Mar 062013

Ivan Vasiliev as Quasimodo’s sched­uled début with the bal­let com­pany at ’s , and also in the role of Quasimodo in ’s bal­let , was delayed from Sat­urday due to a last minute injury. Yes­ter­day, how­ever, he went on and scored a suc­cess that a log­gionista described as one of the supreme bal­let even­ings in the last forty years at Milan’s opera house. She com­pared the pres­ence of Vasiliev with that of Nureyev: per­son­al­it­ies that draw atten­tion towards them, even when they are not dan­cing and the inten­ded focus of the cho­reo­graphy. Such artists are indeed rare.

Italian blog­ger and bal­letomane Marino Palles­chi commented,

At 24 years of age, is it pos­sible to have under­stood all of Roman­ti­cism? And at 24 is it pos­sible to have the artistic matur­ity to immerse one­self in a char­ac­ter and be able to com­mu­nic­ate this to an audi­ence? Yes, it’s pos­sible, and he’s called Ivan Vasiliev.

Com­ment­at­ors piled super­lat­ives up high. One audi­ence mem­ber attrib­uted Vasiliev’s abil­ity to enter Quasimodo’s head as his being Rus­sian, with a Dosto­evskian approach in under­stand­ing char­ac­ter; another that while the mag­ni­fi­cence of his dance was to be expec­ted, it was the sub­tlety of how he com­mu­nic­ated this wounded spirit with total believab­il­ity that rendered his per­form­ance great; a third observed how per­fectly he showed the bliss of enter­ing in a pas de deux with his beloved Esmer­alda when his deform­ity dis­ap­pears, and for a moment he is free.

The pub­lic reacted with just delirium.

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