Alyona Matvienko about The Great Gatsby
13.06.2014

Usually, producer Alyona Matvienko brings ballet performances to Ukraine, but this time it will be the other way around: she intends to show Ukrainian ballet "The Great Gatsby" to the world. Alyona told about this to Valentina Klimenko.


Ballet producer Alyona Matvienko is the sister of the "King of Dance" Denis Matvienko, the world's only winner of four Grand Prix in International Ballet Competitions. When Denis gained a status of an international ballet star he started getting weighed down by issues with visas, contracts and schedules, and that's when Alyona decided to step in and help him out. Having background in Economics, she became his agent and took over all the organizational issues, leaving only the creative ones to her brother. Over time, they started creating joint projects, and gradually Alyona Matvienko came to producing. Business risks are shared by them in a brotherly manner: "In recent years, our joint projects are sponsored by our common money, we invest together and we profit together. Or do not profit – also together. Therefore, our risks are shared 50-50 ".

Today she is busy with her most ambitious project so far – production of "The Great Gatsby" ballet, premiere of which is planned for October 2014. "I want "Gatsby" to last, and be equally in demand here, and in Western Europe, and in the United States. I want it to look natural on the stage of the Mariinsky -2, as well as in Las Vegas in the format of the tour - why not? To achieve this, we have involved successful people from various spheres: here show business is represented by Konstantin Meladze, and Dwight Rhoden with his directing experience, and pop star Polina Gagarina, and Denis, and classical dancers. Most likely, it will be a demi - classic. The dream aspiration is for our performances to be attended by people who love going to see the movies, Madonna and Bolshoi Theater. By the way, especially for television an advertising music video was filmed. And as per those guarding the purity of the art genre, race and other fanatics – either way they can never be pleased.”

When Alyona and Denis decided to create a ballet project that would a) astonish the world; b) make money; c) reveal new facets of Denis Matvienko’s talent - and made a deal with Konstantin Meladze to create music for the ballet, and with Dwight Rhoden - the founder and leader of Complexions Contemporary Ballet – to be the choreographer. Then, they were seeking a story in which the main character would be a man. "The Portrait of Dorian Gray" by Oscar Wilde was considered, but they finally settled on the novel by Francis S. Fitzgerald. "Dwight was very happy - says Alyona. - To Americans, "Gatsby" - is their everything, just like “War and Piece” for Russians.” When Dwight was writing the libretto, he selected the quotes from the book that were most essential for the understanding of the performance."


Also, Alyona believes it is crucial to preserve the culture of attending the theater. "We grew up behind the scenes, but always dressed very elegantly for the performance - prepared dresses, jewelry, shoes, gloves, evening bags. I remember myself well when I was 15 to 19: it was the collapse of the USSR - unemployment, financial scrutiny. I had no everyday clothes, but there was always an outfit prepared to wear to the theater. And today, sometimes when I come to the opera, I realize that I stand out from the crowd because often people attend performance after work - but I want this dress code of long dresses. I'm sure that the culture of attending opera should be preserved. When I once arrived at La Scala for the premiere of "Sleeping Beauty", Denis warned me about the black tie dress code. Arriving at the theater, I was mesmerized by the beauty around me: lights everywhere, jewelry glimmering, men in tuxedos and bow ties, women in evening gowns, trails of perfume scents all over the building. You feel like a queen among the kings".
Production center "Sofit" headed by Alyona Matvienko, never experiences any problems with ticket sales, as audience in Ukraine is always hungry for good ballet performances. Over the past three years, "Sofit" presented 17 projects - premieres with Nina Ananiashvili and the Tbilisi Opera and Ballet Theatre troupe, modern ballets Quatro and Radio & Juliet, produced especially for Denis Matvienko, the project "Kings of the Dance. Opus 3" and a ballet evening “Dialogue".

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