«You know Freddie Mercury? Where is his grave?» It’s not a question you expect from the world’s most electric male dancer, but Ivan Vasiliev is not like other ballet boys. At 24, the Russian is an incandescent performer, capable of Olympian feats. He isn’t tall, but he’s compact with energy and can jump higher, turn faster and hang in the air for longer than you think can be possible. Audiences gasp when he performs and holler when he’s done.
Mercury is one of Vasiliev’s two great idols. The dancer owns a pair of Rudolf Nureyev’s ballet slippers, and when last in Paris visited the great Russian dancer’s grave. In Britain, he hopes to pay homage to the Queen front man, whose mixture of cheek, strut and unbridled charisma Vasiliev shares. During our interview, he brushes back his untamed tousle of hair and scrolls through the band’s complete back catalogue on.