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Ivan Vasiliev to guest with English National Ballet

Posted on July 21, 2011

The Bolshoi Ballet’s Ivan Vasiliev will dance Roland Petit’s Le Jeune Homme et la Mort with English National Ballet this Friday.

This will be Vasiliev’s personal tribute to Petit, who died on July 9. Vasiliev, who has been dancing in Frederick Ashton’s Romeo and Juliet in London this month, contacted Petit’s widow Zizi Jeanmaire to express his sorrow at the choreographer’s death. He was put in touch with Luigi Bonini, who is staging Petit works for English National Ballet this season, in a programme opening on Thursday, July 21. Vasiliev offered to dance Le Jeune Homme, giving his time unpaid as his tribute to the celebrated choreographer. He will dance with ENB’s Jia Zhang on Friday, July 22 at the London Coliseum.

Vasiliev was one of the last dancers to work with Petit on Le Jeune Homme et la Mort in Russia. Wayne Eagling, director of English National Ballet, said, “After working with Ivan Vasiliev, Roland Petit told me of his respect for him as a dancer, so to have Ivan come on board for our season is very special, and an important tribute to this great choreographer.” The English National Ballet programme, which runs from July 21–24, presents three works by Petit: L’Arlésienne, Carmen and Le Jeune Homme et la Mort. The Coliseum season is dedicated to Petit’s memory.

Tickets are available from 0871 911 0200 or at

Picture: Ivan Vasiliev. Photograph: Damir Yusupov, courtesy of the Bolshoi Theatre

Zoë was born in Edinburgh, and saw her first dance performances at the Festival there. She is the dance critic of The Independent, and has also written for The Independent on Sunday, The Scotsman and Dancing Times. In 2002, she received her doctorate from the University of York for a thesis on “Nationhood and epic romance: Ariosto, Sidney, Spenser”. She is the author of The Royal Ballet: 75 Years and The Ballet Lover’s Companion.

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