Dance With Angels 16 – Maria Alexandrova – Мария Александрова
Dance With Angels Series
– 16 –
Maria Alexandrova – Мария Александрова
Prima Ballerina of Bolshoy Theatre
“La Femme Extra”
Maria Alexandrova and Andrei Uvarov performing Swan Lake
Bolshoi’s Maria Alexandrova in Don Quixote
Also showing fuette turns and dream variation!
Maria Alexandrova and Nikolai Tsiskaridze in the coda of Le Corsaire
Maria Alexandrova, principal with the Bolshoi Ballet, as Myrtha, the Queen of the Wilis, in Giselle.
(originally on videobalet.net)
Biography by Maria’s Alexandrova Official Site
Maria Alexandrova was born in Moscow. She started dancing at an early age in an ensemble called «Kalinka» under the direction of Alexander Fillipov, where she got her basic choreography skills.
«I was brought to «Kalinka» by my Mum and the first thing I saw was an enormous wardrobe with beautiful costumes in abundance. That is why the dance for me began with the costumes and beauty that couldn’t be understood by my tiny head. I was four years old and the minimum enrolment age of 5 became a real tragedy for me. Mum still remembers how I was crying my heart out. They promised to accept me if I come after half a year. And they did keep their promise. I have loads of reminiscences! I can still remember the road to the Serafi-movich House of Culture. I remember Nadezhda Nesterovna, a small neat old woman who be-came my first dancing teacher, I remember the accordionist, the floor covered with mastic, the Chaikovsky hall, my first stage, my first performance called «The Doves».
When Alexandrova was 8 years old she saw a film on TV about the Vaganova School (today the Russian Ballet Academy named after Agrippina Yakovlevna Vaganova) and decided to do ballet professionally. Maria confidently told her parents about her desire, and in 1988 she entered Mos-cow State Choreography Academy (MSCA).
«Dancing in „Kalinka“ made me happy and light-hearted until I asked myself when I was 7: „Why do people compliment me and I don’t even know or understand what I’m doing?“. After a year I saw a film about the Vaganova School. I realized that if I went studying I would under-stand and learn everything. It was the first time when I told my parents that I wanted to do ballet. I remember how mum and dad told me that they wouldn’t be able to help me, that they were very nervous about me, that nobody in our family was ever related neither to theatre nor, especially, ballet, that it was going to be very hard labour. All in all it was just doubts and anxiety, but no-body was talking me out of it. This was our first serious conversation. But at that moment I didn’t understand my parents or their fears, I just was very eager to do ballet and it seemed to me that nothing else really mattered».
During her study in the Vaganova School Maria had 3 teachers. The first three classes were taught by Lyudmila Alexandrovna Kolenchenko (she is still a teacher in MSAH). The first Alex-androva’s roles at that period were those of a Puppet in Koppelia, a dance in sabo in «Vain Pre-cautions», pas-de-trois from the «Nutcracker» ballet. In 1991 Maria Alexandova and Nina Kap-tsova for the first time in their lives danced in Bolshoy theatre — it was the Manu dance on the premier of «La Bayadere».
Classes four to five and the first year were guided by Larisa Valentinovna Dobrzhan. There were new roles in «Cranes» (with partners Maxim Korolyev and Roman Celischev), pas-de-deux from «Kopelliya» (partner Dmitry Gudanov), the performance «December» (choreography by Genrich Mayorov). During the last two years, when Alexandrova was a student in the class of Sophia Nkikolayevna Golovkina, new roles become more and more numerous: variations from the Gran pas ballet «Pahita» along with three parts with Nikolay Tseskaridze — the Seventh Waltz in «Chopiniana», Adan’s «Classical pas-de-deux» (choreography by Leonid Lavrovsky), «Grand pas classic» by Ober-Glazovsky.
«Despite many complications I have happy memories of my school days. There were stern teach-ers, not always simple relations within the class, crazy schedule (we studied 6 days a week, 5 days from 9 to 18 and one day till 14.30). But I loved dancing so much that all difficulties just vanished. I’d say that the most exciting moment of my whole study period was participation in the revival of „La Bayadere“ ballet in Bolshoy theatre. This was the real adult life with loads of rehearsals and run-throughs, handsome and always joking people around and serious, real, better than anywhere in the world ballet. It was then when I decided to work in this theatre. This was the Olympus and there lived the gods and I determined to become a part of this world.»
In June 1997, still as a school student, Maria won the Ist prize and a golden medal in the Interna-tional Ballet Dancer Competition in Moscow. Shortly after that she was enrolled in the Bolshoy theatre troupe.
«Competition… it wasn’t the happiest moment for me. It was the most complicated and obscure period. My dad had passed away and straight away I was facing the real adult life. It was then when I realized that not everything depends on you. Somebody may decide for you what he/she wants and try to do something in his/her own way. And I have only one thing left, which is not to give up my dream and continue doing my favourite job. It is only now that I realized what my parents were talking about when I was little. Persistence was my only weapon. For the first time I was facing loneliness — when nobody is able to help — and the fact that life is a game and I am just a toy in it. This was my last competition and since then I have never even thought of partici-pation in any.»
Alexandrova only spent one season as a Bolshoy corps de ballet dancer — the season of 1997-1998, and at that time she already began getting solo parts. During her first six years in Bolshoy theatre she was a student in a class of Marina Timofeevna Semenova and then Svetlana Dzantemirovna Adirhaeva.
«I was lucky to get in M. T. Semenova’s class. It was a very difficult and constantly changing les-son. Marina Timofeevna herself happens to be a personality that can’t be fit in any frames. It seems that she knows something about life that we are just not able to understand. The first im-pression is her inflexible will. In her presence I became shy and feared to miss her single word».
During the last ten years Maria Aleandrova’s constant and indispensable coach-teacher is Tatiana Nikolayevna Golikova.
«Since my very first days in the theatre I began rehearsing with Tatiana Nikolayevna Golikova, with whom I was in love since my early childhood. Her indescribably beautiful photo in Ae-gina’s part was hanging in our school hall on the second floor and I used to admire it during breaks. Sometimes we get gifts not even understanding what for. And Tatiana Nikolayevna is my luck and a gift of destiny. During 10 years of close and productive cooperation she has taught me to be a thinking ballerina, to be able to try on any masks on stage not forgetting what I really am. She taught me sincerity and honesty with myself. She made me a professional, responsible for every move, word, felling or thought».
The first prize and the golden medal of the International Ballet Dancers Competition in Moscow.
Magazine «Ballet» prize «Dance soul» (nomination «Rising Star»)
Sign «For achievements in culture»
National theatre prize «Golden mask» for the part of Classical dancer in «Bright Stream» ballet
The prize of the tutorial council of the Bolshoy theatre
The status of «Honoured Artist of Russian Federation».
«Looking back I realize how much was done and how interestingly and unusually the seasons passed. I tried myself in almost all branches of ballet art. These were comedies and tragedies, dramas and plotless ballets. These were demi- and absolutely classical characters, both neoclas-sical and experimental forms. It is hard to emphasize something most interesting or exciting, the closest to me, because all this forms my childish insatiable thirst for perception. This experience gives me strength for further research and creation of something completely new. I’d say that it is now when the process of learning gives me the biggest pleasure and I am more open in my profession than ever».
Tatiana Nikolayevna Golikova’s Biography
People’s artist of Russia. Coach-ballet-master.
Tatiana Nikolayevna Golikova was born on October, 14, 1945 in Vyborg. She was accepted to the Bolshoy ballet troupe in 1965 soon after her graduation from Moscow Choreography School (today Moscow State Choreography Academy), where her coach-ballet-master was Sulamith Mihailovna Messerer, famous for her individual teaching methods. In Bolshoy Golikova was taught by an outstanding teacher Marina Timofeevna Semenova.
«I can’t say that when I’m teaching I suddenly remember that „this teaching technique belongs to one of my teachers, Sulamith Mihailovna or Marina Timofeevna“. But I am very glad that I had teachers from both St. Petersburg and Moscow ballet schools. From my students I demand Mos-cow freedom in dancing and St. Petersburg accuracy.»
In 1988 Tatiana Golikova finished her brilliant dancing career and in l995 she herself became a coach-trainer in Bolshoy. Maria Alexandrova along with a number of other ballet artists work under her tactful guidance.
«I have only been teaching for ten years and for all this time I have been learning. I learn some-thing with every student. Masha Alexandrova and I have had a number of different situations that gave me a lot».