Alexei Osipovich Ratmansky (Russian: Алексей Осипович Ратманский, b. August 27, 1968, Leningrad) is a Russian choreographer and former ballet dancer. As of April 2014 he is the artist in residence at the American Ballet Theatre. From 2004 to 2008 he was the director of the Bolshoi Ballet.
Training and performance career
Ratmansky was born in St. Petersburg and trained under Pyotr Pestov and Anna Markeyeva at the Bolshoi Ballet School. He graduated in 1986. He then danced in Kiev and was a principal dancer with the Ukrainian National Ballet, Royal Winnipeg Ballet and Royal Danish Ballet.
Choreographic and administrative careers
Ratmansky's choreographic career first became notable with his staging of the ballet Dreams of Japan for the State Ballet of Georgia in 1998. Dreams and Charms of Mannerism, choreographed in 1997, were both created for Nina Ananiashvili. Dreams earned the Golden Mask Award from the Theatre Union of Russia.
Ratmansky is noted for restaging traditionally classical ballets for large companies. His first three-act story ballet was Cinderella, created for the Kirov Ballet in 2002. Ratmansky's 2003 staging of The Bright Stream (also translated as "The Limpid Stream") for the Bolshoi Ballet led to his appointment as artistic director of that company the following year. While there he also made a full-length production of The Bolt, in 2005, and re-staged Le Corsaire and the Flames of Paris, in 2007 and 2008. The Critics' Circle in London has named the Bolshoi "Best Foreign Company" under Ratmansky's direction, in 2005 and 2007, and he received its National Dance Award for The Bright Stream.
After his directorship at the Bolshoi, Ratmansky agreed to become the first artist in residence for the American Ballet Theatre in 2008 after negotiations with the New York City Ballet failed over the position of resident choreographer. His ballets for the New York City Ballet include Russian Seasons and Concerto DSCH , and for the American Ballet Theatre, On the Dnieper and Seven Sonatas.
In 2011, his choreograpgy of Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet was premiered by the National Ballet of Canada in Toronto. Its performance in London earned Ratmansky the praise from New York Times reviewer Alastair Macaulay of being "the most gifted choreographer specializing in classical ballet today."
Selected choreographed works
- 1994 : A Fairy's Kiss
- 1997 : The Charms of Mannerism, Capriccio
- 1998 : Dreams of Japan, A Poem of Ecstasy, The Middle Duo
- 2000 : Dream to music
- 2001 : The Nutcracker, Flight to Budapest, Lea to music
- 2003 : The Bright Stream
- 2004 : Anna Karenina
- 2005 : The Bolt, Jeu de Cartes
- 2008 : Concerto DSCH
- 2013 : The Tempest
Ratmansky received the 2005 Prix Benois de la Danse for choreography for Anna Karenina, put on for the Royal Danish Ballet, and the 2007 Golden Mask Award for Best Choreographer for Jeu de Cartes choreographed for the Bolshoi Ballet.
In 2013, Ratmansky was named as the MacArthur Fellow of the year, an award that came with "genius grant" for "working in any field, who "show exceptional merit and promise for continued and enhanced creative work". (http://www.macfound.org/fellows/900/)
- Goodman, Stephanie (27 April 2011). "Alexei Ratmansky Gives ABT 10 More Years". The New York Times (New York, United States). Retrieved 3 March 2012.
- Brown, Chip. "Russian Revolutionary". The New York Times.
- Harss, Marina (12 October 2009). "Ratmansky Takes Manhattan". The Nation. Retrieved 5 August 2013.
- Khadarina, Oksana (23 October 2012). "Mariinsky Ballet – Cinderella – Washington". DanceTabs. Retrieved 15 November 2012.
- Sulcas, Roslyn (24 September 2012). "The New Season: Big-Name Dance Makers on Parade". The New York Times (New York, United States). Retrieved 25 September 2012.
- Macaulay, Alastair (22 April 2013). "Carrying a Torch for Pure Academic Ballet". New York Times (New York, United States). Retrieved 22 April 2013.
- ABT website
- "Dance of Death" by Judith Mackrell, an article in The Guardian
- Archive film of Alexei Ratmansky's Charms of Mannerism in 1999 at Jacob's Pillow