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Natalia Makarova and Ulyana Lopatkina

Published on 24.11.2010 at 00:00

On 24 November 2010 to mark Natalia Makarova’s jubilee, there was a performance of Swan Lake at the Mariinsky Theatre. The celebrated ballerina visited her native city with her husband in order not merely to take part in this historic event, but also to attend the rehearsal the day before with Ulyana Lopatkina and Danila Korsuntsev. It was these two dancers who were entrusted with performing the lead roles in this momentous performance. We had the good luck to accompany Natalia Romanovna Makarova literally from the moment she entered the theatre where her career began, surrounded by smiles, warm welcomes and friendly greetings. Among those who met the legendary prima ballerina assoluta was Acting Artistic Director of the Ballet Company Yuri Fateyev and ballet soloist Andrian Fadeyev, while in class she was met by Ulyana Lopatkina, Danila Korsuntsev and their coaches Irina Chistyakova and Gennady Selyutsky. The dancers and the coaches had only recently returned from a tour to South Korea following an exhausting fourteen-hour-long flight. But no degree of tiredness could have hindered this rehearsal: Lopatkina wished to discover the very shades and nuances in the role of the Swan Princess that were closest and most interesting to Makarova. No mean feat, and the more so a gripping one when two ballerinas of such rank and fame come together…