dance till’ you drop?

October 10, 2008


It is on days like yesterday that I become fully aware of just how difficult and demanding and exhausting ballet is, to the point where it gets almost unbearable (just before you get some sort of release). We are currently in the process of intensive preparation for a tour, and have been rehearsing literally till we aren’t able to move anymore..

Yesterday we repeated every step in a section of Cinderella about 20 times, yet we still couldn’t get it to resemble what the artistic director wanted of us..The worst bit (apart from feeling like my feet were being poked with hundreds of little knives all over) was not being able to get off the stage for a sip of water..  The thirst, coupled with general exhaustion and the director’s demands to repeat, was really something.


I think the good thing about days like these is that they really train your willpower and inner strengh, probably in a way like nothing else will… You are at a point where you cannot retreat, compromise, hesitate, you just have to go on and DO IT, overcoming yourself if necessary. Also, I feel like this is when the company bonds the most – everyone is in the same situation here, and there’s a real feeling of comraderie and understanding in the air, which is so rare at the theatre…:)

Anyway, something on a completely unrelated topic: I recently stumbled upon this blog, called The “Blog” of “Unnecessary” Quotation Marks, and just fell in love with it. Check it out! (the name says it all)


Dance on camera

October 6, 2008

This is a video of Irek Mukhamedov and Viviana Durante dancing the Summer pas de deux from Kenneth MacMillan’s The Four Seasons, made in 1992. I love how harmonious it is – the music, the choreography, the dancers…how they all blend and make the piece complete. It is somehow so pure, a true performance that touches and moves  – rare nowadays, and probably just as rare back in the day.. Definitely one of my favourite ballet recordings, it really appeals to me on many levels.

And this is ‘Ballerina on a Boat’ – an exquisite old animated clip, set to the music of Schnittke. Have you ever seen a ballerina with more grace and charm than this young lady? I don’t think that is even possible. What a beautiful interpretation!!

Finally, since I’m posting YouTube links today, and am on the subject of animation, I might as well recommend another gem of Russian animated films – “My Love” by the talented Alexander Petrov – created using a complicated and interesting technique that includes painting on glass sheets). It gives us a glimpse into the life of a young boy in 19th century Russia.. The cartoon is done in great taste and radiates the creator’s distinct style. This is part 1 of 3 (with subtitles in English). Enjoy!

Moscow Sunset (and other views from my window)

September 25, 2008

(tip: for better enjoyment, admire views while listening to Shubert’s Serenade on Youtube)

Much Ado About Nothing

September 24, 2008

Drama, drama, drama… Every time something even remotely significant takes place at the theatre, it has to be supported by a fresh batch of gossip, scandalous revelations, and whispers in the changing room.. To be honest, most days it feels like I’m on the set of Gossip Girl rather than in a ballet company..

News here travel faster than light –  you can trust the artistic director to know everything before it even occurs. Are you pregnant? In a new relationship? Planning to quit? Fractured your bone? He knows. Everyone knows. In fact, everyone has already formed an opinion about it and it is now old news.

What is especially amusing about this, however, is the following: while intimate information and personal news are common knowledge and are instantly devoured by all company members, regardless of rank or age, actual work-related information is absolutely impossible to get hold of. This means that, if you want to know, say

(a) what time class is tomorrow

(b) when you will be flown to Hong Kong for 2 months

(c) where to go to get your miniscule paycheck (to be discussed later in detail:P), 

you are out of luck, dear friend. It is proven 100% more effective to rely on your senses rather then attempting to find out, or, god forbid, ASKING about anything. Instead of a coherent reply, all you will get is some hind of waving hand gesture, a nod, or another question. It is absolutely pointless. 🙂

It must be said, however, that all this adds a constant sense of excitement to the daily routine, as in..”I wonder what is going to happen next??” On multiple occasions over the past few months, I would be walking down the corridor only to find an A4 sheet taped to the wall in some dark corner, telling me that tomorrow morning we were flying to such-and-such location and returning a week from tomorrow. Oh, the joy of the unknown;)

Konnichiwa. Hajimemashite.

September 22, 2008

Yesterday, I went to the festival of Japanese culture at the State Tretyakov Gallery at ЦДХ..

Surprised to see so many people, it must be due to Japan’s never-ending popularity in Moscow (though it’s mainly the sushi Russian people are so obsessed with).. Personally, I felt that it wasn’t up to it’s potential, it could’ve been made a much more interesting and exciting event.. The program consisted of some exhibitions, anime and movie showings, a sushi-making masterclass & lots of souvenir stands..Of course, visitors also had the opportunity to buy pre-made sushi sets, which they took advantage of (judging by the enormous line of people eager to buy one)

а я иду, шагаю по Москве..

September 20, 2008

As it always happens, I neglected this blog for a good few weeks before returning back to it. But no worries! Here is a quick summary of what happened to me while I was away from the computer:

Luxembourg! —>

Well, that was quite an intense trip for me, since it was my first ever tour with the company :O Also difficult because we had to dance on an outdoor stage in terrible weather! Think 2nd act of Giselle (A full stage of Wilis’ straight from their graves, forcing Albrecht to dance till dawn) in pouring rain and a thundering night sky. Come to think of it, you couldn’t find better weather to fit the ballet’s atmosphere if you tried! Unfortunately it wasn’t so good for us dancers, haha… having to run from the changing rooms to the stage through muddy grass and trying (unsuccessfully) not to soak our costumes completely.. Also, when it rained during rehearsal on our second day, the rain blew down one part of our backdrop set.haha:)

(this picture was taken during a bus trip at dawn)

Anyway, in our free time we explored ‘la région des Ardennes Luxembourgeoises!’, which was quite nice, especially the lovely fresh air after Moscow (what a chaaaange!)

After Luxembourg, we also had one show in Oostende, Belgium. Our hotel was located in the center of Brussels (such a beautiful cityyyy!!), and since we only had like, 15 minutes to walk around before leaving for the theatre on the day of the show (and our flight to Moscow was the next morning), we decided to give up 5 hours of sleeping after the show before the bus arrived to take us to the airport, and devote them to a long nighttime walk around Brussels. Even though I was exhausted and sleepy, I’m really glad we did that, because the feeling of being in these streets at night, with hardly anyone around…it was just amazing, inexplicably wonderful.

(I’m the 6th girl in the left row on this picture:p)

A few weeks later, our company went on tour to Germany with Swan Lake..Once again, an open-aired stage.. On the way back, it so happened that all 50 of us, including our management, missed our return flight to Moscow. We ended up getting an entire day off in the town of Dusseldorf!!:p


Moscow: ———–>

Finally, we had 20 shows at the Russian Academic Youth Theater (RAMT), as part of the Summer Ballet Seasons festival..Which, naturally, was quite exhausting, since we had no days off, but also an amazing and rewarding experience. I loved working in RAMT (lovely building)..Our repertoire at the festival was Swan Lake, Giselle, Sleeping Beauty & Nutcracker, over and over again:)


then, we were given 10 days to revive ourselves and our bodies, which I used to fly to Cyprus and catch up with my old friends, classmates, and surroundings. I am now back to Moscow, and have 2 days before I have to go back to work.

Moscow, Moscow, Moscow..every time I return from somewhere, I have to get used to it all over again.:S

off to Luxembourg!!

July 10, 2008

Leaving for the airport in 20 mins.. 4 shows of Giselle and we’re back. Hope all goes well!! Wish me luck:)