Mark Olich: The Vaganova Academy at the Mariinsky Theatre, Saint Petersburg

Mark Olich: The Vaganova Academy at the Mariinsky Theatre, Saint Petersburg

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This is the beautiful shot that usually gets posted – the Vaganova Academy (the extremely venerable associate ballet school of the Mariinsky Theatre in Saint Petersburg – it’s the ex-Imperial Ballet School) during a performance of “Sleeping Beauty”. The theatre’s dedicated photographer, Mark Olich, has a couple more on Instagram (see image link below):

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……and this seems to have been the same performance:

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I’d almost given up hope of finding a solid attribution, having gone through just his 500px and Facebook accounts – his main Vk.com gallery has about nine thousand images: I’d managed about half, before switching to Instagram. Mark is young (an ex-dancer himself), married to Elena (Lena), and has an impish little daughter called Masha, who seems to be the Mariinsky Theatre mascot (see the Facebook image link for a shot by Elena featuring husband and daughter)- where Mark is the official photographer for the ballet company – the building is also home to opera and theatre companies. Going through his various galleries I picked out some images that relate to Masha and the younger girls associated with the Vaganova Ballet Academy– first Masha (and the first two are when she was so young she brought her teddy to practice and rehearsals):

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…..and my two favourites:

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…..lucky girl: you just hope she grows up tall and slim – not being a dancer doesn’t seem to be even a possibility….but whatever happens, she seems to be having a magical childhood.

Here are some of the other girls, first in school and during the selection process:

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……then during rehearsals and performances:

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As ever, I’ve got a couple of my own favourites:

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Clearly Mark is best known for his shots of the ballerinas from the Corps de Ballet – click on my links if you’re interested. Here are a couple of tasters:

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#ballet #theatre #markolich #mariinsky #backstage #vaganovaballetacademy @mariinsky @vaganova_academy

A post shared by Mark Olich (@markolich) on

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