Trystan Merrick studied ballet under the tutelage of Ahita Ardalan. He has performed in the works of such great choreographers as Twyla Tharp, Robert Cohen, and George Balanchine, as well as many of the classics. Trystan started his professional career with Nevada Ballet Theater in 2007, and has since danced for San Diego Ballet, Jean Isaacs San Diego Dance Theater, Malashock, Owen Cox Dance, City Ballet of San Diego and, most recently, Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, touring internationally to 16 countries on five continents. Trystan joined California Ballet in 2014 as a principal dancer and has been featured in roles such as Albrecht in Giselle, Cavalier in The Nutcracker, Oberon in Midsummer Night’s Dream, Romeo in Romeo & Juliet, and to critical acclaim as Tom Buchanan in The Great Gatsby. Trystan also teaches at the California Ballet School.
When I’m not dancing I enjoy…
Rescuing animals, urban farming, cooking, eating ramen, and Wine Club at The Rose in South Park.
What is your favorite costume? Why?
I really loved wearing a dark black wig and mustache and formal tailored suit as Tom Buchanan in Septime Webre’s The Great Gatsby. It made the work of getting into character all that easier.
What’s your perfect day?
A slow wake up with my dogs and the Phosphorescent station playing on Pandora, dancing, and then ending it with wine and meaningful conversations with friends.
What is the hardest part about being a dancer?
The financial balance between artistic work and other—ideally equally fulfilling—means.
If I weren’t a dancer, I’d be…
Definitely an artist —in any medium. Though my absolute favorite is sculpting with lathe and wire.
What ballet or role would you like to dance (and why), but haven’t yet?
Remanso by Nacho Duato. Its a really sweet, beautifully choreographed all-male pas de trois, and a wonderful representation of non-heteronormative dance.
What has been your most memorable moment as a dancer?
The moment my teacher (Ahita Ardalan of Paris Opera Ballet) told me she would make me into a dancer. It has changed the course of my life for the better and led me to dance in now 23 countries on five different continents.
I love San Diego because…
In general, people are really kind and loving here. And to have such a big city with a slower paces of life is a real blessing.
What can always make you laugh?
Fun to know: Trystan has been a licensed contractor specializing in marble and granite and recently restored a 1906 Victorian Clapboard home in Sherman Heights.