Interview with Ekaterina Krysanova, Bolshoi Ballet

How did you get involved in ballet?

My father did sport gymnastics in his childhood for fun, but my parents were not in the world of ballet at all. I believe that a young child can't determine her future profession at that young age. It was my mother who wanted to be a ballerina and directed me towards her dream.

You attended the school of Galina Vishnevskaya, then Lavrovsky's school for 4 years, and finally the Moscow Choreographic Academy. Who were the pedagogues along your path?

I graduated under Tatiana Alexandrovna Galtseva, but my pedagogue in the theatre is Svetlana Adyrkhaeva, we have worked together for 14 years now. There were others as well, throughout my artistic training I've been very lucky with my teachers -- Dudayeva and then Spiranskaya - each of them infused a share of themselves into me, and each gave me a lot, I can't really single out any one of them.

Adyrkhaeva played a huge role in my growth, she cultivated me into the ballerina I am today.

What are you dancing now?

The Bright Stream and nothing until the New York performances in late July -- Rubies and Taming of the Shrew. We have August off this year.

Do you have a favorite role?

I dance so many roles that probably it would be correct to say I dance everything we have, the modern repertoire and the classical, Swan Lake and Bayadère, so I can't say that I have a favorite. The performance I'm rehearsing at a given time is what is my favorite. It's hard to distinguish something out because it's such different work, each performance demands something different from you, they are completely different moments of life.

Are there roles you'd like to dance?

You know, I'd say instead that there are choreographers, not roles, that I'd like to work  with. Among them, I have never danced Macmillan and I'd love to dance him. I'd love to dance Forsythe, Kiljian, and probably I'd love to work with Ratmansky again. I really like Yuri Possokhov and Slava Samodurov's work among our own Russian choreographers. And I'd be incorrect not to name Jean Christophe Maillot.

What is your preferred shoe?
The theatre issues us all shoes, and they continue to issue them even if we don't use them because we're each assigned a given number of pairs per month. I use them but not always all of them because they don't always suit me. I prefer Sansha, and I buy them on my own, for comfort.

Are you married? Do you have children?
I do not have a husband and unfortunately no, I don't have children, not yet. I'd love to have them. Are there really women who don't want them? It seems to me that's the most important thing in life, to take care of someone. When there is someone to take care of, and someone takes care of you, I think that's most important. When someone is happy for you or worried about you, that's necessary. Even when you dance a successful performance and not only your fans can tell you it was great, but your mom and dad and boyfriend can say "today was great" ... even in those cases when it wasn't a great performance, when they can say to you that it wasn't as it should have been.

What are your hobbies?
I love reading but also sewing and stitching, embroidery in frames, it's my small home hobby. I sew little pictures.

How do you rest when you go on vacation?
To the sea, sometimes in Europe, sometimes in Russia. The main thing is the water, but still, I can't lie around for very long, I always want to go see something, sites or museums. Because in our profession we travel a lot, but rarely get to see much because there's so much work so we are always in the theatre.

What inspires you to laugh or cry?
Just about anything. I'm a positive person as you've seen, and many people think that I rarely get upset, but I can get upset quickly, and my pedagogue understands that, if something doesn't work out in rehearsal I can get upset very fast. I can cry at a movie or seeing something sad. But it seems to me that an artist must be sensitive human being and not stern or steely. Sensitive, but not just to people around but to the external world at large. I think the fact that you are alive and if nothing hurts physically, I consider that to be happiness.