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 2003 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 the 2010-2011 season she appeared in works presented by the companies of Édouard Lock (Canada) and Martha Graham (USA).
Diana Vishneva’s work has brought the ballerina numerous awards and prizes, among them the title of People’s Artist of Russia, the State Prize of Russia, the Divine prize, the Benois de la danse award, a Golden Sofit, the Spirit of Dance prize in the category in the category “Queen of Dance,” the prize as best dancer of Europe, six Golden Masks and the Ballerina of the Decade prize.

 


On her career path she enjoyed performing in a ballets staged exclusively for her by such acknowledged names in the ballet world as John Neumeier, Jean-Christoph Maillot, Aleksey Ratmansky, Carolyn Carlson and others. Starting in 2008 Vishneva commissioned 3 individual ballet programs such “Beauty in Motion”, “Dialogue” and “On the Edge”, which won 5 national prizes “Golden Mask”.

 

On Diana’s initiative, 2010 saw the establishment of the Diana Vishneva Foundation, a cultural and charitable organisation that works in Russia, the USA and Japan. The main tasks of the foundation are to increase access to ballet for all social classes, to promote it, establish new dance projects and assist young performers and retired performers.

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.

 

Fifteen years into her career, she established the Diana Vishneva Foundation 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[1], the opening of Diana Vishneva’s new dance studio – Context Pro Ballet. Contemporary Dance. Yoga[2], a forthcoming book MULTIVERSE[3], that unites people of various professions who explore the synthesis of the art.

Vishneva holds some of the most prestigious awards including the State Prize of Russia, People’s Artist of Russia, Best Dancer of Europe, Divine Prize, Prix Benois de la Danse, Golden Sofit, six Golden Masks, and the Ballerina of the Decade award.

 


[1] 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. Beyond that, the festival schedule includes documentary screenings and a broad educational programme.

Over the course of the year, the festival’s team travels the world scouting for the most exciting contemporary dance companies to present their work in Moscow and St. Petersburg.

Since 2013, the festival has brought to Russia a range of remarkable artists and companies such as the Martha Graham 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 by renowned contemporary choreographers including Mats Ek, Hans van Manen, Marco Goecke, Ohad Naharin, Jiří Kylián, Maurice Béjart, Martha Graham, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Angelin Preljocaj and Aszure Barton.

The fifth international festival of contemporary choreography CONTEXT. Diana Vishneva will take place on November 11-19, 2017.

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.

[2] September 2017 will mark the opening of a new dance studio by Diana Vishneva – Context Pro Ballet. Contemporary Dance. Yoga. 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.

[3] 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.

Fifteen years into her career, she established the Diana Vishneva Foundation 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[1], the opening of Diana Vishneva’s new dance studio – Context Pro Ballet. Contemporary Dance. Yoga[2], a forthcoming book MULTIVERSE[3], that unites people of various professions who explore the synthesis of the art.

Vishneva holds some of the most prestigious awards including the State Prize of Russia, People’s Artist of Russia, Best Dancer of Europe, Divine Prize, Prix Benois de la Danse, Golden Sofit, six Golden Masks, and the Ballerina of the Decade award.