Maia Makhateli in "Swan Lake" © Martynas Aleksa

Maia Makhateli on motherhood, raked stages and truth

She is fighting to stay in shape in this difficult pandemic period as she has always fought her battles when she was a ballet student, with brave determination and iron discipline. Now, with new challenges ahead such as doing homework in Dutch with her son, the superstar of the Dutch National Ballet can’t wait to be back performing for a live audience and looks back at her training years without regret. Here she tells everything to ALESSANDRO BIZZOTTO

I have known Maia Makhateli for years, yet every time her energy surprises me somehow. She is indisputably a queen of ballet today. A Principal dancer with the Dutch National Ballet, she is a ballerina in demand – she is often on a plane to guest abroad, in Rome, Vilnius, Ljubljana, Naples among others, when she has not performances in Amsterdam. A few years ago, she also became a mother (her Instagram video of herself pregnant and balancing en pointe became viral and was shared even by actress Jennifer Garner), but she shows no sign of slowing down.

Maia Makhateli © Hans-Peter Van Der Berg

Only the pandemic has stopped her, as it happened to everybody, yet not completely as rehearsals are going on at the Muziektheater and she is working on an upcoming mixed bill of Hans Van Manen’s ballets. As she picks up the phone, she does not seem tired at all, nor disheartened. Her voice has the usual musical tone, a determined and curious shade.

Maia Makhateli in “The Lady of the Camellias” with Constantine Allen © Paige McFall

She talks from a snowy Amsterdam – the evening before sent me a picture via WhatsApp, the city is wholly covered with snow and ice.  “It is not easy to get around the city” she explains me. “Nor even for urgent necessity. It is not an easy time, is it? Let’s hope we’ll have better ones soon. The consequences of this pandemic are beyond imagination.”

Maia Makhateli in Hans van Manen’s “Live” © Angela Sterling

You told me you were in Rome when the pandemic started hitting Europe in full force, right?

I was. I was there to guest as Medora in José Martinez new production of “Le Corsaire”. I still remember all of a sudden Rome became desert and empty. I had to change my flight in order to get back to Amsterdam before finding myself stuck in Rome. It was really scary at the outset. I simply cannot believe it is almost a year since it started and we are still dealing with a dramatic situation that we cannot ignore, trying to adapt and to live with it… getting used to this abnormality…

Maia Makhateli in “Swan Lake” © Martynas Aleksa
Maia Makhateli in “Swan Lake” with Artur Shesterikov © Alex Gouliaev

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