Why did you start dancing?
I saw in TV the ballet Swan Lake I wanted to be a ballerina.
Which dancer inspired you most as a child?
Maya Plisetskaya, Galina Ulanova and Ekaterina Maxsimova.
Which dancer do you most admire?
I don’t admire just one dancer. There are a lot of dancers with different and very special talents; but if I had to chose I admire Mikhail Baryshnikov, Manuel Legris and Ulyana Lopatkina for example.
What’s your favourite role?
Marguerite (The Lady of the Camellias), Tatjana (Onegin), Juliet (Romeo and Juliet), Giselle.
What role have you never played but would have liked to?
Carmen, and I’d like to dance Ashton’s A Month in the Country.
What’s your favourite ballet to watch?
I always love to see a well performed and touching Swan Lake.
Who is your favourite writer?
Alexandre Dumas but it always depends on which mood I am in.
Who is your favourite director?
Who is your favourite actor?
Who is your favourite singer?
Adele at the moment.
What is your favourite book?
Dumas’ The Lady of the Camellias and The Master and Margarita by Bulgakov.
What is your favourite film?
My Fair Lady and Dangerous Liasons.
Which is your favourite city?
I love Paris. But also other cities have something special: Tokyo, Rome, St. Petersburg.
What do you like most about yourself?
My will to do everything perfectly.
What do you dislike about yourself?
My will to do everything perfectly.
What was your proudest moment?
When John Neumeier was choosing me, a 22 year old girl, to dance Marguerite – still the youngest Marguerite ever – and working with him.
When and where were you happiest?
After finishing a work with a good result; when I came back after my injury; when I eat spaghetti alle vongole in a beautiful ambiente… different things…
What or who is the greatest love of your life?
I love (that’s for sure) ballet, and the rest is a secret…
What is your greatest fear?
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I would like to be more open-minded in some situations… there are a few things… you think you have enough space on your blog?
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
That I managed to come back 2 years after my injury. The respect that other dancers show me.
What is your most treasured possession?
A valentine’s ring.
What is your greatest extravagance?
I think I have a lot of ear rings.
On what occasion do you lie?
I don’t lie… there is no reason. If I have to lie then I don’t talk.
If you hadn’t been a dancer what would you have liked to be?
A painter or pianist.
What is your most marked characteristic?
What quality do you most value in a friend?
That I can trust him.
What quality do you most value in a colleague?
Respect and integrity.
Which historical figure do you most admire?
Which living person do you most admire?
What do you most dislike?
What gift would you most like to have?
What’s your idea of perfect happiness?
Love, family and to work in perfect harmony.
How would you like to die?
What is your motto?
Nobody is perfect.
Maria Eichwald – my biography
I was born in Talgar, Kazakhstan. I received my first ballet training at the National Ballet School in Alma-Ata. After my graduation I joined the National Ballet of Kazakhstan where I was soon promoted to Principal Dancer. I danced Odette/Odile in Swan Lake, Marie in Nutcracker as well as the title roles in Paquita and Carmen. In 1994 I moved to Germany. In my first visit in the employment office in Germany I was told that dancing in ballet is a hobby. But I continued with my “hobby” and danced in the ballet company of the Theatre Krefeld-Mönchengladbach in the Corps de ballet and later as Soloist until 1996.
At the beginning of the season 1996/97 I joined the Bavarian State Ballet Munich in the corps de ballet. In 1999 I was promoted to Principal Dancer.
In Munich I danced numerous major leading roles in full-length ballets like Tatjana in Onegin, the female title role in Romeo and Juliet, Odette/Odile in Swan Lake (all John Cranko), Nikija in La Bayadère (Patrice Bart after Marius Petipa), Kitri in Don Quixote (Ray Barra after Marius Petipa), Marie in Nutcracker ( John Neumeier), Raymonda ( Ray Barra after Petipa ), Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Marguerite Gautier in The Lady of the Camellias as well as the title roles in A Cinderella Story (all: John Neumeier), Giselle (Peter Wright after Marius Petipa) and Manon (Kenneth MacMillan) and solo roles in ballets by George Balanchine, William Forsythe, Jerome Robbins, Jiří Kýlián and Leonid Jacobson. With the Bavarian State Ballet I guested all around the world. In the season 2000/01 I was invited by Alicia Alonso to dance with the Cuban National Ballet. During a dancers’ exchange in April 2003 I danced the title role in Manon (Kenneth MacMillan) at the Royal Danish Ballet.
In January 2004 I joined the Stuttgart Ballet as Principal Dancer where I added the following roles to my repertoire: Katherina in The Taming of the Shrew (John Cranko), the title role in Giselle (Production Reid Anderson, Valentina Savina), Aurora and the Blue Bird’s Princess in The Sleeping Beauty (Márcia Haydée after Marius Petipa), Blanche du Bois in A Streetcar named Desire (John Neumeier), the title role in Lulu. A Monstre Tragedy (Christian Spuck) and further solo roles in The Four Temperaments, Theme and Variations, Serenade (all George Balanchine), The Song of the Earth (Kenneth MacMillan), Siebte Sinfonie (Uwe Scholz), Voluntaries (Glen Tetley), Hikarizatto (Itzik Galili), Forgotten Land and Return to a strange Land (both Jiří Kylián) and Fratres (John Neumeier).
In his second full-length ballet for the Stuttgart Ballet, The Sandman, Christian Spuck created the role of Olimpia especially for me. Wayne McGregor created a role for me in Yantra, Jorma Elo in RED in 3.
An injury stopped my career for two years. It was a long battle until I was able to return.
Since I have been back dancing I have danced a lot of beautiful roles in Stuttgart, Milano, Bejing, Tokyo and so on. I was on tour with Roberto Bolle and Friends and made a lot of galas all over the world.
I get the Prize 2012 in St Petersburg ” Ms Expressivity”, I was the dancer of the Year 2012 in the magazine Danza e Danza. I was named dancer of the year 2010, 2011 and 2012 at Dance Europe magazine. Nominated for the Prix de benois I was 2002.
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano’) about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman’s Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia’ column for Dancing Times magazine.