The Nederlands Dans Theatre perform at the Mariinsky’s new theatre, Mariinsky II, tonight. Artistic director Paul Lightfoot talked to Izvestia on his thoughts about the recent Bolshoi scandals.
I know Sergei Filin. What happened to him was a terrible tragedy. I hate cruelty and do not understand this act. Ballet is such a beautiful, illuminating artform, a universal language; but this attack on Filin takes us away from that and into politics. I think that after this tragedy, the Bolshoi Ballet must come together and support each other.
The journalist explained that Bolshoi artists cannot speak to the press without prior permission.
Unlike many dance companies ours is very democratic. Our dancers have the right to free speech.
Surprisingly Lightfoot doesn’t know who the Bolshoi’s star dancer Nikolai Tsiskaridze is. However the Mariinsky’s Diana Vishneva he knows well as he collaborated with Sol León on the ballet Subject to Change which was part of Vishneva’s Dialogues project.
Diana is wonderful. She’s a big star, a very beautiful ballerina, and has a fantastic technique. We worked perfectly together. She had to work very hard, and sometimes when things didn’t work she cried, but in spite of everything with her will-power she managed to penetrate our choreographic style. She won The Golden Mask award for Dialogues. I’m happy for her. She spent a lot of time and effort making it happen: it’s her baby.
Photo: Diana Vishneva & Andrey Merkuriev in Subject to Change Photo by Gene Schiavonne
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.