The daughter of Bolshoi stars Irek and Masha
Mukhamedov, Dutch National Ballet’s Sasha
Mukhamedov is making her own mark.
By Laura Cappelle
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To whom would you attribute your
My mom, because I trained privately
with her. She pushed me to become
what I am now, and she’s one of the best
teachers out there. She doesn’t just go
by her Bolshoi schooling: She’s really
good at finding what’s right for you.
Was it a hindrance or a help to have
famous parents in the ballet world?
It’s 50/50. Sometimes it’s great
because they can pass on everything
they know to me, but there are also
moments when people recognize my
name, and it’s instant pressure. Some
will look at me differently and wonder
if I’m actually good enough. I had to
prove myself through my work.
What’s the least glamorous part of
being a dancer?
Taking care of all your blisters and
sore toenails. A Russian trick is to
do a vodka compress overnight: You
soak a bandage in vodka and wrap it
around the toes that are hurting. You
sleep with it, and it looks great in the
morning, nice and wrinkly. It smells of
vodka, but it really works!
Are you superstitious?
Unfortunately, yes. A common Russian
superstition is the safety pin. You
attach it somewhere or have it with
you at all times to keep you safe. I
always pin one on my costume.
Of which accomplishment are you
the most proud?
Becoming a principal at 26. I’ve always
wanted it, but I never really thought
it would happen so soon. My director
announced it onstage after my debut
in his Coppélia, on Christmas Eve. It
was a really special Christmas present.
Who is your toughest critic?
My mom! But in a good way. It’s a big
deal to me if she thinks something is
good. I won’t believe what people are
saying until I hear from her.
What skill would you most like to
I don’t have a driver’s license. It would
be handy. It’s not really needed in
Amsterdam, but I’ve always wanted to
get a scooter.
How would you like to be
How my dad is remembered, perhaps:
for my strong personality onstage. P
72 POINTE August/September2017 pointemagazine.com
Symphony in C