Diana Vishneva explores Aurora's 100-year sleep. Photo by Inna Nebeluk, Courtesy Sleeping Beauty Dreams.

Superstar Diana Vishneva on Her New Passion Project, "Sleeping Beauty Dreams"

This winter, the renowned Russian dancer Diana Vishneva will appear in her most high-profile project since she retired from American Ballet Theatre in 2017. The 42-year-old prima ballerina, who gave birth to her first child, Rudolf Victor, last May, is set to star in the ambitious, technologically innovative multimedia production Sleeping Beauty Dreams, choreographed by Edward Clug. The production will also star Marcelo Gomes as Prince Peter. Inspired by the provocative question "What did Princess Aurora dream during her 100-year sleep?", Sleeping Beauty Dreams premieres December 7–8 at Miami's Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts and continues to New York City's Beacon Theatre December 14–15, before moving on to what promotors say will be a two-part international tour.

Sleeping Beauty Dreams New Trailer youtu.be


Pointe spoke to Vishneva through a translator about her role as performer and creator, and the project's place in this stage of her career.

How did you become involved in Sleeping Beauty Dreams?

On top of my career as a classical ballerina I have always been involved in modern art and modern dance. The CONTEXT Festival I have been doing in Russia since 2013 is a modern dance festival. Before my pregnancy I was already developing a project that involved the newest technologies with Rem Khass, who became the creative producer for Sleeping Beauty Dreams. After that we quickly brought together a team. I was not just someone who inspired the idea—I was involved in the entire process.

Tell me about the concept behind the piece and your role.

Sleeping Beauty Dreams is not an attempt to rewrite a world-famous fairy tale. There is a black-and-white plot in that story about good and evil. In our story, good and evil coexist within my character. Sleeping Beauty Dreams will be a journey into the inner world of my character, to show the struggles within her soul. It becomes a story of meeting one's dark side and overcoming it.

Who are the other artists that makes up the ballet's team?

We have Edward Glug as the choreographer; he has worked with many companies including Nederlands Dans Theater. Tobias Gremmler is creating these huge digital characters, projections that will react to my movements onstage. Noisia, a noted experimental electronic music group, is doing the music, and Bart Hess is doing the costumes. He's known for his avant-garde vision and interest in uniting the virtual and real.

How do you see this project fitting into the post–prima ballerina stage of your career?

I would rather see my involvement with ABT as one part of my life. At a certain point, I also understood that I needed to move forward, that I have already said everything I wanted to say in the classical world. So, this is a new chapter for me.

Latest Posts


Maria Kochetkova. Darian Volkova, Courtesy Kochetkova

Maria Kochetkova on How COVID-19 Affected Her Freelance Career, and Her New Home at Finnish National Ballet

When international star Maria Kochetkova embarked on a freelance career three years ago, she never envisioned how a global pandemic would affect it. In 2018, the Russian-born ballerina left the security of San Francisco Ballet, a company she called home for more than a decade, for the globe-trotting life of a guest star. Before the pandemic, Kochetkova managed her own performing schedule and was busier than ever, enjoying artistic freedom and expanding her creative horizons. This all changed in March 2020, when she saw her booming career—and her jet-setting lifestyle—change almost overnight.

After months of uncertainty, Kochetkova landed at Finnish National Ballet, where she is a principal dancer for the 2020–21 season. Pointe spoke with her about her time during the quarantine and what helped her to get through it, her new life in Helsinki, and what keeps her busy and motivated these days.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
DTH's Alexandra Hutchinson and Derek Brockington work out with trainer Lily Overmyer at Studio IX. Photo by Joel Prouty, Courtesy Hutchinson.

Working Out With DTH’s Alexandra Hutchinson

Despite major pandemic shutdowns in New York City, Alexandra Hutchinson has been HIIT-ing her stride. Between company class with Dance Theater of Harlem and projects like the viral video "Dancing Through Harlem"—which she co-directed with roommate and fellow DTH dancer Derek Brockington—Hutchinson has still found time to cross-train. She shares her motivation behind her killer high-intensity interval training at Studio IX on Manhattan's Upper West Side.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Getty Images

As Ballet Looks Toward Its Future, Let's Talk About Its Troubling Emotional Demands

As a ballet student, I distinctively remember being told that to survive ballet as a profession, one must be exceptionally thick-skinned and resilient. I always assumed it was because of the physically demanding nature of ballet: long rehearsal hours, challenging and stressful performances, and physical pain.

It wasn't until I joined a ballet company that I learned the true meaning behind those words: that the reason one needs thick skin is not because of the physical demands, but because of the unfair and unnecessary emotional demands.

Undoubtedly, emotional and physical strength go hand in hand to some extent. But the kind of emotional demand I am talking about here is different; it is not the strength one finds in oneself in moments of fatigue or unwillingness. It is the strength one must have when being bullied, humiliated, screamed at, manipulated or harassed.

Keep reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks