Anastasia Volochkova becomes prima ballerina in Krasnodar

Anastasia Volochkova is now the prima ballerina of the Ballet Grigorovich at the Krasnodar Theater. The local press reported that the contract was signed at a press conference in Krasnodar. Yuri Grigorovich did not attend the contract-signing ceremony, but Leonard Gatov, a people's artist of the Russian Federation, signed the documents on behalf of the ballet.

The Ballet Grigorovich was created in the mid-1990s, after Mr. Grigorovich was forced to leave the Bolshoi Ballet. He moved to Krasnodar at Mr. Gatov's invitation. Since that time the choreographer has staged nine productions in Krasnodar, including updated versions of Spartacus and Swan Lake.

Rumors about Ms. Volochkova's intention to move from the Bolshoi Ballet to the Ballet Grigorovich began at the beginning of March. One of the reasons the ballerina left the Bolshoi Ballet was that she was not offered any roles there. In an interview with Izvestia, a Russian newspaper, Ms. Volochkova said, "Grigorovich is born once in a thousand years, it is a phenomenon." In her opinion, "today Russian ballet is where Yuri Grigorovich is," and she would like to be at the famous ballet-master's side. "I will be where Yuri Nikolayevich is," she said. "I hope that the best actors of Russia's theaters will follow my example."

According to her contract, Ms. Volochkova will dance the lead roles in Swan Lake, Don Quixote, and The Bayadere at the Krasnodar Theater.

Many people are eager to know if Ms. Volochkova will live in Krasnodar. Local commentators believe that she will periodically stay there.

After Ms. Volochkova's appearance the price of tickets to the Krasnodar Opera and Ballet Theater were raised. Earlier, the most expensive ticket earlier cost 300 rubles ($1 is approximately 28.5 rubles), now they cost 1,500 rubles. Despite the raise in prices, the two performances that Ms. Volochkova appeared in were sold out.

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