The fifth Context. Diana Vishneva Festival took place in Moscow (November 12-15) and in St. Petersburg (November 16-19).
In honour of its fifth anniversary, Context presented its own production. Goyo Montero, the choreographer director of the Staatstheater Nürnberg Ballett – Nuremberg Ballet, created Asunder, set to the music of Wagner (arranged by Uri Caine), Chopin (adapted by Owen Belton), and Belton’s own music, specially for the festival. The ballet was performed by dancers from the Perm Theatre of Opera and Ballet.
In Moscow, Wayne McGregor’s company performed a fragment from FAR, a ballet staged to the music of experimental composer Ben Frost. Another work of the choreographer, Witness was given by unique ballerina Alessandra Ferri together with Herman Cornejo, a star of the American ballet, in St. Petersburg and Moscow. Gauthier Dance presented two shows: Nijinsky (choreography by Marco Goecke) and a trio staged by Spanish choreographer Alejandro Cerruda set to the music of American singer Dean Martin. At the Gala Evenings, choreographer Barak Marshall presented his Green Bride, which also brought about the noteworthy Russian debut of one of Los Angeles’ most important dance companies: Bodytraffic. In Moscow and St. Petersburg, the audience was also introduced to distinguished choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui’s production I Will Fall for You, performed by Drew Jacoby and Matt Foley and set to music by Woodkid. They also witnessed Justin Peck’s Chutes and Ladders performed by the Miami City Ballet and accompanied live by a string quartet, which played music by Benjamin Britten. At the Closing Gala of the festival in St. Petersburg, two productions by the Dutch National Ballet made their Russian debuts: a fragment from Alexei Ratmansky’s Shostakovich Trilogy set to Dmitri Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto No. 1, as well as Sarcasmen by choreographer Hans van Manen.
Works by finalists from the Young Choreographers’ Competition-2017 was performed as part of the Evening for Young Russian Choreographers. Olga Labovkina won with her production of Air. Olga Vasilyeva, the winner of the 2016 competition, also presented her work which she had created during her time working in Israel for the dancers of The Maslool—Professional Dance Program in Tel Aviv.
In 2017, ContextSpeaks hosted a conversation with choreographer Alexei Ratmansky on art. Moreover, the festival broadened its educational program and participated in the creation of a course of lectures titled What Is Contemporary Dance with Arzamas Academy and with the support of Sberbank.
The educational program also included the Mind and Movement Laboratory. Together with the British Council and Studio Wayne McGregor, Context. Diana Vishneva launched a two-day intensive course for choreographers from all of Russia. In January 2018, a list of seven finalists was published; all of them would receive grants from Studio Wayne McGregor and the British Council to create their own choreographic works using British choreographer Wayne McGregor’s method. Pavel Glukhov’s production was the winner and he received a grant to the internship at the Studio Wayne McGregor.
The Context. Diana Vishneva Festival's film program was dedicated to the backstage of those who devoted their lives to dance specifically and art in general. It included seven films: The Paris Opera (directed by Jean-Stéphane Bron), Maiko: Dancing Child (directed by Ase Svenheim Drivenes), A Ballerina’s Tale (directed by Nelson George), Ingmar Bergman through the Choreographer’s Eye (directed by Ingmar Bergman Jr. and Marie-Louise Sid-Sylwander), Bobbi Jene (directed by Elvira Lind), Marcelo Gomes: Anatomy of a Male Ballet Dancer (directed by David Barba and James Pellerito) and In California (directed by Charles Redon).