"A machine can't express emotions like a human" - ballerina Anita Pudikova on her The Twins role in Atomic Heart, art and modern technologies

Reading time  ~6  mins

There's been a lot of discussions on the internet recently about The Twins – robots-bodyguards from Mundfish’s Atomic Heart video game. For their slim body and a real ballet-like grace you might thank Grand Theatre’s ballerina Anita Pudikova, whose movements were digitized by the game creators to make the chromatic securities. Here’s the conversation with Anita on her career, Atomic Hearts and new technologies in today’s ballet.

The original interview was taken by Super.ru in Russian. We present you a translation of the interview.

— Anita, when did you start doing ballet professionally? What difficulties did you meet?

— I entered the ballet academy when I was 10. Before it, I used to do the rhythmic gymnastics courses and the last year before entering I also went to pre-academy courses. Overall, I had almost no difficulties, except for being a little nervous. It inspires a lot when you open a new world for yourself, a world you used to be in as a viewer, and now you are the one on the stage. I felt I wanted to study something new.

Read more: Skyblivion, a remake of The Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion, finally has a release date after over ten years in development

— When did you first perform on the Grand Theatre’s stage?

— It first happened in 2015, when I went on the stage in a corps de ballet group. Some time later, I became experienced enough to perform solo, that’s what I like the most even now.

Side note: Who Are The Twins?
The Twins are humanoid robots in Atomic hearts, Sechenov's personal assistants and bodyguards.

The Twins / Atomic Hearts

— What is your favorite play in your repertoire?

— I can watch “Ivan the Terrible” endlessly, while playing it is a real pleasure! This play is genius in all terms – the music, the scenery, the choreography, characters are highly detailed and are exposed brilliantly. The quintessence of delight!

— What ballet part would you like to perform? Is there such a part that every ballerina dreams to perform? The party that embodies professional success.

— Everyone has their own “dream part”. I mainly perform temperamental repertoire and my personal dream came true the previous season when I was asked to perform the Gypsy part from “Don Quixote”. Every dancer treats the role in their own way, but the part itself is the opportunity to live and show in the scene a complete love story within several minutes. I’m very grateful to the Theatre’s management and my mentor Karen Yurievich Ioannisyan personally, who helped me with the part’s preparation.

Read more: Diablo 4: Release date, Classes, Gameplay

— What qualities should a person possess to become a famous ballet dancer?

— There’s no particular set of features and skills you should have to get a desired result. Your success depends on many factors, including your physical abilities.

Anita Pudikova. Image credit: Super.ru, Alexander Yakovlev.

— What qualities helped you personally to reach success?

— When I had the most difficult moments in my career I used to say to myself my father’s words: “My girl, remember, whatever happens, they can bend you, but never break you!”. These words I use in my everyday life too, although I always try to be honest with myself and not to overestimate myself. It’s also a good thing to listen to the critics (trust me, it makes you stronger next time). I also believe that a good attitude towards yourself and a responsible attitude towards your performance can bring you to the top.

— After Atomic Heart was released, your presence in the project was widely discussed on the Internet. How did you meet the game developers? What was your role in the project?

— The game creators themselves contacted me and offered for me to take part in the project. It was an exciting process: we discussed the details together and I was dressed in a special suit that tracked my movements. It was a new and cool experience.

Read more: 8 points to discuss in video games industry in 2023

— Could you tell us about the characters? What role do they play in the game?

— The Twins are the robotized ballerinas, they are comrade Sechenov’s personal bodyguards. There’s a lot of info about them on the web, but not to spoil the pleasure for people who haven’t played the game yet I won’t reveal details.

— Do you play video games?

— I do, but not too often. I simply don’t have enough free time due to my theater schedule. But if I have a couple of hours of free time, I might lay on a couch with a gamepad in my hands and immerse myself into a game, abstracting from my thoughts.

Anita Pudikova. Image credit: Super.ru, Alexander Yakovlev.

— What do you think, can video games be called a modern art?

— I feel good about video games overall, as about anything else related to technology development. The point is what kind of idea does the project deliver? The process of creating something new itself impresses me, whereas when we talk about games – there are whole new worlds being created.

— Did you get more fans after the game was released?

— Yes, my socials have a high activity level now. New acquaintances and new individuals – I like it a lot. Of course some of them have negative opinions of me, but I got used to it a long time ago and in a percentage ratio there are few negative against many positive.

— Have you seen any high-tech in ballet nowadays? How does it change your routine, what does it add?

— Of course! Yes, the core of ballet is a human body, everything is attached to it, its abilities and beauty are demonstrated in a show, the dancer’s personality is constant. But when it’s accomplished with, for example, sophisticated lighting into a vivid picture it might contribute to the better understanding of the play for the viewers. It may enhance a viewer’s perception, to help them feel the vibe.

— Do you think an artist can be replaced with new technologies?

— If we speak about a hologram replacement – it’s quite an arguable point. I don’t think a machine can express emotions like a human. If we also take into account how fast technologies are developing, everything is going online and digital, the worth of anything real and alive grows proportionally.

Anita Pudikova. Image credit: Super.ru, Alexander Yakovlev.
CS Virtual Trade Ltd, reg. no. HE 389299 Registered address and the principal place of business: 705, Spyrou Araouzou & Koumantarias, Fayza House, 3036, Limassol, Cyprus
Copyright © 2024 BLIX.GG. All rights reserved.
CS Virtual Trade Ltd, reg. no. HE 389299 Registered address and the principal place of business: 705, Spyrou Araouzou & Koumantarias, Fayza House, 3036, Limassol, Cyprus
Copyright © 2024 BLIX.GG. All rights reserved.