© MDM Dance / Mariia Kulchytska
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Evgenia Obraztsova: RUSSIAN TECHNIQUE? IT IS THE BEST

That’s the way the Principal of the Bolshoi Ballet thinks. Alessandro Bizzotto caught up with her to find out why and to ask her something more about leaving the Mariinsky, dancing abroad and being a mother

She can be prudent and careful when answering your questions, ask you not to answer one or cut another one short. Yet, at the same time, her replies can surprise with assertiveness, mostly when it comes to Russian technique and style, and with a slightly snobbish attitude. No doubt everything makes you think of a diva when you deal with Evgenia Obraztsova.

Born in Saint Petersburg and graduated from the Vaganova Academy, after joining the Mariinsky she got promoted to first soloist quite quickly. Then, when her fans started waiting for a promotion to principal, the coup de théâtre: she left Saint Petersburg to join the Bolshoi already as a principal.

“Don Quijote” Kitri (Gala) © Elena Fetisova

I read that, at the beginning of your professional path, you got to know you had been promoted from the corps to coryphée reading one of the Mariinsky brochures. Is that true? Had nobody informed you?

Yes, it is true. We were on tour somewhere and I remember we were given some brochures of the Theatre. So I took one and read that I wasn’t in the corps anymore – I had a new position. I can’t remember what exactly the new position was, maybe a coryphée or a soloist… but it doesn’t really matter, does it?

with Mariinsky Ballet in “Don Quijote” as Kitri © Damir Yusupov

Who is the teacher of yours who had the strongest influence on your style as a dancer?

I think it was Inna Zubkovskaya, who was my biggest influence style-wise. She could foster the dancing style in her students like nobody else.

Was the competition harsh in the Mariinsky corps?

The competition is always harsh in any theatre, let alone such world-renowned ones as the Mariinsky or the Bolshoi! But I wouldn’t say that the dancers in the corps are highly competitive. The main competition starts when the strongest and most gifted ones are promoted from the corps.

Then you suddenly moved to the Bolshoi. What brought you to Moscow? Was it also, even if not only, about the chance of getting finally promoted to principal?

The main reason why I decided to move from Saint Petersburg to Moscow was the prospect of getting new roles and performing new ballets. I was sure the Bolshoi would open up new horizons and break new grounds for me. And I was totally right…

“Sleeping Beauty” as Aurora (Bolshoi Ballet) © Elena Fetisova

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