Blaze of Glory

Backstage with seven Bolshoi-trained ballerinas as they plunge into contemporary work
Published in the April/May 2011 issue.

Maria Kochetkova, Natalia Osipova, Yekaterina Krysanova and Polina Semionova in Mauro Bigonzetti’s "Cinque"

Photo by Rose Eichenbaum

Thrilling, expansive, heroic—few styles are as distinctive as the Bolshoi’s. So there was intense buzz last January when Southern California’s Segerstrom Center for the Arts presented “Reflections,” a showcase for seven remarkable ballerinas who all trained at the Bolshoi Ballet Academy. The stars flew in from around the ballet world to rehearse and perform work by cutting-edge choreographers like Aszure Barton, Jorma Elo and Mauro Bigonzetti, some of it tailor-made to their talents. Several dancers had not been in the same studio since they graduated, making a unique event also a reunion. In true Bolshoi style, the dancers unhesitatingly pushed the envelope in new work.

"Cinque"

Photo by Rose Eichenbaum

Polina Semionova and Denis Savin in Nacho Duato’s "Remansos"

Photo by Rose Eichenbaum

Natalia Osipova and Ivan Vasiliev in Bigonzetti's "Serenata"

Photo by Rose Eichenbaum

Polina Semionova in "Cinque"

Photo by Rose Eichenbaum

Anastasia Stashkevich rehearsing "Cinque"

Photo by Rose Eichenbaum

Rehearsing Balanchine’s Pas de Trois in the studio: Ivan Vasiliev, Natalia Osipova and Yekaterina Krysanova

Photo by Rose Eichenbaum

Olga Malinovskaya

Photo by Rose Eichenbaum

Yekaterina Krysanova, Anastasia Stashkevich and Yekaterina Shipulina in rehearsal

Photo by Rose Eichenbaum

Natalia Osipova and Yekaterina Shipulina

Photo by Rose Eichenbaum