Table of contents:
- About the path to the stage
- About rehearsals and performances
- About motivation
- About frames and stereotypes
- About myself in five words
- About dreams and goals
- About the source of inner freedom
- About the qualities of a real ballerina
- About a new generation of dancers
- Is there a place for rebellion in ballet?
- About idols
At the age of 17, Maria studies at the Vaganova Academy of Russian Ballet, performs on leading stages around the world and manages to share with her Instagram subscribers (of which there are more than 200 thousand!) Moments of daily rehearsals. Most recently, the ballerina became the heroine of a new Nike campaign and spoke to Harper's Bazaar about why ballet is a sport and where to find freedom within the framework of classical dance.
About the path to the stage
“I have been doing rhythmic gymnastics since the age of three, and I did well, I won tournaments. When I was 9 years old, my parents suggested I just go to the Vaganov Academy to watch. I got fired up with this idea, it seemed to me that it is interesting and I can succeed. And for sure: they took me."
About rehearsals and performances
“Every day ballet looks more like not very beautiful, not very pleasant and rather hard work. But when you go on stage, when you create an image, when you perform in front of the audience - this is art, beauty, a fairy tale. I would draw a parallel “ballet - sport”, because it is impossible without honing skills and elements, the performance of which requires something close to perfection. On average, 7-8 hours per day are spent on rehearsals and classes, sometimes more during the period of intensive preparation for some performances or performances. But you know, if you rehearse or train a lot, then a "second wind" comes, and with it - endorphins, giving rise to a feeling of joy and happiness from the work done. And in general, if you do not like the process, you will not achieve the goal. I think I've learned to love classes and rehearsals."
“Recently I began to get great pleasure from the very process of preparing a role, a part, a performance. I am insanely inspired to try something new, experiment with the movements of my body, work on an image, look for some new approaches. Surprisingly, I am more and more attracted not so much by the result, reaching the finish point, but by the very road to it, the many small steps that make up a long way."
“I am very inspired by people who are not afraid to share their stories: through dance, through words or through some other art. Very inspiring people who do not wait for someone's approval or permission and remain true to themselves. This is a special art in ballet."
About frames and stereotypes
“I think that in any part, no matter how classical it may be, there is a place for trying new versions of the performance of certain movements, new techniques, in a different way to try as best as possible to execute each movement in the part. How to stand out? Listen to yourself. Staying true to yourself - and this will give the most resources for creativity and inspiration, create your own individuality."
“You can always find a compromise. And not even a compromise, but a solution that satisfies all parties, pleases everyone. The strength of every athlete, like every ballerina, is in their own individuality. If you succumb to prohibitions, stereotypes, when you will always listen to someone else's opinion, you will not be able to fully open up, become yourself, show your individuality and strength. Even through the prohibition to show oneself differently, differently, but precisely oneself. My wonderful teachers did just that - they allowed me to open up”.
About myself in five words
“Perseverance. Stubbornness. Inspired by the process. Purposefulness. Seriousness."
About dreams and goals
“Now one stage of life ends, studies at the academy, and another begins - work in the theater. On this transition, all merits are reset, all achievements are reset. A small cozy class of 12 people turns into a ballet troupe of 100 or even 200 dancers, where you will have to show again and again what you are capable of and prove that you can."
“I try to set small goals for myself. I look at world ballet on the Internet, I try to go to theaters. There are so many ballerinas and ballet dancers who inspire me. And just dancers, athletes, bloggers - people who talk about themselves all over the world in social networks."
About the source of inner freedom
“If we talk about dance, then preparing the party, preparing the role. There are always several stages. First, you learn the movements, the choreographic text, and then, when you have everything "at your feet", you can add some of your own nuances, your colors, color this material in your own way. And this is where my inner freedom begins: when I feel what I want to do while dancing and that I can do it. And this is a very pleasant feeling when you realize that you can show yourself through dance, reveal your individuality to the audience. This is where the free flight of creativity begins within a predetermined choreography. And on the one hand, of course, there are sometimes prohibitions, sometimes we cannot think for ourselves to a large extent. On the other hand, when there are prohibitions, this is where creativity is born."
About the qualities of a real ballerina
“I believe that the foundation, the base is the technique of performance and how clean the lines in the movements are, how accurately the elements are reproduced, how confident the ballerina feels on stage when performing a complex part. This is really an indicator! Plus, of course, the data play a big role: step, stretching, leg lines, beautiful hands, in general, the beauty of the ballerina's body. This is all a combination of factors, but the most important thing is for the ballerina to feel confident. And in order for her to feel confident, she must have a very good school. As a result, one cannot do without technology, of course, but at the last stage, character plays a decisive role."
About a new generation of dancers
“Those who are now studying three years younger than me are already completely different. I see how the new generation is becoming more fun, they are kind and cocky at the same time. Older guys, for example, more serious, very immersed in ballet."
Is there a place for rebellion in ballet?
"Yes. But not merciless and senseless, revolutionary, destructive, but emotional, creative, constructive."
“I believe that Diana Vishneva has done a lot towards the development of modern dance. Great ballerina, one of my idols, ideals to strive for. By the way, I am now graduating from the Academy of Russian Ballet with a teacher from whom Diana Viktorovna once studied and graduated."
“Vishneva has tried a lot of new things. She has worked with many choreographers and researched contemporary dance in its very different guises. And yes, in many ways it paved the way for Russian ballet as we imagine it now."