- Restless Creature
- Principal Dancer
- Dreams of Giverny
- Rebels on Pointe
Photo Credit: Restless Creature
It may not be obvious to movie audiences that “Polina” is based on a graphic novel: Bastien Vivès’s 2011 tale of a young Russian ballerina, rendered in monochrome pen-and-ink drawings, with fluid, gray washes.
Actually, there are two someones: French writer-director Valérie Müller and her co-director (and husband) Angelin Preljocaj, an acclaimed contemporary choreographer. Preljocaj’s influence is clear in the dancing scenes, even an early one in which the title character (played as an 8-year-old by Veronika Zhovnytska, and later as a teenager by Anastasia Shevtsova, a former member of the Mariinsky Ballet) shakes her groove thang while walking home from ballet school in the snow. There’s an intensity and authenticity to Polina’s unrehearsed movements, as well as to the work she puts into dance, even when – maybe especially when – her performance lacks polish.
The Mariinsky’s performance on Friday night was honourable: Ekaterina Kondaurova an eloquent Odette, a vivid Odile, the dance pure in its lines. Her Siegfried was Yevgeny Ivanchenko, dutiful in all things, oddly remote in manner. The legion of swan-maidens spoke of elegance of means, vital traditions, impeccable style. The third act mazurka was a marvel. Splendid decors. A fine orchestra.
Here are some of Mary Helen’s top tips for staying positive and keeping motivated:
Tune Out Negative Voices, Tune Into You
Try this the next time you hear yourself saying something negative about yourself:
– Pause and take a moment to think about what you’ve just said.
– Think about why you said that and why you are feeling that.
– Remind yourself that you are capable.
– Shift your focus to a challenge that you recently met successfully.
– Take a moment to remember and reconnect to your belief that you can achieve your goals.
Stay Away From Extremes and Work the Margins:
To achieve even the loftiest of goals you must employ a simple approach that comes down to steady, consistent work, every day.
1. Royal Ballet School, United Kingdom
2. Vaganova School, St. Petersburg | The Harvard of Ballet.
3. Paris Opera Ballet School, France
4. Master Ballet Academy, USA
5. John Cranko School, Stuttgart, Germany
6. School of American Ballet, USA
7. San Francisco Ballet School, USA
8. Moscow State Academy (Bolshoi), Moscow
9. Princess Grace Academy, Monaco
10. National Ballet School, Toronto, Canada