An audience with a ballet director

The Nutcracker is just one of three ballets being performed by the Russian State Ballet of Siberia at the Mayflower in January.
The Nutcracker is just one of three ballets being performed by the Russian State Ballet of Siberia at the Mayflower in January.
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The Russian State Ballet of Siberia comes to the Mayflower in Southampton next year as part of a nationwide tour.

From January 13-17 they will perform a trio of ballets – Swan Lake, The Nutcracker and La Fille mal gardée.

Formed in 1981, The Russian State Ballet of Siberia is one of Russia’s leading ballet companies. Based in the city of Krasnoyarsk, it has been under the artistic directorship of Sergei Bobrov since 2002. Sergei reveals what life is like for a ballet producer.

What is a typical day for you as an artistic director, both at your base in Krasnoyarsk and when you are on tour?

A typical day in Krasnoyarsk... I work with the team from 10am until the end of the evening performance or rehearsal.

But there is rest time in between for the dancers, and I need to work at this time with art workshops. Each performance requires very spectacular costumes and scenery.

During a tour all is clear and calm, we come completely ready. And my task is only to maintain the quality.

When choreographing an original production of a classic ballet, how long does the process take?

From the moment of conceiving the idea to the performance itself, it takes around one-and-a-half years.

As an example, the conversation I had about doing The Snow Maiden with our promoter Raymond Gubbay took place last year, and the premiere will be held in the UK in December 2015.

You were a principal dancer with the Bolshoi Ballet. What is your favourite memory as a performer and which was your favourite role to perform?

The main memory I have is the feeling that you were part of the great mechanism of a company that was bound for success. This state of mind is always present with me when I’m working with the Siberian ballet. My favorite role to play is Rothbart the evil genius in Swan Lake.

What advice would you give to a young ballerina?

Be totally focused on the profession, work hard and try to meet and work with masters in the field.

And most importantly, to dance well in the first stage of your career you should want to perform on the stage, not just think about the material benefits.

Tickets: £19-£37, to buy tickets call the Mayflower box office on (023) 8071 1811 or visit mayflower.org.uk