General and Artistic Director, Bolshoi Theatre "God of the dance" was what a contemporary
choreographer called Vladimir Vasiliev, stating that the mantle had been passed from the holder of the title Vakhtang Chabukiani, (a titlVladimir Vasilieve originally conferred on the legendary Gaetano Vestris in 19th century), the only dancer to be given the title "World's Best Dancer" of the Paris Dance Academy, "a miracle in art, perfection". Born in Moscow in 1940, Vasiliev graduated from the Moscow Ballet School in 1958 and joined the Bolshoi Ballet where he soon became a leading soloist. Combining a brilliant technique, with a highly artistic and original acting style, Vasilev made enormous contribution to classical dance by determining the development of ballet performing art in the second part of the XXth century. Numerous roles were created especially for him throughout the 1960's and 1970's by such leading choreographers as Yuri Grigorovich, Moris Bejart, Roland Petit. Vasiliev premiered principal roles in Grigorovich's The Nutcracker, Spartacus and The Angara. His roles in ballet classics, including Albrecht in Giselle, Desire in The Sleeping Beauty and Basil in Don Quixote, won the admiration of audiences all over the world. Mr. Vasiliev was a member of the Bolshoi Ballet until 1988. Throughout the 1980's and until 1994, Vasiliev was in great demand as a dancer inside the Soviet Union and abroad. He performed widely as a guest artist, with his wife, ballerina Ekaterina Maximova. From 1970 Vasiliev started staging and choreographing for the Bolshoi and other big theatres in the Soviet Union and abroad. Mr.Vasiliev also worked much in film making and television. His numerous film projects include such as: TV film-ballet The House on the Roadside (as lead dancer, choreographer and director, 1984); the feature film, Fouete (choreographer, lead dancer, co-producer, 1986); the TV film The Gospel from the Evil One (choreographer, 1992); Franco Zefferelli's feature film of Verdi's La Traviata (choreographer, Vladimir Vasilievdancer, 1982). Among the major projects Vasiliev has spearheaded there were such as the large scale exchange of Bolshoi and Mariinsky Opera and Ballet Companies in 1998, of the Bolshoi and Opera de Paris to be held, first-ever New Year Ball in the Bolshoi on December 31, 1999, foundation of the International Club of the Bolshoi Friends. Apart from daily heavy administrative duties Mr. Vasiliev oversees the entire Bolshoi Company, including orchestra, opera and ballet, ensuring its successful artistic future. For the past 5 years only 14 new ballet and 16 opera productions were made in the Bolshoi, to say nothing of numerous special gala-performances, jubilee concerts, charity programs, etc. The productions he has conceived, choreographed or directed since 1995 include: opera La Traviata (1996), Gala Concert in Honour of Maria Callas, in 1996; dances in the opera Khovanchtchina (1995); a Tribute to Solomon Mikhoels (1998); and the ballets Swan Lake (1996); and Giselle (1997), ballet Balda (music by Schostakovich, 1999). For Moscow's 850th Jubilee, Vasiliev was chosen as Artistic Director of a Gala Concert held on the Kremlin's Cathedral Square. Over the years Vladimir Vasiliev has got numerous most prestigious Soviet, Russian and foreign prizes, orders and highest awards like USSR State Prize, Russian State Prize, Russian State order "For Merits" and State Order "For Merits" of France, UNESCO Pablo Picasso Medal and others.

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