Diana Vishneva was born in Leningrad (now St Petersburg). She began to study dance at the age of six. At the age of eleven she entered the Vaganova Academy of Russian Ballet, from which she graduated in 1995 (class of Professor Lyudmila Kovaleva). In 1994 Vishneva won her first victory at the International Young Ballet Dancers’ Competition in Lausanne where she took both the Gold Medal and the Grand Prix. This feat has never been repeated by any other competitor since that day.
In 1995, while still a student at the Academy of Russian ballet, Diana Vishneva became a trainee at the Mariinsky Theatre and performed the title role in Cinderella as well as the roles of Kitri in Don Quixote and Masha in The Nutcracker.
Ever since, she has performed lead roles in the international ballet repertoire including works by Petipa and Fokine, Balanchine and Neumeier, Ashton and MacMillan, Alonso and Grigorovich, Béjart and Petit and Preljocaj and Ratmansky at the world’s great theatres in addition to Nureyev, Makarova, Malakhov and Bart’s versions of classical ballets.
In 1996 Diana Vishneva made her debut at the Bolshoi Theatre of Russia as Kitri and she continues to appear there in lead roles in the ballets Swan Lake, Giselle, The Sleeping Beauty, Lost Illusions.
In 1999, together with the Mariinsky Ballet Company she gave her first performance at the Metropolitan Opera, while in 2000 she made her debut at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, as Aurora (The Sleeping Beauty).
Diana Vishneva’s international career as a guest soloist began in 2001 with her performance together with the Bayerisches Staatsballett in Manon and at the Teatro alla Scala with the ballet The Sleeping Beauty. In 2002 she made her debut at the Berliner Staatsballett (Giselle and La Bayadère). The same year witnessed her Opéra de Paris debut in Don Quixote, where she later went on to give highly acclaimed portrayals of lead roles in the ballets Rubies (from Jewels), Manon and Swan Lake. Since 2005 Vishneva has been a Principal Dancer at American Ballet Theatre. Her repertoire at ABT includes Giselle, La Bayadère, Swan Lake, Romeo and Juliet, Don Quixote, The Sleeping Beauty, Manon, Sylvia, The Dream and The Lady of the Camellias among other works.
In 2013 she entered dance history by appearing in Béjart's Bolero and becoming first Russian ballerina since Maya Plisetskaya performing in this masterpiece. In addition, Diana has been selected to be an Honorary Russian Torch Bearer for the 2014 Sochi Olympics and a Featured Dancer at its Opening Ceremony.
In June 2017, the ballerina announced her decision to end her career at ABT. Being one of the most deeply emotional pieces, John Cranko’s Onegin was chosen as Vishneva’s farewell performance. She danced alongside her longtime dance partner, Marcelo Gomes.
On her career path she enjoyed performing in a ballets staged exclusively for her by such acknowledged names in the ballet world as
Jiří Kylián, Mats Ek, William Forsythe, John Neumeier, Jean-Christoph Maillot, Aleksey Ratmansky, Carolyn Carlson, Martha Graham, Hans van Manen, Marco Goecke, Ohad Naharin Angelin Preljocaj and many others.
The ballerina has always danced both classical and modern repertoire throughout the entire career.
In 2007, Diana’s first project Silenzio was created solely for her by the theatre director Andrey Moguchy and choreographer Alexey Kononov at the Mariinsky theatre.
In 2008, the world premiere of the three-part performance Diana Vishneva: Beauty in Motion was held in California. The ballet consisted of the works by Alexei Ratmansky, Moses Pendleton, and Dwight Rhoden.
In 2011, the Mariinsky theatre welcomed the premiere of the next solo project Diana Vishneva: Dialogues, comprising works by world famous choreographers John Neumeier, Martha Graham, Paul Lightfoot, and Sol Leon.
In 2013, Segestrom Center for Arts in California had the premiere of another programme commissioned for Diana herself. On the Edge comprises two independent works: Switch by Jean-Christophe Maillot and Woman in a room by Carolyn Carlson.
These three solo performances received five Golden Mask Awards in total, the most prestigious Russian theatre award.
In 2018, a world premiere of Sleeping Beauty Dreams, the international contemporary dance and visual arts project, took place on December 7 and 8 at Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami and on December 14 and 15 at the Beacon Theatre in New York. Diana performed the title role. The show goes on its Russian and North America tour in September 2019.
Sleeping Beauty Dreams defines a new genre Art & Dance Performance and combines modern ballet, performance art, and innovative digital technology, specially created for this production.
The author and director Rem Hass assembled his unique international team to work on this project, including choreographer Edward Klug. Tobias Gremmler, a visual artist from Hong Kong, created images of avatars, which danced in accordance with the main character. The avatars were brought to life by the Italian projection technology team Fuse. Thijs de Vlieger/ Noisia, the pioneers of the musical direction EDM, created the sound. Bart Hess designed the costumes that represent his unique vision of the human body and avant-garde approach at the edge of the reality and virtual reality.
Marcelo Gomes performed as a partner and Nicolas Palmquist of Steps on Broadway acted as a coach.
In April 2019, Diaghilev Festival presented the new ballet Scheherazade staged by Alexey Miroshnichenko. This completely new ballet does not resemble the Fokine's work in the slightest. The plot was based on living history. It is the life and reign of last Iran’s Emperor Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and his spouse Empress Farah Pahlavi. The choreographer put 40 years of life in 50 minutes of Rimsky-Korsakov famous music. Marcelo Gomes performed the second title role alongside with Diana.
The drama performance Cast: Diana Vishneva and Uliana Lopatkina was premiered at the Tovstonogov Bolshoi Drama Theater in St. Petersburg on February 25, 2019. It was the first theatre project implemented by the Studio Context Pro established by Diana Vishenva in 2017. The project united two outstanding ballerinas for the drama performance. They did not dance but talked a lot about profession, school years, maternity, family, fears, and life, in general. Alexey Kononov, an artistic director of the Studio, directed the play.
On Diana’s initiative, fifteen years into her career, she established the Diana Vishneva Foundation (2010) to bring ballet to all social classes in Russia, Japan, and the US. The foundation follows three main missions: to increase access to ballet for all social classes – the foundation provides free access to ballet performances for orphans, schoolchildren, and supports students of dance schools, – to assist young dancers and retired performers, and to create new dance projects.
Among foundation’s most prominent projects is the annual festival of contemporary dance CONTEXT, the opening of Diana Vishneva’s new dance studio – Context Pro, a forthcoming book MULTIVERSE.
CONTEXT. Diana Vishneva festival aims to support the development of Russian contemporary choreography and to introduce the works of leading international choreographers to a wider audience. Each year the festival treats the Russian audience to world premieres, unique collaborations and highly acclaimed productions by renowned and emerging choreographers.
Since 2013, the festival has brought to Russia a range of remarkable artists and companies such as the Martha Graham Dance Company, Batsheva Dance Company, Alonzo King LINES Ballet, Béjart Ballet Lausanne, Suzanne Dellal Center, Richard Alston Dance Company, Introdans, Gauthier Dance, Nederlands Dans Theater: NDT II, Ballet Preljocaj, Ate9 Dance Company, and Dance Company Nanine Linning. The festival showcased works of such renowned contemporary choreographers as Mats Ek, Hans van Manen, Marco Goecke, Ohad Naharin, Jiří Kylián, Maurice Béjart, Martha Graham, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Angelin Preljocaj, and Aszure Barton.
The festival will be held in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Highlights of the anniversary program include performances by leading Russian and foreign companies, as well as workshops, master classes, meet-the-artist sessions and film screenings.
September 2017 will mark the opening of a new dance studio by Diana Vishneva – Context Pro. An upcoming project of the Diana Vishneva Foundation, the studio will open in the Bottle House on New Holland Island. Context Pro is a studio for everyone: professionals and amateurs, children and adults. The studio preserves the values of the CONTEXT Diana Vishneva festival – to provide a platform for young choreographers, their experiments, and rehearsals.
Format: 240 X 280 Mm
Editions: English, French, Russian
Each copy comes complete with a blu ray disc featuring the art film gravitation
Initiated by Diana Vishneva, MULTIVERSE brings together visionary creators various fields to explore the ongoing synthesis of arts.
Contemporary dance – a crucial component of the book – asserts itself as one of the most strikingly evolving arts. Cross-disciplinary collaborations with contemporary art, fashion, film, architecture and science have made it a driving force of the new artistic synergy.
The book is comprised of lavishly illustrated interviews with some of the world’s most prominent contemporary choreographers with whom Diana has collaborated – William Forsythe, Carolyn Carlson, Édouard Lock, John Neumeier, Moses Pendleton, Angelin Preljocaj and Marco Goecke – and other innovators working at the intersection of disciplines: artists Bill Viola, Olafur Eliasson and AES; multi-disciplinarian designer Ross Lovegrove and fashion creator Iris van Herpen; architects Toyo Ito and Santiago Calatrava; photographer Nick Knight – to name but a few – as well as Diana herself.