When the Bolshoi Ballet comes to DC and New York this summer, will we notice a difference onstage? These tours mark the first time the company has come to the U.S. since the January 2013 acid attack on ballet director Sergei Filin. To get the scoop, Dance Magazine turned to noted dance critic Ismene Brown for her take on where the Bolshoi is headed today. She gathered insights from several inside sources—including Alexei Ratmansky—to explore whether the new leaders and updated labor contract will do anything to tame the bizarre backstage drama.
We also caught up with the company’s most exciting new star: Olga Smirnova. Company politics may have captured the fascination of the global media, but the dance world can’t stop buzzing about this 22-year-old soloist, with one critic even dubbing her “the physically perfect instrument of her art form.” Smirnova opens up about the challenges of coming into the Bolshoi as an outsider from the rival Vaganova Academy in St. Petersburg, as well as what it’s been like to emerge as one of the company’s most talked-about talents amid a storm of scandals.
Right: Smirnova as Nikiya in
La Bayadère. Photo by Damir Yusupov, Courtesy Bolshoi.
Only a few (very) lucky dancers ever shoot to stardom as quickly as Smirnova has. For most, success takes years of unwavering determination—and pure and simple hustling. That’s why we offer the “Dance Annual Directory,” listing hundreds of resources that can help you advance your career: from dance companies and conventions to agents and physical therapists. Hold on to it all year so you can keep these contact details right at your fingertips—you never know when they might come in handy. Whatever you need, we’ve got you covered.
Editor in Chief