March at the Academy

Hi Everyone,

I can’t believe it is already March. Time is flying by here at the Academy! For the past few months I have really been focusing on myself and trying to perfect my technique and pointe work. My goal is to become stronger on pointe. This semester is more intense. I am really enjoying my new class, Historical dance. We learn dances that date back to the 16th and 17th century such as Medieval, Baroque and Renaissance dance.  We get to wear long gown skirts and chopenaa (practice) skirts and the boys wear black long capes and top hats. I love my teacher. She seems to really like me and my partner. We recently had a show were my class and I performed a piece called Siganski which is a type of character dance. We were gypsies. It was really fun! You really have to get into character to look good. The only way you get to perform though is by auditioning. See at the Bolshoi if you want to perform in a show they hold auditions on stage where you do variation, pas, character, etc… and you have to audition in front of Ms. Leonova the director of Bolshoi Academy as well as many other teachers and fellow students. It is very nerve racking and intimidating! Here is a link to our audition:

Since the show we started working on exam work. At the end of the year we have an exam class where we have set dances in each class and we get graded on our overall year.  From what I understand we are judged on our technique, artistry, progress, etc…This year I will have an exam in my ballet, duet and character classes. We won’t have our acting exam or historical exam until next year. So I hope to stay next year so I can be part of that and complete my studies here. The exams are all in 2 months. I’m a little nervous for my ballet exam because we haven’t started our exam work yet and we only have 2 months to practice it.

In my variations class I am thinking about changing the variation I have been working on. I am thinking about trying the following variation. It is from Paquita. I posted a link to a video for you to see here (watch from 0:00 to 3:30):

So the graduating class a.k.a the Third Course classes have their exam in a few days and my class gets to perform in there acting exam this Thursday with them. We are performing in the Mad scene from Giselle. We are the peasants for Ksusha who is a graduating ballet dancer, very talented and has a very bright future in the ballet world. I guarantee you will read about her someday either Bolshoi Company related or elsewhere in the ballet world. I’m excited to be on the stage again as her support.

In other news…A few weeks my friend and fellow student Remy invited me to go see the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet perform here in Moscow. Remy is from Colorado, where Aspen Santa Fe’s home is. They invited Remy to be their guest of honor. Performing in Russia was an honor for them. They were amazing! I was able to meet some of the dancers and the Company directors thanks to Remy. Not only was the performance excellent but the night was an adventure. Funny story: We were supposed to have a taxi pick us up from the academy to take us to the Theater but the taxi never showed up so we had to run to the metro so we wouldn’t be late. When we arrived at the theater it was like 6:15pm and then we realized the show didn’t actually start till 7ish (we thought 6pm) and our car was picking us up at 615pm from the academy not 515pm. Such a fail lol. Then at the end of the night we had to try to find a taxi and some random guy said he would bring us back. It was really sketchy but thank god Remy got a call from the taxi guy and he showed up to drive us back to academy. In the end we arrived back at the academy very late but it was a great performance!

Aspen Santa Fe Ballet

Finally I am still desperately seeking a sponsor so that I can return to the academy in September 2013 and complete my final year here. Would you please consider donating or sharing my story? Every dollar helps. I would be truly grateful and I will pay it forward someday.

Well back to rehearsals and exam prep. Wish me luck!

Love, Nicole

My class, 2nd Year Russian Course, with my teacher Irina Sirova



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