MAINA GIELGUD A.0.
Trained by the great Russians including Tamara Karsavina and Lubov Egorova, and later Rosella Hightower, Maina Gielgud has had an incredibly diverse career creating works with Maurice Bejart’s XXth Century Ballet, dancing as a principal with London Festival Ballet and Sadlers Wells Royal Ballet, as an international guest artist, and being partnered by Rudolf Nureyev. She then directed The Australian Ballet (1983-1997) and the Royal Danish Ballet (1997-1999).
Maina made a comeback in 2003 and 2008 as a dancer and actress in Bejart's L’Heure Exquise.
Free-lancing since 1999, Maina is Artistic Advisor of the Hungarian National Ballet and both Artistic Advisor and Authorised Repetiteur of The "Anton Dolin Foundation", formed in Berlin by Jelko Yuresha, Michael Scheinin and Mikhail Kaniskin.
She guest teaches and coaches in major companies all over the world, as well as in renowned schools, regularly teaching Masterclasses for Ellison Ballet, and ABT Summer intensives in New York.
Her own classical productions are much in demand: her highly acclaimed Giselle for The Australian Ballet (staged also for Boston Ballet, Ballet du Rhin, and Houston Ballet) The Sleeping Beauty; Coppelia, and Cinderella in her own choreography, various works choreographed by Maurice Bejart, including Serait-ce la Mort, Bhakti, Webern opus 5, and Song of a Wayfarer; by Kenneth MacMillan: Manon; Serge Lifar: Suite en Blanc; Rudolf Nureyev's productions of Don Quixotte and Swan Lake, and classical favourites such as Les Sylphides, Spectre de la Rose, Paquita.
‘Coaching the Coaches' is an experimental interactive workshop introduced in London in August 2017, a new initiative of Maina Gielgud’s, it is dedicated to discussion and examples of ideas and methods of coaching students for ballet competitions as well as professional dancers for their solo and principal repertoire. Within it’s umbrella, and for the purpose of redefining and coaching the Romantic style, a November 2019 two-day workshop for professional dancer, advanced students and teachers/coaches is planned. To be held in London, discussion is presently underway for a video presentation of this enterprise as well as introduction into various summer intensives.
In the last few years her busy schedule has included various stagings: a production of the Bournonville La Sylphide with new sets and costumes for the Hungarian National Ballet and with the same company, Kenneth MacMillan's Manon for three consecutive seasons; Nureyev’s Don Quixotte for La Scala Milan; her own Cinderella for Goh Ballet; Anton Dolin's Variations for 4 for Ellison Ballet and La Scala school in Milan; Anton Dolin's Pas de Quatre for the New National Ballet in Tokyo Japan; teaching and rehearsing Serge Lifar's Suite en Blanc in St Petersburg, which was then staged by Attilio Labis for the Vaganova 280th anniversary graduation performances; a restaging of her production of Giselle for The Australian Ballet in August 2018 and April 2019.
She also choreographed two short works for Ellison Ballet's Winter Showcase to Benjamin Britten's Sea Interludes, one of which, Storm was performed for YAGP in New York
She was on the Jury of the Helsinki Competition and YAGP 2019, Paris and New York.
2019 began with many exciting projects: guest teaching at Annarella Academy in Portugal and staging her own new production of The Sleeping Beauty for Jo'burg Ballet. She then returned to New York staging for Spring Showcases: Aurora’s Wedding for Ballet Academy East, and excerpts from La Sylphide for Ellison Ballet.
Her staging in August of Maurice Bejart’s Song of a Wayfarer for the Joyce Festival in New York, with David Hallberg and Joseph Gordon received an immense and emotional response.
The second half of this year sees Maina staging Bejart’s Squeaky Door solo for Maria Khoreva, staging act 2 of La Sylphide for the Annarella Academy, guest teaching for Queensland Ballet in Brisbane, and National Ballet School, Toronto.
Many exciting ventures for 2020 were postponed due to Covid of course...
Amongst these however, the production of a new full length Swan Lake for Cape Town City Ballet which was to premiere in August, was fully put together during several weeks working with the company in South Africa just before the massive lockdowns started. Ready to rehearse and fine tune to performance stage - when the pandemic allows.... hopefully during 2021.
Manon restaging for the Hungarian State Ballet was postponed from September 2020 to a yet unknown time, as was an exciting project for 'Fall for Dance' at City Center New York...
However thanks to Zoom technology, time was not wasted, and private coaching and repertoire classes were held with Ellison Ballet and Conservatorio Annarella. The latter, once their seven studios in Leiria were allowed to open, resulting in five and three weeks respectively spent there working on and ultimately performing Anton Dolin's Pas de Quatre and Variations for 4 and act 2 of Giselle in July, as well as a full length Giselle performed to a socially distanced audience on 20th September.
The success of Giselle led to a full length production of her Swan Lake in December 2020 which is repeating on 29th April 2021 with this outstanding Academy and its extraordinarily talented students, with 16 year old Margarita Fernandes and multi award winning 17 year old Antonio Casalinho in the leading roles of Odette/Odile and Prince Siegfried.
Some other unusual possibiities appear for 2021 - watch this space!