“I am Lise!” / 2015-11-27

“I am Lise!”

In-between two intense rehearsals of the Hérold’s ballet “Vain Precaution” staged by the famous British choreographer Frederick Ashton, prima ballerina Liudmila Konovalova talks about the Vienna State Ballet (Wiener Staatsballett) directed by Manuel Legris and its new production (28) in an interview to the Austrian Kronen Zeitung. 

Liudmila Konovalova, born in Moscow, was engaged by the ballet dancer Vladimir Malakhov to perform in Berlin. In 2010 she became a soloist of the Vienna State Ballet, and was appointed prima ballerina a year later, in 2011. “I am very happy to be in Vienna. It’s been six years since I have gotten an opportunity to live in this wonderful city and to dance for the Vienna State Opera, and I feel at home here.”

She danced quite a few principal roles on the Viennese stage (Odette/Odile in the Nureyev’s production of the Swan Lake, Princess Aurora in the Peter Wright’s production of the Sleeping Beauty, Clara in the Nureyev’s production of the Nutcracker). “Pure grace, beauty and elegance”, “Real prima ballerina”, - that’s what critics say about Liudmila Konovalova. Every time she is on stage, the audience has a chance to enjoy her talent, amazing performance and technique, and be impressed with her iron self-discipline.  

Few ballets of the 20th century set such classic technique requirements to dancers. And ballets daring to be slyly and ironically charming are even fewer. Sir Frederick Ashton’s production of the Vain Precaution is one of those. It is a real challenge for Liudmila Konovalova: “I am glad I have a chance to dance Lise, who is so lively”. To abandon traditions of the classic ballet (though most of all she loves Nureyev’s choreography), and dance a character role. “I see myself in Lise’s nature. I feel strong again. Her natural spirit filled with emotions – this is me!”. She looks forward to the premiere next Saturday, and evening performances on December 9 and December 12. 

Her next plan is dancing in Bordeaux (The Sleeping Beauty), London and Italy. She would like to dance the role of Manon in Sir Kenneth MacMillan’s production of Manon and Juliet in Romeo and Juliet.  

Florian Krenstetter 

Kronen Zeitung