St Petersburg Ballet Theatre

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Japan     2011 2006 
All women strive to come to an understanding of the essence of a ballerina’s beauty.

Kolesnikova is Saint Petersburg Ballet Theatre’s Prima Ballerina.
This brilliant ballerina is distinguished by her physical beauty and extraordinary emotional expressiveness. Quite recently in Japan, in May, she danced the lead role in “Swan Lake” where she resembled a big flower. Kolesnikova possesses a perfect technique and with just a few gestures and facial expressions is able to convey Odette’s sadness and Odile’s demonic character. What is the origin of this beauty that allows this born ballerina to shine on the stage?

Stage make up and chocolate

Before I go on stage, I try to feel self-confident. I ask myself the question: “What do I dance for?” Then, even before I go on stage, I am calm. I dance to give pleasure to the people who have come to see the performance. I think that feelings are transmitted naturally when you understand that you are dancing for the audience.
I feel a great responsibility towards getting into character and find make-up very helpful to this end. I use all possible make-up techniques in order to reveal the age and nature of the character. I need to use a lot of make-up on stage but in normal life I try not to use cosmetics so that my skin can have some respite.
Before I go on stage or when I am tired, I eat a little of my favourite chocolate. You get energy from chocolate straight away, so eating a little just before a performance keeps my strength up. I like Swiss milk chocolate with raisins. Just talking about it makes me want some. (Irina laughs).

Two cats

I have two cats at home in Saint Petersburg. They are called Josephine and Nyusya. They both rush to meet me when I come home. It is a nice feeling when you know you are being waited for. It is relaxing just looking the cats in the eyes. They are mother and daughter but their characters are quite different. Josephine, the mother, is wilful, a proper cat. When she wants to play, she comes up to me, but if I want to stroke her, she won’t come (Irina laughs). Nyusya, on the other hand, is a softie and never runs away even if I don’t stroke her. I find it interesting just to observe their different behaviours; they always put me in a positive mood. I find the two of them therapeutic; I can’t live without them.

Fridge magnets. Travel souvenirs

Our company is often on tour so we spend a lot of time traveling. I always make sure I bring some souvenir fridge magnets back from our tour travels. They are easy to come by, have nice colours, their design reflects the country they come from and they are extremely varied. I have them all at home stuck on my fridge. They are small things in themselves but every time I look at them in my everyday life, I am filled with the memories of the countries I have visited, and I still get the feeling that I can live my life over. When my husband sees me deep in thought like this, he likes to joke: “Are you feeling hungry?” (Irina laughs).
Because of the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake, the company’s present tour of Japan which was due to start at the beginning of April, has been postponed until May. Konstantin Tachkin, the company’s director, and indeed the whole company itself was determined to come back to Japan. With a serious look in her eyes, Irina Kolesnikova said kindly: “We can’t do very much, but there would be no greater honour for us than for our performance to inspire the Japanese public”.
“I want to use dance to instill the audience with soul”. On stage, this desire always lends Kolesnikova’s emotional characters intensity and brilliance.

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