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ABT News

September 10, 2008


Alexei Ratmansky, artistic director of the Bolshoi Ballet, will join American Ballet Theatre as Artist in Residence in January 2009. The appointment was announced today by ABT Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie.

Mr. Ratmansky, whose contract with the Bolshoi Ballet expires at the end of 2008, has signed a five-year agreement with American Ballet Theatre. In his capacity as Artist in Residence, he will create new works, re-stage existing ballets and work as an integral part of the artistic team at ABT. His first work for ABT, set to a score by Sergei Prokofiev, is scheduled for the Company’s 2009 Metropolitan Opera House season.

Mr. Ratmansky was born in St. Petersburg and trained at the Bolshoi Ballet School in Moscow. His performing career included positions as principal dancer with Ukrainian National Ballet, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet and the Royal Danish Ballet. He has choreographed ballets for the Dutch National Ballet, Kirov Ballet, the Royal Danish Ballet, the Royal Swedish Ballet, New York City Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, and the State Ballet of Georgia, under the artistic direction of ABT Principal Dancer Nina Ananiashvili. His 1998 work, Dreams of Japan, choreographed for Ms. Ananiashvili, earned a prestigious Golden Mask Award by the Theatre Union of Russia. In 2005, he was awarded the Benois de la Danse prize for his choreography of Anna Karenina for the Royal Danish Ballet.

Mr. Ratmansky was named artistic director of the Bolshoi Ballet in January 2004. For the Bolshoi Ballet, he choreographed full-length productions of The Bright Stream (2003) and The Bolt (2005) and re-staged Le Corsaire (2007) and the Soviet-era Flames of Paris (2008). Under Mr. Ratmansky’s direction, the Bolshoi Ballet was named “Best Foreign Company” in 2005 and 2007 by The Critics’ Circle in London, and he received a
Critics’ Circle National Dance Award for The Bright Stream in 2006. In 2007, he won a Golden Mask Award for Best Choreographer for his production of Jeu de Cartes for the Bolshoi Ballet.

“I am delighted to have Alexei as part of ABT,” said Mr. McKenzie. “It will be extraordinary to have such an incredibly creative artist working with our dancers on a regular basis. During the 1940’s and ’50’s, Ballet Theatre was home to a stable of choreographers that worked regularly with the Company. As a result, many great works were created. I’m confident that having Alexei ‚Äòin-house’ will result in the creation of wonderful new works that are unique to American Ballet Theatre.”

“It will be wonderful to work with Kevin McKenzie and the brilliant dancers of American Ballet Theatre,” said Mr. Ratmansky. “I am also looking forward to focusing exclusively on my creative work, without the administrative responsibility of being an artistic director, and to a complete change of environment.”

In addition to his work for American Ballet Theatre as Artist in Residence, Mr. Ratmansky will continue to choreograph for companies around the world.

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