Maria Alexandrova
Ballet dancer

Maria Alexandrova - Ballet dancer

AR: What is your main character trait?

Maria Alexandrova: It’s honesty.

AR: You said in many interviews that you chose ballet as a child because you felt that it would teach you how to live. What has ballet taught you?

Maria Alexandrova: It's a difficult question because life cannot be learned without living it, without making any mistakes, without understanding who you are. Much remains unexplored. Until now, the question of justice remains a mystery to me - does it exist objectively or is it still a person’s will to believe in justice, or to live as if it does not exist? And there is a huge number of such concepts: honor, dignity, faith, freedom - this is always a person’s choice, and life probably teaches to fight for it. But why did I chose ballet? - I think it’s because there are no words in ballet. You shouldn’t be a talker, waste your breath, speak loud words, you are just there the way you are. Here one can see everything at once: you either can or you cannot. I was frightened by the world of adults, by the way the adults behaved, they were so noisy and loud. I had an amazing family, but when I went beyond its borders, into the outer world, the world of adults scared me for some reason. And many things were incomprehensible to me while I was a child: why babysitters can swear, why nursery teachers can be so ... strange.  

AR: Do you have a life credo?

Maria Alexandrova: I am a rather principled person. And my beliefs are quite commonplace: you have to be a professional in your field, in your work.

AR: What was the first ballet that you saw that made an impression on you?

Maria Alexandrova: It was in the Natalia Sats children’s theater. It was not a ballet, rather a ballet performance, it was called “The Blue Bird”. I loved it. I can still remember it. Then there was “The Little Humpbacked Horse” at the Stanislavsky Theater, and then there was the famous “Nutcracker” at the Bolshoi Theater. I remember all these performances so vividly. This was a language that was very clear to me.

AR: What performance did you first appear in on the stage of the Bolshoi?

Maria Alexandrova: It was at the end of my first year of study at the Moscow Academy — the “The Vain Precaution” ballet. It was a dance with clogs which was performed by small artists - and we were the smallest first graders who participated there. I was standing at the very edge of the stage, and there was this giant turn I was supposed to make, and I was flying in the air with these clogs in my hands and I was thinking that I would fly directly into the orchestra pit ... it was scary, but it was great.

AR: What is your greatest achievement?

Maria Alexandrova: My biggest achievement? There is a long life ahead of me, so it seems too early to talk about it. But for now, my greatest achievement is that I have found a person whom I love and who loves me in return, who I feel good with. It seems very difficult nowadays. - What was the most difficult choice that you made in life? - There were several of them. My first choice was made when I was eight. It was not difficult: I chose a profession for myself. The second choice was very difficult: this was when I found myself between two theaters - the Stanislavsky Theater and the Bolshoi Theater. I knew that I would only go to the Bolshoi, but I had to fight for that. The third choice which was very difficult was when I had to change my whole life and I decided that I would start from scratch. And the last difficult choice was when I made the decision to leave the Bolshoi Theater after all. All my life I have been making a choice when I felt that time has come and a change is needed. I am capable of making a choice.

AR: You said once that you did not think about your audience at all for quite a while. Do you care about the opinion of others or is your internal tuning fork enough for you?

Maria Alexandrova: I have a few people I trust. I trust them because they love me, and I know that even if I make a mistake, they will be on my side, but still they would tell me about it. There are very few of them. These are the people I rely on. Everything else is simply coming and going. Therefore, it does not matter really: neither the critics, nor the audience, no matter how much I love it, and no matter how well I realize that my profession means being on public first of all. This is the main vibration that changes in the auditorium ...

AR: How do you feel it?

Maria Alexandrova: It can be heavy, it can be light, it can be responsive. It is sleepy sometimes. There are different nationalities and they react differently... For example, the Chinese are quite restrained. The Japanese are the most enthusiastic, the most adoring. The Americans and Brazilians are very easy while the English are quite demanding...

AR: What about our audience?

Maria Alexandrova: It is difficult to perform at home. It all depends on so many things – it’s the weather, and the experience of those who are in the auditorum, and well ... quite often people come to the theatre only for the sake of status.

AR: What do you have to deny yourself?

Maria Alexandrova: I do not deny myself anything really because it suits me perfectly and I like the fact that there is a certain discipline in my profession, that there is a regime that makes you think about what you eat. I am quite satisfied that I can spend a huge amount of time on stage. I begin to appreciate the free time that I can spend with my loved ones or on certain time of entertainment that brings completely different kind of impressions such as watching a good movie, or going to a great museum, or just walking around the city. Therefore, I do not have to sacrifice anything.

AR: Do you know the feeling of despair?

Maria Alexandrova: Certainly, I do. I am a strong person, and I do not show it, but yes, sure.

AR: What does the expression “to live a beautiful life” mean to you?

Maria Alexandrova: To me, this is when you know for sure that you are happy at this point of your life and at this very minute. That’s it. And then everything around you becomes beautiful.

AR: What do you get the most pleasure from?

Maria Alexandrova: Chatting with friends. You cannot possibly have lots of friends, but those that are, they are beautiful. This has probably been the best way of escaping from the ups and downs of fate for me for the last three years. People in general can sometimes shock me and make my heart sick, and sometimes they are able to give me wings to fly. 

AR: Can you name the director or choreographer who you are on the same wavelength with? 

Maria Alexandrova: It's impossible. Because I would probably be a choreographer then. A real choreographer for me is a completely different universe to me, a different planet you land your spaceship on for some time. Because, just like writers or directors, these are people who present their world to us. I'm an interpreter, a performer. I am a good performer and a good interpreter. But at the same time, if we are talking about a good choreographer, I simply cannot understand where they get all this from. How are they able to use a person as a translator, without using any words, through movements only, to transfer thoughts, to give some kind of message. 

AR: If you were offered to choose a ballet you would want to dance in, what would you choose? 

Maria Alexandrova: I would still spend all my efforts to create a ballet that does not exist yet. 

AR: What was the best trip in your life? 

Maria Alexandrova: The best trip in my life was to Brazil to the Iguazu Falls. Even the Niagara Falls did not make such a big impression on me. 

AR: What is the easiest way to recharge? 

Maria Alexandrova: Sleep. 

AR: What is the main advice that you would give to a girl who is going to devote herself to ballet? 

Maria Alexandrova: That’s a very good question. You have to understand very clearly if it is you who is dedicating yourself to ballet or is it your parents. And that’s that. This is the biggest misconception. Especially nowadays. 

AR: Parents often tend to achieve certain things that they failed to achieve through their children. 

Maria Alexandrova: It’s good if it coincides all of a sudden. This is a very difficult question, but the most important one is: ‘Do I really want this, or do my parents want it?’ And then I would decide. Although it is difficult to advise - this is a child, after all. And still, whenever possible.