ABT announces Vadim Muntagirov & Denis Matvienko as guest artists for 2012

November 17, 2011

Breaking Ballet News


dancer jumps in the air

Rehearsal of Tchaikovsky pas de deux Vadim Muntagirov Photograph © 2011 Daniel Paul Jones

Denis Matvienko, a principal dancer with the Mariinsky Ballet, and Vadim Muntagirov, a principal dancer with English National Ballet, will debut as guest artists in upcoming performances with American Ballet Theatre. The announcement was made today by Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie.

Matvienko will perform the role of Solor in La Bayadère at the matinee on Saturday, May 26, 2012 opposite Gillian Murphy as Nikiya and Isabella Boylston as Gamzatti during American Ballet Theatre’s 2012 Spring season at the Metropolitan Opera House.

Muntagirov will perform the role of Solor in La Bayadère at the matinee on Saturday, February 4, 2102 during the Company’s performances at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. and on Wednesday evening, May 23 for the Company’s 2012 Spring season at the Metropolitan Opera House. He will also dance Prince Siegfried in Swan Lake opposite Irina Dvorovenko as Odette/Odile at the matinee on Saturday, June 30.

Denis Matvienko was born in Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine. A classmate of Svetlana Zakharova, he graduated from Kiev State School of Choreography in 1997. He made his debut with National Ballet of Ukraine as Prince Désiré in The Sleeping Beauty while still a student in the school, and entered the company at age eighteen as a principal dancer.

From 2001 to 2002, Matvienko danced as a soloist with the Mariinsky (Kirov) Ballet. His repertoire included Basil in Don Quixote, Prince Charming in Alexei Ratmansky’s Cinderella, George Balanchine’s Jewels and the title role in his Prodigal Son. Matvienko then returned to National Ballet of Ukraine and frequently appeared as a guest artist with the Bolshoi Ballet, New National Theater in Japan, Teatro alla Scala and Paris Opera Ballet. In 2007, he joined the Mikhailovsky Ballet in St. Petersburg and, in 2009, he was invited to join the Mariinsky Ballet as a principal dancer.

Since returning to the Mariinsky, his repertoire has included Prince Désiré in The Sleeping Beauty, Prince Siegfried in Swan Lake, Albrecht in Giselle, James in La Sylphide, Solor in La Bayadère, Romeo in Romeo and Juliet, Prince Charming in Cinderella, Jean de Brienne in Raymonda, De Grieux in Manon, Conrad in Le Corsaire, the title role in Spartacus and Boris in The Golden Age.

Vadim Muntagirov was born in Chelyabinsk, Russia and received his early ballet training at Perm Choreographic Ballet Institute. After winning the Prix de Lausanne in 2006, he was invited to continue his training at the Royal Ballet Upper School. Muntagirov joined English National Ballet (ENB) in 2009 at the age of 19. His repertory with ENB includes Albrecht in Giselle, the Prince in The Nutcracker and Cinderella and the Poet in Les Sylphides. In addition, he was cast as Prince Siegfried in Derek Deane’s Swan Lake and debuted as Romeo in Rudolf Nureyev’s Romeo and Juliet. In 2011, he won the award for Outstanding Male Performer as well as for Emerging Dancer, by the London Critics’ Circle.

Read my interview with Vadim Muntagirov

Vadim Muntagirov in rehearsal


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3 Responses to “ABT announces Vadim Muntagirov & Denis Matvienko as guest artists for 2012”

  1. May Says:

    I thought Denis would have guested there already – he’s such an experienced danseur – but that’s TOP NEWS for Vadim! He’s so talented but was a little shy and unsure when he arrived at English National Ballet with lots of expectations upon his young shoulders, which he has fulfilled. Well done to Vadim. Still, I don’t think they’ll be stealing Radetsky and Matthews’ spots anytime soon; Denis is in demand worldwide, and Vadim has lots of tour slots up and down the land from Milton Keynes to Wales to fill…..it’s all hands on deck at ENB 🙂

  2. May Says:

    Oops – With regards my post above about Messrs Radetsky and Matthews – it wasn’t to suggest they were under more threat than any other danseur, but in response to another reader’s comment about reduced opportunities for home grown soloists. I think there are probably enough slots to go round – and that the guests are there to take pressure off the home team in a hectic season, not to take away performance opportunities in a quiet schedule.

  3. Ballet News Says:

    Thanks May. I think the difficulties here are that guest artists who guest anywhere (and if they are talented, why shouldn’t they ?) will drop into a company with Principals of it’s own who also want the stage time. In some companies, particularly in the US where they have regular lay-off periods, this is a worry for those dancers. It’s a difficult balance – keeping your own dancers happy and bringing in guest artists who, one hopes, will bring in audiences. Then there is the question of the dancers themselves wanting more artistic opportunites. If they’ve danced all the rep that their current company has to offer, and galas can be limiting because you don’t get to dance full length ballets, then guesting or moving altogether is an option – but it’s going to upset someone, somewhere. It’s not really the case that companies have room for guest artists – room has to be made at someone else’s expense and that’s a difficult decision. All the good dancers around the world are fighting for stage time before their short careers come to an end.