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, and as a principal with London Festival Ballet and SWRB, an international guest artist, and partnering Rudolf Nureyev. She then directed The Australian Ballet (1983-1997) and the Royal Danish Ballet.
Free-lancing since 1999, she stages both classical works such as her highly acclaimed The Sleeping Beauty and Giselle for The Australian Ballet (staged also for Boston Ballet, Ballet du Rhin, and Houston Ballet), and various works choreographed by Maurice Bejart, including Serait-ce la Mort, Bhakti, Webern opus 5, and Songs of a Wayfarer.
Maina made a comeback in 2003 as a dancer and actress in Bejart's L’Heure Exquise, and now guest teaches and coaches around the world. She has had a special relationship with English National Ballet under the directorship of Wayne Eagling, with whose dancers she worked for several months each season.
In 2012, she staged Rudolf Nureyev's Don Quixotte for Boston Ballet, and Maurice Bejart's Song of a Wayfarer for the National Ballet of Canada.
In 2013, Maina staged Serge Lifar's Suite en Blanc for San Francisco Ballet which premiered in January 2013, and was part of the New York season in October 2013. In May she staged La Sylphide for the Rome Opera Ballet in Erik Bruhn's production of the Bournonville version, then worked on Rudolph Nureyev's production of Swan Lake with La Scala, Milan.
In 2014, her schedule includes coaching Birmingham Royal Ballet's Elmhurst Ballet School students in their end of year performance of Sir Frederick Ashton's Birthday Offering,staging a production of the Bournonville La Sylphide with new sets and costumes, for the Hungarian National Ballet, and staging Nureeyev's Don Quixotte for La Scala Milan.
In the latter half of the year, she will be travelling to Australia to work with all three classically based companies, giving Master classes and coaching at West Australian Ballet, Queensland Ballet and The Australian Ballet, prior to restaging her acclaimed production of Giselle in Melbourne and Sydney.
Maina is now, in addition to her free-lance work, the Artistic Advisor for the Hungarian National Ballet, of which Tamas Solymosi is Artistic Director.