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Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview. Our mission is to create a sanctuary online for serious thinking.

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The prodigy

9 minutes

For the star of the Bolshoi Ballet, there is no distinction between life and art

Olga Smirnova lives to dance. A leading soloist and star of the Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow, she works from dawn until dusk, barely pausing to rest or eat a quick meal. Even when she isn’t dancing, she is constantly thinking of ballet: she says the music never stops playing in her mind, invading even her dreams. The Prodigy is a rich account of the trials and rewards of professional dance, and a portrait of one young woman’s intense dedication to her art.

Director: Michael Sugrue

Producer: Fyodor Mozgovoy, The Key Productions

Support Aeon

Ideas can change the world

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview.

But we can’t do it without you.

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview. Our mission is to create a sanctuary online for serious thinking.

No ads, no paywall, no clickbait – just thought-provoking ideas from the world’s leading thinkers, free to all. But we can’t do it without you.

Become a Friend for $5 a month or Make a one-off donation

Essay/Anthropology
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Sandra Newman

Essay/Rituals & Celebrations
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Evidence of burial rites by the primitive, small-brained Homo naledi suggests that symbolic behaviour is very ancient indeed

Paige Madison