31 August 2014, Sunday
Olga Smirnova, the Bolshoi Ballet's soloist, was awarded the annual Positano Leonide Massine Prize. This Prize was instituted to mark the memory of the Russian choreographer that became very famous in the West and whose brilliant career started at the Bolshoi Theatre in the early 20th century. Olga Smirnova became a laureate in the category "Best dancer of the year on the international stage". The award ceremony and the gala-concert will take place on September 6th. There will be one innovation this year: a new award will appear in the long list of prizes that are awarded in Positano. This new award - Premio Benois-Massine Mosca-Positano - will symbolize the union of the Leonide Massine Prize and the Moscow Prix Benois de la Danse. It will be awarded to Mariko Kida, the Royal Swedish Ballet soloist, who was awarded the Prix Benois de la Danse at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow this May. The jury of the Leonide Massine Prize-2014 includes famous critics and journalists: Roger Salas ("El PaГs", Spain), Valentina Bonelli ("Vogue", Italy), Tatiana Kuznetsova ("Kommersant", Russia), Judith Mackrell ("The Guardian", the UK) and Wendy Perron ("Dance Magazine", the USA).
Olga Smirnova was born in St. Petersburg. In 2011 she graduated from Vaganova Academy of Russian Ballet, St. Petersburg (Lyudmila Kovaleva's class) and joined the Ballet Company of the Bolshoi Theater.
Marina Kondratieva became her teacher-repetiteur.
While studying she was repeatedly awarded various scholarships. She constantly participated in the Vaganova Academy tours to Japan, Great Britain, Italy, Lithuania, Hungary, Greece and Portugal. In 2004 she took part in the joint concert of the Vaganova Academy and the UK Royal Ballet School in London. She has an extensive repertoire. She has danced Masha in Nutcracker by P. Tchaikovsky (choreography by V. Vainonen); the Queen of Water in the scene The Ocean bottom from The Little Humpbacked Horse to music by C. Pugni, R. Drigo, B. Asafiev (choreography by A. Gorsky, Y. Burlaka's version); the 7th waltz from Chopiniana (choreography by Mikhail Fokine), Grand Pas classique to music by D. F. E. Auber (choreography by V. Gzovsky); Jules Massenet's Thais (choreography by R. Petit) and others. Mazur to music by F. Chopin was staged especially for her (choreography by V. Romanovsky).
Photo: Olga Smirnova as Odette-Odile in the ballet "Swan Lake" at the Lincoln Center during the Bolshoi Theatre guest performances in New York. Photo: Stephanie Berger