Life at the Bolshoi Ballet Academy
So much happened in March!
That first weekend, we had a surprise birthday party for my roommate, Ioanna. This was followed by a trip to see an international rhythmic gymnastics competition in the stadium at Sportivnia which was incredible! We heard about it through my same roommate as her journey to ballet initiated from her training as a rhythmic gymnast at a very high level, and she continues, of course, to follow what’s going on there.
It was awe-inspiring to witness such brilliant tricks and wonder at how they were possible; I kept comparing it to ballet and yet Ioanna told me that the training is very different (turns, for example, use completely different muscles to the way in which we are told to do pirouettes in ballet).
In addition, I went to the theatre twice. First to watch Jewels – a three-part, neo-classical ballet about emeralds, rubies and diamonds. Amazingly the Bolshoi adopted all the quirks and stylistic differences of the Balanchine style; which is no mean feat considering how different it is to the Russian style. Next I saw Sleeping Beauty. It was fantastic, and the highlight was watching Evgenia Obratsova dance Aurora and getting her autograph and picture afterwards! I admire so much her strength and the powerful, assured technique that gives her such a presence on the stage.
In the week I saw Jewels on the Thursday, there was a public holiday on the Friday so I spent the extra time with my vegan friend finding another vegetarian restaurant! This one is called Fresh and they do the most amazing drinks – the first one I tried was made of agave nectar, soya milk, peanut butter, banana and cinnamon! Needless to say I have been back there since. But really, who knew there were so many Vegetarian restaurants in Moscow?
Also, in preparation for our exams, our ballet teacher took us to buy a specific make of ballet shoes at Grishko and have us fitted for our exam leotards and skirts. We are still practising hard for our exam and it is likely to be scheduled for the end of May. The third year students have already begun their exams and we have been able to watch some of them. I cant wait to see the third year ballet exam which is on Monday. I certainly believe March has been a jam-packed month!
Most excitingly, however, is that, at the beginning of April, my Mum and Grandma came out to visit me me here! It’s lovely to have them out here and be able to show that all of my favourite places. We have done so much already and have so much more planned. I’ll have lots to report back in my next blog! I feel that April, too, is going to be extremely full of new sights and experiences!