Igor Moiseyev saw himself as a choreographic portraitist of nations. "I try to understand a nation not only through its dances, but also from its music, history, traditions and customs," he said. "And after this I try to use my own abilities to stress specific details which help reflect the character of the nation ever more vividly."
He became convinced that folk dancing needed a new life on stage. Whereas conventional folk dance is essentially a participatory activity, more interesting to do than watch, he wanted to create a theatrical form that would find its natural place before an audience.
Mr. Moiseyev attributed his dancers’ virtuosity and versatility to their training in classical ballet, which he described in a 1970 interview as“the grammar of movement.”
“With ballet technique as a base,” he added, “one can do everything.”
“Everything I’ve done, I love. If you’re not in love, you can’t create. And if you’re calm when you’ve created something, you can rest assured that you’ve created nothing.”
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