"Cupid and Psyche"
House Ballet Tales
About Saint-Petersburg and Ballet

Behind the Stage

The Ballet Tales

Behind hearsay about relationships within ballet company always stay true stories.

Although I've never faced with legendary "glass in my pointes" still I can tell you something.

I want to emphasize that all these stories are not mine. Other ballet dancers share them with me. It' no wonder that ballet world wear you out physically and psychologically.

"The Costume Thief"

"Once upon a time Little Girl wanted to be a ballerina. She dreamt about something beautiful about to be a part of wonderful art. But soon She understood that her way to the dream was harder than she thought.
Time passed Little Girl became Young Ballerina. She was full of ambitions and inspiration.
So she was accepted to the ballet company. Old-residents cleared that she wasn't welcome, she had not her own place in the dressing room or even near the ballet bar. But I in spite of all She always smiled.
One day our Young Ballerina couldn't find her ballet-skirt. She was looking for it together with make up artist but without result.
So but actually they found it. Old-resident-ballerina who was on the sick list said that it's her ballet-skirt. But in fact Young Ballerina was given that costume by costumer. After that accident Young Ballerina was called The Costume Thief. People didn't speak with The Costume Thief but her only wish was to be invisible.
One day She couldn't find her dress again. Young Ballerina was looking for it herself to escape another scandal. It was her coming out but She's still without the dress. And than tearfully crying Young Ballerina said that she lost her costume. Young Ballerina was penalized. After that event She left the theater."

"Behind the Smile"

"Once Charming Ballerina came to the national theatre where people always smiled each other. But Charming Ballerina often has Evil Sisters. She was talented and hard working so soon She was given the Role. And Evil Sisters appeared in our Ballerina's life immediately. Those was two girl who hated Her because of Her success.
That was the day of performance. Charming Ballerina didn't worry because She knew that all depends on Her. She did Her hair, put the dress on and made up. Than She took Her pointes and came on stage. She was dancing about 15 minutes. That was Charming Ballerina' s triumph. Everyone stare Her. But suddenly She felt fire on her body and the gaze of Her Evil Sisters. When Charming Ballerina came into the dressing room She understood that the dress was covered with Capsicam. Her body was burnt. But Charming Ballerina didn't say anything about it. She continued the way to Her Big Dream to be a great ballerina."

The moral of these two Ballet tales is The Big Dream of Little Girl rules in ballet world like money rule in big business.
As for me I am always astonished about people act when I hear such stories. And the most interesting thing is the weakest people act most dreadfully.

The stage.

When I hear this word I have the clear image with rehearsal and performance moments. This place always cause butterflies in the stomach. The career of ballet dancer who haven't got such a feeling is self-defeated.
Her Majesty stage has Her own rules. These are simple. And She doesn't spare those who break them.

First Rule.
Don't think. When I come on stage I turn my mind off. She (stage) doesn't like your everyday-thoughts. The Stage simply doesn't know you! She knows Snowflake and Swan but not you.

Second rule.
Show must go on until the curtain drop.
For me it really difficult to follow this rule. Don't say "stop" before you end to dance. Because one second of relax during the performance can damage all magic. But even professionals make a mistakes but only real professionals never give up.

Third rule.
Work hard.
The most important one to my mind. Ballet dancers spend days weeks sometimes months or ever years in ballet class for ten minutes on The Stage. Only thanks to rehearsals you can learn how to feel The Stage.

These three rules simple ex facte are incredible difficult in reality . It's a kind of natural selection, not follow the rules stay behind The Stage.


Portrait of Ballerina

"Cupid and Psyche"

How it all began.
When you come to St. Petersburg first place you should visit is Fontanka, the bronze statue of Chizhik-Pyzhik, then throw a coin to make a wish, after it raise your eyes and you will see it. The roof. Glass domed-shaped roof of Her Majesty's Stieglitz Academy. When I saw it for the first time I want to get there. Not the in the roof, I want to come in the building to feel it's atmosphere to sense the spirit of art. I've seen many pictures in the Academy Museum but just buying a ticket and viewing exhibits wasn't enough for me. I wish to be in the thick of it … in the thick of art.

This how I get the aim. So I began to search how to succeed itI was looking for contacts. Here "Six degrees of separation" has worked. I met Anastasia, she introduced me to Alex. He became my personal guide into the mysterious world of chaotic beauty. You can imagine yourself a Hogwarts' student in Stieglitz Academy. Magic is everywhere. All these people who were enthusiastically painting and writing. The only thing I want was to stop an instant. But the most amazing things were in future. I would never have found the exit without help from the corridors I was led.Little cute items were everywhere, statues, tools, jars, notes for students, each with its own smell. Lecture-halls are separated by aisles. Creative mess rules here. Sunlight blend with dust making the effect of fairy mist. I explored every nook and corner. It was very difficult to decide where to photograph but I did it. I chose the place for one of most beautiful shooting.

"Cupid and Psyche"

This is a metaphorical project, inspired by the statue Cupid and Psyche. It was the idea for photo I've realized with dancers. I was like a sculptor who carve the statue and Academy was my studio for that day.

Dancer's body is material like clay or stone. They sculpt it whole life, hurting hands, fingers. As sculptor press clay dancer make his body, he is ready for injures and all that for a single moment of meeting with audience. The same audience will come to Hermitage to see beautiful body made of white marble.