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Fateyev Discusses Mariinskys Direction in Ballet

Published: May 12, 2009 (Issue # 1473)



  • Yuri Fateyev, acting artistic director of the Mariinsky Theaters ballet troupe.
    Photo: For The St. Petersburg Times

Yuri Fateyev, in his mid-forties, was appointed by Valery Gergiev, head of the Mariinsky, as the acting artistic director of the theaters ballet nearly a year ago in, June 2008. A former dancer of this greatest of classical ballet companies, he was a good character dancer and one of his memorable roles was the jester in Swan Lake. Fateev was also the main repetiteur for the Mariinskys large repertory of ballets by Balanchine, and is a valued teacher to many male dancers including the Mariinsky star Igor Zelensky. He has also taught at overseas companies including the Royal Ballet in London.

I interviewed Fateyev last month in his spacious office in the Mariinsky Theater, not far from the office of his predecessor Makhar Vaziev, who has since become the director of La Scala Ballet in Milan.

Fateyev began by praising the achievements of his predecessor, I think that everything that has been done by Mr. Vaziev was not bad. I was actually working in Mr. Vazievs team. And according to his orders, I was working on the projects that he gave me to do, teaching the new ballets. We were working on the new premieres by Balanchine, Roland Petit and John Neumeier. I was assisting him. The major issue for me now is to keep the company in a good shape, and to achieve the highest standard of performance that has been the norm here for centuries. The other major issue is to bring up new young dancers, which has also been done before by Mr. Vaziev. Its also most important to me.

There are three major policies that have been established for the artistic development of the company. The first is to keep up the classical repertoire as we have it, and to maintain it to the highest standards. The second is to find new choreographers, to introduce new choreographies for the company. The third is to look into the past artistic history of the Mariinsky Theater, and to consider which ballets deserve to be restored or restaged.

But what new choreographers does he have in mind, besides the in-house choreographer Alexei Miroshnichenko who has created a number of ballets for the Mariinsky? Its very difficult to say for choreographers working for only half a year. It takes a very long time to bring up a choreographer. And its very difficult to find a good choreographer. Ive got some names in mind, but Id rather not say anything till Ive seen some real results of their work.

Last autumn, Fateyev promoted Alina Somova to a principal. It was a controversial decision, as there has been a lot of criticism of Somova distorting the classical line in her dancing. Fateyev explained, I thought that by that time Somova had really grown and deserved the status of a principal. Fateyev also brought into the Mariinsky earlier this year the star couple from the Mikhailovsky Theater Denis Matviyenko and his wife Anastasia Matviyenko.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Wednesday, Oct. 22


English teachers can expect to receive a few useful pointers today from Evgeny Kalashnikov, the British Council regional teacher, during the EFL Seminar this afternoon hosted by the British Book Center. The topic of todays seminar is Grammar Practice.


Young Petersburgers will get the chance to jumpstart their careers at Professional Growth, a job fair and forum featuring more than 40 major Russian and international companies vying for potential candidates for future positions. The forum not only is a chance to network but also to learn more about the modern business world and to understand what it takes to get the job you want.



Thursday, Oct. 23


AmChams Public Relations Committee meeting is scheduled to meet this morning at 9 a.m. in their office in the New St. Isaac Office Center.


Sportsmen get their chance to stock up on all kinds of gear at the Hunting and Fishing 2014 exhibition starting today at Lenexpo. Everything from rods and reels to boats, motorcycles and equipment for underwater hunting will be on sale so that any avid outdoorsman can always be prepared.



Friday, Oct. 24


SPIBAs ongoing Breakfast with the Director series continues today, featuring Tomas Hajek, Managing Director of the Northwest Division at Danone Russia. Hajek will be discussing collaborations between businesses from different cultures. The meeting is at 9 a.m. at the Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel and all who wish to attend must confirm their participation by Oct. 23.


Get your gong on at Sounds of the Universe, a concert at the city planetarium this evening incorporating six different gongs to create relaxing songs that will transport you upwards into the stratosphere. Tickets are 700 rubles ($17).



Saturday, Oct. 25


AVA Expo, the eighth edition of the event revolving around all things pop culture, returns to Lenexpo this weekend. Geeks, nerds, dweebs and dorks will have their chance to talk science fiction and explore a variety of international pop culture. Tickets for the event can be purchased on their website at avaexpo.ru.



Sunday, Oct. 26


Zenit St. Petersburg returns home for the first time in nearly a month as they host Mordovia Saransk in a Russian Premier League game. Currently at the top of the league thanks to their undefeated start to the season, the northern club hopes to extend the gap between them and second-place CSKA Moscow and win the title for the first time in three years. Tickets are available at the stadium box office or on the clubs website.



Monday, Oct. 27


Today marks the end of the art exhibit Neophobia at the Erarta Museum. Artists Alexey Semichov and Andrei Kuzmin took a neo-modernist approach to represent the array of fears that are ever-present throughout our lives. Tickets are 200 rubles ($4.90).



Tuesday, Oct. 28


The Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel plays host to SPIBAs Marketing and Communications Committees round table discussion on Government Relations Practices in Russia this morning. The discussion starts at 9:30 a.m. and participation must be confirmed by Oct. 24.



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