Ask Responses: Vaganova


You mentioned in a recent Ask series that some of the famous VBA grads would be returning to perform in the grad. performances. Are all of the dancers you listed confirmed to be performing (if so, does anyone know what they’re performing?) or are they just examples?

All of these dancers are mentioned in the official promo materials, but I don’t know if all of them will make an appearance. So far, the rehearsals involved Tereshkina, Zhiganshina and Kondaurova. Olga Smirnova attended rehearsals at the academy last month as well.

During the Soviet era, did all the VBA graduates join the Kirov? If not, where did the others go?

A lot of them joined Kirov, yes. After all, the academy was created to train dancers for the company. Those who weren’t recruited by the Kirov were allocated to a different company. In Soviet times, higher education institutions (including ballet academies) decided where the graduates would spend the first 1 – 2 years of their professional careers. The graduates themselves didn’t really have a say in this decision. 

Do you know anything about the girls going into 6/1? Which ones you have your eyes on, potential, etc…

No, I don’t know much about them yet.

Hi, I’ve noticed in the photos of the graduation performance a lot of the dancers (at least the lead roles) appear to be wearing nail polish or gel nails. I was wondering if that’s part of the costumed or allowed professionally? Growing up having your nails done was a pretty big no-no in my ballet school – especially for performances.

I doubt there’s a rule agains manicures, since the girls have their nails done in all performances, but I’m sure there must be guideline: pale / neutral colours, particular length, etc,

Do you really think that Kovaleva’s class is more ‘popular’ than the parallel class mainly because of the social media presence of her students? I’d guess that Kovaleva (like Tsiskaridze) is largely able to cherry-pick her students….

It depends on what you mean by “popular”. As I mentioned, many of these girls, unlike Kasenkova’s students, are known internationally because of their massive social media following. This easily accounts for the fact that they’re so recognisable. If you’re wondering why Kovaleva’s class is so strong and why her students get so many prominent solos, that’s a different question. Kovaleva is a brilliant teacher who is also very smart about picking the right “material”.

Orine anzai is joining the mariinsky?? isn’t she just in 7th year? although i understand that many foreign trainees have done so, i thought that the mariinsky would have maybe “stricter” requirements, so to speak. who else is joining the mariinsky?

Foreign trainees are on a different timeline. They can spend anywhere from a single semester to four years at the academy. It’s not unheard of for a foreign trainee to leave “early” to join a company.

Do vba students take piano lessons? it seems like many of them can play the piano

Yes they do. It’s a compulsory subject for the first few years.

I know you don’t write opinion pieces, but do you think Vera is one to watch once she starts at VBA? Is she like Lada (very technically advanced)?

I don’t really have an opinion on her at all, but it would be interesting to see how she progresses. 

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