Kathleen O, on Apr 27 2006, 05:39 PM, said:
I've had the good fortune to see at least a dozen different Apollos (both versions) over the years. Igor Zelensky remains my favorite, although I don't know if he still dances the role. The word I found myself using to describe his Apollo was "feral" -- a quality which others may or may not find appropriate to the role, but which I think fits it very well....
Igor is currently dancing Apollo
with Nina Ananiashvili's company in Tbilisi, Georgia, where he learned ballet in Vakhtang Chabukiani's class. He has danced both versions, but says in an interview in "Georgia Today" that he prefers the one without the beginning birth of Apollo scene. He has danced it at NYCB, and especially admires the way it is danced there, and the coaching by Peter Martins for this role. Perhaps the association with Martins explains why he feels the role suits him well: "A blond, tall guy surrounded by three muses," and he feels that he is trying to choose one of the three, which is an interesting take on the ballet (perhaps a little tongue-in-cheek?).
He takes what I would consider a very Balanchinian view when he says
“every time you do it, it’s a different piece. You modernize it, you grow with it. There are so many details in it, and I think it’s great that Balanchine left a margin for each dancer to do it his way. His choreography is just a framework, and it’s fascinating to watch that every dancer does it differently. The piece has its plasticity, its technique, and you just breathe a new life in it. Besides, every dancer has a different body and that also an important factor.”
He has danced about 30 Balanchine ballets and finds that "work on each one was never the same. With time he was growing as a person and as a choreographer."
His fans might be interested in the reaction to his performances in Georgia: "Igor Zelensky almost stole the show last weekend, when his Apollo literally lit up the stage and proved that his great jump, excellent stage presence and partnering skills are not just words." He also made it clear that he feels a part of Nina's company and wishes to dance with them frequently.
The entire interview: