December 2008: INTERVIEW: Anton Korsakov, First Soloist, Ballet Company of the Mariinsky Theatre

Anton Korsakov as the Nutcracker Prince

Anton Korsakov as the Nutcracker Prince

In December 2008, dancepanorama had an opportunity to interview Mr. Anton Korsakov, First Soloist of the Ballet Company of the Mariinsky Theatre. Here are the highlights:

dp: You have quickly risen far in the company’s ranks, and have attracted notice from reviewers worldwide. Some have compared you to Baryshnikov, Nureyev… how do you feel about this?

AK:

dp: Your career takes you to so many places. Favorites?

AK:

dp: In the States, we have always heard about how much more popular ballet is in Russia, how the performances sell out, and people from all walks of life enjoy the art form. As the country has changed in the last decade or so, have the people remained as devoted to ballet as before, or is this also changing?

AK:

dp: It is still early in your career, but you have had many opportunities. What have been your favorite roles? Are there some you have yet to perform?

AK:

Anton Korsakov as Don Quixote

Anton Korsakov as Don Quixote

dp: In the States and in Europe, it seems we are always looking for the next big thing in ballet, even as many companies still try to keep the classics alive. How does this compare with the way programming is done in Russia these days?

AK:

dp: To an outsider, your life seems pretty glamorous….what do you love most about your career? What do you love least?

AK:

dp: Do you ever look into the future, twenty years or so? What do you see?

AK:

Anton instructs student Haley Schwan in class. Haley is now dancing professionally with Staatsballet Berlin.

Anton instructs student Haley Schwan in class. Haley is now dancing professionally with Staatsballet Berlin.

dp: You’ve been interviewed quite a lot. Is there something that interviewers do not ask you, that you would wish for them to ask?

AK:

dp: Again, the future: from your perspective, how do you see the future of ballet, how will it evolve, and what place will it take in our global culture?

AK:

dp: Many thanks for your time and for sharing your thoughts. It has been wonderful and I’m looking forward to sharing this with others! And a huge thank-you also to Sergey Rayevskiy, of the Academy of Russian Classical Ballet, for arranging this interview and serving as translator.

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