THE GREAT GATSBY BALLET PROJECT BLASTS OFF IN KIEV 11.12.2013
Kiev has seen the start of preparations for the international ballet project. The star team featuring dance Denis Matvienko, composer Konstantin Meladze and American choreographer Dwight Rhoden work on contemporary ballet The Great Gatsby to be premièred in autumn 2014. Vogue.ua knows all the details of the upcoming premier.
The idea to stage the iconic novel by Francis Fitzgerald came to Denis and Alena Matvienko a year ago. It’s not a secret, they wanted to present an absolutely new format, not chained with usual frames in Ukraine. Their version of The Great Gatsby is not a classical ballet, not a pure contemporary dance and not a Broadway show – it is a dance fusion, mixture of many genres and styles. The international team was invited to create this “fusion”. Denis Matvienko, who is dancing the part of Jay Gatsby, is a classical dancer, premier of Mariinskiy Theatre, the only holder of four Grand Prix at the most prestigious ballet contests in the world.
Choreographer Dwight Rhoden – one of the most demanded American directors who works in contemporary dance genre, head of Complexions contemporary ballet, director of dance acts for TV shows, Lenny Kravitz, Prince and U2.
The main surprise of the project – musical producer and composer Konstantin Meladze, who debuted as the author of music for the ballet.
Konstantin says: "I was invited to this story to expand the audience who will watch this ballet. This will be a modern ballet, also from the musical point of view. There will be a lot of music of 20s, in particular, jazz, symphonic music, modern instruments. Everything will be clear, bright and stylish".
The team of the project underlines they are striving to make The Great Gatsby an entertaining and spectacular show. The same time, Dwight Rhoden states the main thing is to tell the story personally, show the character and drama of Jay Gatsby through the dance – vivid, eclectic and spectacular. To get the attention of the viewers, the video clip directed by Alan Badoev will be launched on musical channels in February. It will be a sort of a teaser to the ballet: “the main role” will be played by Denis Matvienko, vocals recorded by singer Polina Gagarina. Also the artists of National Opera of Ukraine will be involved. Costumes for the video are created by designer Olga Navrotskaya.
“The Great Gatsby” is international project not only in terms of the participants, but also the geography: the shooting of the video is taking place in Kiev, the rehearsal are held in St Petersburg, and the artistic part of the work on the project is done in New York. Interestingly, the costumes for the future premier will be done not by a professional theatre artist, but by one of Ukrainian designers - several fashion designers have already done sketches for the play. Together with the editors of Vogue Ukraine, the producers of “The Great Gatsby” will choose the designer.
The final casting for the ballet dancers will be taking place in April. Previously it was announced, the artists will come from the Mariinskiy Theatre, the National Opera of Ukraine, so as there will be a couple of American dancers. American Dwight Rhoden finds it interesting to work with representatives of Ukrainian-Russian ballet school as he is delighted with their strength, stamina and sensuality, remembering his work with Denis Matvienko and Diana Vishnevaya – a famous Russian dancer. Dwight admits he was influenced by the classical Russian ballet, particularly by the works of Rudolf Nuriev and Mikhail Baryshnikov.
The premier of the ballet, that is already referred as the most expensive Ukrainian ballet, will be held in Kiev, St Petersburg and Moscow as well as the producers are planing to tour with it in the West.