Vladimir Vasiliev, titled by the world ballet community as the King of the Dance, who began his famous career from the First International Ballet Competition – Varna 1964, received yet another high acknowledgement.
A few days before at a formal ceremony at the Italian Embassy in Moscow Prof. Vassiliev has been officially awarded the Ordine della Stella d’Italia. The state prize of the Italian Republic, which is being conferred to foreign citizens on a decision by the President of the country, has been awarded for the contribution of the great choreographer to the friendship and cooperation with Italy.
The prize of Vladimir Vasiliev was presented by Ambassador Cesare Maria Ragaglini.
Ambassador Ragaglini pointed out that Prof. Vassiliev had special relationship with Italy and reminded that he danced for the first time in Giselle in Italy in 1968 with his wife the remarkable ballerina Ekaterina Maximova. Later Vassiliev often worked in Italy, warmly admired by the public was his partnership to the great Italian ballerina Carla Fracci. “For 30 years Vassiliev has been not only Premier Soloist of Bolshoi Theatre, but also an innovator of dance”, the Ambassador stated. “Nietzsche said that “one must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star”. That inner chaos allowed Vassiliev to give freshness to dance.”
Vladimir Vasiliev entered his name in the history of world ballet first in 1964 when he won the Grand Prix of the First International Ballet Competition – Varna. He is still the only holder of this most prestigious award. The Russian ballet dancer has become an icon of 20th century dance with his incomparable parts in the ballets “Spartacus”, “The Nutcracker”, “The Tale of the Stone Flower”, “The Little Humpbacked Horse”, “Don Quixote”, “Zorba the Greek”. Together with his partner and wife Ekaterina Maximova he created a series of duets that became a paragon for generations of ballet artists.
In the last years Prof. Vassiliev often chaired the Varna International Ballet Competition Jury – 2008, 2014 and 2016.
Photo of the award ceremony by Elena Fetisova.