Drawing: Olga Smirnova, Principal with the Bolshoi Ballet

Olga Smirnova

The Boshoi were back in London town. The world’s most famous ballet company, the Moscow-based Bolshoi returned for a three-week summer residency which has just concluded at the Royal Opera House. They have been regular visitors to Covent Garden and this year marked the 60th anniversary of the company’s first visit, staging five productions – DON QUIXOTE, SWAN LAKE, THE TAMING OF THE SHREW, THE FLAMES OF PARIS and LE CORSAIRE.

Considered the Company’s rising star is Prima Ballerina Olga Smirnova, was given the honour and responsibility of opening the season, dancing Kitri in DON QUIXOTE with fellow Principal  Denis Rodkin. According to The Telegraph’s Mark Monahan, Olga is a truly extraordinary talent, the “brightest new Jewel in the Bolsho Ballet’s glittering crown.” He went on to praise her ‘formidable’ physical gifts, “long-limbed, with a swan-like neck, superbly pliant spine and ravishing, sway-back classical line,” all of which are ideal for drawing.

Backtrack Critic Jade Larine summed up the dazzling production, “The opening night speeded the Royal Opera House’s heartbeat to an insane level of tachycardia : the Bolshoi is coming back at its best.”

Olga also performed the lead roles in SWAN LAKE and THE TAMING OF THE SHREW during the season.

She signed my sketch for me after the opening night performance.

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