Marc Haegeman

New interview with Alexei Ratmansky

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An extensive interview with Alexei Ratmansky was published in the final issue of the now gone Dance Now magazine. Our colleagues from the Russian forum "Balletfriends" were so kind to put a scan of the text online. For anybody who might have missed this interview, here's the link.

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Marc,

I found this to be a wonderful interview. Ratmansky seems to me to have such vision and insight. And what a diplomat!!!!!

I hope the relationship with ABT works out well for us here in the US.

Great job!

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I read the interview and it makes me wonder is the Mariinsky (Kirov) Ballet too tied to the legacy of the late Konstantin Sergeyev and the Bolshoi Ballet too tied to the legacy of Yuri Grigorovich. In my opinion, maybe it's time for "classical" ballet in Russia to start evolving and create a new legacy with younger choreographers?

I am definitely looking foward to what Ratmansky will do with the ABT, though. :huh:

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I read the interview and it makes me wonder is the Mariinsky (Kirov) Ballet too tied to the legacy of the late Konstantin Sergeyev and the Bolshoi Ballet too tied to the legacy of Yuri Grigorovich. In my opinion, maybe it's time for "classical" ballet in Russia to start evolving and create a new legacy with younger choreographers?

That's exactly what Ratmansky has been trying to achieve in the last five years. But these young choreographers are an extremely rare kind, and with five years of good intentions you cannot simply erase decades of state supported, powerful presence, influential achievements and identity shaping. In an imaginary scenario the Bolshoi and the Mariinsky could stop performing these old productions of the great classics. But who is going to bring in a valuable replacement?

On another level, one could see the situation in these theatres as a reflection of the whole country, still struggling with its 70 or so years of Soviet legacy.

A similar situation developed at the Paris Opera Ballet with the Nureyev classics. There's a lot to be said against these productions, especially now that the direct link with Nureyev no longer exists. Yet again, provided they want to keep productions of the great classics, who will replace them?

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Marc,

I'm surprised that there hasn't been an intense program at GITIS in Moscow to train a new generation of "classical" choreographers that can take the legacy of Segeyev and Grigorovich and improve on it in the near future. Ratmansky appears to be a very rare kind in Russia nowadays.

By the way, the Mariinsky and Bolshoi theatres are still more or less state supported--after all, both theatres have the title "State Academic Theatre."

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