Tonight, Ivan Vasiliev makes a début in a new ballet. It is a special début, a double début, as it marks his first outing as a choreographer and, appropriately, it is entitled Ballet N°1.
When you go on stage as a dancer, you are responsible for your own performance. Here I’m responsible for absolutely everything, and if it’s a failure, it is your fault and no one else’s,
There are ballets that still want to dance, but, you know, now I’m curious about other things. I want to create… not only dance, but also to do something as a writer, as a director as well as choreographer.
Vasiliev’s new work uses the music from Ravel’s Bolero and will form the second half of the programme.
I chose Ravel, because it’s beautiful, rhythmic and really exciting music. I thought that I could put my own take on it and it all came together quite quickly.
The first part will be solos and pas de deux to show off the talents of the dancers in his Ballet N°1. He will dance Scheherazade with his on and offstage partner, Bolshoi First Soloist Maria Vinogradova. The couple got engaged a few months ago and will be married in the summer.
She supports me in everything, and without her, I probably wouldn’t have dared to create a ballet. She believes in me and encourages me even with my craziest ideas. I can have a million ideas in my head and Masha always says, “Go and do it!”
The work will be presented tonight at the Concert Hall of the Barvikha Luxury Village, a modern complex in an exclusive Moscow suburb.
I set out to show that in our country we don’t only know how to dance classics, but also modern choreography… maybe much better than many Western companies.
Of course, he dances with many of those companies, travelling continually from continent to continent: “My diary is booked up for the next two years.”
The ballet world, like the world of art, is not related to politics. We live together with creative spirit, both foreign and Russian colleagues… it feels like a great team. Art brings joy and unites the world. I really believe that this is the best way to come together – to make art.
So does he feel up to the responsibility of creating his first ballet?
I’m Spartacus. He had leadership qualities, a sense of justice and the desire to prevail. I think that I am something like that.
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.