I performed as a super with the company in their Ottawa run of La Bayadère. It was an amazing, amazing experience. I cried on my way home from the theatre after the last peformance. I'll go into more detail about being backstage with the Mariinsky in a later post. For now, here are a couple of photographs from the week!
Ulyana Lopatkina signing autographs! She is so tall and stately and elegant. I utterly adored her, although Diana Vishneva was my favourite Nikiya by far. Diana was really, really nice, perhaps because she spoke more English than the rest of the dancers in the company (I did learn some basic Russian phrases in a vague attempt to be polite and respectful!!). I got a photograph with her and she signed me a massive autograph! I cried like an infant after meeting her: the whole thing was just so surreal.
I chatted for a bit with English-born dancer Xander Parish, formerly of the Royal Ballet, who came on tour more for his language capabilities than anything else, as he is currently suffering from bad tendonitis in both his knees (we bonded over our dreadful joints). He is an extremely accomplished dancer, and the first ever British hire to the Mariinsky Theatre. He mentioned to me that Alina Somova, still a relative debutante but one of my favourite dancers in the world right now, wasn't able to make it to North America because she dislocated her shoulder performing an en dedans turn in Swan Lake back in St. Petersburg.
So, to Alina (not that she would ever read my blog): I was so thrilled thinking I would have the chance to see you perform Swan Lake (Alina, at only 18, was one of the youngest dancers to ever tackle the roles of Odette/Odile in the history of the Mariinsky) here in Canada, and was absolutely devastated to learn of your injury. I wish you all the best, and hope you have a fast recovery.