For the Mariinsky's Maria Khoreva, a Life in Dance Is Inevitable

January 13, 2021

Do you think I have not tried doing any activities other than ballet? You bet I did. But if they showed anything, it’s just that dance is what I want to do most of all. There is a method in mathematics called proof by contradiction, which consists of refuting the denial of a statement to prove the incorrectness of everything that contradicts the statement. No matter what I took as a possible alternative, everything would lose to ballet with a crushing score.

Little by little, an understanding of what is called fate began to accumulate in my head, but a real feeling of inevitability came to me when, as my Instagram and YouTube accounts grew, more and more people began to remind me of the similarity between the sound of my surname and the Greek verb “to dance”: Khoreva = Choreva = Χόρευα = dance. I danced. That’s all. Full stop. Now there is definitely nowhere to go. And I don’t want to, to be honest. Looking at the great ballerinas of the past and present, I want to learn to do what they could and even more. And more. And a little more.…

This quarantine time has set all priorities especially clearly. Probably, there is someone who is happy to spend time at home, read new books, watch new films, devote time to family and friends—all this, of course, is wonderful. But my dream, with which I fall asleep, with which I wake up and live all days through, is to go back onstage in one of my favorite performances. If I can’t go onstage, then at least to the rehearsal room, to my favorite mirrors, the ballet floor, the barre, my coach, my partners—how I miss them all!

Khoreva poses en pointe with her right leg in arabesque. She wears dark red harem pants and a black brassiere with gold trim. Several lines of corps dancers stand and kneel behind her.

Maria Khoreva in La Bayadère with Mariinsky Ballet

Svetlana Avvakum, Courtesy Mariinsky

That is why I started developing workout routines on my YouTube channel, teaching variations, online classes, filming videos and taking pictures—everything that has at least something to do with ballet, without which life loses its meaning and taste, like food without salt.

Both Chekhov and Tolstoy at different times said something to the effect of “If you can do without writing, do not write.” I can’t do without ballet. This is just beyond my will. So I am dancing, and I hope I always will.