Coming to America: Boston Ballet's Maria Baranova

September 15, 2015

Photo: Courtesy Baranova


As fall seasons kick off across the country, many companies welcome new members. Former Finnish National Ballet principal Maria Baranova is joining Boston Ballet as a soloist. For
‘s bi-weekly newsletter, spoke with Baranova about her move and the upcoming BB@home, the company’s studio performances Sept. 1718.

You’re dancing Leonid Yakobson’s Pas de Quatre for BB@home. How would you describe the piece?

It’s like another version of theGrand Pas de Quatre, which was made earlier, but it’s more modern. I’m one of four women. In the first part, we’re dancing and holding our arms together the whole time. We all have our own steps, but we make these Romantic pictures and hold them for a while. Then we go under and over and do another pose. We never let go of each others’ hands, so that’s the most challenging part. It’s difficult to find the right position and make everyone feel comfortable, but now we’re getting more used to it. 

Have you noticed any differences between ballet companies in Europe and the U.S.?
The working system is a bit different because in Europe we usually prepare a ballet and then perform it immediately, and then we go on to our next production. But at Boston Ballet, we work on many ballets at once, like for two or three months, and then we start a performance season. That’s been something to adapt to. It’s a lot of different styles to learn at once, so I’m trying to be very focused.

What brought you to Boston Ballet?

When I was dancing in Helsinki, we did a premiere by Jorma Elo, Boston Ballet’s resident choreographer. Mikko Nissinen was there, and we talked at some point. I think we were both interested in working with each other. After awhile he called and offered me a position. Of course, I took it immediately because it was a great opportunity for me. I’m very happy.

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