Out Of Town: Ballerina Diana Vishneva Brings Modern Dance To Moscow, Russia

Diana Vishneva’s CONTEXT Festival


Wayne McGregor Company presents FAR
World Premiere of Asunder by Goyo Montero
Sarcasmen by Hans Van Manen (Russian Premiere)
Alexei Ratmansky’s Concerto # 1 (Russian Premiere)
NIJINSKI (Russian Premiere) Gauthier Dance//Dance Company Theaterhaus Stuttgart

Diana Vishneva’s CONTEXT Festival will celebrate contemporary choreography in Moscow from November 12 – 15 and in Saint Petersburg November 16 – 19. The festival features a wide range of choreographers, bringing international talents to share the stage with domestic artists. In its fifth year CONTEXT has grown from a three-day festival to an entire week dedicated to dance and movement, becoming a significant platform for gifted up-and-coming choreographers and dancers.

Classical ballet in Russia has a long-lasting tradition but the history of contemporary dance is being written today. The purpose of our festival is to show the best that exists in contemporary choreography and to help young talented stage creators take their well-deserved place. We aim to fit Russia into the context of world contemporary choreography. “ – Diana Vishneva

CONTEXT is platform to develop emerging Russian choreographers. The choices are always eclectic, representing diversity in dance. Diana Vishneva’s programming is driven by an insatiable curiosity to discover and experience dance from many different perspectives.

For its 5th anniversary CONTEXT will present performances by leading dance companies from the UK, the US, Germany, and the Netherlands, both iconic works and legendary premieres, a showcase of young choreographers, meet-the-artist sessions, workshops, master classes, and film screenings.

Diana Vishneva will appear on stage in both Moscow and St. Petersburg, performing the final pas de deux from Goyo Montero’s Sleeping Beauty together with Oscar Alonso, and with the Perm Opera and Ballet Theatre in Vladimir Varnava’s Petrushka.

Audiences in Moscow and St. Petersburg will be treated to the world premiere of Asunder created by Goyo Montero (principal choreographer of Nuremberg Ballet) and performed by dancers of the Perm Opera and Ballet Theater. Set to music by Richard Wagner and Frédéric Chopin adapted by Owen Belton, Asunder was commissioned for the CONTEXT Festival. See the teaser for this premiere, below!

At CONTEXT’s Moscow gala Wayne McGregor, one of the UK’s most renowned contemporary choreographers, named by Time magazine as the “artist that defined the decade,” will present two works. His company will perform FAR – a complex work full of contrasts set to music by experimental composer Ben Frost. McGregor’s Witness will be performed by legendary ballerina, Alessandra Ferri, with American Ballet Theatre’s principal dancer, Herman Cornejo. Now 54, Ferri, continues to dazzle audiences. 

Barak Marshall will participate in the festival for a second time, presenting Green Bride, which marks the Russian debut of Los Angeles based dance company, Bodytraffic.

Eric Gautier‘s Gauthier Dance Company//Dance Company Theaterhaus Stuttgart plans a special performance of a full-scale ballet, NIJINSKI, by Marco Goecke on the stage of the Mossovet Theater. Offering audiences an abstract impression of the life and work of Vaslav Nijinsky, one of the greatest dancers and choreographers of his time. A trio from Gauthier’s company will also perform the striking Pacopepepluto by Alejandro Cerrudo.

Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui’s production of I Will Fall For You will be performed by Drew Jacoby and Matt Foley, set to the music of Woodkid.

Jeanette Delgado will perform Chutes and Ladders by New York City Ballet’s Justin Peck, one of the youngest leading contemporary choreographers.

The festival will have a new major collaboration with the Perm Opera and Ballet Theatre. Perm will present their Stravinsky’s Ballets, three one-act ballets to the music of Igor Stravinsky. Though the Bolshoi and Mariinsky Ballets are better known, Perm is one of Russia’s oldest theatres and a major center for music. In 2016 Dance Europe magazine named Perm Best Company and their director, Alexey Miroshnichenko, Best Ballet Master.

The three Stravinsky ballets are Viacheslav Samodurov’s The Fairy’s Kiss (Le baiser de la fée), Vladimir Varnava’s (winner of the first CONTEXT competition for young choreographers) Petrushka, and Alexey Miroshnichenko’s The Firebird. Diana Vishneva will perform the leading part in Vladimir Varnava’s piece.

Closing night in St. Petersburg will feature the Russian premiere of two productions of the Dutch National Ballet: a piece from Alexei Ratmansky’s Shostakovich Trilogy set to the music of Dmitry Shostakovich and Sarcasmen choreographed by Hans Van Manen. Hans, who has repeatedly taken part in CONTEXT, celebrates his 85th birthday this year.

A showcase of young choreographers ContextLab is always one of the highlights of the festival — 12 November 2017 in Moscow and 16 November 2017 in St. Petersburg. This year the finalists of the CONTEXT 2017 Young Choreographers competition will present their new works alongside with the more established Russian choreographers. Olga Vasilieva (last year’s CONTEXT Young Choreographers winner) will present the premier of her ballet performed by israeli dancers from Bikurey Ha’Itim center (Tel Aviv). This work will subsequently be presented at the Holland Dance Festival at The Hague. The ContextLab evening will also feature the collaborative work by Konstantin Keikhel and Pavel Glukhov, both participants of the previous competitions, presented by students of the Boris Eifman Dance Academy.

The educational program of the CONTEXT gives additional scope to the festival by presenting films (the premiere of The Paris Opéra and Anatomy of a Male Ballet Dancer), panel discussions, public talks and meet-the-artists (ContextSpeaks), as well as workshops and master classes. In addition to performances, each dance company holds master-classes. This year CONTEXT together with the British Council and Studio Wayne McGregor starts a long-term and large-scale educational program for choreographers from all over Russia. 20 Russian choreographers will participate in an intensive two-day workshop (13-14 November 2017) Mind and Movement based on the research of renowned UK choreographer, Wayne McGregor. They will also have the chance to win a grant to create and stage new work in their home city and complete an internship at Studio Wayne McGregor in London. November 16-17, 2017 CONTEXT offers a workshop with BODYTRAFFIC, the company renowned for it’s customizing dance experiences for all ages, demographics, and abilities. CONTEXT Workshop for a Wider Audience, designed for industry professionals and the general public, includes seminars on Ballet Photography and Dance Criticism.

Since 2013, CONTEXT has featured the works of 35 different international choreographers and grown from an audience of 2,000 to more than 9,000 at last year’s festival. As CONTEXT grows it seeks to establish a balance between international works and Russian productions.

ContextLab is now the premier platform for emerging Russian choreographers, with applications to Competition for young choreographers increasing markedly each year. The Festival is a welcoming environment where the emerging talents of contemporary choreographers are nurtured. Vladimir Varnava, Konstantin Keykhel, Lilia Burdinskaya, and Konstantin Semenov are among those who first recognition came at ContextLab; their names now appear among jury members of leading awards, and their works are included into repertoires of major theatres in Russia and abroad. The winner of the first competition, Vladimir Varnava, received an invitation from renowned French choreographer Jean-Christophe Maillot to work with Les Ballets de Monte Carlo and recently present his full scale ballet at the Mariinsky stage.

CONTEXT has brought to Russia many internationally acclaimed dance companies to Russia including the Martha Graham Dance Company, Alonzo King LINES Ballet, Bejart Ballet, Suzanne Dellal Center, Richard Alston Dance Company, Introdans, Gauthier Dance, Netherlands Dance Theater: NDT II, Ballet Preljocaj, Ate9 Dance Company, and NANINELINNING.NL. The festival showcased works of such renowned contemporary choreographers as Mats Ek, Hans van Manen, Marco Goecke, Ohad Naharin, Jiří Kylián, Maurice Béjart, Martha Graham, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Angelin Preljocaj, and Aszure Barton.

This edition of CONTEXT includes a new a program dedicated to more established Russian choreographers: Alexey Ratmansky, Viacheslav Samodurov, Vladimir Varnava and Alexey Miroshnichenko.

The founder and artistic director of CONTEXT is Diana Vishneva — a dancer who easily “speaks” the language of the greatest ballet and contemporary innovators of the XX-XXI centuries. Her vision of CONTEXT is “a laboratory where both Russian and international choreographers can show their work with to each other and to a wider audience.”

Diana Vishneva’s CONTEXT Festival is a vibrant, innovative, energetic organization with a young team under the direction of Sofia Kapkova, renowned Russian producer and CEO of the Documentary Film Centre. Over the course of the year, the festival’s team travels the world in search of the most exciting contemporary dance companies to present their works to audiences in Moscow and Saint Petersburg.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.