Born: Moscow, Russia
Trained: Canada’s National Ballet School
If someone handed you $1,000,000 tomorrow, you would…
Buy a house.
If you could live in any other time period, which would you choose?
Somewhere where there were horse-drawn carriages and computers were not yet in existence.
Could you tell us 3 random things we don’t know about you?
I eat and sleep a lot, I paint and draw. I write.
Which movie could you watch on repeat?
Aladdin probably because it’s animated, fast paced and amazing. I could watch a lot of dramatic films as well, but not on repeat.What would you have done as a career if ballet hadn’t come your way?
There are many different careers that interest me. A nun, a nurse or a volunteer. I’d like to be a doctor or a lawyer or work in the mental health field. I can also see myself as a researcher, working with the deaf, or working as an anthropologist, a childcare worker, child psychologist, writer, teacher, linguist, archaeologist, historiographer, choreographer, composer, designer, sculptor, fashion designer.
What’s the last thing that brought tears to your eyes?
When you have a day off, what’s your favourite way to spend it?
Sleeping or spending time with friends or family.
Where in the world would you like to see yourself living some day?
Was there a pivotal moment that sold you on being a ballet dancer over doing anything else?
When I understood that it’s an all-encompassing art form.
What is your philosophy towards your work?
I am in service to humanity through art.
How do you handle criticism?
The same way I handle a snapshot taken from a film – the snapshot is taken possibly from a wrong angle or I was not very interesting at that particular moment, but it is part of the whole framework of the film which serves a bigger purpose.
Milk chocolate or dark?
Favourite colour and least favorite colour?
Favourite: blue and white together as well as with yellow sometimes. My least favourite colours are red and black.What’s your definition of a successful ballet dancer?
I’ll go with a quote from Marc Chagall: “You can only be an artist if you are at least a great person.”
To me that means who you are in life reflects how you are able to transcend onstage. It’s kind of like “You are what you eat” or “You are the things you surround yourself with and do”, but for life.
Also from my mom: “Stay on your path.”
What’s the worst thing about being a dancer and what’s the best?
The worst thing are insecurities, the best thing is getting over insecurities.
What’s the biggest misconception about you and why?
I don’t know what people think about me so it doesn’t carry any weight for me. No one truly knows anybody anyway, we will always make things up about people based on what we know, but things are always more complex because people are all unique.
What do you worry about?
Health of my loved ones.If you were stranded on a deserted island, what three things would you have and why?
A boat if I ever wanted to leave, some kind of saltwater to freshwater converter and some books.
What was the last thing you changed your mind about?
Buying a home.
Thoughts on dating: inside the dance world, or out?
Outside of the company.
What cheers you up on an off day?
Talking to my best friend.
Are there any costumes that you’ve either danced in or seen that strike you as amazing or memorable?
A Month in the Country – Vera’s costume.
What is your fashion style outside of work?
I’d wear pretty much anything from Anthropologie.
Ballet often seems to attract a very exclusive audience. Do you think that’s changing? What do you think its appeal could be to those who haven’t seen one yet?
The stories, the music and the patterns onstage.
What is your favorite memory of being onstage?
Romeo and Juliet and Giselle.
Tatiana in Onegin and Spartacus.
Words of advice for young dancers?
What’s the biggest risk you’ve taken, either personally or in your career?
Not moving to another country.
You were born in Russia. What are you favourite dishes and customs from home?
Russia blini pancakes.
When are you most proud of yourself?
When I’m being myself.
Tell us about an awe-inspiring thing you’ve seen or experienced.
Too many for words – the voice of a newborn, old rite Byzantine chant, the smell of incense in an old cathedral, the sound of people singing in unison.
Do you have a favourite quotation?
“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” – Ghandi
When do you feel at your best?
When I’m inspired by the right things.
What charitable causes are you most passionate about?
Helping the homeless, the mentally ill and the deaf.
What are the top items on your bucket list?
Pilgrimages, traveling around the world, opening charities and making counseling centers for those in need.
Do you have any habits or superstitions before you perform?
I read my prayer rule in the changeroom and before I go onstage. I say a prayer and cross myself.
Do you have any items you can’t live without when you travel?
My faith and a sense of humour.
Elena Lobsanova is sponsored through Dancers First by Sandra Faire & Ivan Fecan.
Read Elena’s bio, https://national.ballet.ca/Meet/Dancers/Principals/Elena-Lobsanova
See Elena onstage in the 2016/17 season, national.ballet.ca