Alexei Ratmansky, the artistic director of the Bolshoi Ballet (one of the premiere Russian companies), has confirmed that he is not renewing his contract at Bolshoi and is in negotiations with New York City Ballet to become its resident choreographer. He would replace Christopher Wheeldon, who is leaving at the end of this month to pursue his own group, Morphoses/The Wheeldon Company.
Speaking on Friday from Orange County, Calif., where he is choreographing a new work for the ballerina Diana Vishneva, to be seen in New York this month at City Center, Mr. Ratmansky said he would not renew his contract with the Bolshoi when it ran out at the end of the year and intended to focus on choreography.
“My contract expires at the end of 2008 in Moscow, and I will probably still be a choreographer or guest choreographer with them, but not a director,” he said. “I want to choreograph more at different places — and to concentrate on that — because directorship really takes two-thirds of my time.” He quickly added, “I mean more” than two-thirds.
At City Ballet, Mr. Ratmansky said, he will have the opportunity to “learn a lot and develop further as a choreographer.”
“It could have been some other place just as well,” he continued. “They asked.”