The story of The Great Gatsby will be told through dance.

International ballet star Denis Matvienko will play the  role of Jay Gatsby in a new ballet soon to be finished and presented in Kiev. Aside from being the leading dancer Matvienko  is also the art-director of this project. Alena Matvienko is the producer .

To work on the ballet version of the popular story written by F. Scott Fitzgerald, the organisers invited Dwight Rhoden the most in-demand choreographer of contemporary dance according to The New York Times. In addition to creating choreography for his Complexions troupe, he  works with Cirque du Soleil, stages shows for Prince, U2, Lenny Kravitz and creates dance scenes for Hollywood movies.

Music for The Great Gatsby ballet was written by popular composer and producer Konstantin Meladze. This all-star team intends to create a unique product and start a new trend in dance that is yet to be given a name. 

Alena Matvienko, producer: “We decided to create something bigger than just a ballet and blur the frames of the genre a little. To accomplish this only the best were invited. It’s interesting because every participant of the project is going beyond the boundaries of his regular work. I’m sure in the end we will give ballet art development a push in a more progressive and contemporary direction as well as significantly expand the number its fans.”  

Konstantin Meladze, composer: “What attracts me the most to this project is the team I’m working with. These are awesome people and the fact I’m somehow involved in this is very inspiring.”

The project started with the shooting of an introductory video clip. The clip was directed by Alan Badoev. Designer and stylist Olga Navrotskaya created costumes for the video. Filming took place recently in Kiev and lasted for 25 hours. Vocals in the video were recorded by Polina Gagarina. 

Denis Matvienko, world renowned ballet star: “The clip turns out to be unusual in all respects: personally I don’t remember a music video ever being created for a ballet. Moreover, it  is a music video where the singer plays the secondary role while the music and the dance are the most important part of it!” 

Alan Badoev, clip maker: “The video consists of two parts, because the song itself is composed of two different tunes: the first part features very fast, bright and lively music, taking us back to the 20s, and then it turns into a tragic melody I couldn’t get of my head for days. In the song,  vocals, performed in English by Polina Gagarina sound both quite hopeless and beautiful. This mixture is what you’ll see in this clip, still there will be many other unexpected things in the video. And I hope the viewer will see something familiar and still will be hooked by something new.”

Dwight Rhoden came to Kiev for four days especially for the shoot. Working with Denis Matvienko and dancers of the National Opera of Ukraine, he staged the choreography for the video.

Dwight Rhoden, choreographer: “I am delighted with what has been already done and can’t wait to start the rehearsals for the ballet! We’ve chosen beautiful dancers for the video. Everyone here found their place, so it is possible they will dance in the ballet.”

Dwight Rhoden promises there will be just slight reference to 20s style as The Great Gatsby story is timeless. Thanks to the video clip viewers will be able to get a “taste” of the ballet.

Denis Matvienko, world renowned ballet star: “This was the first time I took part in filming a clip. It’s a very hard, but extremely interesting process! Over the years of rehearsals, I got used to repeating the same moves over and over again, until you perfect the performance. Therefore, this work is pretty similar to our everyday routine, but emotionally the dancers work like this only on stage! It was very tiring. It was the longest performance of my life! But I judge from my own experience: from hard work come great things !"

Dwight Rhoden, choreographer: “I was absolutely amazed by Denis. Today I saw he is not only a brilliant dancer, he is also a great actor. Despite him being incredibly tired his acting was wonderful! During the filming of the final scene, I was crying. I think he could be a serious competitor to Hollywood actors."


The presentation of the video clip is scheduled for February, while the ballet is to be premiered in Autumn 2014. The first showings of the ballet will be in St Petersburg, Moscow and Kiev.

Send your requests for interviews with project participants and additional information (photo, video) to the press-secretary of the project Alisa Malitskaya