Diana Vishneva’s CONTEXT Festival | Wayne McGregor Company, Justin Peck, Alexei Ratmansky

The astounding ballerina Diana Vishneva launches her CONTEXT Festival, celebrating contemporary choreography, kicking off in Moscow (November 12 – 15) and Saint Petersburg (November 16 – 19).

Founder and artistic director of CONTEXT, Diana Vishneva is a renowned dancer of our times who ‘speaks’ the language of the greatest ballet and contemporary innovators of the 20-21st centuries.

Her vision for CONTEXT is “a laboratory where both Russian and international choreographers can show their work with to each other and to a wider audience.”

The inspired festival features a wide range of choreographers, bringing international talents to share the stage with Russian artists.

In its 5th year CONTEXT has grown from a 3 day festival, to an entire week dedicated to dance and movement and is now also a significant platform for talented up and coming choreographers and dancers.

Diana Vishneva explains, “Classical ballet in Russia has a long-lasting tradition but the history of contemporary dance is being written today. The purpose of our festival is to show the best that exists in contemporary choreography and to help young talented stage creators take their well-deserved place. We aim to fit Russia into the context of world contemporary choreography.”

CONTEXT is also a platform to develop emerging Russian choreographers, with eclectic choices representing diversity in dance. Diana’s programming is driven by an insatiable curiosity to discover and experience dance from many different perspectives.


CONTEXT Programme

For its 5th anniversary CONTEXT will present performances by leading dance companies from the UK, US, Germany, and Netherlands, both iconic works and legendary premieres, a showcase of young choreographers, meet-the-artist sessions, workshops, master classes, and film screenings.

Diana will appear on stage in both Moscow and S. Petersburg, performing the final pas de deux from Goyo Montero’s Sleeping Beauty together with Oscar Alonso, and with the Perm Opera and Ballet Theatre in Vladimir Varnava’s Petrushka.

Audiences in Moscow and St. Petersburg will be treated to the world premiere of Asunder created by Goyo Montero (principal choreographer of Nuremberg Ballet) and performed by dancers of the Perm Opera and Ballet Theater. Set to music by Richard Wagner and Frédéric Chopin adapted by Owen Belton, Asunder was commissioned for the CONTEXT Festival.


At CONTEXT’s Moscow gala Wayne McGregor, one of the UK’s most renowned contemporary choreographers, named by Time magazine as the “artist that defined the decade,” will present two works. His company will perform FAR – a complex work full of contrasts set to music by experimental composer Ben Frost. McGregor’s Witness will be performed by legendary ballerina, Alessandra Ferri, with American Ballet Theatre’s principal dancer, Herman Cornejo.  Now 54, Ferri, continues to dazzle audiences.

Barak Marshall will participate in the festival for a second time, presenting Green Bride, which marks the Russian debut of Los Angeles based dance company, Bodytraffic. Eric Gautier’s Gauthier Dance Company//Dance Company Theaterhaus Stuttgart plans a special performance of a full-scale ballet, NIJINSKI, by Marco Goecke on the stage of the Mossovet Theater. Offering audiences an abstract impression of the life and work of Vaslav Nijinsky, one of the greatest dancers and choreographers of his time. A trio from Gauthier’s company will also perform the striking Pacopepepluto by Alejandro Cerrudo.


Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui’s production of I Will Fall For You will be performed by Drew Jacoby and Matt Foley, set to the music of Woodkid. Jeanette Delgado will perform Chutes and Ladders by New York City Ballet’s Justin Peck, one of the youngest leading contemporary choreographers.

The festival will have a new major collaboration with the Perm Opera and Ballet Theatre. Perm will present their Stravinsky’s Ballets, three one-act ballets to the music of Igor Stravinsky. Though the Bolshoi and Mariinsky Ballets are better known, Perm is one of Russia’s oldest theatres and a major center for music.

The three Stravinsky ballets are Viacheslav Samodurov’s The Fairy’s Kiss (Le baiser de la fée), Vladimir Varnava’s (winner of the first CONTEXT competition for young choreographers) Petrushka, and Alexey Miroshnichenko’s The Firebird. Diana Vishneva will perform the leading part in Vladimir Varnava’s piece.

Closing night in St Petersburg will feature the Russian premiere of two productions of the Dutch National Ballet: a piece from Alexei Ratmansky’s Shostakovich Trilogy set to the music of Dmitry Shostakovich and Sarcasmen choreographed by Hans Van Manen. Hans, who has repeatedly taken part in CONTEXT, celebrates his 85th birthday this year. And all this is only a part of the whole program which can be viewed here.


More about CONTEXT

Since 2013, CONTEXT has featured the works of 35 different international choreographers and grown from an audience of 2,000 to more than 9,000 at last year’s festival. As CONTEXT grows it seeks to establish a balance between international works and Russian productions.

This edition of CONTEXT includes a new a program dedicated to more established Russian choreographers: Alexey Ratmansky, Viacheslav Samodurov, Vladimir Varnava and Alexey Miroshnichenko.