Director of the Royal Russian Ballet, Anatoliy Kazatskiy talks about his first collaborative project with Navrasa Duende. They are presenting Tchaikovsky’s ‘Swan Lake’ at the Siri Fort Auditorium in New Delhi from 22 – 24 September 2017.
Serenade Team: How did you first get interested in dance? Tell us about your background and your career highlights.
Anatoliy Kazatskiy: Since the late 18th century or beginning of 19th century, there was a culture of ballet in Russian Provinces and like others, I was also inspired to be a ballet dancer. Prior to joining the Dance College, I studied at the Kharkov Children’s Choreographic School in the class of Mikhail Satunovskiy, an Honoured Artist of Russia. After the advice of my teacher, I entered Voronezh Choreography College in 1986 and that is where my journey began.
In 1992, after graduating from the College, I was invited as a ballet soloist to the Kharkiv National Academic Opera and Ballet Theater. As an artist, I had a wide variety of performing repertoire: Prince, Rothbart, Pas de trois, Jester in the play “Swan Lake”, Prince in “Nutcracker”, Prince in the play “Sleeping Beauty” etc.
ST: What were some of the obstacles that you had to overcome as a ballet dancer in your early training years?
AK: Ballet is not an easy dance form and it especially requires traits like strong will power, fitness, emotional stability etc. The artist needs to be both physically and mentally strong, to work on their mental health and dedication to excel a move.
ST: What are some of your most favourite works for ballet?
AK: Romeo and Juliet, The Nut Cracker, Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella are some of my favourites, to name a few.
ST: You decided to set up the Royal Russian Ballet in the year 2008. What inspired you to take this step forward?
AK: I had the experience of being the principal dancer, choreographer and ballet director. I was very keen to take this beautiful art form around the world.
ST: There are millions of little girls and boys all over the world that sign up for ballet classes every year. A fraction of them can become professional dancers. What do you think keeps them motivated towards establishing a career in this field?
AK: Like, I mentioned earlier, Ballet is not an easy dance form. Though, the gift of dancing like a free soul is above and beyond this pain. These periods of pain teach us a lot about our body, how it makes us strong and can be used to strengthen our inner ballerina.
ST: What is the one key trait you look for while hiring new dancers?
AK: The willingness to learn and a never give up attitude are a must for ballet.
ST: Your organisation is doing 5 performances of the Swan Lake ballet in New Delhi later this month. Tell us about the music, staging props and costumes that will be used for this production.
AK: We were delighted when Navrasa Duende approached us for a collaboration and chose Swan Lake as the first co-production for India. We are bringing all costumes and props with us. In terms of music, we will be bringing recorded music for this show.