One Thousand and One Nights of a Bald Scheherazade: Interview with Marina Rasova from “D-Queens” Dan
Dancer Marina Rasova’s Moscow career has taken off in September 2018 with the established Russian dance group “D-Queens”. In this interview, Marina tells about her music and dance training, her career expectations and future tour around the US.
My friends were so surprised, they said: ‘You’re chosen by D-Queens?’”, Marina sounds as though she still can’t believe it herself. A few years ago, she moved from her hometown of Syktyvkar (the capital city of the Komi Republic, Russia) to Moscow to find herself in an extraordinary position working as a Go-Go dancer.
In 2017 she auditioned to join “D-Queens”, but was advised, despite her high-profile vocal and musicality, to improve her dancing skills and increase flexibility. Was she disappointed? “No, I took the advice seriously, it motivated me to work really hard through the upcoming year. Then, a year later I got a phone call from “D-Queens” to come for another audition. That’s how a year later, I got through the selection and joined the team in September 2018”.
When we meet for the interview, Marina had just returned from Amsterdam where she and “D-Queens” were participating in a series of closed events where the team showcased their new choreography. A dance focused on the theme of two contrasting worlds of a contemporary metropolis: posh corporate daytime world and the street world after midnight. The debut was hugely successful.
Marina plays modern-times Scheherazade, who falls in love with the street dancer, the pair roams the stage to beat the world’s most popular stereotypes.
“It was really inspiring to have those two worlds meet and it was really interesting, for me, because I’d never done any conceptual go-go dance before.”
Learning choreography to a pretty high standard in a matter of months sounds like a tall order, but Marina enjoyed the challenge. “I really had the chance and the opportunity to research the contemporary world of club dance and the people who run it – how they perform, how they move their bodies and faces and, of course, learn the whole dance. It was easier for me because I am in music field since early childhood, but I did have to learn this whole world.”
Marina studied vocals and piano in Syktyvkar for 7 years since the age of 6 before she flew to Moscow for various rehearsals. She took private choreography classes, she explains, “because it had to be specific for the character, but I started working in night clubs as a Go-Go dancer to get used to how you perform a particular role and how you create the atmosphere of the event”.
As for what she found the most difficult, she says: “The technique and choreographic memory. But once you get it, you understand it’s not about the steps, but the intuition and how you feel the music, the rhythm, the audience, the whole mood of the party.”
Marina’s dance journey began with signing and dancing at various school events. She was born in Syktyvka. Now 23, she lives in Moscow. After her classical music training, she decided to develop her career in go-go club dance context. Her recent breakthrough to “D-Queens” shows off her athleticism and flexibility in a loose-limbed, androgynous style. She admits she is drawn to shape-shifters like most of the dancers of Hollywood’s hottest dance studio “The Millennium Dance Complex”. “What inspires me the most is that those talented dancers from Millenium became their own person and they developed that character. It’s important for me to develop who I am. I cannot stop working, I get energy from my own achievements and successes, that is what moves me forward.”
Marina doesn’t want to be pigeonholed. “In 5 years, when I am 28, I see myself as an accomplished public person. I’d love to learn acting and to perform in a movie or a TV show, but I really want to act and sing, I don’t want to just dance. I really want to be on stage. That’s what I really dream of. As for now, we, D-Queens, are in great anticipation of our upcoming tour around the US in spring 2019. New York, Miami, LA, Las Vegas – Russians are coming!”