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Mikhailovsky Ballet appoints Nacho Duato Creative Director
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Author:  Francis Timlin [ Tue May 10, 2011 5:56 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Mikhailovsky Ballet appoints Nacho Duato Creative Director

A Newsweek article on Nacho Duato's progress at the Mikhailovsky.

Newsweek

Author:  Cassandra [ Wed May 11, 2011 3:21 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Mikhailovsky Ballet appoints Nacho Duato Creative Director

Doesn't sound promising at all to me and the descripton of William Forsythe and Wayne McGregor as 'legendary choreographers' made me choke on my morning tea, I can think of far more apt adjectives than that. I note the interview is written by a staff writer and not a ballet specialist: it shows.

Author:  allegro [ Tue Aug 23, 2011 4:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Mikhailovsky Ballet appoints Nacho Duato Creative Director

The Russian daily Moscow News has recently (Aug 3) published an interview with Mikhail Messerer, Ballet Master in Chief of the Mikhailovsky. I have translated those Qs & As from the interview that relate to Nacho Duato. Reading the interview it appeared to me that Mr. Duato might have been trying to remove Messerer’s Laurencia from Mikhailovsky rep, either (out of jealousy?) due to it being favorably received in London, or out of his dislike, in general, for pseudo-Spanish dancing in Russian ballets.


http://www.mn.ru/newspaper_culture/2011 ... 19819.html

How would you rate the past season?

This season turned out to be very interesting. The most noted event being the arrival of a Creative Director to the Mikhailovsky Ballet - Nacho Duato. The dancers found it extremely interesting to be working with so talented a person.

All the new works of the season were ballets by Nacho Duato; the next one will be his Sleeping Beauty. Does this mean that the company will be finishing off dancing classical ballets, gradually turning into a troupe with only one choreographer – Duato?

No, we are not going to do away with classical ballet, and working with contemporary choreography, in the view of our theatre, will only improve the company’s dancing. Both Nacho and Mr. Kekhman agree with me that we must add at least one new classical production each season, so as not to regress. We’re mindful about having a “balanced diet” for our principal artists and the entire troupe, so that their classical skills never stop getting fresh nutrition from traditional repertoire, thus avoiding stagnation. However, the accent will be on the outstanding Duato’s choreography.

In the Mikhailovsky’s performing schedule for Sept-Oct I couldn’t find Laurencia, the ballet that you have choreographed. And in one of his interviews Mr. Duato noted, somewhat sarcastically, that he had never seen as much Spanish dancing as in Russian ballets. So maybe ballets with a Spanish theme to them look irritating to a director-Spaniard?

I don’t think so. Nevertheless, perhaps these ballets may in fact irritate the sense of authenticity in the same way as a Russian person might get annoyed seeing or reading un-authentic descriptions of Russia.

How strange. This is the same as if the principal conductor of an opera company, who happens to be from China, would demand Chinese authenticity from the opera Turandot! Laurencia, exclusive to your company, when presented by the Mikhailovsky in London, got a nomination by Critics Circle National Dance Awards for best classical production. In the view of the demanding and authoritative British critics, your version of Chabukiani’s ballet was one of the three best classical choreographies seen in Britain during the season.

Yes it was pleasant news firstly because the best ballet companies perform in the UK and the country is renowned for its own choreographers and secondly because we were performing in London alongside the Bolshoi Ballet.

And they got awarded for their dancing, not for any particular production…

Well, because of our success in London the great Bolshoi didn’t become any smaller. But our performances rather worked to the success of Russian ballet as a whole. Now, in the minds of the British, there exist not two Russian ballet companies, as they hitherto thought, but three: Mariinsky, Bolshoi, and Mikhailovsky.

Author:  Cassandra [ Thu Aug 25, 2011 6:58 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Mikhailovsky Ballet appoints Nacho Duato Creative Director

Allegro, thank you so much for taking the trouble to translate this. I have a very high regard for Mikhail Messerer and his opinions are always worth reading.

The shelving of Laurencia is very sad news as it went down very well with London audiences with everyone I spoke to admiring Messerer's handling of the production. The interviewer's reaction is the same as my own:

Quote:
How strange. This is the same as if the principal conductor of an opera company, who happens to be from China, would demand Chinese authenticity from the opera Turandot!


A very apt analogy! I've seen Petipa's Don Quixote performed in Spain to an ecstatic response from local audiences, so if the general public has no difficulty with a foreigner's take on Spain, I wonder why Duato takes a different attitude?

Author:  AnaM [ Sat Aug 27, 2011 7:50 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Mikhailovsky Ballet appoints Nacho Duato Creative Director

Indeed!! As a Spanish person, I always love the reading other countries have done of our culture. I feel honoured to see that so many artists have taken Spanish folklore as the departing point for their works. It seems very shortsighted to me to look for authenticity and realistic depictions in art. If you want to see flamenco in its purest form, you should go to Andalucía, if you want to see a proper jota, then go to Zaragoza... but when I see Don Quijote, the Spanish dances in all the classics, or any other reference to Spain, even in Petit's Carmen, I find it refreshing and very interesting, as it gives a new dimension to the original forms.

But this is not about "authenticity" or pure forms of dance... this is about Duato's lack of awareness of anything other than his own style and likes.

Any artist will always cherish other artists' points of view on things (thinking of MacMillan's Las Hermanas... what a wonderful piece!!!). And lest we forget, the Three Cornered Hat was dismissed in Spain at the time for its lack of authenticity, in spite of the fact that its creators were Falla, Picasso, Martínez Sierra (or rather his wife María Lejárraga) and Massine, who had spent long spells of time in Spain learning all the different dances from their original sources. It looks as if some things never change!

Author:  allegro [ Fri Sep 09, 2011 12:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Mikhailovsky Ballet appoints Nacho Duato Creative Director

Quote:
Allegro, thank you so much for taking the trouble to translate this. I have a very high regard for Mikhail Messerer and his opinions are always worth reading.
Cassandra, it's a pleasure.

And here is an interview in ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, September 7, 2011

RECREATING HISTORY
Mikhailovsky Theater ballet master Mikhail Messerer on Russian technique, history and intellectual dancers.
http://www.sptimes.ru/index_bp.php?acti ... &section=4

Author:  Gavin Roebuck [ Wed Nov 16, 2011 7:08 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Mikhailovsky Ballet appoints Nacho Duato Creative Director

Nacho Duato under the Golden Floodlight
On 07 November St. Petersburg’s prestigious Zolotoi Sofit (Golden Floodlight) awards were presented in a ceremony at the Mikhailovsky Theatre. Nacho Duato, the Artistic Director of the Mikhailovsky Ballet, was among those recognized for his accomplishments and innovative work in the theatrical arts.

Nacho Duato received the Zolotoi Sofit for Without Words, Duende, and Nunc Dimittis, his ballets staged at the Mikhailovsky Theatre. These works competed in the Best Ballet Performance category with other recognized masterworks of modern choreography: Angelin Preljocaj’s Le Parc, performed at the Mariinsky Theatre, and Slava Samodurov’s In a Minor Key, staged at the Mikhailovsky Theatre. The latter production demonstrated that Samodurov, a distinguished dancer, intends to carve out an illustrious career as a choreographer. He quite recently took up the position of Artistic Director of Ballet at the Ekaterinburg Opera and Ballet Theatre.

Nacho Duato joked at the Zolotoi Sofit ceremony, “I still haven’t had time to unpack my cases and you’re already giving me an award!” He has been in charge of the Mikhailovsky Theatre ballet company for only 10 months. As well as the three ballets which were awarded prizes, Duato has also composed the ballet Prelude and is preparing to stage a new version of The Sleeping Beauty.

Author:  Gavin Roebuck [ Wed Nov 16, 2011 7:11 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Mikhailovsky Ballet appoints Nacho Duato Creative Director

Ballet stars Natalia Osipova and Ivan Vasiliev are Principals of the Mikhailovsky Theatre.

Ballet stars Natalia Osipova and Ivan Vasiliev have decided to move to the Mikhailovsky Theatre. The renowned ballet dancers have appeared at the Mikhailovsky Theatre many times as guest performers; they will be joining the theatre’s company from 01 December 2011. Natalia Osipova will take the position of prima ballerina, and Ivan Vasiliev that of principal dancer of the Mikhailovsky Theatre.


Speaking about her move, Natalia Osipova commented, “Given my roots in Moscow, the decision to move to the Mikhailovsky was a very serious step for me. The main reason behind my decision to leave the Bolshoi Theatre was the lack of repertoire – I have danced everything I could possibly dance there. We have come for artistic freedom. My life had become too comfortable, and I feel a strong compulsion to change it somehow, to free myself from this fixed course, which had become rather too relaxed”.

Ivan Vasiliev said, “We are developing, we want to move forward, and at the Bolshoi Theatre it is very difficult to break out of the mould that we once created for ourselves. We do not want to be confined to two or three so-called ‘great roles’, but want to dance as many different parts as possible, especially new choreography. It is not the size of the stage that is important for dancers, but what can be performed on that stage and how it is achieved”.

Natalia Osipova and Ivan Vasiliev have signed a five-year contract. Their first performance as Mikhailovsky Theatre soloists will be on 01 December, at the closing concert of the Mikhailovsky Theatre Grand Prix.

Author:  Francis Timlin [ Sun Nov 20, 2011 10:41 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Mikhailovsky Ballet appoints Nacho Duato Creative Director

In the New York Times, David Herszenhorn profiles Vladimir Kekhman, general director of the Mikhailovsky Theatre.

NY Times

Author:  Francis Timlin [ Thu Dec 01, 2011 2:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Mikhailovsky Ballet appoints Nacho Duato Creative Director

A Reuters feature on Vladimir Kekhman.

Reuters

Author:  Catherine Pawlick [ Tue Dec 20, 2011 3:55 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Mikhailovsky Ballet appoints Nacho Duato Creative Director

The premiere of Nacho Duato's "The Sleeping Beauty" took place last weekend at the Mikhailovsky and tonight in Petersburg the performance was broadcast live on their website (morning here 12/20 Pacific Time).

http://www.mikhailovsky.ru/en/live/

Author:  Catherine Pawlick [ Mon Jan 02, 2012 11:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Mikhailovsky Ballet appoints Nacho Duato Creative Director

A concise summary of the changes at the Mikhailovsky and interesting commentary on Sergei Danilian's role in it all:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/stage/2012/jan/01/mikhailovsky-ballet-bolshoi

Author:  Cassandra [ Tue Jan 03, 2012 5:33 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Mikhailovsky Ballet appoints Nacho Duato Creative Director

A very telling article indeed, I particularly agreed with the final comment:

Quote:
If Kekhman needs advice, he could always turn to Messerer, whose knowledge, experience and taste greatly exceed that of anyone else in his entourage. Whether he will, of course, is another matter.

Author:  Buddy [ Tue Jan 03, 2012 10:24 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Mikhailovsky Ballet appoints Nacho Duato Creative Director

One correction to this article from David Hallberg.

"I am not represented by Danilian/Ardani Artists. For the past 8 years, I have been represented by Peter S. Diggins Assoc."

http://twitter.com/DavidHallberg

Author:  Francis Timlin [ Mon Jan 09, 2012 1:44 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Mikhailovsky Ballet appoints Nacho Duato Creative Director

Raymond Stults reviews Nacho Duato's "The Sleeping Beauty" (with Osipova and Vasiliev in the leading roles) for the Moscow Times.

Moscow Times

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