As one of the foremost classical ballerinas of her generation, Diana Vishneva has captivated audiences with her magnetic stage presence and pristine technique. In a move that's sure to disappoint fans on this side of the Atlantic, she recently announced that she'll give her final performances with American Ballet Theatre on June 19 and 23, 2017, as Tatiana in Onegin. She'll dance with long-time partner, ABT principal Marcelo Gomes. Luckily for Russia, Vishneva will continue as a principal at the Mariinsky.
The first time I was able to see Vishneva dance live was in the summer of 2009, when I secured a student rush ticket to see Frederick Ashton's Sylvia at ABT. Even though I was sitting so high up I could literally touch the opera house ceiling, I felt lucky to see her in that ballet with its wildly differing acts.
Vishneva told The New York Times that because she has too many projects, she's unable to focus 100 percent of her energy on ABT, and that would be a disservice to the company—though she didn't rule out the possibility of future guest appearances. Along with her regular repertoire at the Mariinsky, she'll continue the contemporary dance festival she founded, called Context—this year's festival will be held in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Vishneva will perform with Paris Opéra Ballet director Aurélie Dupont, in a new work choreographed by Batsheva Dance Company director Ohad Naharin. Now that's something I would rush to Russia to see.