What it takes to make it in bal­let

Two clas­sics to watch this week­end

7 Days in Dubai - - FRONT PAGE - chris.fraser@7days.ae

Bal­let comes to the UAE this week­end with the Russian State Bal­let and Orches­tra of Siberia stag­ing pro­duc­tions of two clas­sics, Cop­pelia and Giselle, at Dubai Opera. Ahead of the shows we caught up with Sergei Bo­brov, for­merly a prin­ci­pal dancer with the world fa­mous Bol­shoi Bal­let and now artis­tic di­rec­tor at the Russian State Bal­let.

Tell us a bit about the per­form­ers we will be watch­ing...

We are a state bal­let com­pany, from Kras­no­yarsk (in Siberia) and all our soloists are the lau­re­ates, the prize win­ners, of dif­fer­ent com­pe­ti­tions around the world.

The bal­let masters of the Bol­shoi Bal­let come to Kras­no­yarsk to work with them. I al­ways in­vite my friends and I am a prod­uct of the Bol­shoi, and to­gether we help them and teach them in the clas­si­cal tra­di­tions of the Bol­shoi.

Tell us about your time at the Bol­shoi.

For 20 years I was the soloist of the Bol­shoi and as a chore­og­ra­pher, I am the only dis­ci­ple and pupil of the fa­mous Russian chore­og­ra­pher and artis­tic di­rec­tor Yury Grig­orovich.

What did it take to be­come a soloist with the Bol­shoi.

Quite sim­ply, you need to be the best. In terms of strength and phys­i­cal fit­ness, it is like pre­par­ing to par­tic­i­pate in an Olympic Games. At the Olympics you need to get your­self to­gether, get that re­sult and then re­lax. But with bal­let there is a full per­for­mance and you need to carry on in the same form, never re­lax.

How did you get your big break?

I was orig­i­nally a swim­mer as a child. But aged 10, I was dis­cov­ered by ac­ci­dent to be hon­est. A man from the Moscow Bal­let School came to my school when we were in a gym­nas­tics class and he asked if I would like to join and be­come a dancer. I was one of 50 who he pro­posed for the school and orig­i­nally I only went to study there be­cause I liked how the build­ing looked!

How much work did it take for you to make it into the Bol­shoi com­pany?

From 9am to 6pm we prac­tised bal­let ev­ery sin­gle day (from the age of 10). And when I went to the Bol­shoi, bal­let class started at 10am and then with re­hearsals and per­for­mance, we fin­ished at 10pm. But when I wanted to get a role I would stay on for an­other two hours, un­til mid­night, in the rehearsal room with my lit­tle tape recorder to be­come the best and be cho­sen to dance in that role.

So what is your proud­est achieve­ment?

Ac­tu­ally it is now, as an artis­tic di­rec­tor. I have cre­ated 18 full-length bal­lets and five full-length op­eras since the year 2000.

I look on the per­for­mance and chore­og­ra­phy at this very mo­ment as my beloved ones, and the ones I am work­ing on cur­rently are like a lit­tle child who is grow­ing and so I am very proud of the pro­duc­tions and ev­ery­one in­volved.

Watch Cop­pelia tonight at 8pm or at 4pm on Satur­day. Giselle is staged on Fri­day at 3.30 and 8pm. Visit dubai­opera.com for tickets and in­for­ma­tion

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