A new image of a new saint in a merciless world

A new image of a new saint in a merciless world

Olga Zinoviev, Alexander Zinoviev’s widow and director of Zinoviev’s legacy programme


Instead of congratulations.

A long awaited and deserved title of Honored artist of the Russian Federation has been finally awarded to the ballet soloist of the Bolshoi Theatre Andrei Merkuriev on 28th March. The President’s ukaz took force on a very remarkable day – the anniversary of the foundation of the Bolshoi Theater.

Andrei Merkuriev is a genuine master with a very prominent and multifaceted talent. His creative career comprises multiple visions and interpretations of the roles he has been performing. Alongside with his bright individuality he has absorbed all the distinctive features and traditions of world ballet art which are harmoniously interwoven with his individuality. The bright, light and lofty artistry and attractiveness of his performing style are unforgettable and are always recognized with a roaring storm of applause from Tokyo to Milan, from Paris to London.

Bravissimo, Maestro Merkuriev!

No wonder that the role of Ivan Laptev is performed and interpreted by Andrei Merkuriev and this unique ballet is also being created by Andrei Merkuriev.

I immediately recognized him in this role.  Many thanks to Alexey Blinov, our colleague and close friend, the soul of the colossal ZINOTHEKA – project, who acquainted me with Andrei Merkuriev.

At a point Andrei got so deeply impregnated by the image of the lonely rebel abandoned by the society that he became almost one with him, fused with the hero’s world of sorrows. Laptev’s only desire was:” Hear me and understand that I want to teach you how to be happy and I am ready to ascend Golgotha for your sake.” Alexander Zinoviev has enlivened Laptev with his own soul.

When Andrei first heard some of the thrilling music chosen for the ballet and created by French composers, he immediately, as if awakening from a daydream, went into molding the main character; his expressive arms, his back and legs rose to their own subconscious existence.  Laptev’s image was coming into life as if transgressing the boundaries of the book pages and concentrating to a tangible embodiment of the suffering hero. It was almost unbearable to watch this metamorphosis; there was so much beauty and pain in it… But this was only the very beginning. As Andrei merged and resurrected into Laptev, his transformation stayed a mystery to me. I only can guess that it’s his innate ability of compassion that made him kin with Laptev’s sensitiveness.

There is a striking alikeness between Andrei’s and Ivan Laptev’s psychological portraits. You often can catch a glimpse of an estranged and shining glance in Andrei’s eyes, facing inwards deep down into the abyss of his self – like someone determined to go his way to the end and yet aware of the thorny path ahead and the cup of suffering that is awaiting him. He is ready to suffer but not ready to make compromises with his conscience.  ” I am ready to give one moment of human happiness for eternity.”

A new image of a new saint in a merciless world.