When did you start dancing?
I was always dancing since I can remember. From when I was 5-years-old in various ballet schools, and since I was 10 at the Vaganova Ballet Academy.
Why did you start dancing?
I always loved it! I also grew up in the theatre – my mother was a dancer with the Kirov ballet – so it was always part of my life.
Which dancer inspired you most as a child?
Which dancer do you most admire?
There are many dancers who I really like, and they inspire me. But if I had to name just one… Sylvie Guillem!
What’s your favourite role?
There is no favourite, I love all my roles.
What role have you never played but would like to?
Today my answer is Juliet, and also the female roles in William Forsythe’s Quintet.
What’s your favourite ballet to watch?
I don’t think I have one. It can be anything if it’s danced well by great artists .
Who is your favorite choreographer?
Forsythe, Petipa, Kylián.
Who is your favourite director?
Who is your favourite actor?
Brad Pitt, Al Pacino.
Who is your favourite singer?
Sting, Michael Jackson, Adele, Frank Sinatra …
What is your favourite book?
The Master and Margarita by Bulgakov, Hermann Hesse’s Siddhartha.
What is your favourite film?
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Scarface, Devchata [The Girls: a 1961 Soviet comedy directed by Yuri Chulyukin]
Which is your favourite city?
What do you like most about yourself?
That’s a hard one… I can’t really think of an answer.
What do you dislike about yourself?
I have a hard time letting go go of certain things or people.
What was your proudest moment?
I hope it’s still to come.
When and where were you happiest?
Looking back in my childhood, the summers I spent in the Urals with my grandparents… Some remarkable and unforgettable moments on stage… During the difficult moments in life, looking up and seeing a blue sky! And many many others 😉
What or who is the greatest love of your life?
My family. Friends. The stage.
What is your greatest fear?
To lose people I love.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
To learn how to let go of certain things.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
To be in the place I am now, and to be who I am right now.
What is your most treasured possession?
It can be many things: things given to me by my family, friends or various people. The little things with big meanings behind them can be my biggest treasures!
What is your greatest extravagance?
Buying expensive stuff for my family.
What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
On what occasion do you lie?
I usually don’t lie.
If you hadn’t been a dancer what would you have liked to be?
What is your most marked characteristic?
I think its better to ask the people around me.
What quality do you most value in a friend?
Honesty, empathy, and to stand by you through the good and hard moments in life.
What quality do you most value in a colleague?
Respect. Their talent. Imagination.
Which historical figure do you most admire?
Peter the Great.
Which living person do you most admire?
If my grandparents were still alive it would be them, otherwise I don’t have answer.
What do you most dislike?
Lies… when people are lying.
What talent would you most like to have?
I would love to have a gift… to be able to heal people. If they are in pain to be able to take it away.
What’s your idea of perfect happiness?
To find a real love in life!
How would you like to die?
Healthy. Sleeping. Just to fall asleep and not wake up.
What is your motto?
Everything will be all right in the end… if it’s not all right then it’s not yet the end.
Elena Vostrotina — a biography
Elena Vostrotina was born in 1985 in St Petersburg. She trained at the Vaganova Ballet Academy in St Petersburg.
Awards include: “Outstanding Performance by a Female Artist“ (Critics Choice) in The World According to Us, Dance Europe Magazine (2009); “Paradise Award“ for the Best Dramatic Actress in La Bayadere, Novosibirsk, Russia (2009); “Hope of Russia Award“ Vaganova Prix Ballet Competition (2002).
Elena has danced with the Semperoper Ballett Dresden since 2006, becoming a Principal Dancer there in 2011. Her repertoire includes Odette/Odile in Swan Lake (Petipa, Ivanov, Burmeister); Princess Aurora and the Lilac Fairy in The Sleeping Beauty; Nikiya in La Bayadère (Petipa in version by Zelensky and Watkin); Sugarplum Fairy in The Nutcracker (Watkin and Beechey); Grand Pas Classique (Gzovsky); Firebird in The Firebird (Fokine); Queen of The Dryads in Don Quixote (Gorsky); Myrtha in Giselle (Coralli and Perrot); Pas De Quatre (Dolin); Pas de Deux from Le Corsaire (Petipa); Apollo, Soloist in Diamonds, Soloist in Rubies, La Valse, The Four Temperaments, Theme and Variations (G.Balanchine); Odette/2 swans/The Butterfly/ Hungarian Dance in Illusions like Swan Lake (Neumeier); Approximate Sonata, Steptext, In The Middle Somewhat Elevated, Enemy in the Figure, The Second Detail, Artifact Suite (Forsythe); Symphony Nr.2 (Scholz); Voluntaries (Tetley); A Million Kisses to my Skin, Reverence, On The Nature Of Daylight (Dawson); Bella Figura (Kylián); Intimate Distance, Le Souffle de l’Esprit, Unerreichbare Orte (Bubenicek); Le Noces (Celis); Minus 16 (Naharin).
Elena has also participated in the following creations: Odette/Odile in Swan Lake (Watkin after Petipa and Ivanov); Myrtha in Giselle, Das Verschwundene/The Disappeared, The World According
To Us (Dawson); No Thumb (Touzeau); Unintended Consequences (Bubenicek); New Suite (Forsythe); Silent Spring (Couchman); Zwischen(t)raum (Pickett); Be…ing (Zhu and Martinez); Kindheitstanz (Tucker).
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.