Andrea Santolaya

Location: Madrid
Nationality: Spanish
Biography: Andrea Santolaya (Madrid, 1982) has developed a personal and honest photographic language to portray the life of small communities where timelessness as a social bond stands out. Whether with the Mikhailovsky Ballet of Saint Petersburg, in... MORE
Public Story
Copyright Andrea Santolaya 2022
Date of Work Dec 1969 - Dec 1969
Updated May 2016
Topics Black and White, Photography


The starting point of this project starts with a quest within the representation of dance and its origins inside the Russian Ballet. Therefore, I moved to the heart of classsical theater: the Mikhailovsky Theater in Saint Petersburg. The Mikhailovsky ballet is formed by a one hundred percent Russian body. Dancers, masters, artisans, everyone inside the theater is Russian. Nacho Duato is the first foreign artist to direct this ballet. In this classical world of ballets like Swan Lake, Giselle, Romeo and Juliet and so on Nacho has bravely introduced contemporary choreographies such as Duende, Nunc Dimitis and the reinterpretation of the classical Sleeping Beauty, considered to be the cradle of Ballet.

Nacho opened to me the door of the Mikhailovsky Theater to photograph this performing world from its heart. For months, I have literally lived and slept sharing showers and canteen inside the residential area for dancers within the theater. In order to be able to photograph the most unseen and secret corners of this theater. And document the daily life of one of the most ancient theaters in the world with the most demanding dance troupe that exists.

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