Mara Tudose

Blitz with student of the Vaganova Ballet Academy Mara Tudose.

Mara Tudose

Photo Ira Yakovleva

Translate Ekaterina Bornovitskaya


First entering the stage

I was only 4 years old when I went on stage for the first time. We were doing The Nutcracker with the private ballet school I was at. I was just a little snowflake but the feeling I got while being on stage was just surreal. I also loved my costume so much I didn’t even take it off after the performance so I just fell asleep in it.

The most important thing Vaganova Ballet Academy taught you?

The Vaganova Ballet Academy not only taught me how to dance but it also made me a bigger person. The most important thing I’ve learned is always to keep on working hard, no matter what, and then results will come.

Favourite quote by a ballerina or a ballet dancer?

«A real ballerina must fill her space with her personality» – Natalia Makarova.

If not dance then what…

If not dance then I would love to study medicine. I know it is very ambitious and really different to ballet but I have always been really interested in it for some reason.

Mara TudoseIn my playlist

There’s always some Britney Spears. I love dancing and singing along to her songs with my friends. It really takes my mind off anything.

I have never tried…

Walking on a frozen river, even after four years in Russia.

If the city, which one is your favourite? Why?

The answer is quite simple. My favorite city is Bucharest – my hometown. It’s the city I miss most, not only because all my family is there but because of the way the city makes me feel.

Im proud of…

I am proud of how after the pandemic and all of the lockdowns I haven’t only managed to get back in shape but I’ve also improved a lot and made the most of the year.

A bright moment from childhood

A bright moment from my childhood is traveling around the world with my whole family.

The book you are reading…

I am reading anything that seems interesting but mostly you will probably catch me holding a romance novel.

What is your perfect day?

My perfect day would just be a day full of laughter spent with the people I love.

Who is your idol, hero?

My idol in life is my dad, and in ballet it’s Sylvie Guillem.

I cannot live without…

I can’t live without my family’s support. I moved to Russia at quite a young age and I can’t say it was easy. There have been a lot of days when the only things keeping me going were the long phone calls from home. I am so grateful to them for everything that they have done for me all these years.


My dream is to dance on the biggest stages of the world but most importantly to be happy.

Mara TudoseSecret of success 

I think if you enjoy what you are doing success will come.

Relationship with social networks

In the right quantity social network is very useful.

Attitude to criticism

I believe that without criticism you cannot grow, as a person and especially as a dancer.

Stage epic fail

At my final exam in the academy – my graduation acting exam – I was dancing Mercedes from Don Quixote and I forgot to take the rose I was supposed to throw at Espada. He was a bit confused when nothing hit him but we both continued dancing as if nothing happened and the rest of the dance went well. Now, every time I will go on stage I will make sure to check if I have all the props.

Mara TudoseDream role

My dream role is Odette/ Odile from The Swan Lake. I just love how in one performance you can show two totally opposite sides of yourself and that is very intriguing to me.

Ability you would like to possess

I would really want to be able to teleport myself. It would be so nice to be home whenever I want and then come back to Russia in any time

What is your main flaw?

My main flaw is that I take things too personally. I am trying not to let everything get to me so easily because I know that not everything is as important as I think it is.

Your dream of happiness?

My dream of happiness is to be content in all areas of my life: be good in what I do, have a family of my own, work in a nice environment.

Favourite historic heroine

Queen Maria of Romania, niece of Queen Victoria and The Tsar Alexander, she was a personality that marked the history of my country.

Your current state of mind and soul?

Right now I am feeling excited about the future. I will be graduating the Vaganova Ballet Academy at the end of June and after that I will start a new chapter of my life in the theatre. I couldn’t be happier at this certain moment, everything worked out better than I could even imagine.

Mara Tudose

Original article Mara Tudose on La Personne.


Xander Parish

It has been long time the Russian ballet has opened its doors to the world, and our domestic theatres confirm the statement. The companies have become very multinational: with the dancers from Korea, Japan, Brazil, USA and Europe. The foreign names are so hotly favourite to the Russian audience, and we’ve been already watching the dancers graduating from Russian academies. La Personne team has met seven foreigners, dancing in Mariinsky Theatre, and created extended photo stories about future (and current!) heroes of the Russian stage. We were wandering with them by the windy Neva costs, we got behind the scenes and to the studios and even asked to be allowed to visit the secret art and sculpture workshops of St. Petersburg.     

Xander Parish

Great Britain – Russia

Strelka of Vasilyevsky Island 

St. Peterburg University

Universitetskaya embarkment 

Xander ParishAuthor: Olga Ugarova

Photo: Mikhail Vilchuck 

I moved from London to St. Petersburg a little bit more than ten years ago. In England I danced in Covent Garden corps de ballet and speaking the truth nobody from the art management had ever noticed me, although I made friends with guys. I remember that we’ve even had trainings till late night with Sergei Polunin. Mostly, I was somewhere in a deep corner during classes and anyone hardly paid attention to my presence. But one day Yuri Fateev appeared and gave few classes. He gave many advises to everyone including me. Before his departure, I had a lesson with him and after a while he invited me to Mariinsky Theatre. 

Xander Parish

When I started dancing variations for two and three, my mother came to St. Petersburg. She was so delighted! I remember how she’s told she has been so proud of seeing me on such a stage. I admit my way to leading parts wasn’t that quick – I danced mostly inset parts and small solos, but then the roles of Albrecht, Siegfried and Romeo happened. I danced the last one with Victoria Tereshkina. She is incredible! She felt my nerves and tried to calm me, to tune me into simply enjoying the dance. Can you imagine? The Prima ballerina! And such a tender heart!   

Xander Parish

When I first saw the Mariinsky Theatre, it was winter-time, it seemed to me like a magical palace from the Nutcracker Christmas tale. Everything around reminded of a dream: winter, snow, the best world company, of which I could become a part. Of course, I was afraid of many things, because the common British opinion of Russia is limited with the stories about hackers, spies and James Bond. But the more I plunged into theatre and culture, the more I fell in love with the country and with the mates. Yes, the Russians look severe at the beginning, but it turns quickly you feel that these people can be real friends.    

Xander Parish

Last year I became a citizen of Russia. It fortified my relationship with this amazing country, which is very close to me and means a lot. It’s a huge honour to be a part of it! 

Xander Parish

Original article Xander Parish on La Personne.