Category: ballet history

Galina Ulanova is a ballerina who has grasped …

Galina Ulanova is a ballerina who has grasped the profoundest secrets of art, she has united feelings and their outer expression into an indivisible whole.

Margot Fonteyn and Michael Somes rehearsing On…

Margot Fonteyn and Michael Somes rehearsing Ondine with Frederick Ashton (Royal Ballet, 1958)

Andris Liepa, Ilze Liepa and Farukh Ruzimatov …

Andris Liepa, Ilze Liepa and Farukh Ruzimatov rehearsing Scheherazade (Mariinsky Ballet)

Jacques d’Amboise and Melissa Hayden rehearsin…

Jacques d’Amboise and Melissa Hayden rehearsing The Nutcracker (NYCB, 1964)

I think perhaps I’ve learned to be mysel…

I think perhaps I’ve learned to be myself.  I have a theory that all artists who would be important – painters and writers – must learn to be themselves.  It takes a very long time.

The arts open your heart and mind to possibili…

The arts open your heart and mind to possibilities that are limitless.  They are pathways that touch upon our brains and emotions and bring sustenance to imagination.  Human beings’ greatest form of communication, they walk in tandem with science and play, and best describe what it is to be human.

The one important thing I have learned over th…

The one important thing I have learned over the years is the difference between taking one’s work seriously and taking one’s self seriously.  The first is imperative and the second is disastrous.

Movement is silent acting, and there is no mov…

Movement is silent acting, and there is no movement without thought.

Hello, did you hear about Lauren Cuthbertson t…

Hello, did you hear about Lauren Cuthbertson taking Oksana Skorik’s place in “Sylvia”? She partnered with Xander Parish in St. Petersburg. I think it’s wonderful that someone outside the Mariinsky was asked to dance the role of Sylvia. Yet alone that a foreigner was asked to fill in the spot 🙂 i hope you have an amazing day and thank you for all the time and work you put into this blog!

I did and I’m very happy for her. I think Lauren is not only a wonderful ballerina but a beautiful person, inside and out. I like seeing good things happen to people who truly deserve them. Also, I believe that she and Xander made history by being the first British partners to lead a performance at the Mariinsky.

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Ask Responses: Mariinsky

tsiskaridze:

How long did it take Lukina and Shakirova to be promoted?

I believe Shakirova was promoted coryphee and then to second soloist within one year of joining the company. She has now been promoted to first soloist. Lukina followed a similar path / timeframe but a bit slower pace because of an injury. 


Which Mariinsky primas are nearing retirement?

“Nearing retirement” is a pretty broad term. Some ballerinas dance well into their forties. Tereshkina and Kondaurova are the oldest / longest serving primas in the company. I’m not counting Vishneva because I feel that she has unofficially retired from classical ballet and will only dance contemporary / modern from now on (years ago, she said that this was indeed her intention after having children). Plus, she hasn’t performed with the company in a few years.


Why is May Nagahisa hated on so much? She really is an outstanding if very young dancer who still needs to develop (as do so many others) and totally deserved the promotion in my opinion. Her sylph was etheral!

She’s an outsider. She’s a foreigner who didn’t train in Russia and she joined the company via traineeship, which is not a very common career path in Russia. Any dancer who progresses through the ranks quickly receives some form of backlash, but an outsider like May would be judged even more harshly.


Could you please tell me why mariinsky is more famous than Mikhailovsky? Ty

The Mariinsky was founded in 1783. It was Russia’s Imperial Theatre – the heart of Russian ballet. This is where “Sleeping Beauty”, “Swan Lake” (in the incarnation we know and love today) and “The Nutcracker” were born, and the greatest Russian ballet dancers performed. Mikhailovsky was founded a bit later, in 1833. Correct me if I’m wrong, by I think that it served as a stage for foreign companies until the revolution, and the actual Mikhailovsky company wasn’t formed until 1918. So culturally and historically, the Mariinsky is older and more significant. 


I think we can all unanimously agree that Khoreva’s gonna be the next Mariinsky principal, can’t we?

Well, no. While she’s likely to be promoted to that rank at some point in the future, I think some ballerinas (like Novikova and Shakirova) will get there first. So technically she won’t be “the next”.


What happens when in the next few years most of the current Mariinsky primas retire? As the Mariinsky is slow in promoting they’d have to promote a bunch of dancers like Khoreva, Lukina, Shakirova… and I don’t see that happening.

I think they’re slowly lining up the new generation of primas, though it will be years before the changeover fully takes place. They have some tremendously talented dancers in the corps and more are joining every year. I’m actually not nearly as concerned about the future of the company as I used to be.


From an instastory picture of a Mariinsky Nov. 21st Giselle program, I saw that Vlada Borodulina (Peasant Pas/Moyna debut) had “первое выступление лауреат международного конкурса” next to her name. I know the first part is ‘First Performance’ but wasn’t sure what the last part meant. It sounded like she won a competition? But I wasn’t sure. Curious if you had any clue. Thanks!

“первое выступление” means “first performance; “лауреат международного конкурса" mean “Laureate (award winner) of an international competition”.


Could Shapran be the next Mariinsky principal?

Your guess is as good as mine. My gut feeling is that Novikova will be promoted ahead of her.


Zolotykh is dancing, however she seems to have become one of those dancers who is strictly a corps dancer. She occasionally will perform one of the three Goldfish in ’(I forgot whichever Opera it is)’.

That makes me sad. I hope she progressed beyond those roles. I’ve been really rooting for her since her injury.


Mariinsky’s website says they will be performing ‘Fairy Doll’ in the spring– though nothing to indicate it is a VBA performance, like there normally is. This would be the first time the actual company has performed it in years. Since it was revived by VBA, and so many of those students who revived it are now in the company, do you think we’ll see those students perform those roles i.e, Khoreva=Fairy Doll, Borodulina=Spanish, Ionova=Chinese, etc, or will MT bring a whole new cast?

They haven’t announced the cast yet, but I actually think it will be performed by Vaganova Academy students.

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