Maria Alexandrova
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An Internet bridge with Maria Alexandrova, 1 Oct 2005

   Moderator: We are ready to start. On the photo: Maria Alexandrova is writing her greetings to the participants of the virtual meeting.

M.A.: Hello to everybody. Thanks for the support of the project. I am happy the idea met your interest. Ready to reply your questions.

Christine K (US): One of your best roles is in the Bright Stream. Is the Bolshoi planning to film the Bright Stream? If yes, will they release it internationally on DVD and when? And also, what would the cast be in this case? I'm very much looking forward to a Bright Stream DVD with you as the star!!!

M.A.: As far as I know the Bolshoi has no such plans so far. But I can do the DVD with this ballet myself specially for you and send it to you.

Ella (Moscow, Russia): What new roles will you have in 2005/2006 season? Do you plan to dance in the new productions — Cinderella, the Golden Age, the Card Game?

M.A.: "The Card Game" choreographed by Ratmansky on Stravinsky music for the for Plisetskaya anniversary festival. "Raymonda" in December. I will also dance in "Cinderella" (main role). I would also like to dance in "Golden Age".

Ella (Moscow, Russia): Would you like "The Russian Hamlet" to return to the Bolshoi?

M.A.: Sure. I miss this ballet a lot.

Ella (Moscow, Russia): Can you drive? What car do you have?

M.A.: I do not drive, but I have a car, Lexus.

Sophia (France): Je voudrais savoir quel est ou quels sont ses rôles préférés, parmi ceux qu'elle danse déjà et/ou parmi ceux qu'elle n'a pas encore abordés. (What are your favorite roles that you have already danced and would like to dance?)

M.A.: Out of what I have danced — all favourite. Out of what I have not danced yet — Nikia. I would like to try to dance the part of Aurora.

Sophia (France): Qu'est-ce qui distingue, selon vous, un danseur/une danseuse étoile d'un autre danseur? (What do you think distinguishes a principal dancer from other dancers?)

M.A.: He/she comes out to the stage and attracts attention. Charisma, personality. Professionalism, when you cannot dance below a certain level, but we are all human.

Lexx (Moscow, Russia): Dear Masha, What are you like in every-day non-ballet life? What music do you like, which flowers, how do you spend your spare time?

M.A.: In the everyday life I am an ordinary modern girl, eating sandwiches. I like walking. I have no special preferences in music. I like when flowers are fresh — any flowers. When I have spare time, I spend it with friends and family. And at this very moment — with you, my audience.

NataPo (Moscow, Russia): What new role would you like to dance?

M.A.: The one that I have not danced yet. I have already answered about my plans.

NataPo (Moscow, Russia): Which ballets do you think shall be an integral part of the Bolshoi repertoire?

M.A.: Classical repertoire — Petipa, Bournonville, Fokin, Balanchine

NataPo (Moscow, Russia): Do you use PC, internet?

M.A.: Yes, and lately the interest is growing.

NataPo (Moscow, Russia): Do you read ballet forums in ru-net?

M.A.: Very rarely.

ATV (Kaliningrad, Russia): Could you kindly share your impressions of the Bolshoi tours (in the USA — this year, as well as in Paris and London — last year)? What was most memorable, most interesting, what difficulties did you have to face? Where did you like dancing most and why? Do you have touring plans for this year?

M.A.: Most of all I enjoyed dancing at Grand Opera — a very cozy theatre, excellent stage, sympathetic audience, brilliant atmosphere of an astonishing city. The American Tour this year is the most difficult one of all that I have had. During the second week in the course of six working days I did five performances and two master rehearsals. I think it is a lot. It was very hot, especially in Philadelphia. But the warmth of the American audience made up for all the difficulties, and made all the efforts worthwhile. In London the square in front of the Covent Garden is live 24-hour a day — it is exciting at the beginning, but then it becomes tiring.

ATV (Kaliningrad, Russia): Since I like "Carmen Suite" very much, I am glad that it will return to the Bolshoi. Do you plan to dance in this ballet?

M.A.: I am part of the cast but I cannot plan anything, as no one knows whether this ballet will be on stage.

Lana (Moscow, Russia): What is your favourite role/ballet?

M.A.: I have may "most favourite" roles and I love them all. But "the very favourite" one is still ahead I hope.

Lana (Moscow, Russia): Your well-known large leap, is it the result of hard exercise or a gift?

M.A.: I think it is a gift. My mom says it is from my dad. She knows better, I have not seen his in such a state. The main thing is how to approach the jumping point. And the "push" is different for everyone.

Lana (Moscow, Russia): What pas de deux /piece did you dance at the graduation from the ballet school?

M.A.: Grand pas from Paquita, Grand pas classic (Auber)

Lana (Moscow, Russia): Did you have excellent marks in classical dance from the first year of the ballet school?

M.A.: In the first year we were never given "excellent" marks, "good" was the maximum. And later - always excellent. I was a hard-working student.

Inga (Moscow, Russia): Do you think that the Bolshoi shall get closer in its style to the western theatres — for example, shall it introduce a block performance system, master various ballet styles irrespective of well-established manner of the company? Shall Bolshoi scarify its large-scale manner of dancing for the sake of precision, so popular in the West.

M.A.: I do not think that the "block" system would adapt here. Anyway, I would be bored.

A professional dancer shall master various dancing styles. But any style would get a local accent in different places in the world. I would not reject traditions, but I am always in favour of new things. But not for the sake of novelty — there must be constructive well-thought decisions as in the repertoire policy, as in the established system of relations.

To change large-scale manner of dancing for precision? It is not worth it. It is not worth to change dancing for technicality.

Inga (Moscow, Russia): What do you think of the master-classes that were given at the Bolshoi by western coaches?

M.A.: I find master-classes by western coaches interesting as an introduction to another school, another tradition.

Inga (Moscow, Russia): In the West a coach is responsible for a production and not for a dancer — one person prepares, for example, the Swan Lake with all Odettas of the company, whereas our coaches prepare with "their" dancers all roles that they dance. Which system do you think is more efficient?

M.A.: I am in favor of our Russian tradition to work with my "own" coach. I let the audience and critics to judge the efficiency and effectiveness.

Inga (Moscow, Russia): Who are your favourite partners? What is an ideal partner for you? Was it interesting for you to dance with guest stars — Carreno, Urban, Martinez?

M.A.: I am grateful to all partners I have danced with. And an ideal partner can only be dreamt of, just like an ideal ballerina. This is all just dreams.

Irina (Russia): Dear Masha, Is there an ideal partner for you? With whom do you feel more confident at the stage? Who is more closer emotionally? Do you like dancing with different partners or would it better sad in old times — long-term partnership?

M.A.: I feel more confident with large and strong partners. With any partner we seek for emotional contact, not always succeed though. And about long-term partnership, we have only heard about it, at present partners change all the time — this is a given fact.

Irina (Russia): Have you had already rehearsals with Denis Matvienko? If yes, what are your impressions?

M.A.: There have been no rehearsals so far. Denis is not at the theatre at the moment.

Irina (Russia): What are your relations with the female dancers of the Bolshoi? Are you friends in non-ballet life (like on the stage?) or is there a tough competition, which may mean even raisors and nails in points?

M.A.: I do not have really close friends. And pins and nails is not more than a legend for me.

Olga (Kaliningrad, Russia): What subjects at the ballet school did you like most (special and general), what were your favourite?

M.A.: Of course, special subjects — classical dance, historical dance, duet. As for the general subjects, I am more humanitarian.

Olga (Kaliningrad, Russia): Did you have friends at the Academy? Are you still friends now?

M.A.: We have been good friends in the class and we still keep in touch.

Olga (Kaliningrad, Russia): What main difficulties did you have to face during school years? How did you overcome them?

M.A.: I did not understand grown-ups, coaches. I did not understand their behavior. The difficulties were overcome as time passed by — they remained grown ups and I grew up.

Olga (Kaliningrad, Russia): Which of you roles do you consider the most challenging one?

M.A.: Waltz #11 in "Les Sylphides"

Maya Mituritch (Russia): With who did you prepare the long-awaited Swan Lake?

M.A.: Almost all my roles I prepare with Tatiana Nikolaevna Golikova

Maya Mituritch (Russia): Was your coach a famous Odetta at her own time or is it of no importance for preparation for the role?

M.A.: At her own time my coach danced the first night performance of the Swan Lake in Grand Opera, which was a great success.

Maya Mituritch (Russia): Do you use video records of other dancers when getting ready for a role?

M.A.: Yes, when I learn the text and during rehearsals.

Maya Mituritch (Russia): Who out of ex/present Odettas/Odilias is most close for you?

M.A.: I have not come across an ideal one, but each one had something special and touching.

Maya Mituritch (Russia): So what sort of "bird" is your swan?

M.A.: It is me, as I am now — with all my emotions, fears and worries.

Olya (Moscow, Russia): What do you think of the contemporary western choreography? Which choreographers are most close to you and why in particular? Would you like to perform Forsythe, Mats Ekk, Pina Bausch?

M.A.: I am quite indifferent to modern choreography. As a professional, I get more interested as I start doing it. An then choreographers become closer. When new tasks arise, I start discover new world for myself. But in general I am quite indifferent. In our time there are many contemporary ballet productions, but not all of them are suitable for the Bolshoi. I consider that a ballet performance shall have an artistic and professional value, I need to have space for action. Mats Ekk makes watch his productions, very often he finds unexpected moves. But I do not seem to have the necessary emotional breakdown to dance his choreography.

Olya (Moscow, Russia): Who out of modern ballerinas in Russia or abroad are most close to you spiritually? Whose art is of professional interest to you?

M.A.: Spiritually we are all somehow similar, although it may sound sad. We all are children of the same time. The are of each of them is interesting for me, but it touches different strings.

Olya (Moscow, Russia): Who of the great dancers of the past do you consider to be an ideal ballerina? What makes a ballerina ideal? What is the benchmark of an ideal dance for you?

M.A.: The list is long. Shall I start with Taglioni or even earlier? They all were imperfect, because they were human. And this is what makes them wonderful.

Olya (Moscow, Russia): Have your thought of dancing Giselle? What would be your Giselle like?

M.A.: Yes, I have thought about it. What a commonplace thing — she will be me again.

Ivan (far away from Moscow): How does a ballerina spend her day? More specifically how have you spent the day today, before the meeting in internet?

M.A.: I woke up at 9 a.m. At 9.20 I got out of bed. Fed my cats and brushed myself up. At 10:20 I left for the theatre — I walked. At 10:45 I was there. From 11 to 12 — class. Breakfast at the cafe and a short walk — beautiful weather. At 15:00 — rehearsal of the Swan Lake with Filin. Finished at 18:00. From 20:00 almost until midnight — internet bridge. Not the most artistic day in my biography.

I would like to ask everyone to excuse me — it appears that it is impossible to answer numerous question quickly. But I promise to answer them all.

Tomorrow in the morning I have a rehearsal of Mirta, then the Swan Lake. At 5 p.m. — rehearsal of the Card Game. After that — the second part of internet bridge. The same time, the same place.

M.A.: Hello to everybody! I'm ready to continue our virtual meeting. The interpreter is a bit late so the answers for a while will be only in Russian.

Grigory (Moscow, Russia): Dear Maria, Have there been mystical events in your life? Do you rely more on logic or intuition? Can you say that you know a modified state of conscious (it can happen for example in the course of a rehearsal, performance)?

M.A.: I have never experienced any mystics so far, but when I come out to the stage, something changes in me.

Natalia (Moscow, Russia): Your following statement in the interview to "Dansomania" forum caused some ambiguous interpretation by the audience: "I attended all the classes. If to ask "what for", there will be no answer. I do not see a system. But if to look at a class as at a system which shall lead you somewhere, then not a single one will stand a chance to answer the question "what for". So, in your opinion, what is a "class as a system" Where shall it lead?

M.A.: Class is a manual for development of certain skills: rotation, coordination, balance, body positions, small movements. Marina Timofeevna Semyonova used to say that a ballerina coming to a class should learn. She should be taught by her coach. I have seen many new movements during classes given by western coaches. I have seen them as interesting extraordinary persons. But the classes given by them are a set of movements for warming up the body.

Natalia (Moscow, Russia): Your Aegina in Spartacus — is it an attempt to create an image different from the ones created before you? Or did you proceed from the role? How did you interpret it: Egina — a courtesan and an anti-image with Frigia or did you interpret it differently? Do you take into account the historical features of that time.

M.A.: For me Aegina is a courtesan at the top of the power. Her behavior is predetermined by the behavior of her master — Krass. Throughout the three scenes of the ballet Egina demonstrates different personal features. In anu case this woman knows very well what she wants and will share the destiny of her master. As soon as she sees a way out, she strives for surviving. The ballet is very psychological; history is reflected only by the names, dressing and the situation. I proceeded from the situation.

Natalia (Moscow, Russia): Are you prepared to listen to critical comments? Is there such a thing as a "constructive critics" for you? What is a better incentive for you — praise or critics?

M.A.: I listen to the constructive critics of my coach. The incentive for my art is neither praise, nor critics, but only my interest. I am in ballet because I am deeply in love.

Natalia (Moscow, Russia): It is clear from your interviews that neither the role of Juliet nor the role of Miller's wife in "Tricorne" were not the roles of your own choice, but were dictated by the interests of the theatre and discipline. If you follow your own preferences would you dance an "alternative" to classical choreography? Are you in the position today to reject a role that you consider to be not suitable to you?

M.A.: Until I try I do not know which role is "mine". I have been told so often "do not even try", that I have developed a steady habit to try myself. I do not ask myself about preferences and it seems that I have already tried to dance all genres — justified my diploma 'cum laude' of the ballet school.

Natalia (Moscow, Russia): The 19 century productions were made according to pyramid principle with the prima-ballerina on top. She was the success factor. What is the success factor in the 21 century productions: the prima/principal dancers, soloists or the entire ensemble of performers? Why the same ballet performed by the same company and even by the same dancers leaves no impression one day and is a masterpiece another day?

M.A.: I think that in the 21st century the success depends on the ensemble. And different level of performance in different days could be explained by human factor, which exists both for actors and the audience. Besides, there are traumas, illnesses, simple tiredness, and personal problems. One day you perform better, another day — worse. But the audience is never the same either — one day a spectator is in the mood for ballet, and another day — not at all. The dancers are all human; we live in the same country, at the same time. Sometimes the critics and the audience demand impossible things from us. I sometimes have an impression that we live under a magnifying glass and we are deprived of the right for a mistake. But any mistake is the beginning of something and can be corrected. A victory is the end of something, it is difficult to repeat.

Elena (Frankfurt, Germany): Dear Maria, I have learn about the internet-bridge and would like to take this opportunity. Unfortunately I haven't seen your performances live yet, but the videos with your performances are popular in our family.

First of all I would lie to express my admiration with your unparalleled talent. My 4,5 year old daughter (also named Masha) attends ballet classes with great pleasure and like to watch ballet on video. I would like to ask you — how did you come to ballet? At what age did you start doing ballet? When did you realize that you would like to become a ballet dancer?

And one more question, are there any touring plans for Bolshoi or you personally in Germany?

M.A.: Just as your daughter I was introduced to dancing at four — in a chorographical company "Kalinka". At eight I saw a film about ballet and realized that one could master it. By that time it occurred to me that I understood nothing in the movements that I was taught. I was shown the movements, I repeated, I was praised, but understood nothing of what I was doing — the body was moving, but the head understood nothing. Then I said to my mom that I would like to get special education. At 9 I entered the preparatory class of the ballet school and the next year I was accepted to school. I have been doing ballet since, I always learn and try to understand something.

This year there seem to be no plans for touring in Germany. I do not have such personal plans either.

Anna (Moscow, Russia): How do you work on the dramatic side of your roles. Does your attitude towards the characters you dance and their emotions change and why?

M.A.: I find in myself respective features. There is everything in my — good and evil. For example, there is a hint of authoritativeness; in my present life this feature is not applicable. But I have it. When dancing the Empress, I emphasize and exaggerate this feature and it becomes dominant in the image I create. This is a kind of sublimation — once this quality is realized on the stage, there is no need to use it in everyday life. And the attitude towards the characters I dance changes only one way — I get interested in them more and more. I do not get bored with my roles.

Anna (Moscow, Russia): Do you think it is necessary to watch records with performances of your predecessors? I have read in interviews of many drama actors that they prefer not to watch performances by other actors to avoid copying. How does it work in your case?

M.A.: It is different for the ballet dancers. A drama actor can unintentionally copy an emotion. It is possible to copy a movement, but everybody moves in his own way and therefore you will do the movement in your own individual manner There is never any repetitions — neither Semyonova, neither Ulanova, nor Plisetskaya. You can ensure individuality by being able to let yourself move naturally. Therefore I am not afraid to watch all the videos that get into my hands. For example, when getting ready for "La Sylphid" I have watched 8 records — everything that I have been able to get hold of.

Anna (Moscow, Russia): If someone offered to make a ballet production especially for you based on any piece of literature, what would you choose? And the same about music.

M.A.: I would chose a drama image: Medea, Anna Karenina, Nastasia Filippovna. The selection of music I would leave for the choreographer, I am always moves by the image.

Anna (Moscow, Russia): With which modern choreographer would you like to work?

M.A.: I have not danced all classical ballets yet. When it happens I would like to be asked this question again. And the answer will be different. But at the moment I am still thinking about classics. But the Theatre is free to involve me in any production following their vision of my abilities.

Anna (Moscow, Russia): Who would you like to dance Nikia with? Do you have plans to dance this role?

M.A.: I am planning a debut, but at the moment my wishes do not coincide with the opinion of the management.

Wolfgang (Giessen, Germany): Dear Mrs. Alexandrova, I had the pleasure to see a couple of your performances in Bolschoi and enjoyed very much your dances. I might take the opportunity to ask two questions to you: What is your personal preference in dancing: dramatic scenes or more quiet/expressive scenes?

M.A.: My life goes in such a way, that I get more often dramatic roles, rather emotional. Therefore the role of Aspitchia in "La Fille du Pharaoh" is very dear to me — a quite, lyrical role. I never think of the preferences.

Wolfgang (Giessen, Germany): Do your plans in the next years also forsee some performances in Berlin or Stuttgart or some other cities in Germany?

M.A.: So far not.

Katerina (Moscow, Russia): If you were offered to run a TV programme about a ballet, would you agree? And if not about ballet, then about what.

M.A.: To work on TV would require a lot of time. So far I do not have it. We shall see in the future. I would not reject this idea, but it is more the question of implementation.

Katerina (Moscow, Russia): Would you like to take part in a movie? What genre? What character?

M.A.: I have received offers, there is an opportunity. But there is a problem of time again — I would never change a ballet rehearsal for filming. Now I am more interested in drama theatre — it allows to prolong stage life.

Katerina (Moscow, Russia): Have you ever occurred to you, that one day you may wish to write memoirs? Do you keep a diary?

M.A.: I do not keep a diary, and it is highly unlikely that I will start writing memoirs.

Katerina (Moscow, Russia): Would you be interested to learn more about interests of the ballet-fans? In case of significant differences in your ballet preferences and the preferences of the fans (what to dance — what to watch), would you be willing to compromise?

M.A.: It is interesting to know about the ballet interests of the audience. To compromise with audience? This question should be rather addressed to the theatre management, to the repertoire policy. The dancers just face facts. So does the audience.

Katerina (Moscow, Russia): Is there such a role, that you DO NOT want to dance.

M.A.: What does it matter if I am an employee of the theatre and not a free artist. So far I have rejected only one role — Magnolia in Chippolino. I really did not want to dance in the collective farm and in the ballet by Radu Poklitary. But nevertheless I did it.

Katerina (Moscow, Russia): Does it happen often that your life experience and personal emotions help you to work on the image. And in general, is there anything personal in your work or such thing does not exist?

M.A.: All my works are based on personal experience — happiness, joy, tears. Some emotions are painful, then the source of pain disappears (what, how, why) and the pain remains — already as a memory.

Katerina (Moscow, Russia): What are your other plans, apart from the ballet? Would you like to get interest in something new, unexpected.

M.A.: I would like to continue my education. But I have not decided exactly where. I would like to learn to drive. I have been thinking about starting painting, refresh my skills from the childhood.

Katerina (Moscow, Russia): The modern literature comes though a period of peak popularity of young authors, which include even 19-20 year old ones. Do you find modern literature interesting?

M.A.: I do not think I have enough time, taking into account the scope of flow. I must confess that now I am not so much interested in literature any more. Our life itself is literature. I like antique authors, like contemplations, wise thoughts.

Katerina (Moscow, Russia): Are the dancers of the Bolshoi interested in problems of the theatre not related to the ballet, such as pricing policy, PR etc.? What are your forecasts on the reconstruction of the main building. How can it impact your agenda?

M.A.: These problems are not the matter of my interest, I live in these problems. As for the forecasts on the main stage... I wish that I could enter the stalls by my 70th anniversary.

Alexander (Russia): Are you satisfied with your salary at the Bolshoi? Would you like to work in other countries on a contractual basis as Zakharova and Vishneva?

M.A.: The salary depends on the number of performances. I cannot complain dancing so much as I do now. And in general I am not fussy in everyday life. I do think about working in other theatres and countries.

Alexander (Russia): What audience, Russian or foreign, do you find more interesting to conquer? And what makes them different?

M.A.: Everything that we do here is bad. If we were to believe the management, critics and the public opinion. It is easier to dance during a tour. The audience in various countries is more or less the same, but in other countries they love us and wait for us.

Alexander (Russia): What type of men do you like? What qualities are prerequisite for your life partner? Shall he be a well-off man?

M.A.: First of all he shall be a Man, and a man with a soul. Money comes and goes.

Dale (USA): I'm sure these might duplicate others, but here goes: Does MA worry about being type cast as the big bold ballerina, rather than being able to show a more vulnerable side?

M.A.: In every role I dance, I show that along the natural strength I have emotions, vulnerability and feelings.

Dale (USA): What roles hasn't she been able to do at the Bolshoi is she interested in doing? Roles not in the rep.?

M.A.: "La Dame aux camellias" by Neumeier

Dale (USA): How does she feel about the new ballets being brought in, such as the Balanchine programs or Petit? And working with foreign coaches such as Verdy?

M.A.: It depends on the ballet. I love a lot "Symphony in C". Violett Verdy is a unique person, we rehearsed with her "Tchaikovsky Pas De Deux".

Dale (USA): Which coaches have influenced her the most and why?

M.A.: All coaches from school. At the theatre I would name Semyonova, Golikova.

Dale (USA): How does she go about learning a role? Does she use books or films? Or does she just rely on the steps, music and her coaches?

M.A.: I use everything — books, films, music, steps and the knowledge of my coaches.

Roma (New Brunswick, NJ, USA): Dancers often say that in order to develop fully as artists they must have new works created specifically for them. Do you feel that your dancing benefits more from discovering older masterpieces or from working with choreographers on new ballets? Why is it so important for a dancer to have ballets made on them?

M.A.: I learn on classical ballet. But when creating a new ballet you cannot follow a stereotype, because what is being created is not in existence yet. From the psychological point of view it is easier. The audience has no associations nor prejudice either. If it is important for a dancer that there is a ballet made specifically on them, then it is a possible influence of his ambitions.

Roma (New Brunswick, NJ, USA): Could you talk a little bit about the difference between the technique required to dance Balanchine's and Petipa's ballets?

M.A.: There is no difference in technique. Balanchine made his ballet on the basis of classical movements. The specific features of Balanchine include quicker tempo, often changed musical accents, specific combinations.

Roma (New Brunswick, NJ, USA): Do you feel that it is possible to combine the theatrical flamboyance which is the Bolshoi's trademark with a very clean technique, or does one necessarily exclude the other?

M.A.: One does not exclude the other. Moreover, the clean technique (or literacy) — is the basis which makes dancing easier. It allows to pay more attention to dramatic development of an image. And this is to goal to aim at. It would be great if they began dancing with theatrical flamboyance and we — in a more accurate way.

Roma (New Brunswick, NJ, USA): You were a wonderful Sylphide in the Bolshoi's production of that ballet. Could you talk a little bit about creating that character. What do you think sets Bournonville apart from Petipa and his heirs, and how does the technique required to dance his ballets differ from your training?

M.A.: Sylphide has a nice personality, the only thing left was to reproduce it. The attention was mainly paid to the style of this ballet. I have not danced any other ballets of Bournonville, therefore I cannot assess the differences in full. To accumulate knowledge in advance, prior the specific production — a ballerina simply do not have time for this.

Roma (New Brunswick, NJ, USA): Do you think the Bolshoi needs to dance works which were created in the West in the last 80 or so years — Balanchine, Ashton, Tudor, etc, or should it concentrate more on works made specifically for the company?

M.A.: I think that it should. Our repertoire contains both Balanchine and Ashton. But it would be good if the management took into account talents and strengths of our stars, soloists and corps-de-ballet, when selecting new ballets for the company.

Toubib (Moscow, Russia): What do you think about the fact that you are being constantly compared with Sandra Bullock?

M.A.: I know quite well that I am Masha Alexandrova.

Toubib (Moscow, Russia): You often go against the mainstream in your roles, sometimes, against the resistance of the audience. How do you psychologically prepare yourself to such difficult roles?

M.A.: To dance is difficult anyway. I do not prepare myself psychologically for the roles — no psychological training. I go to the class and work.

Andries (Moscow): What is your opinion on the tendency of the world ballet repertoire — more modern ballet and less classical ballet — is it good or?

M.A.: If in the West the modern ballet dominates, then it means it is demanded by the society. Then for them it is good. And for us — classical ballet is more in demand. And this is also good — for us.

Andries (Moscow): Watching a performance of a dancer of a high level (a star), what do you feel: a) I could do better b) Yes, everything is danced clean, almost ideal, but so what? c) Nothing d) None of the above

M.A.: I watch the dancers of high level with great interest.

Andries (Moscow): What is a 32 fouette for you? a. Just a trick, and not a very difficult one b. This is just 32 releves and coordination c. A very difficult trick d. None of the above

M.A.: This is a culmination of a scene or the ballet. After the fouette you know for sure that it will soon end.

Andries (Moscow): What will happen to you after the ballet career is over? Coaching, choreography, will you change your profession or you do not know yet?

M.A.: I do not know yet. I will write in 15 years.

Anna (Moscow, Russia): Maria, yesterday you said that you are quite indifferent towards modern choreography. Does this statement relate ton all choreographers or only to the ones listed in the question? And what about Neuneier, Bejar, Duati etc.? Maybe there is someone in whose productions you would like to participate?

M.A.: Let any of them come and make a production — and I will dance.

Anna (Moscow, Russia): You mentioned that you have not had rehearsals of DQ with Matvienko. But the performance is scheduled for October 20, the BT site already lists all the performers and many spectators have already purchased tickets. Shall we worry or is it common — to start rehearsals late? You and your partners need to get used to another stage...

M.A.: No panicking, ladies and gentlemen. You have learned the information that normally you do not know. Who came when, who rehearses with who and for how long. And the stage of the Kremlin Palace we will see only on the day of performance. I will remember the bravery of the spectators undertaking risks for the sake of beloved dancers and will share this information with Denis. We will try not to disappoint you.

M.A.: It seems that the questions have come to an end. I even feel sorry about it.

I would like to thank the interpreter — Natalia Samikova. Without her I would not be heard abroad.

I thank you all for your questions and attention. See you at the theatre.
Yours sincerely,
Masha Alexandrova

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