When she won gold at the Prix de Lausanne in 1994, Diana Vishneva was merely 17 years old. However, it's clear that she was on the dawn of superstardom. Twenty years have brought Vishneva's dancing an artistic depth and maturity that contrasts the almost hyper, youthful energy she exhibits in this 1994 clip of Carmen Suite. Her composure before she enters the stage belies the explosive power she has on it. Embodying the fiery color of her costume, Vishneva's legs and leaps practically crackle every time they leave the floor.
Though she's clearly eager in the firecracker tricks she excels at, Vishneva doesn't neglect the choreography's sultry, simple walks or the subtle hand gestures. She captivates even when her back is turned, a quality that even some experienced dancers lack and one that she's mastered. Compare this peppery Carmen to the rendition Vishneva gave in 2013 at the Mariinsky Ballet. Her bounding zeal has evolved into a more grounded, luscious intensity. The heat is still there, but it smolders rather than flares. Happy #Throwback Thursday!