Bright and Modern: 3 Russian Choreographers to Take a Closer Look At

Bright and Modern: 3 Russian Choreographers to Take a Closer Look At

The names of such modern Russian choreographers as Alexei Ratmansky and Boris Eifman are widely known in the world. However, there is also a younger but already promising generation of choreographers whose work is worth following. IngoDance expert Anastasia Isaeva is going to tell you about them.

Vyacheslav Samodurov

A student of the St. Petersburg ballet school, he danced on the main stages of the world and began his career as a choreographer in 2006. Today, Samodurov is an artistic director of the Ural Opera Ballet. His productions are distinguished by their bright individuality, which can be seen in the very first pas, in the design of each scene and the detailed elaboration of nuances. The well-known critic and ballet expert Vadim Gayevsky wrote in the Screen and Stage magazine:

“The main event  is the choreographer Vyacheslav Samodurov himself, who has discovered a gift that might seem mandatory but actually is very rare  — an ability to think in dance and by dance, to create both very simple and very complex dance ensembles.”

There is a chance to see Vyacheslav's work at the Bolshoi Theater: in summer, his production of Dancemania will premiere here.

Yuri Smekalov

The Mariinsky Theater soloist, choreographer and winner of the prestigious Golden Mask award worked with the Boris Eifman Theater for a long time. This fact explains some similarity of the plastique language he uses: his productions feature original poses, interwoven dance combinations and beautiful duet lifts.

Smekalov staged his ballets at the Mariinsky Theater and Samara Opera and Ballet Theater. But he decided to go beyond the scope of work of a ballet choreographer and, together with the writer Alexander Tsypkin, created a play, Three Comrades, for the drama stage. They’ve gathered together stories of real artists, conversations of dancers and shown the backstage life. Now, the performance can be seen in St. Petersburg on stage of the Shelter of The Comedian Theater.

The successful experience of cooperation between Smekalov and Tsypkin continued with a production staged especially for Vladimir Shklyarov - the premiere of Palimpsest.  Written Anew was given at the Mariinsky Theater. The dance pas here are combined with the text, which is somewhat unusual for a ballet spectator.

You can follow the work of Yuri Smekalov on his website.

Vladimir Varnava

He is a dancer, choreographer, winner of the Golden Mask award and of the Context competition for young choreographers, organized by Diana Vishneva. It was after this victory that Vladimir got an opportunity to take an internship at the Carolyn Carlson Company in France. He choreographed solo numbers for ballet stars. For example, for Svetlana Zakharova, he created a choreographic composition called Plus. Minus. Zero. Extremely interesting is his work for the Sovremennik Theater: he acted as a director and choreographer of the play MorningEvening, where he solos with Chulpan Khamatova.

Vladimir Varnava has his own philosophy of dance, his ideas are original, and the plastique language requires specific skills even from experienced ballet dancers. For example, artists of the Mariinsky Theater shared in an interview that before the premiere of the performance The Bull on the Roof they took special classes to prepare their bodies for the choreography by Varnava.