Makhar Vaziev: A Portrait in Quotes

Makhar Vaziev: A Portrait in Quotes

 We have gathered the most striking quotes about the Bolshoi Ballet Artistic Director, Makhar Khasanovich Vaziev, as well as his own statements about ballet.

A leader is a mentor

For Makhar Khasanovich Vaziev, as for the head of the Bolshoi Ballet Company, the topic of mentoring plays an important role. He is convinced that a competent mentor is able to motivate artists to work, inspire them to reach a new level.

“Do you know how I understand the role of artistic director of any ballet company? What should they do? First of all, they should help. I don’t mean stroking the head. It is important to help artists grow. If now a dancer comes in and asks: "May I prepare and show you a certain part?" The simplest answer is no. It's harder to give them motivation. Not to kill their hope, even if they claim a part that they are unable to dance at all or today. It is worth supporting these colossal desires.”

That is why Vaziev chooses a strategy of dialogue and cooperation. And it gives excellent results:

“You need to communicate with the artists. When I talk with the artists, I get to know them better. And this helps achieve the best result in the rehearsal room.”

There are no trifles for him when it comes to work and creativity. Ballet dancers who have spent more than one season under his leadership also agree with this. Here is what the leading soloist of the Bolshoi Theater Igor Tsvirko told us about Makhar Khasanovich:

“He has a forceful personality, a strong-willed spirit. The association with Mahar Khasanovich is the word "emperor". A person who wants everything to be top-notch, from costume details to the quality of performance of the artists who go on stage."

Experience and willingness to experiment

The creative career of Makhar Vaziev had several important peaks. Working as Artistic Director of the ballet companies with the Mariinsky Theater and the Italian La Scala, he demonstrated his ability to combine the classics and the modern, always contributing to the creative progress of artists and getting to a new level. According to the General Director of the Bolshoi Theater Vladimir Urin, it was this approach to work that made Vaziev such a desirable candidate for the position of the Ballet Artistic Director with the Bolshoi.

“I saw the state the theater was in (Mariinsky - note by  IngoDance) when Makhar Vaziev was the head of the ballet company. It seems to me, it was one of the best times in the life of the Mariinsky ballet. I saw what Makhar Vaziev did with La Scala ballet company. It was quite a mediocre troupe that just supplemented the opera house. He made it an absolutely self-sufficient, very serious troupe.

 An important element of Makhar Vaziev's creative method is his understanding that theater is a living organism and needs new people to grow and develop. Regular auditions at the Bolshoi have long become a good tradition. In 2021, a new format was invented with the direct participation of Makhar Khasanovich and support of the general sponsor, Ingosstrakh, that is the Young Artists Ballet Program of the Bolshoi Theater. It has one and only goal - to give talented artists a chance to prove themselves. Here is what Makhar Vaziev says about it:

“The worst part is that if you announce the cast six months in advance, you take away hope from all those who are not on the list. And casts are not only about the leading parts. Behind the leads, there are so many others: the second, the third, the fourth. And, of course, every dancer should have the belief that if you work hard, you will have a chance to grow.”

The Bolshoi artists have often spoken about the importance of auditions in a dancer's career. Among them is the ballet dancer Alexandra Trikoz.

“He (Makhar Vaziev - note by IngoDance) always gives you a chance, that’s why we have these auditions at the theater where any artist can come with any part and show it. These auditions help artists open up.”

Sources of inspiration

Thousands of people are inspired by classical and modern ballet performances they see on stage of the Bolshoi Theater. But what inspires the person who sets in motion this complex mechanism of creating a ballet?

“A theater means beauty. But people create this beauty on stage. That is why a theater means, first of all, people.”

 An important touch to the portrait, which reveals the essence not only of his working relationships, but of relationship with the world:

“When you are in charge of a huge army of people, a creative team, the last thing you need to think about is yourself. You should think about them.”

As befits a great artist, Makhar Khasanovich Vaziev is a perfectionist. He admits this himself:

 

“Wherever I worked, I was always focused on the end result.”