Do you feel your audience for CONTEXT is
The festival and the excitement around it grow
each year. For the audience, CONTEXT has become a symbol of something new, unknown and
interesting. We primarily attract young people, but
the older generation shows their interest as well.
Why are you extending the festival to
We’ve been thinking about holding the festival in my
hometown for a long time, and this year Valery Ger-giev, the general director of the Mariinsky Theatre,
made it possible. We have put a closing concert
together, a mix of the best that CONTEXT has to
offer. Those going to the opening gala in Moscow
will want to see the closing gala in St. Petersburg.
Alonzo King LINES Ballet is the only group
from the U.S. this year. What do you like about
Alonzo King is very offbeat and interesting,
Why did you decide to create a choreography
magnetic. He often turns to folklore motifs. And
you can always see a very deep choreographic
handwriting in the way he raises the emotional
attention of the viewer. The company has never
been to Russia, but their neoclassical style is very
close to Russian ballet.
competition as part of CONTEXT?
I’m very curious to plunge into the world of young
choreographers, so different from mine. It enhances
my knowledge about the current tendencies in
Russian contemporary choreography. The festival
keeps discovering more new choreographers and
companies. When we see potential, we want to
help them become world-class.
Mats Ek said in our March issue that he is retir-
ing and does not want his dances performed
anymore. Is he making an exception for
I could not have dreamed that such a brilliant
Maybe my thoughts found an echo in her heart.
choreographer would visit us, especially after
he officially declared the end of his career. Last
year Ana Laguna (his wife and muse) and I were
together at a press conference in St. Petersburg.
Ek is a person of absolute unattainable height; he
is remarkably smart and has an outstanding personality. I hope we can offer a public talk with him
and show his film with Ana Laguna and Mikhail
Will you be able to take a few days off after
this is over?
I hope that I will be able to take a break for a
bit. But for me to relax doesn’t mean to lie on a
beach. I often go on a trip and meet interesting
people, including choreographers—the ones who
can leave you with new impressions, knowledge
and emotions. n
Vishneva has announced that she will retire from
American Ballet Theatre after the 2017 spring
season, giving her final performance on June 23.
She cites a desire to commit more time to her
various projects (including CONTEXT) and will
continue to perform with the Mariinsky.
news | 10 MINUTES WITH...
Ballet superstar Diana Vishneva keeps topping
herself. While still a principal with both the Mariinsky Ballet and American Ballet Theatre, she has
brought contemporary dance to Moscow in a big
way. CONTEXT, her contemporary festival showcasing international choreographers and companies for Russian audiences, returns November
14–19. Now in its fourth year, CONTEXT, which
is curated by Holland Dance Festival director
Samuel Wuersten, will expand to St. Petersburg
(a four-hour train ride away). Visiting companies
include Béjart Ballet Lausanne, Alonzo King LINES
Ballet, Luzerner Theater, Canada’s National Ballet
School and Introdans. In addition, Ana Laguna will
perform Axe, by Mats Ek, and Vishneva will perform a duet, with Aurélie Dupont, choreographed
by Ohad Naharin. Dance Magazine editor at large
Wendy Perron attended the festival two years ago
and caught up with the ballerina through email,
translated by Lisa Rozova.
The ballerina turned
impresario expands her
BY WENDY PERRON
Vishneva performing Hans van Manen’s
Live, a work for two dancers and a
cameraman, at the 2015 festival.