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Makhar Vaziev

Ballet Director

Makhar Vaziev was born in 1961 in Alagir, a North Ossetia town in the Caucasus Mountains situated on the Russian border with Georgia. His original name is Makharbeq, according to an ancient Ossetian indication of nobility. In 1973 he was admitted to the “Agrippina Vaganova” Academy in Saint Petersburg (class of Yury Umrikin), from which he graduated in 1981. In 1979 he started to dance for the Kirov Ballet, where he was officially hired in 1981 after graduating. He was promoted to soloist in 1986 and to principal dancer in 1989.
His repertoire included more than twenty ballets, amongst which La Sylphide (James), Giselle (Albrecht), Le corsaire (Alì), La bayadère (Solor), Swan Lake (Siegfried), The Sleeping Beauty (Prince Désiré), The Nutcracker (Principe), Raymonda (Abderachman), Don Quixote (Basil), Chopiniana (Poet), Scheherazade (Golden Slave), and Carmen (Don José).

Between April 1995 and March 2008 Mr Vaziev was the director the Kirov Ballet of the Mariinsky Theatre in Saint Petersburg. During those 13 years the repertory of the company, considered to be “the home of Marius Petipa”, grew substantially to include works of the major choreographers of the 20th century: George Balanchine (The Prodigal Son, Apollo, Theme and Variations, Jewels, T, Serenade, La Valse), Hans van Manen, John Neumeier, William Forsythe, Harald Lander (Études), Kenneth MacMillan, Pierre Lacotte (Ondine) and David Dawson (Reverence).

During his directorship some ballets by Marius Petipa were reconstructed after the originals in Stepanov notation, preserved in the Sergeyev Collection of Harvard University. The choreologist Sergey Vikharev reconstructed The Sleeping Beauty (1999), La bayadère (2002) in Petipa’s version from 1900, and Le réveil de Flore (2007).

Makhar Vaziev also supported the rising generation of Russian choreographers, amongst whom Alexei Ratmansky, Alexei Miroshnichenko and Kirill Simonov. The Mariinsky Theatre therefore hosted the world premiere of Ratmansky’s Cinderella, The Nutcracker (staging by Chemiakin and choreography by Simonov), The Magical Nut (staging by Chemiakin and choreography by Donvena Pandoursky). It also saw the premiere of The Overcoat after Gogol and The Golden Age, both by the choreographer Noah D. Gelber; Bronislava Nijinska’s Les Noces; Millicent Hodson and Kenneth Archer’s The Rite of Spring after the original version by Vaslav Nijinskij; and Pandoursky’s triptych Metaphysics. La mite. The Rite of Spring.

Between 1995 and 2008 the Kirov Ballet of the Mariinsky Theatre toured to theatres including Covent Garden and the Coliseum Theatre (London), the Lincoln Center (New York), the Kennedy Center (Washington), the Teatro Colón (Buenos Aires), the Teatro Real (Madrid) and theatres in Tokyo and Hong Kong, as well as at the Bolshoi (Moscow) and various theatres in Italy.

The International Ballet Festival of the Mariinsky Theatre saw the light in 2001, and has since then presented some the best dancers in the world. A new generation of dancers has also risen during Mr Vaziev’s tenure, such as Uliana Lopatkina, Diana Vishneva, Daria Pavlenko, Viktoria Tereshkina, Olesia Novikova, Evgenia Obraztsova, Alina Somova, Igor Kolb, Andrian Fadeyev, Leonid Sarafanov and Vladimir Shklyarov.

Makhar Vaziev’s direction resolutely embraces a set of precise artistic standards. The aim is to reinvigorate the twentieth century’s most refreshing and influential ballet repertoire as a “tradition of the new” in the ballet world, reviving the necessary classics, providing young choreographers with creative opportunities. During his direction (2008-16) La Scala Ballet repertoire obtained George Balanchine's Jewels and A Midsummer Night's Dream, Roland Petit’s Pink Floyd, Alexei Ratmansky’s Opera staged to Leonid Desyatnikov’s music (La Scala comission), Nacho Duato’s The Nutcracker, reconstruction of Raymonda by Sergei Vikharev and reconstruction of The Sleeping Beauty by Alexei Ratmansky.

Under Vaziev's direction, the Ballet Company's chain of command has grown in every respect. Today's principals include Nicoletta Manni and Claudio Coviello, and soloists include Massimo Garon and Marco Agostino.

In 2016 was appointed Bolshoi Ballet Director.


2002 - Honoured Artist of Russia;
Spirit of Dance” prize in the “Knight of Dance” category.

Main Stage 1 Teatralnaya ploschad (1 Theatre Square), Moscow, Russia
New Stage Bol'shaya Dmitrovka Street, 4/2, Moscow, Russia
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