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Maria Alexandrova


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Drew, you wrote a wonderful response. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.


While I lack the ballet knowledge and experience of most everyone who participates in this forum, I enjoyed watching Alexandrova's performances on-screen. She was one of the few dancers that I followed reasonably closely.


Like you, Drew, I hope great things await her.

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  • Alexandrova will appear in a modern dance evening at New York City Center from March 30-Apr 1 called Blanca Li Goddesses & Demonesses
  • The program description is as follows:
  • Contemporary dancer-choreographer Blanca Li and Bolshoi Ballet principal dancer Maria Alexandrova conjure mythological figures in a new evening-length work that has its US premiere at City Center. Drawing on Greek mythology and the contrasting languages of classical ballet and contemporary dance, Li and Alexandrova explore the dual nature of femininity, transforming into archetypes ranging from nurturing mothers to femme fatales
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The TASS agency reports that the Bolshoi has confirmed Alexandrova's resignation. She gave her two-weeks' notice on January 19. After that she danced the Lilac Fairy on January 21 and Gamzatti on January 28. According to the Bolshoi, management met with Alexandrova several times to persuade her to change her mind. Incidentally, the casting for Giselle on February 19 which included Alexandrova as Myrtha was posted after she gave notice. She's since been replaced by another dancer. Her resignation became official today.


She is scheduled to perform at the annual Russian Ballet Icons Gala in London on March 12. The casting and programming announcements for these galas are notoriously unreliable, but Alexandrova has performed in them before, and since she now has no commitments at the Bolshoi, there's no reason to assume she won't be participating.



I don't know how soon we'll hear Alexandrova's version of events. Her boyfriend still works at the Bolshoi, so I wouldn't be surprised if she were circumspect about it.

Edited by volcanohunter
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Read about this only today and am so sad to hear this ! Last saw Masha as Gamzatti at the Balshoy

past October 29th (with Zaharova and Rodkin), am so glad now I made that trip. She was my default

Gamzatti ever since I saw her in this role ca 5 years ago when Mezzo first telecast the current produc-

tion of Bayaderka - did not know even her name at the time and was dazzled by her technique and

characterisation and popped over to my laptop briefly to look up the casting. Was supposed to see

the same cast of last October again on 26th January but could not make the trip and gave away my

tix ..... so sad and sorry for this now.

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"Spasiba balshoy" Deflope for posting this interview. As I had written above I inadvertently lost my

last chance to see Masha as Gamzatti when I had to cancel my trip last month. However I consider

myself very lucky now that I was able to see her live as Raymonda, Kitri, Medora and Gamzatti in

the last 12 months. She was one of a kind, my default Gamzatti, and I will really miss her. Those

big black eyes sparkle with intelligence, wonder what she will be up to quite soon, wish her the

best !

Edited by mnacenani
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As much as I can't think of the leadership of the company these days with anything other than distaste, this news comes as something of a relief. Hope she continues to bring utmost pleasure to Bolshoi fans for some time.


And since Vaziev has been quoted as wanting to introduce a new rank at the Bolshoi (above principal) -- I hope she will be named to it immediately if/when he does. 


That is, assuming she is returning to the fold and not just making a special appearance.

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Insider info from Moscow gleaned today :  Masha Alexandrova is still at the Balshoy but "working on her own terms",

she is expected to appear on Tuesday as cast. Boy wouldn't I like to be at that performance .... her fans will bring

the house down. Tix would be available at "agencies" but there is no time to get a visa :unsure:

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"These aren't my requirements, they are the requirements of classical dance. And either we obey them or we don't.

Otherwise these ballets simply expose you - all your inadequacies are on show. Sadly, within the theatre world you

often find performers' ambitions get out of hand. Let's not imagine that in the sunset of a stage career one can go

on dancing the ballets you did 15 years ago. Everyone has a different physicality and different physical gifts. This

is a fact for even the greatest. You know Baryshnikov danced his last Don Q at the age of 33?"


Vaziev as quoted in the translation of his recent interview on Ismene Brown's blog (link posted under Bolshoi - excellent inter-

view well worth a read imho). Methinks one can find above a clue regarding Masha's falling out with Vaziev. As dear as Alexan-

drova and Zaharova are to my heart, I have to admit neither of them can go on dancing Kitri for much longer. I think their technique

is as yet flawless, but they may not "look the part" in a year or two.

Edited by mnacenani
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Leaving aside the question of candor (or lack therof) Vaziev seems to me to talk somewhat contradictorily about his thoughts on the differences between the Mariinsky and the Bolshoi --very much downplaying them at one point in the interview, which he has an obvious interest in doing, and yet seeming to make a point of them in another when he calls St. Peterburg the home of Petipa etc.  The latter point concerning differences is made in relation to repertory, but I don't think that can entirely be separated from questions of style and approach. 


Alexandrova's instagram indicates she wanted to dance for her fans. Unfortunately, it is not at all clear that things have been resolved with the Bolshoi or what the resolution will amount to for her long term future there.  (Her radiance and energy on stage is something I think some of the younger ballerinas at the Bolshoi could afford to envy. Like you. Mnacenani, I would love to have been there for her Bright Stream performance the other night.)


My main thoughts on this interview indicated in recent Bolshoi thread discussing Dmitrichenko where the interview has also been discussed. They are not positive.

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From an interview with Alexandrova and Vladislav Lantratov during their recent visit to Tbilisi.



Maria, do you ever regret leaving the Bolshoi?

Maria: Theater is a difficult place; it can give you a lot, but it can also take so many things from you. Not the theater itself, but people and artists are those whose careers are largely dependent on whether you’re loved or not. There are situations where your attitude changes towards yourself, towards time and the goals you set for yourself as an artist.

Vladislav: I thought about leaving the theater about a year ago, but, I decided that as long as I can hold that creative fire inside me, I have to work. I, as an artist, can build my life as I see fit.

What are your plans after Tbilisi?

Vladislav: We’re going back to Moscow, I have a premiere in November, Maria is going to London, and then we’ll dance in Spartak together in the Bolshoi. In terms of regrets, I think that Bolshoi lost an amazing ballerina, and a unique duet, which I can honestly say has no analogue today. It doesn’t matter where we dance, what matters is that we dance together.


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Who was a more higher ranking ballerina than Alexandrova?  When Suzanne Farrell returned to NYCB, she re-took her old place back at the barre. 

Important dancers get to be important until they aren't.  In the DVD of New Years Eve at the Mariinsky where they did the Wedding Act of Sleeping Beauty, when Lopatkina appeared in regular dress clothes, you would have thought that she was a royal princess from Gergiev's behavior towards her.  That beautiful reconstruction disappeared: she was on record that she thought it was worthless.  Then she seemed to be phased out, no longer as important.


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4 hours ago, Quinten said:

[...] MA was unable to work constructively with Vaziev and he had to get rid of her or lose control of the ballet company. 

One can infer various things from interviews, but I was a little puzzled you inferred quite this much unless, perhaps, you are referring to things I haven't read? That is, what is your source on this? I actually quite agree that Vaziev, or anyone else, has to be a strong director to achieve anything at the Bolshoi, and Alexandrova's view of him may well not be the most objective in the world, but I don't quite get how you get from there to "unable to work constructively" and "he had to get rid of her or lose control of the company."

I didn't read anything at all into her placement at the barre during world ballet day. I do know that there are all kinds of codes and unwritten rules about company classes that to an outsider like myself are invisible--but if Alexandrova was, as you wrote "taking the place of the highest ranking ballerina opposite Vlad"--well I would have thought she had a good claim on being the highest ranking ballerina at that class. There were other primas in the room but was there any prima in the room with greater seniority?   Lantratov is her partner offstage, and they like working together...I admit it's hard for me see anything worth remarking about her placement near him.

Edited to add: Helene and I were posting at more or less the same time...but she made a similar point re Alexandrova's "seniority."


Edited by Drew
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4 hours ago, Quinten said:

Remember when she strutted into class on World Ballet Day wearing that purple shorts outfit, pushing others aside and taking the place of the highest ranking ballerina opposite Vlad?

Standard ballerina behaviour in Russia I'm afraid.  I still remember how shocked I was seeing for the first time another prima acting the same way.  No purple shorts though, the lady I am referring to was trailing more scarves than Isadora Duncan.

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