Vladimir Vasiliev – one of the greatest dancers of the 20th century, choreographer, theatre and film director, actor, teacher, artist, poet and much more. For thirty years the Bolshoi Ballet leading dancer (1958-1988) - a superlative performer with an immense range, possessing a rare artistic gift, charm and virtuosity, awarded by the Paris Dance Academy with the title The best dancer of the World, and by Dancing Time magazine - Le Dieu de la Danse, he made a huge contribution to male classical dance, created new models for it – standards, which shaped several artistic generations, the present generation included.
Vasiliev declared a truth on stage, which over-rode temporary and national boundaries, swept away limitations of type, genre, plastic system. Whether the proud Spartacus or sparkling Basil, tyrannical Ivan the Terrible or wise Zorba the Greek, the self-absorbed Narcissus or the gentle Romeo, loving Albrecht or cheerful Ivanushka, it was impossible not to believe in their emotional peripetaeia. Just as it is impossible to imagine Vasiliev without Maximova.
Many brilliant ballerinas danced with Vasiliev, among them the greatest Galina Ulanova, Maya Plisetskaya, Alicia Alonso, Carla Fracci, but his duet with the late Ekaterina Maximova remains to this day an unsurpassed example of partnership on stage and in real life, acknowledged by the Paris Academy of Dance as Best duet of the world.
Since 1971, Vasiliev has been working as choreographer and director, he has created 13 ballets which were danced at the world’s best opera houses, such as the Bolshoi and Mariinsky Theatre, the Metropolitan, Opera di Roma, Staatsoper, the Tokyo Bunka Kaikan, Coloseum and the Barbican Centre. Among them ballets Icarus, Macbeth, Cinderella, Swan Lake, Don Quixote, Giselle, Nutcracker, Anyuta, Fragments of One’s biography, operas Traviata, O, Mozart, Mozart, and recent unique and grandiose production of I.S.Bach’s H-moll Mass Dona Nobis Pacem for opera, ballet and orchestra, as well as choreography for operas, including Franco Zeffirelli’s Aida at Arena di Verona, La Scala and Palermo and Traviata at Opera di Roma, for rock-opera, drama theatre and films, staging and filming original television ballets.
From 1995-2000, Vasiliev is the General and Artistic director of the Bolshoi Theatre where n the roaring 90-s in Russia he preserved and developed its best qualities and traditions. Today, he is in great demand as guest choreographer, actor, artist as well as chairman of many prestigious ballet competitions, he is the founder and trustee of the Bolshoi Ballet School in Brazil, and president of the Galina Ulanova Foundation.
Vasiliev is a man of many parts: a dramatic actor, poet, and painter. Painting has become his second vocation and over the past twenty years has resulted in thirty one-man shows of his works in Russia and abroad and in design for many of his ballet productions. He has the state highest awards of USSR and Russia, prestigious orders and medals from France, Japan, Italy, USA, Brazil, Argentina, Lithuania, Cuba and UNESCO.