Ballet Stars

Julian MacKay was born to be a pioneer. Growing up amid bison and hot springs in Montana, he developed a sense of adventure that came in handy when, at age 11, he entered the Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Moscow.

"It was this guinea-pig experiment," the Bozeman native remembers. "No American had ever gone so young." In 2015 he became the first American to graduate from the school with a full Russian diploma, having completed the lower and upper ballet division—at the top of his class—and passed all his academics in Russian, which he had learned to speak fluently within his first year.

Then in May 2016, MacKay became the youngest-ever soloist at the Mikhailovsky Ballet in St. Petersburg. He soon debuted as the slave in Le Corsaire, the Bronze Idol in La Bayadère and James in La Sylphide, roles that showcased his clean technique and lofty jumps.

Keep reading...
Vorontsova in Don Quixote. Photo by Nikolai Krusser, Courtesy Mikhailovsky Ballet.

It may be a dancer's dream to hit the headlines, but Angelina Vorontsova would rather forget the moment she did. Soon after the acid attack on Bolshoi Ballet director Sergei Filin, in January 2013, the young dancer, then just 21, found herself caught up in the storm. As suspect Pavel Dmitrichenko's then girlfriend and a protégée of Nikolai Tsiskaridze, who claimed Filin faked his injuries, she was suddenly a person of interest, with some speculating Dmitrichenko had been angered by her lack of advancement.

“It was a huge tragedy," is all Vorontsova will say, wearily. The events overshadowed her promising career, but two years on, she is finally hitting her stride away from Moscow. A few months after the attack, she accepted an invitation to join St. Petersburg's Mikhailovsky Ballet as one of its youngest principals; she has since taken over the company's repertoire with a new sense of maturity.

Keep reading...
The Mikhailovsly Ballet's Angelina Vorontsova in The Flames of Paris. Stas Levshin, Courtesy Mikhailovsky.

This fall, the Mikhailovsky Ballet lands in the U.S. for the first time, performing at the David H. Koch Theater in New York City November 11–23, and at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in California November 28–30. The company has increasingly positioned itself as a threat to the Mariinsky Ballet and the Bolshoi Ballet, though it continues to grapple with internal problems.

Keep reading...

mailbox

Get Pointe Magazine in your inbox