Above photo: Ivan Vasiliev, Mikhailovsky Ballet Flames of Paris, November 14, 2014, Lincoln Center. Check out my latest YouTube video analyzing Ivan Vasiliev in his Flames of Paris solos from 2011 with the Bolshoi Ballet. His athletic and energetic solos are exciting, with numerous original steps or variants of standard steps. Ivan is not my first choice in ballets where technique and subtlety are at a premium, such as Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, and Giselle. There is not much room for circus steps such as pistols, triple saut de basques and tours in those productions. However, in athletic roles in Don Quixote, Le Corsaire, and Flames of Paris, few dancers can match Ivan’s raw energy, creativity, and bravado. I saw Ivan at American Ballet Theatre in 2013 and when Mikhailovsky Ballet visited Lincoln Center in 2014 and always appreciated his dynamic, full-throttle performances.
His Flames of Paris Philippe variation is an athletic solo filled with crowd-pleasing circus steps. This solo is a staple in ballet competitions worldwide as contestants attempt to dazzle judges and ballet companies seeking to sign talent. Flames of Paris is a silly, campy, Soviet-era work choreographed by Vasily Vainoen in 1933 and restaged by Alexei Ratmansky for the Bolshoi Ballet in 2010. Vasiliev is at home in the role, with creative adaptations of standard steps, extending the boundaries of athleticism at times at the expense of artistry and technique. He does at least five unique steps that are rarely attempted on stage that I discuss. This solo is from the 2011 Bolshoi Ballet DVD, when Ivan was 21 years of age. Also, check out my photos of Ivan at my photography website notmydayjobphotography.com. Photos were from 2013 when Ivan danced with American Ballet Theatre and 2014 when Mikhailovsky Ballet performed at Lincoln Center, and the company graciously allowed me to photograph their dress rehearsals. Check out my thoughts on Ivan in the Mikhailovsky Ballet Lincoln Center wrap-up from 2014, Mikhailovsky Don Quixote, and Mikhailovsky Flames of Paris,
The Ivan Vasiliev Flames of Paris video is my second recent YouTube effort after my Mikhail Baryshnikov video in September. I hope to have another dancer solo analysis video shortly, given that I have a lot of free time without any live performances to enjoy.