lunes, 3 de septiembre de 2018

Anastasia Limenko: We try the world to be better by bringing beauty on stage

Anastasia Limenko at the Institut del Teatre in Barcelona
Photo: Sila Avvakum

This is the third time that we have Anastasia Limenko at the Ibstage Galas. She tells us that she is delighted to accept their invitations, she loves Barcelona and the atmosphere that is breathed in this course of the highest level that she defines as unique worldwide and a model to follow. 

Anastasia Limenko in Black Swan. Ibstage Galas.
Photo: Josep Guindo
We cross her in the hall of the Institut del Teatre, she is the first of the great stars invited that has arrived to Barcelona and after doing a class and taking a small snack, she tells us that this may be a good time for the interview that we are suggesting. We do not miss the opportunity and chat with the very young Principal Dancer of the Stanivlasky Theater in Moscow. 

Carolina Masjuan: Anastasia, I think it is the second time you are dancing here? 

Anastasia Limenko: No, in fact it is my third time! I came twice last year because I came in July when I performed Don Quixote for the Galas at El Liceu and then I came back in September for the Galas at Theatre Grec where I danced with Kimin Kim. So now it is the third time I'm here for Ibstage. 

C.M. : Oh yes, you are right! and how it happened that we are so lucky to have you here? 

A.L. : Well in fact it was through Instagram -Anastasia is very active in this social media- that I received an invitation form Leo Sorribes. He told me that he had seen my video from Don Quixote and that he would be happy if I can join. I was very surprised as I thought that Instagram was to have fun and I was very surprised too because I was so young, only 22 years old, and this was the first invitation for such an important Gala and then when I knew I was going to share the stage with such amazing dancers as Lauren Curtbertson, Kimin Kim and so many famous and talented people I couldn't believe!! For my second time it was my premiere performing Diana and Acteon and it was a special moment for me. I have to thank vey much Xiomara Reyes and Larissa Lezhnina for their help and amazing coach. I was so lucky!! because I also had such an amazing coaches and a partner as Kimin Kim. 

Anastasia Limenko, Black Swan. Ibstage Galas.
Photo: Josep Guindo

C.M. : Incredible it was your first time on it!! you both were amazing! And now I think that you are coming from Mexico because you have participated in a Gala there as well, isn't it ? 

A.L. : Yes! I was invited by Isaac Hernández. He is an amazing dancer and it was incredible because he gives something so special not only for audience but also for us the dancers. All the crew felt so happy and this was noticed on stage because everybody gave their best and one has to note that this was for a huge audience, 20.000 people, 10.000 each of the two performances and it has been really wonderful! I got to see also a work of a wonderful choreographer, Sebastian Kloborg, whose works I really like! 

Anastasia Limenko, Black Swan. Ibstage Galas.
Photo: Josep Guindo
C.M. : We noticed this amazing ambience between all of you on Instagram!! 

A.L. : Yeahhhh because it was a so warm atmosphere. We felt as if we were friends from many years, not just few days ago … wooww I still feel that energy on me! 

C.M. : And how were you involved in dance. When did you decide to become a ballerina ? 

A.L. : It is an interesting story because I never imagined that I would be a dancer. It was a dream from my mother. Before ten years old I never imagined that I would dance as I never had seen ballet. She brought me to a Ballet School and I started to love this art. I'm grateful to her and to my teachers who gave me this passion for this art that now is part of me. I started to take classes in a school in Bielorussia and moved to Moscou at fifteen. I was prize winner in the Moscou ballet competition and was invited at the Boshoi Ballet Academy and it was a huge change for me because to change Minsk which is really a cosy, quite and confident city to Moscou which is always crowded with people in a rush and so on, it was really difficult but of course I adapted and now after nine years I feel this city to be not my home but I feel confortable there. And now I really love dancing there because it is my way, what I chose for me to be my life. 

After graduation I was invited at the Bolshoi but I knew that I had to start at the Corps and maybe spend time there so I decided to join the Stanivlasky because I knew I would get much more opportunities to grow up and because I saw that I would be able to dance many roles quickly so yes this is my first company and I'm very happy, we have a really huge repertoire and I can work to be better and better with many opportunities. 

Anastasia Limenko, Black Swan Pdd with Igor Svirko.
Ibstage Galas. Photo: Josep Guindo
C.M. : And with the new Director Laurent Hilaire, did things change much? 

A.L. : Yes they did. Laurent Hilaire has turned the company to be more European, he brings more contemporary pieces and it is really interesting because we dance works of many choreographers as Ekman, Ohan Naharin, Kylian,... so there are many many people coming to our company and it is really interesting because this is also like a challenge for us the dancers because we are a classical company and with them we are able to explore other ways of dancing 

C.M. : But I think once you said that for you classical dance is the one you love most as it is also the most demanding style... 

A.L. : Yes, yes, for me classical is the most important because it is the most dificult for our body and coordination so now I'm focussed to get more roles in classical ballet because I understand that I can do contemporary pieces a little bit later in my career. Of course I want to dance them and I really like to do contemporary pieces because you feel free with your body and you can just enjoy music and choreography but in classical you always have to be on square, feel your corps, be really clean in positions and it is the most demanding in our profession.

Anastasia in class with Ballet de
Catalunya. Photo: Sila Avvakum
I want to enlarge my repertoire now dancing more styles in classical like Petipa, Grigorovich and also more neoclassical as Balanchine to grow up because you never get enough in classical, you always can be better but in contemporary is a bit diffetrent, you can compare different dancers because each one can have their own style in contemporary, In classical it's not, the possitions are what they are and you have to follow the rules... 

C.M. : And in the Stanivlasky do you also have Cracko's, Mc Millan's, etc., in your repertoire ? 

A.L. : Yes, yes, a lot... and for me my favourite choreographer is McMillan because I really like his pieces. Mayerling, Manon, these are pieces that we have in our repertory and also Romeo and Juliet this is «my» repertoire and for me these are stories I like very much... they are my preferred characters... 

C.M. : Maybe because of their dramatic side? 

A.L. : Yes, for me it is really important because I try to do my best with my technique only because this is our language and when you feel free with the language, then you can develop much better your dramatic part. When you do not need to focuss on your turns or in how much you lift your leg, this is a kind of freedom for you body. For me the most meanful thing is to bring stories on stage to share emotions with the audience. 

I think this is the most important in our profession than to show our techique. You can see incredible stuff in circus and gymnastic and sport and they will be better than us, but in the theater we can show emotions and you should understand the meaning of the ballet, what the choreographer wants to tell. 

Anastasia Limenko, Black Swan. Ibstage Galas.
Photo: Sila Avvakum

For me it is my goal to involve more and more the audience to our art so that our art can really bright because we show people that world can also be beautiful when negative things happen. We try the world to be better with the beauty we bring. Of course our stories are about love, true love and happiness but there is also sadness, as it happens in life, and we have to accept that we can be sad but we turn sadness in a positive way, it is a different kind of sadness that can change you. You should accept that we can be sad but this can show you also how to be a better person. So yes this is the way I understand our art and for me this is the most beautiful work I can do. 

C.M. : Wooowww... this is so beautiful what you are saying.... 

A.L. : Well, this is what I really think about our profession and I feel so happy with it! 

Anastasia Limenko Black Swan.
Ibstage Galas. Photo: Sila Avvakum
C.M. : Does the company tour? 

A.L. : Now not really. Because when our direction changed they decided that we should be more in Moscou. They wanted to change a lot our company and this is impossible if you are touring. But by my own I tour. When I started my vacation, that in fact I haven't had vacations, I began with a tour in South Korea, which also was an amazing experience, then I had these Galas in Mexico and now I'm here. This is a huge treasure for me because I meet wonderful people and each person you meet can be like a teacher for you, they can change your mind and this are experiences that reach you and make you to see other things, so I really like this. 

C.M. : And how do you feel here in Ibstage with all the students and sharing the stage with them ? 

A.L. : I feel really confortable because it is my third year. In September last year we arrived at the same time with Kimin Kim so we spent a lot of time together and many dancers came earlier too but this year I'm the first and I feel a little bit lonely but I really like Spain and I do love Barcelona and everybbody here at Ibstage does their best to make me feel comfortable and I really appreciate the opportunity to perform here beacuse it is also important for me to share my dance with many different people.

I really want to wish Ibstage a good future and also to the company the Ballet de Catalunya. I understand that the situation is complicated now but I really wish them the best because they are all very nice and high professional people. This is such a really good thing for the ballet world these Ibstage courses and Galas and that a so brilliant new Company has born! 

Anastasia Limenko in class at Institut
del Teatre. Photo: Sila Avvakum
C.M. : Have you seen the company rehearsing these days? 

A.L. : Yes I saw them rehearsing with Larissa Lezhnina and I know Rebecca Storani as we met already at the first Gala and we communicated really well, we are like friends and now it is really interesting because they are creating their own version of Don Quixote. And also it is fantastic beacuse they are inviting many people to work for the company because the possibility is really nice. I think they should be at the Theater of the Liceu and that they have more advertising in Catalunya because this is an amazing opportunity for the ballet and for Catalunya. I cross my fingers so that they can develop but I think all be ok because when there is passion on what one is doing then one can only succeed!! I also think that local companies have to be involved in promoting the culture and the art, they have to give funds so that this great reality that the Ballet de Catalunya is now, can continue its amazing work. 

C.M. : And for this year Gala what will you bring on stage ? 

A.L.: Well Igor will arrive on 1st september morning. It will be the premiere for him and for us together with Black Swan and we'll rehearse only the day of the fisrt gala in the morning. But no problem, for me it is ok because when I came the first time to Ibstage it was really difficult as I flew on the night and I had two performances the same day of my arrival and then I had to fly back to Moscou immediately. This has been the hardest stuff I have had to face and I survived and all went well so I'm sure I can afford anything!! And of course we already know each other because Bolshoi and Stanivlasky are very close in Moscou and we all communicate very often, so no problem for us. I hope the audience will enjoy the Galas, I'm very happy to have been invited again. 

Nice, friendly and very cute, Anastasia agrees to be photographed with all those who ask her or she  spontaneously poses in front of the professional objective of Sila Avvakum, official photographer of the Mariinsky Theater of Sant Petesburg, who every year comes from Russia to cover Ibstage in Barcelona. The great teacher, very dear to all, Piotr Nardelli sees her and comes quickly to kiss her hand while she offers him a beautiful arabesque.

Anastasia Limenko after the interview at the Institut del Teatre.
Photo: Sila Avvakum

Anastasia takes the opportunity to discover Barcelona these days, she walks a lot, from the center to the sea and to the sea to her hotel. Yesterday she walked five hours non stop. She says that these are the few days of vacations she will have but she loves so much her job and she is so passionate with what her life is that no matter. 

We knew the amazing dancer she is and now we have discovered the so warm and nice human being behind. Thank you very much and please come back soon Anastasia! The Catalan audience really loves you !!

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