Ekaterina Krysanova and Vladislav Lantratov in The Taming of the Shrew. Photo by Jack Devant, Courtesy Lincoln Center.

Bolshoi Ballet's Ekaterina Krysanova on Originating Her Role in ​The Taming of the Shrew​

What do you enjoy more: performing or being in the studio?
Performing, of course. It's like waiting and getting ready for your birthday party. The rehearsals are a hard process: It's a long wait for enjoyment.

What qualities do you admire most in other dancers?
A brain. Some say that a ballerina only needs good footwork, physical abilities, but I realized gradually that it's very important to have a good head on your shoulders. You go further if you think deeply about your roles.

What do you do to remain injury-free?
I always warm up properly, and I also have massages and water treatments to relax and soothe my body. Sometimes I go to the banya, a typical Russian sauna.

You created the lead role in Jean-Christophe Maillot's The Taming of the Shrew. What place does it have in your repertoire?
A very significant one. It's so precious when a ballet is made on you. So many dancers wait for that, try to find choreographers. If you are the very first person to do a role, it stays with you—and you stay in it, in a way.


The Taming of the Shrew requires naturalistic acting and a certain vulnerability. How did you adjust to that?
It wasn't easy to do, especially in the bedroom scene in Act II, when the Shrew and Petruchio fall in love. It's not about dancing or pirouettes there—you have to feel it, to give meaning to every step.

How hard was it to adapt to Maillot's style?
It was actually easy. I felt very comfortable in his style, as if I'd been dancing it all my life. I'm like a fish in the water in Maillot's choreography.

To whom would you attribute your success?
First, my parents, who gave me great care and love. And my teachers and coaches. I don't want to be too modest, either: I think I also deserved it through perseverance.

What's the toughest part of being a dancer?
The morning after a performance, when you have to get up and go back to work. After a successful show, you want to keep basking in that glow, and the next day you're exhausted, everything hurts, and you have to start at the barre again.

If you weren't a dancer, what would you be?
Sometimes I think I'd be a dentist. As a child, I liked it! But now I might also want to be a designer.

How would you like to be remembered?
Young and beautiful! Not like a shrew, hopefully.

The Bolshoi Ballet will be performing The Taming of the Shrew in NYC at Lincoln Center's David H. Koch Theater, July 26-30.

Latest Posts


From left: Alaina Broyles, Courtesy Werner; Courtesy Underwood

Gaynor Minden's Latest Dancer Lineup Features a Body-Positivity Activist and Its First Guy

Pointe shoe brand Gaynor Minden recently welcomed 32 young dancers to its coveted roster of Gaynor Girls. But this year, the company included two applicants who push the boundaries of what it means to dance on pointe. While both Mason Simon Underwood and Colleen Werner are longtime GM wearers, they stand out from the rest of this year's group: Underwood is the first ever Gaynor Guy, and Werner is a body-positivity activist.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Dylan Giles, Courtesy Festival Ballet Providence

Festival Ballet Providence's New Leap Year Program Gives Dancers Facing a Gap Year a Place to Grow

A new training program at Festival Ballet Providence called Leap Year is welcoming pre-professional and professional dancers who don't have a studio or company to dance for this season.

The endeavor is the brainchild of Kathleen Breen Combes, FBP's executive and artistic director. "I kept getting these emails of dancers saying they just need a place to train this year," says Combes. "I thought, What if we could provide a space for dancers to get stronger, experiment and try new things in a nonjudgmental and no-pressure environment?"

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Talbot Hall, Courtesy Linnea Swarting

Dancing With Eczema: More Than a Minor Irritation

For dancers dealing with eczema and skin sensitivity, ballet poses some unique challenges. I have struggled with both my whole life, and sometimes my eczema is all I can see when I look in the mirror. The condition causes dry, irritated, rash-like patches on the skin. American Midwest Ballet dancer Rachel Smith, who also suffers from eczema, can relate. "It's hard to feel confident in yourself or your dancing when you have itchy red spots all over your body that you should leave uncovered so they can heal quickly."

Dry, sensitive skin and eczema are very common—according to the National Eczema Association, about 10.1 percent of Americans have some form of the skin condition. Sweating all day, tight-fitting dancewear and high levels of stress make dancers with eczema more likely to experience bad flare-ups and daily symptoms. While treatments vary, below are some simple steps dancers can take to ease raw, itchy skin.

Keep reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks