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  • Writer's pictureJulia Sumzina

Maxim Zenin: I sincerely call Australia my home now

Updated: Mar 27

Today on March 25 La Notte Magazine is 4! And we also congratulate our big friend Maxim Zenin on his birthday! Maxim is a soloist of the Australian ballet, where he works since 2022. We have talked with him about his work and life in Australia.

Maxim, it’s been so long since we talked. Now you’re a soloist of the Australian ballet... How can you characterize your work with David Hallberg?

I will say for sure that the Australian ballet is very lucky to work with David. He is a person with a kind heart and a great professional in his field. Working with David is a luxury, he is one of the iconic dancers of our time, so learning from him and preparing parts under his supervision is priceless. Last season, one of our guest coaches said that in her entire life she had never met a better director than David. And she had quite a lot of experience (laughs). So we can trust her .

What characters from your repertoire are the closest to your personality?

This question is always difficult to answer. Each new role becomes familiar to you, after a long time of preparation . But sometimes there really are happy coincidences. It was very easy for me to get into the character of Prince Siegfried from "Swan Lake" . I was very worried while preparing for this premiere. Not only technically, but also emotionally. There wasn't much time, but everything worked out, thanks to our artistic team and the fact that I felt this role very quickly.

And a little about the contemporary ballets…

I really love contemporary ballets. Fortunately, the Australian Ballet has a huge repertoire of leading choreographers of our time. During this time I danced the ballets of W. Forsythe, W. McGregor, Paul Lightfoot and Sol León, etc. Now I am preparing the premiere of the ballet "Carmen" by Johan Inger , as well as a new production from our resident choreographer Stephanie Lake, one of the brightest and most talented choreographers in Australia. Contemporary ballet for me is a way how I develop a creative part of my personality, it’s occupies a large part of my professional life.

What do you like the most in Australia?

This is too general question. Australia is beautiful in many ways. Culture, nature, people. A place with incredibly good energy. I'm very glad that my life brought me here. I would say that the most striking feature of Australia is the people. Very kind, open, always ready to help you and support.

Do you have some favorite places in Sydney and Melbourne?

Yes, in two years I’m already found my favorite restaurants, bars, parks and beaches in Australia. I'm very happy about this, it creates a home atmosphere for me. By the way, I sincerely call Australia my home now, this feeling did not appear to me right away. What about my places, I’ll share with you one, you can often see me in the Fitzroy Garden in Melbourne, it reminds me a little of the parks of St. Petersburg, but only in a very good weather (smiles).

How do you spend your free time?

I rest and devote time to my health. Doesn't sound very interesting (laughs). To be honest, the Australian Ballet works very hard. We have a colossal workload. There is a rumor that the Mariinsky Theater has the heaviest workload in the world among ballet companies. I can say for sure that the Australian Ballet is not inferior in this. So all dancers take a lot of time to recover. But this can always be combined with something pleasant. For example, going to the beach or meeting friends. I'm still discovering Australia for myself, so I'm always ready for small trips in my free time.

Interview: Julia Sumzina

Photos: Pierre Toussaint, Simon Eles, Australian ballet

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