Special project Foreigners in St. Petersburg

It has been long time the Russian ballet has opened its doors to the world, and our domestic theatres confirm the statement. The companies have become very multinational: with the dancers from Korea, Japan, Brazil, USA and Europe. The foreign names are so hotly favourite to the Russian audience, and we’ve been already watching the dancers graduating from Russian academies. La Personne team has met seven foreigners, dancing in Mariinsky Theatre, and created extended photo stories about future (and current!) heroes of the Russian stage. We were wandering with them by the windy Neva costs, we got behind the scenes and to the studios and even asked to be allowed to visit the secret art and sculpture workshops of St. Petersburg.  

May Nagahisa 


Mariinsky Theatre, Historic stage 

Author: Olga Ugarova

Photos: Ira Yakovleva

MUAH: Maria Bystrova

First time I entered the Mariinsky stage when I was 15. It was Manu part in The Bayadere. I went to St. Petersburg by the invitation of Yuri Fateev. I’d got acquainted with him in California where I’d been taking a summer ballet intensive program. After the performance he invited me to join the company, but first I had to graduate from the Ballet Academy in Monaco where I studied. Two years later I finally joined the company. 

After my debut in The Nutcracker, I was crying. I couldn’t believe that since then I danced such a significant part on the Mariinsky stage. I deeply fell in love with the theatre and with all the shows right after my first arrival to Russia. And also I was very impressed by people, who are so unbelievably concentrated on their job and their profession. 

There are such parts as Masha, Juliet, Sylphide and Shireen in my repertoire now. And Giselle part has become the most amazing experience. I’ve been dreaming to dance this ballet since childhood. I watched and learned different kind of records, I planned how I would perform this or that scene, I imagined myself onstage with Count Albrecht. But anyhow the preparation was complicated. My coach Elvira Tarasova helped me, especially with an episode of madness: it turned to be the most difficult. But in spite of all complexities, my dream has finally come true!       

With Victor Caixeta

Special thanks to PR-department of the Mariinsky Theatre, Darina Grybova and Vitaly Kotov in person for assistance in creating the material. 

La Personne

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La Personne