Magazine article Dance Magazine

Diana Vishneva: The Ballerina Turned Impresario Expands Her Context Festival

Magazine article Dance Magazine

Diana Vishneva: The Ballerina Turned Impresario Expands Her Context Festival

Article excerpt

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 Bejart 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 Aurelie 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.

Do you feel your audience for CONTEXT is changing?

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 St. Petersburg?

We've been thinking about holding the festival in my hometown for a long time, and this year Valery Gergiev, 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 his work?

Alonzo King is very offbeat and interesting, 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. …

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