CULTURE, FEB 14, 2015, By MARIA FEDORISHINA, SPECIAL TO RBTH
“According to a 2013 survey by children’s charitable fund, Deti Mira, 16.4 percent of Russian children aged 4-6 dream of an artistic profession, including the ballet.”
“In other countries, Russian classical ballet is often associated with the leading Russian theaters, the Bolshoi and the Mariinsky, where the dancers are mostly graduates of the Moscow State Academy of Choreography and the Vaganova Academy of Russian Ballet. It is practically impossible to prepare for entrance to such institutions because natural attributes – such as flexibility, being able to rise and jump, and a good ear for music – play such a leading role. Students are subject to an intense screening process.
“About 98 percent of children study ballet for themselves,” says Yulya Subbotovskaya.
Ballet comes in second behind sport for Russian children. An American parent might send his 14-year-old son into football, and a Russian parent might have sent him into ballet school three or four years earlier. These boys are 16.