This is a Q&A with Colorado Ballet Principal Maria Mosina.
- Where are you from?
- Where did you train/dance before coming to Colorado Ballet?
Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Moscow, danced at Bolshoi Ballet – Grigorovich Ballet Company
- What did you do with your summer break?
I had a family vacation in Sarasota Florida, and then I taught in Chicago in Salt Creek Ballet School at the Summer Intensive Program. I also taught at Colorado Ballet’s Summer Intensive.
- What age did you first start dancing? What do you remember from your first class?
I knew I would be a professional dancer at 10 years old, I went to a professional Academy. I remember in the 2nd grade, I performed La Fill Mal Garde on stage. Only the students perform in that ballet and it was at the State Kremlin Palace. I remember dancing with real makeup and costumes and when the curtain opened and I saw the audience, it took my breath away. This was like a fairy tale.
- What was your first ballet you remember attending? What do you remember about it?
I saw many of them on TV on national television, my first impression was of The Nutcracker. The story is a little different story in Russia than here. It was closer to the original Hoffmann story. The lead ballerina was Ekaterina Maximova. I saw a lot of performances; my mother took me to ballets like Cipollino with onions and tomatoes. I also remember Giselle, Swan Lake and La Bayadère on television.
- Who are your ballet role models? Dancers that inspire you.
Ekaterina Maximova is my favorite ballerina. I like some ballerinas in some ballets and some in others. I can get inspiration from other ballerinas, depending what I’m watching.
- Proudest moment in your ballet career?
There is always something new, and in that moment you are proud, so it is continuous.
- Favorite choreographer(s) you’ve worked with?
This is hard to choose just one because each choreographer is unique. You always find something new for yourself, for your body, for your soul and movements. Working with a choreographer is like when you open a new book and you experience something new.
- If you could get a lesson/class from anyone, it would be ________
I admire my Russian teachers, but I would love to have taken a class with Mr. Balanchine. Definitely with someone from the past.
- Best advice you’ve ever received from a teacher?
You will become ballet dancer, ballet artist and the first part of your profession is to give happiness and joy to people. This inspires me.
- Favorite ballets to dance? Which are favorite to watch?
It is hard to choose. To watch, everything classical. To dance, you are always growing as a classical ballet dancer and you get to work with new choreographers and contemporary dances. I like story ballets, but I also like to dance ballets like Balanchine where you are dancing something other than the story, like the music. You can always find something enjoyable and loveable. I just love to be on stage.
- Dream role?
Once again, it is hard to choose. For example, when I dance Juliet in Romeo & Juliet, I really get into the character, but I also love dancing ballets like Balanchine’s Theme & Variations, where you are really thinking about how you move. Like Martha Graham technique is different, your muscles work differently with different techniques; you understand yourself and your body even more after dancing these kind of roles.
- What do you like to do when you aren’t dancing (your free time)?
I have a daughter and my first priority is to be a mother and I love spending time with her. I love my family. In this role of mother, it is very interesting and important to me. It has helped me to rise to another level in my dance career. You start to see the world in a different way when you become a parent. You see the world differently. It is my dream to someday dance with my daughter on stage.
- What are some of your indulgences?
You have to treat yourself with healthy stuff because we have so many hours rehearsing. Overall, I try to eat healthy and hydrate for high altitude and to take care of my muscles. I take supplements to take care of my muscles, joints, and my body.
- Do you have any pre-performance routines/rituals?
You have to come earlier if you are dancing principal part, get makeup, hair done properly, and it can take two hours sometimes to prepare for a performance. Then you have to warm up. When you are doing the makeup, crown, hair, you start to get into the role. Go to the stage, get into your shoes. For contemporary stuff, you have to go through the steps, listen to music on your headphones.
- What production(s) are you most excited about this year?
I am happy and glad to dance everything this season. I don’t know how many times I have danced The Nutcracker, but I always find something different. It is never perfection; you can always improve yourself for every production every year. And, it is always exciting to dance something new.
- What would you say to people who come to see the Colorado Ballet?
Audiences are different, some of them know the performances and they naturally get this form of art. But for people who are not as used to it, I think every type of audience can find a program that will match their thoughts and wishes. Everyone should come to see us. Ballet is deeper, it is something exciting, and when you come to the theater you see there is more to it, especially with Giselle. In Giselle, you see the philosophy of forgiveness and that love can save your life.
Maria Mosina rehearses Act II of Giselle