Alexei Ratmansky

(b. 1968)

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(b St Petersburg, 27 Aug. 1968)

Russian dancer, choreographer, and director. He studied at the Bolshoi Ballet School and danced in Kiev and Winnipeg before joining the Royal Danish Ballet in 1997 as soloist and promoted to principal in 2000. He began choreographing soon after graduating and one of his first ballets, Baiser de La Fée, was created for Kiev in 1994. He also created Poème de l'Extase for the Kirov in 1998. While at RDB he created a version of The Nutcracker (2001) which rapidly led to further commissions, including Cinderella for the Kirov (2002), Firebird for Royal Swedish Ballet (2002), and a new version of Lopukhov's The Bright Stream for the Bolshoi (2003). Ratmansky's choreography is rooted in the classical style but its approach to character, imagery, and narrative is distinctively contemporary. In 2004 he was appointed director of the Bolshoi and oversaw a programme of revitalization. He opened up the repertory with works by Tharp, Wheeldon, Balanchine, Possokhov, and himself and consolidated its revivals of the Soviet repertory with his own reconstructions of the Bolt (2005) and Flames of Paris (2008). An additional act of reclamation was his reconstruction of Petipa's 1899 staging of Le Corsaire, in 2007. He also encouraged a younger generation of dancers, including Natalia Osipova. His reforms met with some resistance, however, especially from dancers still wedded to the Bolshoi's Grigorovich legacy and in 2007 he stepped down from the post of artistic director, while retaining his position as resident choreographer. In 2009 he became resident choreographer of American Ballet Theatre, his first work for the company was On the Dnieper (mus. Prokofiev, 2009). He has additionally choreographed works for New York City Ballet, including Middle Duet (mus. Yuri Hanon, 2006), Russian Seasons (mus. Leonid Desyatnikov, 2006), Concerto DSCH (mus. Shostakovich, 2008) and Namouna (2010). His works for other companies include Carnival of the Animals (2003) for San Francisco Ballet; Bizet Variations (2007) for State Ballet of Georgia; a new version of Pierrot Lunaire (2008) for Diana Vishneva; and a new version of The Little Humpbacked Horse for the Mariinsky Ballet (2009).

Subjects: Dance.

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