Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Italian Chief of St. Petersburg: how Mahar Vaziev headed the ballet at the Bolshoi – Town clock news channel

27.10.2015 12:01

Photo: TASS / Alexei Filippov

Yesterday Great Theater became a newsmaker. It was announced that from April 2016 the Bolshoi ballet troupe headed by Mahar Vaziev. In this position he will succeed the current head of the Bolshoi Ballet Sergei Filin, the contract with which the management decided not to renew. Unlike past years, when it also happens that one or another leader of the Bolshoi Theater learned about his dismissal from the media, talking about the successor Owl Directorate Bolshoi led for a long time. What is the name of the successor to be announced, as expected by international standards, well before the date of change, means, according to Director of the Bolshoi Theater Vladimir Urine, “normal, civilized, modern transition from one leader to another.”

Who is the Mahar Vaziev? For what services he was appointed director of the ballet in the main theater of the country? Vaziev of fifty – a native of Alagir in North Ossetia. Professional ballet education he received at the Leningrad Choreographic School (now – Academy Vaganova). At the end of the ballet school she was accepted into the troupe of the Opera and Ballet, the Kirov (now – the Mariinsky Theatre). For many years was the prime minister, danced principal roles in many productions.

Since 1995 Vaziev 13 years led the ballet troupe of the Mariinsky Theatre. It is believed that with his arrival in St. Petersburg the ballet has begun a new era. Insistence Vaziev the artists was great, he was considered a tough leader, and in ballet circles went scary stories about how after a not very successful, according to boss the play he hot on the trail at night, forcing the artists to rehearse again. But just then the Mariinsky Ballet (who had of course a high reputation in the past), many have begun to call the best in the world. In the poster appeared at Vaziev unprecedented names. Suffice it to mention two. This is a great choreographer of the twentieth century, George Balanchine (by the way, a classic of the American and world culture in his youth was George Balanchine was born in St. Petersburg), as well as our contemporary, European director William Forsythe, whose ballets, as well as ballets by Balanchine, radically reformed the language and style of the classic dance, bringing it to a new level. With the support of Vaziev several ballets staged at the Mariinsky Theatre Alexei Ratmansky, then a novice, and now a world-renowned choreographer.

And the most interesting – how Vaziev build relations with the Russian ballet classics. If it is the first in Russia Mariinsky Theatre has carried out a unique revival of the classical heritage. They try to get rid of long-term stratifications made by later directors and editors. The reconstruction was based on recordings of choreographic text, now kept in the archives at Harvard University in the United States. Recordings were made at the Imperial Theatre before the 1917 revolution, and in America was because they were brought into exile theater director Nikolai Sergeyev. So on stage, “Mariinsky” which employees thoroughly delve into the American archives, there were old-new ballet “Sleeping Beauty”, “La Bayadere” and “The Awakening of Flora”. Since 2009, he directs the ballet Vaziev Milan’s La Scala. After leaving the theater (The charges stemmed from disagreements with Valery Gergiev), the former head of the Mariinsky Ballet – both creative and energetic leader – recommended in Milan Brigitte Lefevre (then headed by the Paris Opera Ballet). Milan Vaziev successfully cooperated with famous theater intendants: first, with Stefan Lissner, the last year – with Alexander Pereira. He studied Russian ballet unusual for the head of the case – reacted with a storm of Italian theatrical unions, which just is not for them, instigate a strike. He ordered, among other things, setting the reconstructed old “Raymonda”, included in the poster of the ballet to the music of Pink Floyd. Again, given the stage Ratmansky, that he is not only in its own read Harvard ballet notation Sergeyev in the formulation of the author’s version of “Sleeping Beauty”, but also created a ballet entitled “Opera” (world premiere of music by Leonid Desyatnikov).


In 2011 Vaziev already tried to lure to the Bolshoi Theater – Italian Head of Petersburg received a proposal from the then director Anatoly Iksanova. But at the last moment refused.

What you can now expect from Vaziev at the Bolshoi Theatre? (By the way, a contract with the new director of the ballet was signed for five years). He must bring to the leadership of the Russian troupe something from the Italian managerial experience gained, he said, “in an entirely different environment and culture.” Another interesting fact, as the new head of the ballet will build a “creative meeting” of two Russian ballet tradition. After Vaziev – pet Petersburg ballet school, traditionally a rival to the Moscow tradition of performance classics. In St. Petersburg, say that “they” are more academic, learned better, and Moscow, saying that dancing is not so competently. In Moscow thinks that Peter is too much formal correctness and too little emotion on stage, but we have … What is really left in the performance practice of both houses of these ancient legends, it is possible to argue long. In any case, the figure Vaziev will become a bridge in a reasonable and creative integration.

In addition, Vladimir Urin strong expectation on Vaziev organizational skills, the ability to accurately plan and implement plans clearly. And, of course, the new director of the ballet will take an active part in the formation of the repertoire. As he said himself Vaziev, the post of director in the world “includes almost everything.” But Urin said: “During the discussion of various issues at the difference of the positions the impression that the main problem we see the same.”

Enlightened Vaziev tastes – without undue radicalism and no inclination to conservatism terry – should help the Bolshoi Ballet exist optimal creative system of coordinates. That is to store the accumulated wealth of classics, to keep pace with the rest of the world (to get used to the world context of ballet, as he said Urin) and invent a new one. No specific plans and the names of the new director is not voiced. But we already know that Vaziev seriously think about the repertoire of the Bolshoi Ballet until 2018.

Maya Krylov

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