Due to the pandemic, graduates of the Bolshoi Ballet Academy are forced to finish their study on-line. We won’t have a chance to see their state exams and the traditional concert in the Bolshoi Theatre. All of them passed a long 8-year way towards their goals, but today they have to isolate themselves and wait. So we’ve decided it’s necessary to support the young dancers and tell about the best graduates of the Academy. From La Personne pages our heroes told us how to learn and train in the lockdown, how to keep the shape, not to lose heart and shared with us their dreams. Specially for the project we made on-line shootings with the dancer via Zoom and Clos App.

Meet Elizaveta Gaponenko.


I am dreaming of stability. The uncertainty frightens… But anyhow there is always hope that everything is going to be good! 


I dreamt to take dancing lessons since childhood, but we lived in a small town and there were just a few possibilities for this. When I was 7 years old I got into the dance group where I had a close acquaintance with ballet. We went to the domestic and even international contests. Once I won Grand Prix, that was very unexpected and impressive for the 11-year-old child. After that we decided to go to Moscow for the audition to the choreographic college. That’s how my journey in ballet began.  

Probably it sounds grandiloquently, but I really love ballet for some difficulties which you inevitably face with, for discoveries of something new in yourself, for variety of colours in work. Let it be hard, sometimes you can’t manage to do something, sometimes you don’t want to do anything, but still you continue to work, to grow and hope that it will pay dividends in future.     

The biggest fear is not to succeed myself. Of course, I want to grow further, moreover, now the turning point of life is waiting – from studying to working in the theatre. The future frightens a little, but at the same time it makes you wait anxiously for something new.  

Studying in the Bolshoi Ballet Academy gave us plenty of opportunities – working with wonderful teachers, communicating with talented people, performing in the best theatres, participating in shows. I think it is important for students. 

It’s very responsible to study in the Academy but at the same time it’s very cool. Of course, it’s not easy, everybody knows. It happens we get tired but the process is always interesting.    

The pandemic situation took us by surprise, nobody expected it. Until the end we hoped that it would sidestep us, but we were all sent to quarantine. Firstly, it was rather disturbing, many worries about keeping the form, I was afraid to lose it. At that moment I couldn’t imagine how to keep the form in domestic conditions. But gradually everything took the new rhythm. The understanding has come it’s impossible to influence the situation and you just need to wait, to go on working, trying to keep yourself in shape.  

I can’t say I spend the quarantine fruitfully. I do what is necessary for me and what I want to do. I do my daily class (except one day-off), do gymnastics and stretching. I do some house-keeping, my homework, every day I walk with my dog, read books, which I’ve wanted to read, watch movies.

Now we can do what we’ve always postponed for later, for example to practice English. I try to read more texts, to remember new words. I even started playing piano after 4-year break.       

Trivially I dream of everything is going well, of quarantine to be over and me getting work in a theatre, the work that will bring me pleasure. I am dreaming of stability. The uncertainty frightens… But anyhow there is always hope that everything is going to be good! 

La Personne

The original independent ballet media in Russia

La Personne