(b Alagir, 16 Jun. 1961)
Russian dancer and company director. He trained at the Vaganova Ballet Academy and joined the Kirov Ballet in 1979. His repertoire included the leading male roles in Swan Lake, Don Quixote, La Sylphide, Giselle, La Bayadère, and The Sleeping Beauty, as well as dancing Ali in Le Corsaire and the slave in Scheherazade. In 1997 he was appointed to succeed Vinogradov as director of the Kirov (later Mariinsky), reportedly the youngest director in the company's history. Since taking over, he promoted a new generation of younger dancers, among them Lopatkina and Vishneva and opened up the repertory to Western ballets, including Forsythe, Balanchine, and the Diaghilev repertory. One of his major achievements was the four-hour reconstruction of Petipa's 1890 production of The Sleeping Beauty, complete with reproductions of the original sets and costumes. He left the Mariinsky in 2008 and in 2009 became artistic director of La Scala Ballet.