Category: bolshoi ballet


From Kirill Sokolovsky’s interview with La Personne

Kirill, how did you get into ballet?

I took dance and step classes together with my next-door neighbour – a girl. When I was in fourth grade, some people from the Belarusian State Choreography Gymnasium-College came to our school; they were looking for potential new students. When they asked: “Does anyone do dance?”, I raised my hand, naturally. They asked me to step forward, looked me over, and asked for my mom’s phone number. They called her almost immediately. I worked out that the trip from my house to the college would take an hour and a half one way, and together with my parents we decided that the commute would be too long. We turned the offer down. The college wouldn’t stop calling, though. They called every day, even after the enrolments had finished. I ended up coming to the second round of auditions later that summer. I was very vocal about not wanting to dance in tights, but my mom bribed me with the promise of a present. In the end, I got in.

What happened next?

I got on with my training in Belarus, but as time went on I learned more and more about Vaganova Ballet Academy. Overtime, I developed a strong desire to train there. One day, Vladimir Vasiliev came [to Minsk] to stage “Anyuta” – one of his ballets; I danced the part of Anyuta’s brother. During one of the rehearsals, Vladimir Viktorovich suggested that I should try to transfer [to VBA]. I gave it a go and, when I was in third year, I moved to St Petersburg. My parents had no idea about any of this until my transfer was finalised.

Translated by melmoth
Photos by Alisa Aslanova
Interview ny Elizaveta Emelkina

Watched the Bolshoi in Raymonda yesterday and it is official, I hate every Grigorovitch production of every ballet ever apparently.

Sorry not sorry.


just want to let the internet know I cannot wait to see Ratmansky’s Giselle in cinema this January.

Because the man clearly knows his shit. Because the man clearly did his homework. Because the man clearly read the original fucking libretto and I love him for it. Because the man said – Giselle shouldn’t be so modest! GISELLE SHOULDN’T BE SO MODEST!

Watch his rehearsal of Giselle’s and Albert’s meeting here. Everything he’s saying about the characters and the story, EVERYTHING, is true. And you can see how difficult it is for the dancers to portray their characters differently from what they are used to. To see them in slightly different light. So hopefully they would be open to Ratmansky’s suggestions and vision. (Which is the-original-libretto-vision, so they damn well should, but well… you know me and my dance historian point of view.)

Let’s just hope he won’t mess the mad scene and the end of the whole 1st act up. Because we had Giselle productions in the past that were trying to stay true to 1841 libretto, Pierre Lacotte’s for example, and it all went so well till the last scene where he completely lost it, which made me so much more frustrated.
(Then there’s the famous Mary Skeaping’s one recording of which I cannot find anywhere, I don’t even know if one exists, but I need it quite desperately!)

Honestly I just want Ratmansky production to be good and as close to 1841 libretto as possible so I won’t have to made my own to right all the Giselle wrongs 😀

(There’s still the pre-Petipa Giselle production, which I’m not sure is entirely possible, because Pacific Northwest Ballet used pre-Petipa sources but not exlusively and from what I’ve seen I wasn’t that impressed by the outcome. But let this fluffy kitten dream.)

Olga Smirnova

Sleeping Beauty by Jean Christophe Maillot

Alice Blangero

Olga Smirnova


photo: Natalia Voronova

Olga Smirnova


photo: Natalia Voronova

Olga Smirnova

Swan Lake

Damir Yusupov

Denis Savin and Anna Okuneva in Herman Schmerman (Bolshoi Ballet)

Denis Savin and Anna Okuneva in Herman Schmerman (Bolshoi Ballet)

Svetlana Adyrkhaeva as Mekhmeneh Banu in The Legend of Love (Bolshoi Ballet)