancer photographer and filmmaker. I love photographing people, and their emotions. I’m very inspired by art, nature and design in general. I’ve studied, Fashion design and Interior design and I would love to invest in this in the future. I’ve always wanted to make my own brand mixing ballet and fashion together so who knows after my dance career.

How do you use jewelry to express your individuality and personal style beyond your performances?

I love jewellery, and I never leave the house without it. Daily, I use smaller pieces to work, so it’s not heavy or dangerous to dance with. In general, I use more minimalistic and modern pieces and I change it every morning, depending on how I’m feeling. For me, jewellery it’s an essential to finish a good look.

Jewelry often carries a story or symbolism. Can you share any pieces you're wearing that hold personal significance or meaning for you?

Actually all of my “lucky charms” are jewellery. I have beautiful pieces of jewellery that passed from my grandmother to my mum and from her to me, that a cherish a lot. And other pieces that my dad gave me as well or my best friends that are very dear to me.

Our photographic project focuses on celebrating individuality. How do you use jewelry to express your unique personality and stand out in a competitive field like ballet?

I always try to search on the idea of individuality, and stand out by having or wearing something unusual. The same way I try to find leotards to use for work that are different than the usual, I always look for jewellery to combine with, that is not so common. Always simple and minimal but with a modern and sophisticated touch.

ELISA CARRILLO CABRERA, Principal Dancer at Staatsballet Berlin

Ballet is often considered a highly visual art form. How do you believe it can be appreciated on a deeper level, beyond its aesthetics?

Ballet can be considered on a deeper level. It allows you to connect with the audience on a deeper level because it‘s not only a visual art; there are a lot of emotions that come through the dance and movement.
Seeing a body move in sync with the music is something very special. I would say that, more than being a visual art, dance is an amazing way
of connecting with the human spirit. It‘s not just about what you see with your eyes; it‘s a moment where you witness something beautiful and feel the emotions as dancers move and breathe, speaking through
their bodies and movements. There is a special energy that reaches you when you are in the audience. This is exactly what I have to do - make
people see and feel something different. It‘s not only about seeing things; my job is also to make them feel something in their hearts when they experience this combination of the beauty of the scenery, music, and movement. I believe that if, as a dancer, you have these emotions in your heart, you can always share them with the audience and it will come across that way.

In the world of ballet, there is often a need for continual growth and adaptation. How do you approach expanding your repertoire and exploring new dance styles or techniques?

Dancers always have to grow and discover new movements, but this is also a challenge that makes it very interesting. Throughout the years, I have been learning and growing as a dancer and as a person through different repertoires - from modern to classical - and getting to work with different people with different styles has made my technique stronger and
my artistic presence even stronger. It‘s very important, just like in life, to adapt and learn new challenges because then your movement, technique, and performance become stronger and reach people on a different level of energy. I think it‘s always amazing to have the opportunity to grow and try new things and styles because then a dancer becomes more complete and richer.

What have been the most memorable moments or performances in your
ballet career, and why?

There have been many wonderful and memorable moments in my career.
But think one of the most special was when, in 2019, I danced the main role in the ballet La Bayadere. It was the first time that all my family - my brothers and my parents - were sitting and watching my performance in the State Opera of Berlin. For me, it was a very special moment because after so many years of dreaming of dancing, after leaving my country, and after working every day to make my dream come true, I finally got
to perform for them and they were all together on one night. That was a very special moment because throughout the years, they have all come
to see me individually, but never all at once. I feel very blessed for that moment.

Jewelry often has a story or symbolism behind it. Can you share any pieces of jewelry that hold a special meaning for you?

One of the pieces of jewelry that I always wear because it has a very strong meaning, first of all, is my wedding ring, which symbolizes the love of my life and our many years together. With my husband, we also share a love for dance, as we are both principal dancers. I also have some very special earrings and necklaces that my mother has given me from my grandmother an things that, of course, come from my country. These pieces hold great significance to me as they represent the love of my family and the energy of my country. Additionally, in Mexico, there is a lot of silver. A significant percentage of the world‘s silver comes from Mexico. So I always wear this jewelry - rings, earrings, and necklaces - that have a very big meaning for my family.

Women in Art

To celebrate my 10 years anniversary, I am very proud to put the spotlight on 3 modern women from the art world - Katharina Garbers von Boehm, Marta Gnyp and Diandra Donecker. Three very different, but inspiring women, with a common passion for art and an extraordinary career. Therefore it’s an honor they have accepted to participate to this very special ‘Women in Art’ project shot by Yves Borgwardt as featured in VOGUE Germany.


What is your biggest daily challenge?
Some days, a great many things happen at once, all of which need immediate attention. It is challenging, but I honestly love the flow when the days are too short. The most important thing is to keep a cool head and remain calm. That gives a sense of control.

Is it still difficult to be taken seriously as a woman working in the art industry in 2021?
I rarely encounter real male chauvinism anymore; a lot has changed in the past 10 to 15 years. My status as a lawyer perhaps also helps me to be taken seriously in the art world. I try to counter the machoism that can sometimes still be found in the legal world with humor.

What has been the highlight of your career so far?
Fortunately, there have been a great many highlights and also very different levels of happiness. Intellectually, I particularly enjoy when a deep understanding of an issue allows me to come up with good, creative solutions. Winning a case is of course also exhilarating when it leads to acknowledgement from clients. And I get a warm feeling inside when projects that I have been working on long and hard in the background become public; so, when an important sculpture is erected in a public space and finally unveiled following lengthy negotiations or a controversial collection can be shown in a museum, for example. To know that I helped to make this moment a reality.

What is the secret to your success?
I love getting my teeth into a tough case. People say that I’m pretty fast. I’m good at putting myself in my counterpart’s position, whether they’re the client or the adversary, and I often wake up thinking about the big picture. That certainly helps.

How does the art world of the future look?

Have you noticed a change due to the pandemic and digitalization?
I have been working on aspects of digitalization in art since 2004. Very little happened for a surprisingly long time. The pandemic has prompted innovations that were long in the making. It is nice for me because now I can share my experience in intellectual property and IT law with the art world, and my two areas of work have suddenly come together.

What is your favorite memory of your jewelry by Ina Beissner?
I love my ear cuff by Ina Beissner because it is also great for classic looks. It was a spontaneous buy to treat myself after a particularly intense week at work.

MARTA GNYP, Gallery Owner & Author

What do you rely on most in your work?
Expertise, detail control, and intuition.

What is important to you when purchasing art?
A work of art’s potential to be of lasting, art historical significance, socially relevant and, ideally, financially valuable.

What advice would you give aspiring collectors?
Visit as many museums and galleries as you can, ask as many questions as possible, buy a work of art and live with it – only then will you discover your personal taste and how important, enriching and exciting it is to collect art. An art collection is not only a reflection of our times in a collective sense, but also an expression of a collector’s personality; their ideas, hopes, fears, and dreams.

What has working in the art industry taught you?
Studying art history allowed me wonderful encounters with art as a social and historical phenomenon. I conducted an in-depth analysis of the art market for my doctoral thesis. But the real work starts when you have to make decisions yourself, judge what is good and why, and take risks.

What is the secret to your success?
Total commitment and luck. The former is entirely in your hands; the latter, you simply have to hope for!

What is your relationship with special pieces of jewelry?
Special pieces of jewelry – for me, especially rings – feel like a part of the body. The nice thing about rings is that I can also always see and enjoy them myself.

DIANDRA DONECKER, Partner & Managing Director at Grisebach.

Did you always want to work in the art industry?
I had always wanted to study art history. I found the combination of history and art as a medium utterly fascinating. It was also clear to me early on that I wanted to combine art and the markets, art and demand, art and trade. The pleasure of beholding, of collecting, and also that a work of art can have its price appealed to me. I enjoy working with people, getting out and about, and travelling, too – this mix is what attracts me and continues to nourish me to this day!

What has working in the art industry taught you?
Flexibility, openness, internationality, discipline, team spirit, and an insatiable thirst for knowledge.

Did/do people underestimate you because of your age?
Absolutely! A 29-year-old woman running one of the most important auction houses in the German-speaking world (2019) ... That was quite a surprise for some colleagues ... But being underestimated has its advantages. Ultimately, it is the results that count, and the trust and confidence in one another. Today, I can look back with a smile on many an awkward remark or raised eyebrows.

What is the secret to your success?
Authenticity, kindness, courage, self-confidence and a little luck.

How important do you believe art is during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Art is always important. And the more difficult the times, the more important art becomes. Art also means reflecting on the world, on oneself as a human within the real world with all its challenges and doubts. Art as a focal point and space for reflection.
Our delight when museums and galleries reopened proved that art is enjoyed, loved and needed – and that life without art is possible, but pointless. Both in good times and in difficult times.

How will digitalization change the art industry?
Art is becoming more accessible and less elitist. At the same time, sensible reflection is needed on how art can continue to be seen and experienced when you can no longer behold the original first-hand. This is a challenge for mediation. Because at the end of the day, art is all about the experience – and this includes all of the sensory experiences you can have in front of a work of art. And nothing is better than the original! What I appreciate about digital advances is the dynamism and openness, transparency and “democratization”.

Which is your favorite piece of jewelry?
The watch that my beloved grandfather gave me when I graduated: a Cartier Tank. I have not been a single day without it for almost 15 years now.