The first foreigner to be appointed chief choreographer of a leading Russian ballet troupe since the Bolshevik revolution has vowed to overturn the Soviet-era constraints on dance and bring modernity to the Russian stage.
Nacho Duato is due to leave his native Spain at the start of next year for the Mikhailovsky Theater in St Petersburg on a five-year contract, with an option of extending it.
Duato told Reuters that Russia had dragged old repertoires onto the 21st century stage and is in dire need of an overhaul. He said the Mikhailovsky Theater has "the best dancers in the world, a lot of money, a lot of publicity, a lot of soul -- but they need renovation" because Russians "have never really danced."
compiled from Reuters reports