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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, July 23


SPIBAs Legislation & Lobbying Committee invites everyone interested in the practical aspects of courts and procedural law to todays Legal Debating Club at 9:30 a.m. at the Mertens House, 21 Nevsky Prospekt, office 506. Visit spiba.ru for more details.


Take advantage of the sunny summer days and participate in Beach Games 2014, which runs through July 27 in Sestroretsks Dubki Park.



Thursday, July 24


Liliana Modiliani, a well-known Russian stylist, will talk about choosing clothes that fit during her lecture at 7 p.m. at the Pryamoy Efir art club, 13 Viborgskoe Shosse.



Friday, July 25


Discuss Russias economic and political prospects for 2014 during a Business Breakfast organized by SPIBA at 9.30 a.m. in the Bank Saint-Petersburg office at 64


Malookhtinsky Prospekt.


Start your weekend with adorable miniature pigs at the Squealing Pig festival at 7 p.m. this evening in the Karl & Friedrich restaurant, 15 Iozhnaya doroga, on Krestovsky Island.



Saturday, July 26


Hundreds of brand-new and retro cars, drag and drift shows, test drives and karting are planned for the Avtobum-2014 festival, which will take place in front of the RIO shopping center at 2 Fuchika Ulitsa.


Participants in todays SaniDay Summer competition will impress visitors with their hand-made, unusual and hilarious boats, which will race at the Igora Resort near the 54th kilometer on Priozerskoe Shosse.


Metro Family Day will include both serious lectures for adults and master-classes for children, making the event interesting for the whole family. To participate, come to Kirov Park on Yelagin Island.


Photography will be the focus of todays Photosubbota, which features lectures by famous photographers, meetings with photo schools and studio representatives, and participation in a photography competition. The event starts at noon at Petrokongress, 5 Lodeynopolskaya Ulitsa.


If you like cycling, make sure to visit the Za Velogorod Festival with its retro bike exhibition, market and live music. The second round of the Leningrad Criterium race will also take place during the event at Petrovsky Arsenal in Sestroretsk.



Sunday, July 27


Navy Day will be celebrated with a weapon and military transportation exhibition, self-defense master classes and concerts. The event starts at 1 p.m. in the 300th Anniversary Park of St. Petersburg.



Monday, July 28


Dont miss a chance to see the latest achievements in robotics during the RoboDom interactive show, exhibiting more than 150 robots. The show will be at BUM center, 22/2 Gzhatskaya Ulitsa, until Aug. 3. The entrance ticket costs 350 rubles ($10).



Tuesday, July 29


A video of a Queen concert from 1986 will be shown today at 8 p.m. in Yaschik, 50/13 Ligovsky Prospekt.



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