Category: maria bulanova


Vaganova Ballet Academy graduate, Maria Bulanova (class of Professor Lyudmila Kovaleva, 2018), has been promoted to Second Soloist at the Mariinsky.

Thank you to everyone who messaged me about this. ❤️ 


Vaganova Ballet Academy’s graduate (class of 2018) Maria Bulanova’s debut as Medora in “Le Corsaire”. Photos by Galina Nikolskaya.


Maria Bulanova as Zarema and Anastasia Nuykina as Maria in the Mariinsky’s “The Fountain of Bakhchisarai”.


More of Maria Bulanova as Zarema in the Mariinsky’s “The Fountain of Bakhchisarai”.


Vaganova Ballet Academy graduate (class of 2018) Maria Bulanova as Zarema in the Mariinsky’s “The Fountain of Bakhchisarai”.



MARIA KHOREVA’s upcoming performances:

  • Princess Masha – “The Nutcracker” – January 13
  • Diamonds soloist – Balanchine’s “Jewels” – January 26

DARIA IONOVA’s upcoming performances:

  • Emeralds soloist – Balanchine’s “Jewels” – January 26

MARIA BULANOVA’s upcoming performances:

  • Myrtha – “Giselles” – January 11
  • “In the Night” – January 12
  • The Queen of the Snowflakes – “The Nutcracker” – January 23
  • Rubies soloist – Balanchine’s “Jewels” – January 26

ANASTASIA NUYKINA’s upcoming performances:

  • Princess Masha – “The Nutcracker” – January 13 (matinee)

ERVIN ZAGIDULLIN’S upcoming performances:

  • Nurali – The Fountain of Bakhchisarai” – January 20
  • The Jester – “Swan Lake” – January 24

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It appears that Khiteeva is rehearsing the lead in ‘Waltz of the Hours’ that Khoreva performed for graduation. Any news on if VBA has plans to perform that anytime soon?

I think VBA will (or already have) perform at the Mariinsky as part of the annual Cultural Forum that’s on in St Petersburg at the moment.

Thanks for posting the link to the new docu! Any idea where I can find it with English subtitles?

I’d like to know if they’re planning to release another version with English subs, but something’s telling me they won’t. To be honest, the doco (though very beautifully and intelligently made) didn’t present a lot of new information. There are certain parts of it that I’d like to translate, but I’m not sure when and if I will have the time…

For how long has VBA done shows on the stage of the Mariinsky?

I think they’ve been performing pretty much since 1738, when the academy was created by the order of Anna of Russia. Of course, the nature of the performances and the relationship between the academy and the theatre have changed and grown over the years, but that relationship had been there from the get-go. The academy’s role is to train dancers for the Mariinsky, so naturally the relationship between the company and the school is a symbiotic one. I can’t remember exactly when the younger students started taking part in professional performances, but I assume it had happened during Petipa’s tenure.

You mentioned that Bulanova had a rocky time in VBA. Can I ask what happened/what the story is there? I love her dancing but I’m not very familiar with her.

I don’t know the details, but I believe that she is one of the very small percentage of students who got kicked out at VBA only to come back with a vengeance. She really had to fight hard to get to where she is now.

I recently read something on some kind of limitations or problems regarding Anastasia Smirnova? Do you have any idea what that is refering to?

I’m afraid not. Could you send me a link to the article you read please? That might shed some light on the matter.

Do you think 2019’s future grads like Khiteeva and Smirnova will even stand a chance of promotion in Mariinsky or Bolshoi seeing as they’re both already filled with a lot of promising and extremely talented young dancers?

I honestly don’t know. The competition to get into the Bolshoi and the Mariinsky is always fierce, but I doubt that either company would let gems like Khiteeva and Smirnova slip away. The real question is whether they’ll be able to progress beyond the corps if they do get in.

Do you know when Ionova and Nuykina entered VBA?

Ionova herself said in a recent interview that she got in at 18, which makes o sense to me since she’s been around at VBA since the age of 15 (by my calculations). Not sure how that one worked out… Nuykina got in in 2014 (she must have been around 14.

@decadentwinnertoaddean: Hi, I read the interview with Daria Ionova on La personne. Since I used google translate, I am not sure that I understood, especially when she tells her story. She says that she decided to be a professional dancer only as a teenager, when she started to win competitions and to receive offers from Vba to join the academy. However, then she tells that she joined the academy only when she was 18, because she was refused when she was 15. I don’t understand: if she was offered, why was she refused?

Yeah, like I said above, I’m really confused about that one too…

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More 2018 updates can be found here. A big thank you to the anons who keep sending in the updates!

Maria Bulanova

Effie – La Sylphide – 7 Oct
Carducha – Paquita – 13 and 14 Oct
Odalisqus – Le Corsaire – 17 Oct
The Princess of Great Beauty – Firebird – Oct 28

Daria Ionova

Paquita’s friends – Paquita – 14 Oct
Odalisqus – Le Corsaire – 16 Oct
Calliope – Apollo – 23 Oct

Anastasia Nuykina

Paquita’s friends – Paquita – 14 Oct
Odalisqus – Le Corsaire – 16 Oct
Polyhymnia – Apollo – 23 Oct



Maria Khoreva will debut as Paquita in the Mariinsky’s production of the eponymous ballet on October 14 (thanks for blowing up my inbox guys 😂). I’ll take this opportunity to answer some questions,

In her Instagram story today, Maria Khoreva linked to her list of upcoming performances on the Mariinsky’s website. It looks like she’s dancing Paquita in October in St. Petersburg. I know she’s exceptional, but is it unusual for such a recent graduate to get a principal role?

Wow Khoreva is already taking lead roles in the Mariinsky ! This is not a very common occurrence is it?

Actually, it is. When the company is invested in a dancer they consider to be prima / principal material, they give them solos very early on. Fateyev is all about giving dancers an opportunity to prove themselves. Renata Shakirova was performing soloist roles with the Mariinsky while still a student, as was Zhiganshina. And once she joined the company, Shakirova was virtually buried in leading roles. To some extent, so was Lukina, although she suffered an injury early on and was out of circulation for some time. Bulanova danced Effie straight out of school… There are many similar examples. If Khoreva proves herself now, she’s going to move through the ranks pretty quickly. I don’t want to jinx her, but I’ll think she’ll be a soloist in two years tops.

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I would love to see a recording of the Odalisque trio danced by Khoreva et al. yesterday. Do you know if one is available anywhere?

My actual reaction whenever I watch Khorvea dance: 

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