Anna Muromtseva, the first soloist with the Ukrainian National Opera told La Personne about the process of creative growing, self-searching and artistic serving.
Anna Muromtseva

Anna, do you remember when you consciously understood how hard ballet art is and there is hard way waiting for you?

I think at age of 15-16 y.o., when I entered Kyiv State Ballet School. Before that I studied at The Fors ballet school and from very beginning our teacher patronised us a lot. We were a tight-knit group and also parents helped us a lot. At State Ballet school I saw what the real rivalry is, I was behind my classmates in character dance and some other subjects. Parents were not much involved in my school life and I understood that it would not be an easy road. But, actually, nobody never said to me it would be easy.

What season do you work in the theatre? If looking behind, what is the main difference between Anna after graduating and Anna today? And what changing is the most important you think? 

It has been ten years since I entered the ballet company of National Opera of Ukraine. And of course me now and me ten years ago  are two different personalities. Probably the main difference is that I’m not afraid anymore. It’s the same as in my profession as in life. I’m not afraid of taking new challenges with excitement, challenge my body and myself. To work in studio and on stage more with my mind is also like a challenge: teachers only can put seeds inside your head and only you can get to know how to grow it up and use it by yourself. I learned how to take tests and go though it with understating. This is life how it is.

Anna Muromtseva

How do you feel about that ballet artist have to compromise with a lot of things? Life of a ballet artist mostly is not up to you? Because you have a schedule. Generaly, someone decides what you dance and when. Tell us, please, your attitude to all these moments.

Already in school we’ve got to know that being a ballerina it is not to belong to yourself. Your hair can’t be bright red, you can’t have flashy manicure and there is a lot of other rules what we all know since childhood. And we accept the rules. As for me, to translate different personalities on stage is much more interesting then change only color of your hair. Self-expression can be different and we just choosing how much do we ready to sacrifice. The same things with schedule and roles. Not always we are dancing only what we want, actually, it’s never happen – ask any ballerina and she’ll confirm it.

How do you brace up yourself at the moments of desperation?

I’m just telling myself that this is not the end and I have to continue, and sometimes you just have to wait and the situation will clear up and you’ll evolve what step to do next. Just let thing go is totally not my choice. But there is also some things that are out of our hands and then we are at the point where you have to calm down and have a little talk with yourself…

There a lot of talented people born in Ukraine, also in ballet world many staff members from Ukraine. With what do you associate this phenomenon?

Perhaps, it happens because we are at the line of meeting Russian and European schools of dancing and taking all the best from both, but sill using the knowledge of Vaganova school as a basis of our dance.

Anna Muromtseva

For you art is a process of redefining, self-expression or something else?

All together. Two performances can’t be the same. We are changing everyday, reinventing ourselves or some situations, already today we would not do or think as we did a year ago. We transform ourselves and our heroes as well, we grow up, cry and enjoy life together with them. And an audience – together with us. The audience every time will take the same scene with different mood and because of that classical legacy is immortal!

Also, as for me art is a process of self-reflection. Sometimes I would like to spend less time for that, but when you create something it is very important, I think. To find those feelings that you never had or just recently, to open yourself in new way or just being yourself on stage and in studio… all this is quite long road where artist or choreographer have to go inside, take some time and then show all his energy in his creation.

How do you think, can talented creation be born without systemically work? Or moment of impromptu is important and you shouldn’t force yourself you  if there is no wish.

This moment of impromptu is an inspiration! Systemical work of course needs discipline that everyone needs if you wanna have results. But every creation can’t appear just at one moment and for that it needs time, ups and downs. Nobody can work and create something monotonically, then creator becomes as a robot, but human can’t work always on high volume. Sometimes you have to take a break, make couple steps back, try to see it from outside… because Muse can come every moment or sometimes appetites come with eating and that is why you have to balance all the time.

There is some artists who prefer rehearsal process, but there are also many of them, who love more performances and hate monotony. Which type are you and why?

I love rehearsals the same as performances because then I take this pleasure fully after performance. I love the the role is growing up while rehearsals, to feel it, to take some time to think about details of costumes, character, enjoy the scene and not just learn steps and make a check on stage. And them I realize that all the work was for a good reason!

Anna Muromtseva

When just a good performance of a young artist becomes an art, what do you think?

When you ask yourself not “how to do it?” But “why this character did this?” And a size of character doesn’t matter, it’s important even in variations. With some artists this process of formation finishes very quickly, some of them need more time – all is ok. Legs become stronger, stage fright and fear of the rake (and in Kyiv it’s quite big) just disappear, wings becoming your home, all this stuff going on backstage and you jump inside the story. But to some stores you have to grow up, to go thought some situations, so then you have to tell some sing to audience and not just rephrase.

Was there The Role in your career that affected you so hard that changed your perception somehow? You know, this feeling that something changed inside after all work is done…

I think there is even couple of roles that changed me step by step. First it was Cinderella where choreographer and partner taught me to work with senses, then it was Aurora where I got the attitude and with Gerda I could change my approach to learning the role. If we look deep inside every role is changing something in us, with every new partner we learn something. I got a lot of knowledge from my partners what about perception of characters and not just learning steps and poses and I’m very thankful to them! I hope this hours of our work got a good result… for me it was, for sure!

How do you feel what is your best power?

I think it is my only truth – on stage.  We can spend all our time to trying to prove something, making big judgments… but on stage there is only two ways: either you can make it or not. Audience can come to see your art but not PR or they just don’t come.

Anna Muromtseva

Could an art be a voice? If yes then what are you telling with your art?

I think that the art has to be a voice… Not voice of cold mind but voice of feelings. Because we take all art with our senses: hearing, vision, tactilely, with sense of smell. Feelings are pushing humans to create beautiful things and when other person is absorb it then he also inspires for something beautiful. One goes from another… it’s the main law of conservation energy: energy can neither be created nor destroyed; rather, it can only be transferred from one form to another.

At this times of long-established characters and labels what does it mean to be yourself and not get lost at Insta templates?

To be honest in what you are doing at first. And determine for yourself what you want to tell to the audience. Even in Instagram. You can do whatever you want but not just because to make hype or PR, make it just because you really like it to do and you really want to say this and to show that, and not just presenting nice pictures. Not a lot of people are ready to be responsible for their words and there is a lot of people who still don’t understand how big the power social media is, especially for kids. To speak about artists, I wanna point that there is a big difference between Instagram as an instrument for involving people in theatre and Instagram as a goal to get more followers.

What women do inspire you?

I love feminine and elegant women outside, but very strong inside at the same time. I mean who is ready to be responsible, who has power to speak, feminists who’s saying the men are cool and not against them.  World is changing so fast and girls power is big and important piece of it.

Anna Muromtseva