Choreographer, dancer Olga Dukhovnaya
On 9 March 2022, the front page of the Russian opposition newspaper Novaya Gazeta featured four ballerinas from Swan Lake silhouetted against the backdrop of a nuclear explosion. Since the fall of Gorbachev, national television has broadcast Tchaikovsky’s ballet whenever there is a dramatic news event. After two years of lockdown, the war dealt the final blow to an ambitious project by Olga Dukhovnaya, a dancer, choreographer and teacher of Ukrainian origin. She gave up her plan to stage Swan Lake in a commission from the new Moscow Museum. Instead, she conceived a radical deconstruction, Swan Lake Solo, in which the entire corps de ballet is condensed into the body of a single performer: her own. Swan Lake Solo is not an abridged or contemporary version of Tchaikovsky’s classic ballet, but an up-to-date work of choreography. In collaboration with composer Anton Svetlichny, the choreographer and dancer smashes the boundaries between corps de ballet and soloist with her unfettered joyful freedom, recomposing time and space as she moves around a polyphonic musical landscape.