Russian ballerina Diana Vishneva, known for memorable performances in “Don Quixote,” “Romeo and Juliet,” “Sleeping Beauty,” “Swan Lake” and “Giselle” as a principal dancer first at the Mariinsky Ballet and then The American Ballet Theatre, has retired from Ballet Theater. However, Vishneva will continue dance. Vishneva took her final bow at the American Ballet Theatre June 23 in John Cranko’s “Onegin.” At age 40, she is beginning a new chapter in her life by opening a studio in St. Petersburg to teach classic ballet as well as work with aspiring choreographers.
Her contributions to ballet have been many. Born in 1976 in St. Petersburg, she attended the Vaganova Academy of Russian Ballet and joined the Mariinsky Ballet Company (formerly The Kirov) in 1995 and was a principal dancer a year later. In 2003, Vishneva performed with the American Ballet Theatre in 2003 and joined the company as a principal dancer in 2005 while still maintaining her residency at the Mariinsky. She has performed with ballet companies around the world, including the Bolshoi Ballet, the Paris Opera Ballet, and companies in Berlin and Milan.
In celebration of Vishneva’s prolific career in Ballet Theater, Cennarium is showing her perform Juliet in a 2013 performance of “Romeo and Juliet” recorded at the Mariinsky Theatre where she began 22 years ago. Leonid Lavrovsky’s celebrated realization of “Romeo and Juliet” set to the music of Sergei Prokofiev was created at the Mariinsky Theatre in January 1940. The staging has been treasured in St. Petersburg ever since, and this production honors the original version. Guided by the dramatic force and lyric power of Prokofiev’s score, Lavrovsky’s choreography draws a grandly moving portrait of the star-crossed lovers and the Renaissance society which frames their tragedy.
Watch Diana Vishneva in “Romeo and Juliet” here on Cennarium!