(b Leningrad, 1964)
Russian dancer, teacher, and director. He trained at the Vaganova Choreographic School, graduating into the Mariinsky (Kirov) Ballet in 1982. He danced many leading classical roles but became best known as a character dancer, excelling as the Jester in Swan Lake. In 2003 he was appointed repetiteur for the company, with particular care of the Balanchine repertory. He was additionally guest teacher at companies including the Royal Ballet, Bolshoi Ballet, Swedish Royal Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet (USA), and he also mounted the St Petersburg production of Le Corsaire for the Royal Danish Ballet. In 2008 he was appointed acting artistic director of the Mariinsky, where he attempted to maintain the momentum of modernizing the company's repertory, encouraging new choreographers from within the ranks and inviting in guests such as Wheeldon and McGregor.