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Biography

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Beginnings

I began to dance ballet at the age of four. My parents enrolled my older brother Viktor into a folk ensemble, and I tagged along to keep him company. I remember how my mother told me then: «Vanya, you’re still little, they won’t take you» — but there was no stopping me. And clearly I so astounded the tutors with my energy that in the end they took me.

Since then, no matter where I’ve studied, whether it’s been at a contemporary dance school, a classical dance school or a ballet academy, I’ve been two to three years younger than my peers.

Study and formation

My teachers didn’t see talent in me straight away; they often had their doubts, in the main because of my age and height. At the age of 12 I went to take part in a competition, where I performed adult variations with some serious tricks. I remember how I stunned the whole jury, and it was probably then that many saw something in me and realized that this boy wasn’t quite like all the rest, that he was special.

At the academy I was accepted straight away onto the third year of the course, since I could already do all the things that my coevals hadn’t even started learning. And to begin with the tutors were constantly telling me that I was too small — but when I started dancing adult parts and winning medals they changed their opinion.

I was always piqued by the words «You won’t be able to do this»; when I heard them, I wanted to show that they were mistaken, that I could. I always believed that I’d be successful on the stage and worked very hard to achieve that — and I continue to work at it to this day.

Vivid impressions

My most vivid impression of the big stage was when I won a competition in Moscow in 2005. The gala concert for the laureates took place on the historic stage of the Bolshoi Theatre. The other participants and I admired the auditorium as if enchanted. I had never encountered such unbelievable beauty and magnitude before.

Later there were many more occasions, when I received ovations at the Metropolitan Opera, Covent Garden and other historical venues. I remember peeking into the auditorium from the wings and seeing people on their feet applauding me. It gave me goose bumps all over my body. These are moments that I will never forget.

Future goals

Today, as always in fact, my main goal is to be in constant motion, to be doing something all the time, to improve, to try something new, interesting and never stop. I always go out on stage with the idea that this performance should be better than the previous one, that it should grow and change along with me.

Every production I dance in is unique, and I love each one in its own way. They are impossible to compare; these are my different lives, which I live out on stage. The more of them there are, the broader and deeper I feel as a person.

Nowadays I’m still just as interested in staging productions, working with artists, seeing talent in them and uncovering potential, teaching and learning from them. The opportunity to help artists reveal themselves is just as enjoyable for me as it is to dance myself.

Afterword

I would like to thank all of those who believed and believe in me; who help me in all my endeavours: my tutors and partners, my nearest and dearest, and of course you, my dear spectators.

Prizes and awards

During the course of my career I have participated in various competitions and received various awards. Each of them is dear to me in its own way, as it is an evaluation of myself as an artist and a professional.

2004
Laureate

International Competition of Young Ballet Artists in Varna (3rd Prize, younger group)

2005
Laureate

Arabesque Open Competition for Russian Ballet Artists in Perm (1st Prize and Korean Ballet Foundation Prize)

2006
Laureate

International Competition of Young Ballet Artists in Varna. Special Distinction.

2006
Laureate

International Competition of Ballet Artists in Moscow (1st Prize, younger group)

2007
Benois de la dance

International Association of Choreographers Prize for performance of the part of Conrad in The Corsair and Philip in Flames of Paris

2007
Triumph

Youth Grant Award

2008
Soul of Dance

Soul of Dance Prize, awarded by Ballet magazine in the Rising Star nomination

2009
Soul of Dance

Soul of Dance Prize, awarded by Ballet magazine in the Rising Star nomination

2010
Dance Open

Dance Open International Ballet Award in the Mr. Virtuosity nomination

2011
National Dance Awards Critics' Circle

UK Critics' Circle National Dance Award in the Best Dancer nomination.

2011
The Leonid Myasin Prize

Positano, Italy

Geography of presentations

I am happy that ballet has given me the chance to visit many cities and countries, and perform before a vast number of admirers of dance. On the map you can see the places where I have performed.