L'officiel THE GREAT GATSBY ballet audition

These July days an international audition for dancers to participate in THE GREAT GATSBY ballet has started in Kiev. Director and choreographer of the project is Dwight Rhoden – art director of the New York based Complexions Contemporary Ballet, whom The New York Times acclaimed to be one of the most sought out choreographers today. Konstantin Meladze is the composer. Denis Matvienko is art director of the project and the performer of the main role, who has long received worldwide recognition and is dearly loved by the Ukrainian ballet lovers. Now Denis is a premiere at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, but he still finds time and strength to carry out projects in his Motherland.  






“THE GREAT GATSBY” is a project that isn’t only beautiful, but also very complex, one that requires great dedication from all the participants and presumes a long rehearsal and staging period. Hence the ballet will be prepared based on the Western principle, wherein the troupe is constantly changing. Each of the few casts, which together with the soloists accounts to 28 people each, can be renewed. So, young ballet talents, attention! – the auditions will be held again once in a while. The starting audition gathered around 50 contestants from all over Ukraine, with applications coming in from Korea and the US.



In two dancehalls of the “House of Teacher” for some hours Denis himself worked together with the contestants, as well as Dwight Rhoden’s assistants and dancers of Complexions Contemporary Ballet – Christina Dooling and Gary Jeter. Fateful for the contestants decisions were made by the jury, which consisted of Denis Matvienko, Dwight Rhoden and the producer of the project – Alyona Matvienko. The ones that were selected already commenced the hard work: during the rehearsal period it will become clear, who out of the contestants will make the troupe. 



The casting itself resembled a theatrical performance: different personalities, artistic types, experience. It was evident, who has felt the rush of the big stage before, and who is still dreaming of the heat of the spotlight. Here, some don’t leave the side of the barre even during brief and rare intermissions. They warm up. They stand on high toes and for a hundredth time critically examine themselves in the mirror and pass to the next stage of the audition. And some don’t pass the chance to appear in front of cameras and give an interview with eyes full of confidence. But no, they’re told, “Thank you very much” and pointed towards the changing room. Maybe, next time. Maybe, never.




Kyivites will see “THE GREAT GATSBY” on the stage of National Palace of Arts “Ukraine” in October.

Photo: Denis Manoha, L’Officiel Studio

Author: Anna Stavichenko