Retiring dancer prepares for next role with Colorado Ballet

by John Moore | Apr 04, 2017
Maria Mosina in Swan Lake. Photo by Mike WatsonMaria Mosina in the Colorado Ballet's 'Swan Lake.' Photo by Mike Watson. 



By Sanya Andersen-Vie
For the DCPA NewsCenter

Maria Mosina makes her final public performance this weekend after 21 seasons as a Principal Dancer for the Colorado Ballet.

“To be honest, I would dance forever, but I believe this is the time for me to step out and give the opportunity to younger dancers to step in and dance for our audience,” said the Moscow-born, Bolshoi-trained dancer.

The final two, sold-out performances of Colorado Ballet's 2016-17 season take place on Saturday (April 8). After a year of farewell performances, Mosina will join company members in the traditional season-ender called Fancy Footwork, a personal program featuring pieces chosen by the dancers themselves.

Maria Mosina QuoteBut Saturday will not mark the end of Mosina's affiliation with the company. She is transitioning to a full-time position on the company's artistic staff, where her role will include working as a teacher, mentor and coach with company dancers as well as students in the Colorado Ballet Academy.

Mosina has mixed feelings about retiring because her brain and body are not telling her she has to stop dancing. But she knew this would be the last season of her professional career after she accidentally bumped into a metal barre and broke her foot while teaching last summer.

“Of course, throughout my career, there were little injuries and there’s always pain, but I don’t feel that it is time to stop because my body feels that it is enough," she said. "I think it’s better to stop when you’re on top of your career and not when you are going down.”

Mosina says she will miss most spending time in the studios working on ballets.  This is where she spent most of her time as a professional dancer.  “On stage, of course, it’s magic - but it’s a finished product,” said Mosina.  “Most of the time, we’re in studio working so hard, digging into our body, our brain, our soul, to pick up the best way to present our body, our soul to the audience. And for me, it’s the most interesting process.”

When Gil Boggs became the artistic director of Colorado Ballet in 2006, he was overjoyed to find Mosina dancing with the company.  “Maria is an artist who could have been a member of any major company in the world,” he said. “Because she chose Colorado Ballet, she helped to make this company truly exceptional.  Her sheer artistry and professionalism are a joy to behold. 

"It was a teary moment for me when realization came that her career was coming to an end.  I respect her artistry and what she has brought to this organization day after day.”

Mosina said she is thankful to Boggs for the opportunity to become a leader in the company over the over the years, and to previous Artistic Director Martin Fredmann for giving her a home in the company.

"Martin helped me open up and gave me confidence that I was able to trust in myself and my ability to dance different styles and difficulties," said Mosina. “He developed my talent with the repertoire and with the choreographers who worked with the company and made me believe I was capable of doing anything.

"And I feel like Gil gave me the opportunity to show my experience to the audience and to the company. He used me as an example of how to deal with the whole process: Rehearsals, preparation for roles and how to have a positive attitude for the work that was needed. I feel that he was very respectful to me for who I was as a professional dancer.”

Mosina says she is thankful for the opportunities she has had to work with choreographers, coaches, partners, mentors and teachers around the world. "I was very fortunate that throughout my career, I had a lot of people close to my heart — people, mentors who guided me,” she said.

Mosina expects the transition to her new role with the company will be a smooth one.

“Everyone knows that the career of a ballet dancer is not so long. But I had 26 years of dancing professionally, and I’ve traveled around the world and shown my art to different audiences,” said Mosina. “I’ve worked with the best teachers, coaches and choreographers, and I’ll be very thankful for all my life that I had the opportunity.”

Maria Mosina and Alexei Tyukov in Swan Lake. Photo by Mike Watson
Maria Mosina and Alexei Tyukov in the Colorado Ballet's 'Swan Lake.' Photo by Mike Watson

Fancy Footwork: Sold out
Saturday, April 8
Performances at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Black Box Theater at the Armstrong Center for Dance, 1075 Santa Fe Drive
Both performances are sold out

About the author:
Sanya Andersen-Vie graduated with a degree in Journalism from the University of Wyoming, and for the last 13 years has worked in marketing and public relations for non-profit and government agencies. She joined Colorado Ballet in 2011.

More about Maria Mosina:
Maria Mosina was born in Moscow and graduated from the Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Russia. Upon graduation, Mosina joined the Bolshoi Ballet Grigorovich Company and was chosen for principal roles.  She toured the world appearing on all major European, American, African and Asian stages. In 1995, Colorado Ballet invited Mosina to join as a leading principal dancer. She has performed all major parts in classical productions such as Clara and Sugarplum Fairy in The Nutcracker, Sylphide in La Sylphide, Odette-Odille in Swan Lake, Aurora and Princess Florine in The Sleeping Beauty, Giselle in Giselle, Swanhilda in Coppelia, Kitri in Don Quixote, Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, Talioni in Pas de Quatre, The Dying Swan, Le Spectre de La Rose and pas de deux from Le Corsaire, Talisman, Paquita, Les Sylphides. Ms. Mosina also had the chance to show her talent in neoclassical, modern and contemporary choreographed master pieces such as Balanchine’s Apollo, Rubies, Theme and Variations, Western Symphony, Serenade, Concerto Barocco, Stars and Stripes and Who Cares?, as well as Christopher Weeldon’s  A Midsummer Night's Dream, Peter Pucci’s Size Nine Spirit (as seen on PBS).  She has also performed Alvin Ailey’s River, Martha Graham’s monumental Appalachian Spring, Agnes de Mille's  Rodeo, Paul Taylor's Company B, F. Ashton's Facade, Antony Tudor's  Leaves are Fading and Echoing of Trumpets, Twyla Tharp's Nine Sinatra Songs and In The Upper Room, Glen Tetley’s The Rite of Spring, Michael Pink's Dracula and Hunchback of Notre Dame, S.Welch's Of Blessed Memory, Val Caniparoli’s In Pieces, Martin Fredmann and Alun Jones'  Romeo and Juliet, and Ben Stevenson's Cinderella, A Little Love, Mon Dieu, Sechertorte, Silent Woods and Dreamspace (as seen on PBS), Vebre's Where the Wild Things Are, Clark Tippet's Bruch Violin Concerto No.1, Matthew Neenan's The Faraway, Lynn Taylor-Corbett's Great Galloping Gottschalk, Lar Lubovitch's ...smile with my heart, Emery LeCrone’s Archetypes, Jodie Gates’ Embellish, Sandra Brown's The Last Beat, and many more. Mosina holds a bachelor's degree in methodology and pedagogy from the Moscow State Academy of Choreography. 

About Colorado Ballet
Established in 1961 by Lillian Covillo and Freidann Parker, Colorado Ballet is a non-profit organization celebrating 56 years of presenting world-class classical ballet and superior dance in Denver.  Under the direction of Artistic Director Gil Boggs, Colorado Ballet presents more than 50 performances annually. Colorado Ballet enhances the cultural life of Colorado through performances of the professional company, training at the Academy, and Education & Community Engagement programs.  Visit www.coloradoballet.org

1 comment

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  1. Karen A Goodson | Apr 22, 2017
    It is sad to see Marina go but I am so happy she is staying to enhance the lives of other dancers with her inner beauty an knowledge.

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    Award-winning arts journalist John Moore has recently taken a groundbreaking new position as the DCPA’s Senior Arts Journalist. With The Denver Post, he was named one of the 12 most influential theater critics in the US by American Theatre Magazine. He is the founder of the Denver Actors Fund, a nonprofit that raises money for local artists in medical need. John is a native of Arvada and attended Regis Jesuit High School and the University of Colorado at Boulder. Follow him on Twitter @moorejohn.

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