(b Leningrad, 27 Sept. 1935)
Soviet dancer, choreographer, and ballet director. He studied at the Leningrad Ballet School and graduated in 1954. He danced at the Maly Theatre in Leningrad from 1954 to 1971. From 1971 to 1977 he was artistic director of the ballet company at the Perm State Theatre. In 1977 he became chief choreographer and director of the Maly Theatre in Leningrad (later renamed the Mussorgsky Theatre, then the Mikhailovsky). A natural experimenter, he took advantage of relaxed relationships with the West to open up the Maly repertory to new influences. In 1989, following a visit to the American Dance Festival in Durham, N. Carolina, he invited Betty Jones to stage Limón's modern dance classic There is a Time at the Maly and also acquired works from the Balanchine and Diaghilev repertories. His own 1979 ballet Orpheus and Eurydice is credited as Russia's first rock ballet. Nevertheless many of his most popular works, created for the Maly and other companies, have had classic or Russian themes including The Three Musketeers (mus. V. Basner, Maly Theatre, 1964), The Woodcut Prince or The Wooden Prince (mus. Bartók, Maly Theatre, 1965), The Queen of Spades (mus. Prokofiev, Leningrad Chamber Ballet, 1968), Romeo and Juliet (mus. Prokofiev, Perm, 1972, also West Berlin German Opera, 1974), The Miraculous Mandarin (mus. Bartók, Perm, 1973), Tsar Boris (mus. Prokofiev, Perm Theatre, 1975), Hercules (1980), The Robbers (1983), Macbeth (1984), The Marriage (1986), Quiet Flows the Don (1988), Petersburg (1992). He retired from the Mikhailovsky in 2007.