Jeu de Cartes - "The Card Game" - was initially a wild card. Another ballet planned for Plisetskaya's gala hadn't come together, So with time running short, the Bolshoi shuffled the deck and turned to Ratmansky, then its artistic director. "We were all like in panic: 'What to do? What to do?' " the choreographer said. "And so they all said, 'Well, there's nothing left. You have to do this yourself.' "
He had choreographed for the Bolshoi before, as well as the Mariinsky and other major companies. But this was one of his first works as artistic director, and the first time he had to choreograph on the fly, with no plans and with whichever dancers he could pull together.