Not without reason, it was in Kyiv where the star of such a famous dancer as Serge Lifar was brought up. Therefore, it is not surprising that the Kyiv National Theatre of Opera and Ballet, like a magnet, attracts outstanding ballet artists. Among them, it is worth mentioning separately Jan Vanya, a Czech dancer who has been working in Kyiv for twelve years in a row and believes that he was lucky…
Tell us, please, why, after all, had you chosen Kyiv for the career?
— When I was still in college, we went to a competition named after Serge Lifar, and this was my first encounter with this city and this theatre. It so happened that I liked this city and this theatre. It was twelve years ago. The theatre at that time was very strong. There were great soloists. I looked at all these, and I wanted to become a part of this theatre. And you know what, in fact, I was fortunate in? Many people from Ukraine, involved in ballet, are going to the West — to perform in theatres or to teach. In our specialized school, a woman from Ukraine, Liubov Danchenko, taught as well. She used to dance at the Kyiv theatre. Thanks to her assistance I got in this theatre for internship after the competition. Besides, I am married to the Ukrainian. Her name is Natalia.
You perform a lot in Kyiv and, of course, you are often at home in the Czech Republic. What is the main difference between the Kyiv and Prague audience, between Kyiv and Prague fans of ballet art?
— The audience is wonderful in both countries. After all, we — the Ukrainians and the Czechs — are Slavs, and therefore we have much in common. I would say, instead, there is a difference between ballet schools in our countries. I have also noticed the difference between the theatres in Kyiv and Prague. Mainly, the difference is in their repertoires. There were many contemporary performances in Prague, a lot of modern dance, a lot of things related to avant-garde and modernist style — there was extremely little of the classical one. Instead, the repertoire of the Kyiv theatre reposed on the classical dance at that time. I always wanted to dance the classical repertoire. That is why I chose Kyiv.
One of your best roles is the role of Woland at the performance “Master and Margarita”. You have repeatedly said that this role inspires you, but agree, this role is not simple. Playing the devil is, let’s say, a remarkable event in life of an actor.
— However much strange it will sound, but such negative parties, when you are playing not a prince charming, but a representative of dark evil forces, are given to the actor much easier. And this role was very meaningful and interesting. Of course, I read the book of Bulgakov, and in this performance everything that was present in the book, was shown. The performance is very logical, it can be understood. As for Woland’s party itself, I was preparing it carefully, together with the producer of play. The producer of play, David Avdysh, came to us. I was helped to work on this party by my Kyiv pedagogue Mykola Priadchenko, as well. It may be said that we carefully analyzed and not less carefully prepared every movement, every gesture.
Do you see your future career exclusively in Ukraine? Or do you plan to perform in the West, too?
— As for my future plans, I can say with certainty that I will keep my loyalty to our theatre, as I have been working here for twelve years, that is, I almost have the twelfth season here. This is very and very much for an artist. But, of course, I really like giving performance on a tour. Thanks God, I have some offers, so I can go on tour and try myself in other performances. Here, in Kyiv, I have a stable repertoire. I have already participated in all the performances, so it is very interesting to go abroad, to dance and to develop creatively there as well.
What would you like to wish the Ukrainians?
— I would like to wish peace, prosperity and happiness. I live and work here in Ukraine. I love this country. Look after it…