Elena Kunikova's Remembrance of Nikita Dolgushin

July 2, 2012

For me Nikita was always a great maître. He had a fantastic eye, and deep knowledge of ballet history and classical repertoire. He also had voracious curiosity about all things new in the dance world. He was such a role model for all of us with his work ethic and his devotion to the art.

Nikita was an intellectual of ballet. His approach was sometimes even cerebral, but he knew how to translate his ideas into body language with absolute veracity.

As a dancer he was exquisitely refined. He was also a brilliant teacher and coach. He would show you how to dissect the movement into minute details and then put it together with the utmost expressiveness. I was privileged to be invited by him to do his personal warm-up. We would get together before company class—a handful of dancers. He opened his treasure trove to us with wonderful insights. He taught me Marie Taglioni exercises, the class that Paul Taglioni gave his daughter to make her stronger.

I learned from Nikita to think out of the box, to look for different ways of approaching things, to make dancing more clear. And to be curious.