CriticalDance Forum

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Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Sat Jul 12, 2003 7:47 am ]
Post subject:  Interviews

This is where we will place the links for interviews with Kirov dancers, choregraphers and setters by the CriticalDance team.

By all means tell us what you think about the artists and the themes raised in the interviews.

<small>[ 18 September 2003, 06:27 PM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Thu Jul 17, 2003 4:55 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Interviews


An Interview with Igor Zelensky
by Emma Pegler for CriticalDance

Igor Zelensky is a man back from the brink. Two years ago it was not at all certain that he would ever dance again. He spent six months lying flat in bed after two operations on a herniated disc. He returned to dancing last November and although he is not back to full fitness – he is still not able to lift ballerinas – he has big plans for himself. All that time lying in bed gave him plenty of opportunity for reflection: “For six months I couldn’t move and I thought how I would react if someone now wanted to give me my own company – gave me the chance to be a director. But I still had a chance to be a dancer.” He has to dance.

click for more

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Fri Jul 18, 2003 1:53 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Interviews

An interview from May 2003 when Ilya Kuznetsov was in London for the premiere of "Madame Lionelli":

An Interview with Ilya Kuznetsov of the Mariinsky/Kirov Ballet

by Joanne Brack for CriticalDance

....Ilya is probably one of the most interesting dancers of the tour to interview at present. Dancing in the UK premiere of Madame Lioneli this week with Irma Nioradze and also presenting excerpts from the controversial Manon and the St. Petersberg stalwart, Raymonda, Ilya certainly has an interesting and exciting week to look forward to.

Ilya came across as a thinker and as someone with great focus. As he sat in reception calmly relaxing you could see the many thoughts running through his head perhaps about the week ahead. He came across as proud of his traditional roots but also someone who appreciates and would like to see the development of the modern style.

click for more

Later: We'll leave this here as it's an interesting read, but sadly Kuznetsov did not make the trip to London.

<small>[ 29 July 2003, 02:09 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Fri Jul 18, 2003 1:56 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Interviews

An Interview with Sergei Vikharev - Reconstructing La Bayadère

by Cassandra for CriticalDance

It was a pleasure to speak at length with former Kirov dancer and now ballet producer Sergei Vikharev about the new production of “ La Bayadère ” that the company is bringing to London at the end of this month. This version is based upon the notation made by Nikolai Sergeyev after the revival of the ballet in 1900, in what was to be the final version supervised by Marius Petipa. Vikharev has stripped away almost all the later choreographic additions to this ballet in an attempt to remain true to the original.

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Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Sun Jul 27, 2003 7:25 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Interviews

An Interview with Howard Sayette

– staging “Les Noces”

By Stuart Sweeney

July 2003

Howard Sayette grew up in Los Angeles, and received his training from many of the post Diaghilev Russian émigrés, including Tatiana Riabouchinska. He danced in Denham's Ballet Russes de Monte Carlo from 1956-1960, and was
Soloist in the Metropolitan Opera Ballet from 1960-1972.

From 1978 to 1998 he was the ballet master of the Oakland Ballet Co. in
California, which, along with the Joffrey, was dedicated to the revival of
many Diaghilev ballets. The Oakland Ballet was the first American company to
stage Bronislava Nijinska’s “Les Noces” and the revival was supervised by Bronislava's daughter Irina. It is this version which is the source for his stagings of the work on ten companies to date.

Having set “Les Noces” on the Kirov in June 2003, he is now in London to rehearse the Company for their UK premiere of the work. Howard is suitably discreet about working with the Kirov, but reading between the lines I have the impression that Millicent Hodson’s descriptions of her problems with the very hectic Kirov schedule have not come as a surprise to him. We talked about “Les Noces” and the role this extraordinary work has played in his life.

Q. Before you worked on “Les Noces” I understand that you had already met Bronislava Nijinska.

A. Yes, that’s right. When I was a dancer at the Metropolitan Opera Ballet at the time when Dame Alicia Markova was the Director, we had a teacher from England, Kathleen Croft, who had been in Pavlova’s company I think. She had been closely associated with Bronislava and when the company Kathleen set up in Buffalo was booked for a season at Jacob’s Pillow, Markova sent me and a few other dancers to be guest artists in “Les Biches” and the “Brahm’s Variations”. So I worked with Bronislava for six weeks in Buffalo and then we performed at Jacob’s Pillow. That was also where I met Irina, Bronislava’s daughter.

Have you seen David Drew’s interview on the Royal Ballet’s “Les Noces” DVD? He describes exactly what it was like working with Bronislava. And of course when I knew her she was older than the time that David describes. It was so difficult to understand what she said, although “Les Biches” and “Brahm’s Variations” use more of the classical vocabulary, so she could beat with her hands and show us the steps. It was really quite an experience and I always remember that she would always start the rehearsal with something new and if you weren’t involved in that section you could be sitting around for three hours, but when your turn came you always danced as if your life depended on it.

A few years after I retired from the Met, I returned to California and became the Ballet Master at the Oakland Ballet and Ronn Guidi, the Artistic Director was very interested in the Diaghilev repertoire. So, he called Irina and asked if Oakland could have “Les Noces” and she agreed after coming to see the Company.

I should say at this stage, that it’s only very recently that I have seen the Royal Ballet version staged by Bronislava herself and I have always wanted to make comparisons. I am familiar with the RB version of “Les Biches” and that was almost identical to the version I know, but “Les Noces” is really different. Not the architecture, but some of the style, the steps and other details. Irina came to Oakland with the choreologist Juliette Kondo, who used a Benesh score. Irina was too old to show the steps, but she had an incredible memory for what her Mother intended and she had been with Bronislava when “Les Noces” was set on the Royal Ballet. I always assumed that the Benesh score that Juliette Kondo produced was the Royal Ballet version. That was why I was so surprised when I saw the differences in the Royal Ballet version.

This week I rang Robert Johnson, an American critic and historian. Irina used to stay with Robert and his Mother when we were working together in New York. I asked him about the Benesh scores and he was almost sure that the version we used in the Oakland Ballet was based on the Venice production in 1971, which was one of the last that Bronislava made. She was known for changing things and to date that’s the only explanation I’ve come up with. For instance, in a documentary there is an excerpt of an earlier film of the RB version with Anthony Dowell, showing the scene where the girls are holding the braids. In the Oakland version it’s the two girls furthest away holding the braid up high, whereas in the RB version on one side it’s the closest girl and on the other it’s the one furthest away.

This is the tenth staging I’ve done and before she passed away, Irina was at all the rehearsals. Along the way, Irina would remember small things, which we could include. When you look at images of the productions from the 20s, I see things that are new to me, so Bronislava must always have been making changes. One reason why Irina loved the Oakland Ballet production is that the dancers are not a classical company, more demi-character, so it had a more natural, non-classical look. I adored Irina. She was a very charming lady and I relished every moment that she was there as she really knew what Bronislava wanted. She was a dancer in all her Mother’s ballets and then after she had got married and her kids had grown up, she became her assistant.

Q. When did you first see “Les Noces”, and can you remember your first impressions? For me there was a “shock of the new” and I was in tears without knowing why.

A. I was a late starter as a dancer and before I took any classes, I was an usher at a theatre in LA and saw Les Ballets Russes de Monte Carlo. It made me so curious that I read all the books and the pictures. So I always had a great interest in the Diaghilev choreographers and their work. Add to that the fact that I had worked with Bronislava on two of her ballets and you can see that I was very keen to have first hand experience of “Les Noces”.

At Oakland I didn’t really get an impression of it until I saw the performance. Bear in mind that as Ballet Master at a company like that I was doing everything including playing piano. But when I did see it I was stunned and people are still stunned. We’ve just revived the Joffrey production in San Jose and the audience reaction was unbelievable - it’s so spiritual and moving. Unfortunately, most companies just perform it once, as it’s expensive. You have 30 or 36 dancers in the corps plus the singers.

Q. Tell me about the differences you found setting “Les Noces” on the various companies.

A. That is the great thing about what I do. I basically set three ballets, “Les Noces”, “Billy the Kid” and “Cakewalk” and there is something special about the way different dancers approach these works. For instance I did “Les Noces” for the Tokyo Ballet, who probably have the most disciplined dancers anywhere; I’d see them practising the steps in another room outside of rehearsal time. It was a wonderful performance, except maybe a little too careful and too clean. There was a Carla Fracci ballet on the same programme and she said, "We have to have this." So, we’ll see what happens.

You know this isn’t the first Russian performance I’ve done. I set it on the Maly Theatre in St Petersburg in 1995 as part of a cultural exchange, arranged by David Eden of Arts Link in the US. I had good rehearsal time and it was a big event and I was even interviewed on CNN. The guest of honour was Irina Baranova who had danced in it in de Basil’s company. I was nervous what she would say about it, but when I asked her if it was as she remembered, she said, “Exactly.”

In all the productions I do, I try to give the feeling for the work that Irina gave me. You can’t really coach “Les Noces”; you just have to give the dancers an idea what it is and if they have any sense they can make it work. It’s all about architecture and you need a really tall girl for the Bride and shorter ones for the corps. That’s a problem that the Kirov face, as they’re all tall and the same applies with the men.

Q. What’s your impression of the versions of “Les Noces” by other choreographers?

A. Jerome Robbins claimed that he never saw the Nijinska version, but his ballet is similar in some ways with the braids and the simple costumes, but in others it is very different and it has the orchestra on stage at the back. I love it. There’s also the Preljocaj version. I saw a section on video, where they are throwing the dolls around and I was so offended, but then I saw it live in LA I enjoyed it more.

Q. Tell me about the score and the sung text?

I’ve heard the music many times in concert and Michael Tilson-Thomas of the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra loves to conduct it, because it’s so interesting. To count it and figure it out wasn’t easy. The person who helped me the most when I staged it for The Dance Theatre of Harlem was Joseph Rosenstock, who passed away a few years ago. He came to every rehearsal and he really helped with the counting to make it clear to the dancers. I usually have to use recorded music at rehearsal, because if you just use piano and then they hear the orchestra it’s bedlam. Here, I’m using the Leonard Bernstein recording. Some of the tempi are a little fast, but it’s danceable.

The ballet is not an interpretation of the sung text and the action doesn’t follow the words, some of which don’t really make much sense; different singers even take the Bride’s line. Irina said that Bronislava always wanted it to be sung in the language of the country where it was performed. So in Oakland we had it in English, but I do prefer it in Russian, because of the beauty of the language. I’ve always ignored the text and gone back to Bronislava’s idea of an arranged marriage. The reality must have been horrible, especially for the Bride, as she would have to leave her family. That’s why there is the separation in the fourth scene between the festivities for the corps and the starkness of the action on the platform. For instance when the Bride goes back and forth, Irina would say that it was almost as if she was trying to get away from him. I’m sure that there’s also intellectual spiritualism and Irina told me about ideas concerning the energy of triangles, but I focus on the two of them being put in a situation not of their choosing as the essence of the whole thing.

One interesting thought is what would “Les Noces” have been like if there hadn’t been the influence of “The Rite of Spring”. My view is that a lot would have been the same. You know, there’s a second book of Bronislava’s autobiography, which Irina never got around to publishing, but someone is working on it now, so at some stage we may learn more about the influences. It’s a shame that a lot of the young dancers of today are so driven by technique that they have little curiosity about the past and the important figures from the history of ballet. Some of them have barely heard of Margot Fonteyn.

Q. It is such a striking and avant-garde work, I wonder whether people coming to “Les Noces” for the first time need any preparation?

A. I don’t think they so, beyond reading the synopsis and then they can ask themselves questions after they have seen it. One thing I have noticed is that a couple of companies have programmed it with Millicent Hodson’s reconstruction of Nijinski's “Le Sacre Du Printemp” and some audience members find that too much for one evening. So it’s good that they are on separate programmes here in London and I hope it will be a wonderful experience for newcomers.

<small>[ 27 July 2003, 05:26 PM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>

Author:  Cassandra [ Mon Aug 04, 2003 1:33 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Interviews

An Interview with Igor Kolb

by Cassandra for Criticaldance

When I asked Igor Kolb how he became a dancer his astonishing reply was “by accident”.

Igor Kolb comes originally from Pinsk and lived deep in the countryside of Belarus. As a youngster Kolb claims he was “disorganised”, He had any number of interests, but they never occupied him for long. Then he discovered dance. The discovery was made at a club for young people where dance was one of the attractions and very soon Igor realized that he had found his role in life. Although he was strictly speaking a little old to start ballet training, no one actually queried his age, as he was “tiny, skinny and young looking”.

He studied for six and a half years and even before completing those studies he found himself a member of the company of Minsk, the capital of Belarus and began dancing featured roles there. But like that other provincial dancer of years before, Rudolf Nureyev, Igor’s dream was St Petersburg and the Kirov. So off he went, he tried to join the Kirov ballet not once, but six times and six times he was rejected. At the seventh attempt he was accepted and the rest as they say is history. Everything changed for him at this point as he found himself alone in the big city without his family and, at first, without money. Although Igor didn’t elaborate about his circumstances, I got the impression that this period of his life included some personal hardship for the sake of his art.

Which school I ask him do we have to thank for his beautiful classical style?
“No school”, he replies as he is inspired by the beautiful countryside of Belarus. And did he have early role models? Not really, because he has always admired many dancers.

I ask about different styles and he tells me that originally he was dancing the romantic roles and indeed, expected to be limited to such roles as Les Sylphides, Sleeping Beauty and Swan Lake and was very gratified when his repertoire expanded and has recently included such roles as Des Grieux in MacMillan’s Manon and Ratmansky’s new version of Cinderella. As a dancer he is deeply interested in other dance styles and is keen on researching them. I ask him about the Bournonville style, would he like to try dancing it? – “With great pleasure” he replies with a wide smile.

Does he have a role he particularly enjoys dancing? He is very lucky to dance everything that he wants to dance. And is there a role he aspires to? “More than one”. More than that he doesn’t say. (Mr Kolb is a model of tact and diplomacy).

Which dancer of today does he most admire? “Sylvie Guillem”. He was “absolutely stunned” when he saw her dance in a work called “Smoke” which was recently broadcast from Graz on Russian television. And would you like to dance with her? “It’s not realistic”. You’ve got to dream, I tell him. “I haven’t lost my mind yet!” is the response (amid a great deal of laughter). Then, ever the diplomat, he adds that there are many beautiful ballerinas at the Kirov too. A view I heartily endorse.

I ask about touring, does he have a chance to get to know the places he dances in? “I don’t have many opportunities, but whenever I get one I use it to go and see something new”

What do you like outside of the theatre? “The drama theatre, museums, concerts. It goes without saying that I love classical music, but I like other music as well, a lot depends on the mood I’m in”.

I next ask, “what are your hopes for the future”? and am totally disarmed by his reply – “My son”. Nestor, Igor’s baby son, was attending a birthday party as we spoke, of course he would be “carried there” (laughter). Igor is very much the family man and his face lights up with pure joy at the mention of his child and our interpreter adds, “You know he talks about him all the time”. Which of course is the way it should be.

We talk about his performance in Chopiniana the night before and Igor accepts my praise in a grateful manner that borders on surprise. When I refer to his fans, he asks incredulously, “Do I have fans?” I assure him he does.

Before we part he tells me how much he loves London as many happy events in his personal life and his career occurred when he was on tour here and on his very first visit he made good friends here. After St Petersburg this is the city he loves best and he always feels at home in London.

I found Igor Kolb to be a most charming, modest man: almost humble about his achievements. He is warm and sincere and unlike most performers he is far more attractive off stage than on. With his prominent Slav cheekbones and dazzling blue eyes, one can easily become distracted when talking to him. As a dancer he is now at the very height of his career, one of a very tiny handful of pure classicists, he possesses a perfection that is unusual even by Kirov standards. The birth of his son last year brought him great joy and I’m very happy that his personal life has given him so much contentment. He brings joy to those that watch him and I’m sure many people will join me in wishing him continued happiness for the future.

Igor found time to talk to me in the midst of a very busy schedule and indeed there was a queue waiting to interview him! so I’m very grateful to him for making time for this interview. Many thanks also to Criticaldance’s Coda who kindly agreed to act as interpreter with no prior notice. I’m in your debt, Coda.

Author:  Emma Pegler [ Tue Aug 05, 2003 11:46 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Interviews

thank you for your interview Cassandra. Igor does indeed have fans. I know a lady who has flown from Brazil to see his performances. How modest he is!

Author:  Cassandra [ Wed Aug 06, 2003 5:47 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Interviews

An Interview with Nikolai Zubkovsky

By Cassandra for Criticaldance

If Nikolai Zubkovsky were a Londoner I’d be describing him as “a bit of a geezer”, tough and streetwise, he challenges most people’s idea of a typical male dancer. But look beyond the super-cool exterior and an interesting and complex personality emerges.

Nikolai conducted almost the entire interview in his very idiosyncratic English and I have changed very little.

What is a typical day on tour for a Kirov dancer?

Every morning we have class after we have rehearsals then performance. Every day we work and Sunday too - every day of the week.

How many months of the year do you spend on tour?

Four or five.

How long have you been in the company?

It’s my 8th year in the company (he was 26 yesterday). Maybe I look older, 31 maybe?

You come from a family of dancers

Yes, of course, there was my grandmother Inna Zubkovskaya, she danced Swan Lake with the Kirov ballet in London in 1961. My grandfather was also called Nikolai Zubkovsky and he danced with both the Kirov and Maly Theatres. He danced with Vecheslova (One of the most outstanding dancers of the Soviet era). He both choreographed and danced the role of the Golden Idol in La Bayadere and when he finished dancing he taught. He had many, many students. My grandmother taught also, she too had many students. She taught Asylmuratova.

So you always wanted to be a dancer

Me? No! I truly didn’t want it. I wanted to be a painter, everyone in my family thought I was a great painter, then afterwards I started the ballet, but I really didn’t want it because my legs (he makes a grimace of pain) my legs were hurting.

How old were you when you entered the Vaganova Ballet School?

Nine. I danced because my mother and father were artists at the Maryinsky. My mother, Katya Zubkovskaya, after she finished dancing at the Maryinsky she went to work in Italy, in Rome, teaching the Vaganova style. Now she is teaching in Korea. My father Volodya also danced at the Maryinsky. We are a big mafia. (He means the Zubkovsky family) We have this family tradition, we are a dynasty.

I ask how he felt about his grandfather's choreographic creation, the Golden Idol, being dropped from the current production of La Bayadere.

My grandfather he do this in 1956 or 1957 in La Bayadere (actually it was 1948) now this ballet must be all Petipa. But it is still danced in the Royal Ballet and the Paris Opera Ballet.

We next talk about his roles and I ask - Do you have a favourite role?

The Fountain of Bakchiserai. Yes. (He dances the role of Nur-Ali) and the Indian dance in Bayadere and the Gipsy Dance in Don Quixote. I want to dance Carabosse in the Sleeping Beauty and I want to dance the Golden Slave in Scheherazade. The Golden Slave is very interesting for me because I see everyone else dance the role. For me the best in Scheherazade was Asylmuratova and Ruzimatov because they understand what they are doing, you understand? More expression and more sexuality.

I tell Nikolai how much I enjoyed his dancing in Leningrad Symphony last year

Yes (laughing) it is bad role; I don’t know how you say this in English.

I tell him he played a traitor.

Yes! I enjoyed this ballet because it is about family, before me my father danced it, my father was from the Russian east and didn’t look typically Russian, after he danced this role he give it to me. It is a small role but you can do something with it.

Who are your favourite dancers generally?

Asylmuratova, Makhalina, Ruzimatov, Zelensky….

Do you have the opportunity to watch other companies either live or on video?

Yes and I like all forms of dance including contemporary.

Away from the stage do you still paint?

No. Away from the stage I like music. Jazz. I like intelligent music. We have a jazz radio station in St Petersburg and I give my jazz collection to this station. Best of all I like Jamiroquai. I have every thing of Jamiroquai, everything. He is a crazy man but makes really fantastic music. I like classical music too, particularly Rossini.

In Russia I have made a film as a movie actor, I enjoyed doing it, it was very interesting and I would like to make another film, but right now there is no time.

So presumably when you are on tour you never have time to go out...

(Interrupting) Yes, I always have time, because we have night, (he laughs wickedly). You know at home in St Petersburg it is a very beautiful city but the weather is not so good and my temperament is for warmer climes, I have been all over Europe, America and Japan but I love Latin America, Mexico and Brazil – it is paradise. My girlfriend is Brazilian, I met her in Russia, she is an advocate (lawyer).

Don't you get homesick when you 're away on tour?

“Yeah”, But some cities he enjoys more than others. He finds London “too cosmopolitan”, crowded with tourists and without an “English atmosphere”, his favourite cities are Rome, Madrid and Rio, but best of all he loves Rome.

I ask about the future: Do you have any interest in choreography like your grandfather?

No. No, I tried but its difficult for me, I am more active person than a choreographer; I am best suited to dancing. Maybe I will try teaching but so far I never try. But all aspects of art interest me. If I ever change my life, if I change my job, it will be for something else in the arts.

At this point the half hour call is announced and Nikolai hastily thanks me and says goodbye.

He is quite a character and seems to take everything in his stride, including the rigours of touring and performing almost every night. He is as he rightly says, part of a famous dancing dynasty, the current member of the famous Zubkovsky clan to grace the worlds dancing stages.

Watch out for the talented Mr Z. as he is a highly gifted dance-actor and I feel the Kirov has so far only scratched the surface of his remarkable talent.

N.B. Nikolai Zubkovsky was listed in the London souvenir programme as simply an "Artist". He is however officially a Principal Character Artist of the Kirov Ballet.

<small>[ 19 September 2003, 09:06 AM: Message edited by: Cassandra ]</small>

Author:  Emma Pegler [ Wed Aug 06, 2003 8:30 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Interviews

thank you so much Cassandra - good to have the view form those who often are seen and not heard.

Author:  Matthew [ Wed Aug 06, 2003 8:36 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Interviews

Wonderful interview Caassandra. You certainly have given a sense of him!

Author:  Cassandra [ Thu Jul 21, 2005 5:14 am ]
Post subject: 

Interview with Makhar Vaziev

Getting to talk to Makhar Vaziev isn’t that easy as he is clearly a very busy man and after two abortive attempts to speak to him, we finally met up in an interval during a Kirov Ballet performance in Cardiff last April, so the ensuing interview was of necessity brief. The company had just performed “Scheherazade” and I realized that the first time I had seen the Kirov in this ballet, Vaziev himself had danced the role of the Golden Slave. So I asked him………

Do you miss dancing?

He laughs and shakes his head. “I don’t know what to say”, then after a little more thought, “when they’re dancing well I miss dancing, when watching”. Then, as if the thought surprises him: “yes, I miss it sometimes”.

Do you come from a theatrical family?

Vaziev finds this question even funnier than my first, in fact he laughs so much that I imagine his family must be pretty much like my own: “ First in family!!!”

What do you consider your greatest achievement since becoming director of the Kirov?

“I think to give an evaluation of myself is odd. Others must evaluate my achievements. What makes me happier is achieving a goal already in the past – a new prospective. When I quit work I will know my achievements. I’m not being playful about that, it’s an odd thing to evaluate”.

The Kirov repertoire now includes works by William Forsythe: It seems to many that the bastion of classicism is being invaded.

“It’s great that we have this alongside what is our artistic heritage and I’m happy to have Forsythe works in the company. It’s very interesting in performing Forsythe and in no way is Forsythe invading our bastion but using our ballet which is developing fast. Forsythe is a choreographer whose works are amazing to perform because he offers completely different forms. He offers new ways of development for dancers and in the end he wouldn’t introduce works without a new language and choreography. I look at my dancers and find they give great support to this kind of dancing. I can talk about it for a long time; I think he’s one of the outstanding choreographers of the world. Forsythe says you either have a ballet or you don’t.

I ask about the planned move to Helsinki due to the closure for renovation of the Kirov Theatre.

“There will be difficulties for the moment. We will use the Alexandrova Theatre in Helsinki and venues in St Petersburg, it will look unusual to be away from the Maryinsky, but it won’t interrupt our work and repertoire. We will be very flexible”.

I ask about the Kirov policy of casting very young dancers in major roles.

“One mustn’t be afraid of giving challenges to young dancers. Faith is given to them according to their abilities. The more you give them to better themselves the more they produce at dance. The life of a dancer is very short, we must effectively use dancers and I am very fond of extreme options. You should make a dancer perform to the max and offer trust to the dancers. There must be a balance; the balance is fragile and important”.

My final question concerns a personal wish of mine; for the Kirov to dance an Ashton Ballet, preferably that beautiful work based on a Russian play: “A Month in the Country”.

“It’s remarkable with Guillem - it’s a remarkable work. I like Ashton’s “Cinderella” and “La Fille Mal Gardee” too; “Ondine” is also a wonderful ballet. Yes, I would like to acquire this ballet for the Kirov” (he means Month in the Country).

After the interview I watch him stride purposefully along the backstage corridors with his lieutenants in attendance barking out instructions before taking his place in the auditorium where he watches every move intently, seeming to analyze every last detail of the performance

Makhar Vaziev comes across as a very dynamic character but at the same time thoughtful and humorous. There are a lot of challenges ahead for his company but come what may, Mr Vaziev will face them with equilibrium.

(This interview first appeared in this months magazine)

Author:  kurinuku [ Tue Aug 02, 2005 1:57 am ]
Post subject: 

'This is the Kirov's second home'
by RUPERT CHRISTIANSEN for the Daily Telegraph

Pity, for a moment, the impresario. Victor Hochhauser and his wife Lilian have been importing the cream of Russian dancers, singers and musicians for more than half a century. People sometimes complain about the prices they charge for tickets, but how many of them would risk what they risk?

published: August 1, 2005

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