The September issue of Vogue Russiacontained an interview with the Mariinsky prima ballerina Diana Vishneva. She was about to dance Angelin Preljocaj’s Le Parc. When asked to describe Vishneva he said that “she is impossible to describe, like a rose: just as beautiful and just as complicated”.
One of her first partners was Farukh Ruzimatov
Farukh was my first love. He is a complex person and was always dissatisfied – with us, and with me. But there were also moments of happiness that made all the suffering worth it. When we danced in Roland Petit’s “Carmen” it was something unbelievable, as if there was something propelling us ever upward. He is 13 years older than me, but on stage we must be equal… Life on stage gets so messed up when the off-stage relationship is involved: there were moments when I thought “I hope I get through this alive!”
“We separated, then got back together again – but it was a passion that could only end in tragedy. In the end I decided that I should go to the West.
Being in the West brought her in to contact with another styles and repertoires. Like many graduates of the Vaganova Academy, Vishneva hadn’t used her perfectly trained body outside of the classical vocabulary. She says,
In school I saw a video on Sylvie Guillem. I was shocked by her incredible physique. I thought, here we know nothing, we see nothing, we don’t understand! We must learn to use the feet differently, stretch the body in new directions. I decided to follow my own path like she had done – away from dancing only the classics and toward modern choreography, dance made specially for me …
Photography for Vogue Russia by Patrick Demarchelier
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano’) about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman’s Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia’ column for Dancing Times magazine.