Every year the theatres invite young talented dancers, yesterday graduates, to join their ballet troupes. This season the Bolshoi Theatre has taken in its ranks Kirill Sokolovski – the graduate from Vaganova Ballet Academy. Kirill moved to Moscow not long ago, started his career in the Theatre and danced at the historic stage. In the interview Kirill told La Personne about his first impressions of new life, about model career and main priorities.
Interview: Elizaveta Emelkina
Photo: Alisa Aslanova
Translator: Katarina Bornovitskaya
Kirill, how have you got into ballet?
For the company with a neighbour girl, we practiced dancing and step. When I was at the 4th grade, the representatives of Belorussian state choreographic college came to watch the children. To answer the question “who have ever practiced dancing?”- I raised my hand. I was called to the board, they looked at me and took my mother’s phone number. They called us almost immediately. I counted the time to reach the college from my home – 1.5 hour – and we together with my parents decided it was too long, we decided not to enter. They didn’t stop calling, even when the admission period was over. They called every day. Finally, we came to the additional admission in August, although I told I wouldn’t dance in body stockings, but my mother promised me a gift. And finally they took me.
What did happen further?
Quietly, I studied in Belorussia, but learned more and more about Vaganova Academy. Step by step the desire to study there appeared. Once Vladimir Vasiliev came to us to stage the ballet Anyuta. I was performing Anyuta’s brothers. At the rehearsals Vladimir gave me advice to change the school. I tried and made a transfer at the 3d grade to St. Petersburg. My parents knew nothing while the transfer was confirmed.
You say “they have noticed me”. And what was your attitude towards ballet and dance? What hobby did you have in childhood?
Previously I didn’t want to dance. In my childhood I liked painting, I went to the art studio and demonstrated success – I took the prizes in junior competitions of Belorussia. I wanted to become an artist.
Do you paint now?
Yes, I do paint a lot. The painting for me is a kind of relaxing.
And what is the model business for you?
Mostly, a way to earn money. It’s not even a hobby. I was fully self-supporting at the Academy owing modeling.
So, you didn’t get any pleasure?
Both, yes and no. After all, the artists are vain by their nature, we need attention and the model career gave me that attention. However, the world of fashion exits under its own rules and principles, it’s not that easy.
When have you got your first experience as a model?
I was fifteen, when Gosha Rubchinskiy wrote me on Instagram and invited for American magazine shooting. First, I agreed, then refused. I haven’t even known who is Gosha Rubchinskiy. After a year he invited me for British Vogue shooting. The shooting took place and after I met my agent Yulya Shavyrina, the director of Avant agency.
Tell us please about the shooting with Patrick Demarchelier for Vogue Russia cover.
I was very lucky to work with Patrick, because half year after Conde Nast broke off the partnership with him. I was in Paris for the fashion week, when I was told that we will shoot the cover for Vogue Russia. That was my first modeling season, and I didn’t represent anything of myself. It was even harder to believe that I would get on the camera of Patrick Demarchelier. The joint work went easily. Very nice elderly man, like a grandpa, with a perfect sense of humour. I am very glad that I’ve got a chance to connect with such a personality.
You have changed three cities. Are you used to the changes?
It comes that I practically don’t see the city, because of spending all my time in the theatre. I have no time for anything else.
Do you miss your family?
My parents and my three brothers live in Minsk, since entering the Academy I has been all at my own charge. I do not miss, and they know it very well. Of course, there are moments of nostalgia – on childhood, hometown courtyards, mother’s kitchen. But banally, there is no time to miss. The season has started, I need to work a lot and learn the repertoire. I was a lagging student, I have to pick up more.
Once in an interview you’ve told that your dream is to live and work in Moscow. Why? Usually, everyone in St. Petersburg dreams of Mariinsky Theatre.
Yes, that’s true. The fact is that I have many relatives in Moscow, if to pick them up together there is no restaurant enough to place them. Since the 2d grade of the college I have been dreaming to work in the Bolshoi Theatre. I don’t know why… I’ve just wanted. Bolshoi is a dream that you are not able to touch, to work here, it’s like to appear at the Vogue’s cover. For this I’ve run over to Moscow.
How have you managed to combine the model career with your study and how do you combine it with your work in the theatre?
I practiced modeling mostly during the summer vacations, or in Saturday after classes I took the plane and came back Monday morning. That schedule caused the study badly, in spite of the model business is not as labour intensive as ballet is. Of course, you are getting tired but not of physical work, but of monotony. Now I don’t take part in shootings. Nothing exists for me but the ballet.
Do you have idols in ballet?
I am the fan of Sylvie Guillem. I have the rare archive video records with her that have been watched over thousand times. In the male dance I specially mark out Vladimir Vasiliev and Mikhail Baryshnikov.
You’ve already had your debut performance at the Bolshoi stage. How have everything gone?
We danced the waltz for four in The Swan Lake. I had been preparing seriously and my partner helped me, I am very grateful to her. As a result, I made six performances at the Historic Stage!
Tell, please, about creative plans for the future.
We are preparing different roles with my coach. The combinations for four and for two are in plans. A lot of work but I can’t put all the cards on the table yet.