Dance, the enchanting art form that speaks to the depths of the human spirit, takes center stage in the world of classical ballet. In the realm of ballet, Russian Masters Ballet (RMB) stands as a luminous star, radiating brilliance and embodying the pinnacle of excellence. It is within the hallowed halls of RMB that passionate dancers discover a world where dreams take flight and artistry finds its truest expression.
Today, we embark on a unique journey, guided by the wisdom and passion of Ms. Asiya Lukmanova, the esteemed director of Russian Masters Ballet. Through her eyes, we explore the soul-stirring realm of RMB’s Summer Intensives and Auditions for 2024.
With a mission deeply rooted in empowering students and sharing the treasure of knowledge, Ms. Lukmanova sheds light on the inspiration that fuels Russian Masters Ballet. This interview unveils the core values, the exceptional training, and the profound impact this institution has on aspiring dancers.
As we step into the world of classical dance, we invite you to join us in this exclusive conversation with Ms. Asiya Lukmanova, the visionary leader behind Russian Masters Ballet, and discover the magic that unfolds within its walls.
Ms. Asiya Lukmanova, the visionary leader behind Russian Masters Ballet
Russian Masters Ballet, the best option for the perfect balance between the best training in the Vaganova technique and leisure
Ballet Magazine: Can you tell us about the inspiration behind establishing Russian Masters Ballet and the mission it serves in the world of classical dance?
Ms. Asiya Lukmanova: I think that the inspiration always was and will be students themselves. To help and share our knowledge is the principal desire. When you see a student, a child or a young person who really wants and works hard to achieve their dream… nothing else can be more inspiring. So, at that moment, you start to see what you can give, how you can help. Of course, the technical part (that is to teach) is followed by the promotional part (that is to help to find their way in a career). These two became the general mission of the project – to teach in the best way and to help in the orientation on a professional way for students.
The summer intensive in Burgas was very important for me because of the teachers that were supporting us and sharing their life experiences with us. These 3 amazing weeks were the most precious time I have ever had. I loved that we had so much time in class to work on our technique and learn so many new things, and get so much attention from the teachers and have corrections that we could work on every day.
Having acting class was one of the most interesting things to explore, because it is very important to manage expression of your emotions to the audience and I am so grateful that we had that amazing time to explore and try new things. We also had pas de deux classes, it is a very rare opportunity to learn so many new movements and it was very exciting to dance with a partner.
LORA ILOVA- student of the Summer Intensive by Russian Masters Ballet, Burgas 2023
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Ballet Magazine: What makes Russian Masters Ballet unique compared to other ballet programs and schools, and how do you ensure excellence in training?
Ms. Asiya Lukmanova: In Russian Masters Ballet, we care very much about offering thorough and efficient education and experience. It’s not just a course; it’s a small University in itself… the best trainee program, nutritional education, motivational & coaching programs, an international environment. We never forget that ballet needs to be a pleasure for students, not a martyrdom, so we prepare great leisure time to always help them to build connections and create friendships that last forever.
From the other side, as RMB doesn’t have any base in a form of a school behind us, we have a unique opportunity to create something completely objective, with qualities that can focus on only the best things for each student. For us, to do things well is the most important, quality and responsibility are what we transmit and what we teach.
I love working with Russian Masters Ballet as they always prepare an eventful, vibrant and captivating program. Every day is full of positive emotions and all events are thoughtfully organized! To all students who have worked with me and to the future ones I wish inspiration and luck!
Yulia Kasenkova – senior teacher of the Vaganova Academy and former soloist of the Mariinsky Theatre.
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Ballet Magazine: Could you share some success stories or memorable moments from previous summer intensives that highlight the impact of the program on students’ lives and careers?
Ms. Asiya Lukmanova: Every year there is something to tell, but this particular summer, we had more than 20 students get to professional schools, such as the Vaganova Academy or Berlin State Ballet School. For now we have been doing this already for 10 years, and our first-year students have already become artists. Seeing their success is incredible. For example, Patrick Benak (HET NATIONAL Junior Ballet) and Evgeniya V. Gonzalez (Czech National Ballet) came this summer for our annual Stars Gala in Alicante to go on stage already as Guest Artists.
I would like to express my deep gratitude for the fact that within three weeks I acquired skills that have helped me (and will help) during my everyday classes. I learned self-control, and most importantly, this year I realized how much I love stage.
I would like to say once again thank you to Mrs. Kasenkova, Mr. Sivakov, Mr. Omar. Thanks to them, I went to any class with pleasure and mastered a lot of new things. Now I look forward to the next summer intensive. Thank you to everyone who have been with us as we had a great time together.
HAYK GHAZARYAN – Student of the Vaganova Academy Summer Intensive by Russian Masters, St. Petersburg 2021
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Ballet Magazine: How do you select and assemble the exceptional faculty for the intensives, and what qualities do you look for in the teachers?
Ms. Asiya Lukmanova: For us, it is very important that a teacher has methodological knowledge of teaching, so we invite to work with us only licensed teachers, and almost all of our established Faculty are licensed by the Vaganova Academy itself. Their work is not only to teach students, but to transfigure them into professional artists. Besides, we look at the personal qualities. Our teachers are also great people; they are passionate and they care to give the best. So, professionalism, responsibility, passion, kindness is what we look for in them. We are really proud of our established Faculty.
Russian Masters Ballet is a synonym to an opportunity… opportunity to learn from professional teachers and have classes not only in classical dance but also in duet, character, contemporary dance and acting. All these disciplines are backbones that form any modern ballet dancer.
Alexey Ilyin – senior teacher of the Vaganova Academy and former soloist of several ballet companies
Ballet Magazine: The Stars Gala is a captivating part of your program. What can students and audiences expect from this extraordinary event, and how has it evolved over the years?
Ms. Asiya Lukmanova: The Stars Gala has really become a culminating piece of our Alicante program. It’s a unique program where students work as artists. In three weeks, we create a great production, where our young students can accompany big ballet stars of the current stage in the most professional way. For the public, it’s one of the most interesting performances as one can see the development from students to artists, and often it surprises observers very much. It’s a very emotional and inspiring performance for all parties: public, participants, and even guest ballet stars. They love to participate in it because of the pure love and passion that our students radiate.
Ballet Magazine: In what ways does Russian Masters Ballet prepare students for the professional world of ballet, and how do you assist them in furthering their careers?
Ms. Asiya Lukmanova: In any of our classes or programs, we work with students in the professional way only, just like it would be in the Vaganova Academy. Some of students really surprise us with their talent, their commitment, or their hard work and results. Each one is different. But in case they ask for a piece of advice or help, we always give it in the objective way; sometimes it’s cheering, sometimes it’s not, but it will be true. And if we can help with something, we will try to promote students to professional schools.
Ballet Magazine: What kind of cultural enrichment and values does RMB provide to its students, and how does it contribute to their holistic development?
Ms. Asiya Lukmanova: Mastery, Responsibility, Passion, Health, Gratitude, Kindness, and Unity… These are our most important values. We start from Mastery, which is the central base of quality and professionalism, doing your best. And we always transmit that everybody is responsible for themselves. Don’t forget to enjoy and transmit your joy. Care about yourself and about people who are around. For us, ballet doesn’t have to be a competition; there is a place for everybody.
Russian Masters Ballet gives groundbreaking ballet knowledge but also simply lets students learn the beautiful art of ballet, be part of something really significant and meet new friends from all over the world.
Anna Podlesnaya- permanent RMB Faculty teacher graduated from the Vaganova Academy and former principal soloist of the Yacobson Theatre
Ballet Magazine: Could you elaborate on the audition process, including the live auditions, online group auditions, and the significance of auditions in students’ journeys?
Ms. Asiya Lukmanova: Audition is an important part, as to have progress during short three weeks or even less, we need to locate a student in a correct program and group, so they can take full advantage of it. Also, the audition is a possibility for students to get a Scholarship, partial or even full. This will depend on talent of a student we can observe. This year we are doing an audition tour, so there will be three official cities and one special masterclass:
13-14 January – Coimbra, Portugal; 20 January – Madrid, Spain; 26 January – Brussels, Bulgium; and an extra masterclass with a possibility to audition: 16-17 December – Bucharest, Romania.
Who can’t be present, don’t worry – there are ONLINE group auditions on 20-21st January and even a possibility of Video Audition. To get a Scholarship is always better to be present on the Live or Online audition, as it is where we can see students properly.
Ballet Magazine: As the director of RMB, what do you find most rewarding in your role, and what drives your passion for ballet education?
Ms. Asiya Lukmanova: The most inspirational is to see the eyes of children and young students… their hunger for learning, their happiness when they achieve something, their gratitude for it… is the most beautiful. I will never be tired of it; I love to meet them, every one is different with their personalities and possibilities, and to discover it and to help them find their ways is something very rewarding. I love ballet, for me it has always been passion that moved me. The way this art can move hearts, its pure sensibility has a healing effect.
Ballet Magazine: How can interested students and their families get involved and connect with Russian Masters Ballet for auditions and program updates?
Ms. Asiya Lukmanova: First of all, check the website where all information is always displayed. For any questions, write to our team; they will be happy to help. firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com