An Honoured Artist of Russia, prima ballerina at the Mariinsky Theatre, and principal dancer of the American Ballet Theatre, — Diana Vishneva is the founder of and the driving force behind the CONTEXT. Diana Vishneva festival. Diana was born in Leningrad (now St Petersburg), and in 1995 graduated from the Vaganova Academy of Russian Ballet. During her last year at the Academy she became a trainee at the Mariinsky Theatre. In 1996 Diana debuted on the stage of the Bolshoi Theatre and has been performing as a guest soloist there ever since. Diana’s repertoire includes works of the most renowned contemporary choreographers such as John Neumeier, Mauro Bigonzetti, Mats Ek, Hans van Manen, Jean-Christophe Maillot, Carolyn Carlson, Ohad Naharin, Paul Lightfoot and Sol León, Martha Graham, and many others. The ballerina has commissioned several contemporary dance programmes for herself such as Beauty in Motion, Dialogues, and On the Edge. In 2010 Diana established the Diana Vishneva Foundation for the Coordinated Development of Ballet. Diana has received numerous awards and prizes, including the State Prize of Russia, the Dancer of Europe prize, six Golden Masks, the Divine prize, the Benois de la Danse award, the Ballerina of the Decade prize and many others.
An Honoured Artist of Russia, a leading soloist and a teacher-repetiteur at the Bolshoi Theatre — Anastasia Yatsenko (born in 1973) graduated from Moscow College of Choreography in 1991 and shortly after joined the Bolshoi Theatre. Anastasia has performed in classical ballets: Cinderella, Giselle, Don Quixote, Nutcracker, Annie, in the neo-classical productions: Capriccio, Bolero, Bolt, The Bright Stream by Alexei Ratmansky; Rubies, Symphony in C, Agon, Serenade, Tarantella by George Balanchine; and Herman Shmerman by William Forsythe. At the Bolshoi Anastasia Yatsenko also worked as assistant choreographer to Christopher Wheeldon, Alexei Ratmansky, Nacho Duato, William Forsythe, Mauro Bigonzetti, Wayne McGregor, Mats Ek, and Jiří Kylián. In Diana Vishneva’s programme On the Edge assisted to Jean-Christophe Maillot and Carolyn Carlson