Alexei Ratmansky

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Alexei Ratmansky
Алексей Ратманский
Alexei Ratmansky, Tatiana Ratmansky & Yuri Khanon, "The Middle Duo", Mariinsky theatre, 24 nov 1998
Алексей Осипович Ратманский

(1968-08-27) August 27, 1968 (age 55)
Leningrad, Russia
OccupationBallet dancer
Employer(s)Bolshoi Theatre
American Ballet Theatre

Alexei Osipovich Ratmansky (Russian: Алексей Осипович Ратманский, born August 27, 1968) is a Russian-American[1] choreographer and former ballet dancer. From 2004 to 2008 he was the director of the Moscow Bolshoi Ballet.[2] He left Russia in 2008.[3] In 2009 he was appointed the artist in residence at the American Ballet Theatre,[4][5] and as artist in residence at the New York City Ballet from August 2023.

Training and performance career[edit]

Ratmansky was born in Leningrad in Russia, Soviet Union, grew up in Kyiv, then in the Soviet Union, later the capital of independent Ukraine, and trained under Pyotr Pestov and Alexandra Markeyeva at the Bolshoi Ballet School in Moscow.[4] He graduated in 1986.[6] He then started his professional career in Kyiv[7] and was a principal dancer with the Ukrainian National Ballet, Royal Winnipeg Ballet and Royal Danish Ballet.

Choreographic and administrative careers[edit]

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.[8] Dreams earned the Golden Mask Award from the Theatre Union of Russia.

Ratmansky is noted for restaging traditionally classical ballets for large companies.[9] His first three-act story ballet was Cinderella, created for the Kirov Ballet in 2002.[8] 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.[6] 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 choreography 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."[10]

In 2014, Ratmansky took his career in a new direction when he reconstructed Marius Petipa's final revival of Paquita from the Sergeyev Collection. The reconstruction was premièred in Munich in December 2014, performed by the Bavarian State Ballet. In March 2015, he mounted his second Petipa reconstruction for American Ballet Theatre - The Sleeping Beauty, which premièred in Orange County and was later staged at the Teatro alla Scala. Ratmansky is currently reconstructing the Petipa/Ivanov 1895 staging of Swan Lake, which was premièred in Zurich in February 2016.

He was choreographing a new work at the Bolshoi when Russia invaded Ukraine in 2022; he immediately left Russia and condemned the invasion. His parents and in-laws were still in Ukraine in August 2023, and could not leave.[7]

In January 2023 the New York City Ballet announced that Ratmansky would join them as an artist in residence in August 2023.[11]

Choreographed works[edit]

  • 1988: La Sylphide-88, Duet-buff #1 & 2
  • 1993: Pas de Graham
  • 1994: The Fairy's Kiss, Alborada, Whipped Cream, 98 steps
  • 1995: Hurluburlu, Poor Little Things
  • 1996: Sarabande
  • 1997: Charms of Mannerism, Capriccio, Krakowyak, Old Juniet's Carriol
  • 1998: Dreams of Japan, Middle Duet, Poem of Extazy, Fairy's Kiss (2nd version)
  • 1999: Water, Chrizantemums
  • 2001: Turandot's Dream, Flight to Budapest, Leah, The Nutcracker
  • 2002: Cinderella, Vers la Flamme, The Firebird
  • 2003: The Bright Stream, Carnaval des Animaux, Bolero
  • 2004: Anna Karenina, Leah (2nd version)
  • 2005: The Bolt, Jeu de cartes
  • 2006: Russian Seasons
  • 2007: Le Corsaire (after Mazilier & Petipa, with Yuri Burlaka), Old Women Falling Out
  • 2008: Biset Variations, Pierrot Lunaire, Concerto DSCH, Flames of Paris (after Vainonen)
  • 2009: The Little Humpbacked Horse, Valse-Fantasie, On the Dnieper, Scuola di Ballo, Seven Sonatas
  • 2010: Don Quixote (after Petipa & Gorsky), Namouna, Fandango, The Nutcracker (2nd version)
  • 2011: Lost Illusions, Dumbarton, Psyche, Romeo & Juliet
  • 2012: Souvenir d'un Lieu Cher, Symphonic Dances, The Firebird (2nd version), The Golden Cockerel, Symphony No. 9
  • 2013: 24 Preludes, From Foreign Lands, Chamber Symphony, Piano Concerto No. 1, Cinderella (2nd version), Opera, The Tempest
  • 2014: Tanzsuite, Pictures at an Exhibition, Rondo Capriccioso
  • 2016: Serenade After Plato’s Symposium[12]
  • 2017: Whipped Cream,[13] Odessa,[14] Songs of Bukovina,[15][16] Romeo & Juliet[17][18]
  • 2022: Wartime Elegy[19]


  • 2014: Paquita
  • 2015: The Sleeping Beauty
  • 2016: Swan Lake
  • 2018: Harlequinade,[20] La Bayadère[21]
  • 2019: Giselle[22][23]


Ratmansky received the 2005 and 2014 Prix Benois de la Danse for choreography for, respectively, Anna Karenina, put on for the Royal Danish Ballet, and Shostakovich Trilogy and The Tempest, put on for the American Ballet Theatre. He also received 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". (


  1. ^ Kourlas, Gia (15 May 2016). "Alexei Ratmansky Has Russian Poetry and an American Pulse". The New York Times. Retrieved 18 May 2016.
  2. ^ Brown, Chip (25 May 2008). "Russian Revolutionary". The New York Times.
  3. ^ "The challenge of staging Ukrainian ballet during war". BBC News. 24 September 2022. Retrieved 27 September 2022.
  4. ^ a b Goodman, Stephanie (27 April 2011). "Alexei Ratmansky Gives ABT 10 More Years". The New York Times. New York, United States. Retrieved 3 March 2012.
  5. ^ "Alexei Ratmansky". American Ballet Theatre. 14 October 2021.
  6. ^ a b Harss, Marina (12 October 2009). "Ratmansky Takes Manhattan". The Nation. Retrieved 5 August 2013.
  7. ^ a b Winship, Lyndsey (25 August 2023). "Choreographer Alexei Ratmansky: 'I don't want my ballet to be staged in Russia ever again'". The Guardian.
  8. ^ a b Khadarina, Oksana (23 October 2012). "Mariinsky Ballet – Cinderella – Washington". DanceTabs. Retrieved 15 November 2012.
  9. ^ 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.
  10. ^ Macaulay, Alastair (22 April 2013). "Carrying a Torch for Pure Academic Ballet". New York Times. New York, United States. Retrieved 22 April 2013.
  11. ^ Hernández, Javier C. (2023-01-05). "Alexei Ratmansky, Renowned Choreographer, to Join City Ballet". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2023-01-22.
  12. ^ Acocella, Joan (23 October 2016). "Alexei Ratmansky Makes a Ballet about Love". The New Yorker. Retrieved 6 May 2017.
  13. ^ Bleiberg, Laura (17 March 2017). "We're still on a sugar high: Run (or leap) to American Ballet Theatre's 'Whipped Cream'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 10 May 2017.
  14. ^ Macaulay, Alastair (5 May 2017). "For the Couples in This Alexei Ratmansky Ballet, Love Is Not Enough". New York Times. Retrieved 6 May 2017.
  15. ^ Harss, Marina (17 October 2017). "Alexei Ratmansky's Elective Affinity, Musically Speaking". New York Times. Retrieved 19 October 2017.
  16. ^ Macaulay, Alastair (19 October 2017). "At American Ballet Theater Gala, All Is the Same but Different". New York Times. Retrieved 19 October 2017.
  17. ^ "Repertoire".
  18. ^ Harss, Marina (16 January 2018). "Opening Wide: The Bolshoi's New, More Poetic 'Romeo and Juliet'". The New York Times.
  19. ^ Homans, Jennifer (17 October 2022). "Alexei Ratmansky's Dance for the War in Ukraine". The New Yorker.
  20. ^ Harss, Marina (29 May 2018). "In 'Harlequinade,' Gestures Dance, and Dances Tell Stories". New York Times. Retrieved 6 March 2019.
  21. ^ Cappelle, Laura (13 November 2018). "Ratmansky returns orientalist fantasy to its roots". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 March 2019.
  22. ^ "Repertoire".
  23. ^ "Bolshoi Ballet – Giselle (Ratmansky premiere) – Moscow". 24 November 2019.

Further reading[edit]

  • Harss, Marina (2023). The Boy from Kyiv: Alexei Ratmansky's Life in Ballet. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. ISBN 978-0374102616.

External links[edit]