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Ekaterina Borchenko: I really missed the stage


Ekaterina Borchenko: I really missed the stage

The Mikhailovsky Theatre playbill once again features Honoured Artist of Russia Ekaterina Borchenko, following the ballerinas return to the stage after taking a break to have her children. She is now the mother of twins, a boy and a girl  making the flawless proportions and elegant lines of this ideal classical dancer, as Ekaterina is often described, all the more impressive.

"My children are seven months old now. My mum is helping out; she babysits while Im at the theatre. This is my mums second set of twins: my brother and I were her first. They say its supposed to skip a generation, so it should have been my children who had twins, but for some reason we ended up with two sets in a row. My children are now the third pair of twins in our family: my grandad was the first. I wanted to give the children unusual names which sounded similar, so I called my son Daniel and my daughter Adele.

I really missed work and being on stage, and tried so hard to get back in shape, slim down, and regain my strength as fast as I could. Two weeks after giving birth, I was already back in the studio. It was incredibly difficult and painful, obviously, and my body didnt want to cooperate. It felt on the verge of breaking; it was putting up a fight and refusing to do what I wanted it to, but I kept going. By the time the children were three months old, Id already danced the whole of Swan Lake at the Hermitage Theatre. Before I returned to the Mikhailovsky stage, Id danced in a lot of productions at various venues and been on tour in Italy, so I came back to the Mikhailovsky confident about the level I was performing at, which is very important to me. I went straight back into Swan Lake. I do think its my best ballet. I was dancing with an excellent partner, Ernest Latypov. I was pleasantly surprised: hes so young, but very experienced and sensitive, so its easy to work and train with him.

Sometimes preparing for a production is more engaging than actually performing it. I really enjoy the creative process: talking to your partners, rehearsing. Having a goal to work towards is always a pleasure, especially when you have the sense that youre working together, when everyones trying hard and helping each other out. When I was pregnant with my children, I really missed the atmosphere of the theatre, my colleagues, my favourite teacher Tatiana Legat, and Mikhail Messerer. It really brought home to me just how much I love the theatre. Since I had a lot of spare time, I watched recordings, particularly recordings of productions I appeared in, and I did a lot of analysis. I thought about what I should change and where, and about what direction to go in. I actually did a lot of work on myself, mostly psychological work, and now I find going out on stage easier.

Le Corsaire will be a high priority for me now Im back. The two versions of Le Corsaire we perform at the Mikhailovsky are so different you cant really compare them. Farukh Ruzimatovs version is more energetic, but theres less material for the ballerina. Mikhail Messerers version is a marathon for the ballerina; its a really difficult ballet with a lot of beautiful adagios, and requires incredible physical effort. I absolutely love dramatic roles and productions which involve a lot of acting, like Giselle or La Bayadère.

I find it hard to imagine my children doing ballet right now. It will all depend on what they want, but for some reason I have the feeling that theyre not going to have a particular gift for it. Theyre at an age where its difficult to make predictions, but Ive had a look at their feet and insteps. Daniels such a chubby little thing; when my friends come round, they say he looks a year old already. Hes a very big boy. Adele is sort of compact, much smaller. Im so grateful to my parents for their help. Our profession really teaches us discipline; youre constantly having to deal with fatigue, pain, and emotional overload. When you have twins, youre already prepared for that fatigue and workload. We know its hard, but for us, thats life."


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