- Editorial column -

Notes from Moscow Ballet Competition XIII – Opening

International Ballet Competition and Contest of Choreographers is opened. Throughout the whole contest, I will be backstage of the Bolshoi Theater and will try to show the most interesting moments of this grand event.


The first day is a special event for the contestants. Four years ago I participated in this contest and still remember how exciting it was.

For all participants, competition begins with the draw. For some, starting number plays a big role (such contestants choose their cherished plate number carfully), others are indifferent to this choice (they fearlessly take the first one). Nevertheless, attention is always focused on the first number. To begin the competition is not an easy task!


This year, Mark Chino will be the first partisipant in the younger group. He recently graduated from the Moscow State Academy of Choreography. Yamil Maldonado, the contestant from the United States, will begin the competition for the senior group.

After the draw was over, the participants hurried off to rehearse. In every corner of the Bolshoi the contestants with their teachers try to check the variations, find the hall with the slope and put the rotation. You never tire watching this.


On the upper scene, I was lucky to catch Joy Womack preparetion: her technical rehearsal of the Medora variation drew attention. Nearby, Anna Grigorieva who recently became the laureate of the 3rd prize at the competition “Russian Ballet”, was checking her arabesques. This year we can see many artists who already participated at the Moscow competition and became laureates and award-winning artists: Yekaterina Chebykina, Koya Okawa, Diana Kosyreva, Ernest Latypov, Amanda Gomes.


On the New Stage rehearsed contestants of the younger group. In the morning they will start their competition. Elizaveta Kokoreva rehearsed Kitri variation, part was performed without mistakes. Will be interesting to watch her in this contest. It is easy to notice that she is working discreetly and hard. If she can withstand with ease the pas de deux from the “La Fille mal gardée”, which she danced in May at the Moscow State Academy of Choreography concert at the Bolshoi Theater. She is just finished the first year of ther education in the academy. It is difficult to doubt that she will be among the favorites.

We will see a few more contestants from Japan and Korea.


On the Historical Stage surrounded by the palace scenery, the stars of the Bolshoi Theater was warming up. Denis Rodkin, Nina Kaptsova, Mikhail Lobukhin came from Japan only for the Opening.

Gradually, the jury members appeared on the stage. The composition of the jury is traditionally grandiose: Marina Leonova, Vladimir Malakhov, Svetlana Zakharova, Yuri Fateev, Patey Olivier, Edur Thomas, Valentin Elizariev. Nikolay Tsiskaridze is also among the judges, but he will join the group exactly to the competition. And, of course, Yuri Grigorovich – charismatic as always. He joked a lot this evening.


Event of the day

This gala became a real fiesta of the classical dance. Soloists of the Bolshoi in the technical pas de deux demonstrated luxurious performance, and as if they tried to inspire the contestants to dance confidently, academically and cleanly. 


A big surprise for the audience was Svetlana Zakharova’s performance, who was sitting among the jury 30 minutes ago. Svetlana danced the pas de deux from the ballet “Don Quixote” at the level of the Prima Ballerina Assoluta, and there is nothing more to add!

Светлана Захарова

The moment of the day

After the gala, Yuri Grigorovich came up with congratulations to Svetlana and kissed her hand. It was very sweet)


To be continued…