Oleg Ivenko from White Crow: ''I am studying exclusive materials about Nuriev''

Dancer from Kazan told about his role of ‘‘flying Tatar man’’

The soloist of the ballet company of the M. Jalil Tatar State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre Oleg Ivenko broke his silence for the first time and told Realnoe Vremya some details of his work on White Crow film where he will perform Rudolf Nuriev.

''Everything is like a dream now''

Oleg, could you tell about your first impressions of communication with the shooting team of White Crow?

I have never thought that I would ever be invited to participate in such a project. What is happening around is like a dream. I feel a great responsibility when such a person as Ralph Fiennes is next to you if we remember the films where he played and how he did it – it is fantastic!

How did you speak to him? What a person does he look like in communication?

Great because he knows Russian. He played in Russia and learnt Russian. I was surprised when I knew it.

What about your English?

Now it is better than before. It was so-so in the beginning. But now I am seriously learning the language. In general, I do many things: the gym, tennis, training, English – a very serious preparation before shooting.

Where will the shooting take place?

In the cities linked with Nuriev's life – Paris, Saint Petersburg. I was astonished that I would play with very Ralph Fiennes. He is my teacher and my mentor, it is great.

''What is happening around is like a dream. I feel a great responsibility when such a person as Ralph Fiennes is next to you if we remember the films where he played and how he played – it is fantastic!'' Photo: vk.com

And other partners? Who else is going to play in the film?

Chulpan Khamatova, Sergey Polunin will also play.

Will the film be in English?

Yes, mainly in English, but also in Russian.

As far as I am concerned, when Nuriev remained in Paris, he did not know languages.

He was a self-educated person. Now I watch his old records, I see what a person he was before Paris and whom he became then.

Probably now you are reading about Nuriev a lot.

Of course! You can't imagine how much information about him I have now. Photos, films, amateur shooting. These are exclusive materials. I analyse how he changed when he remained in Paris. I try to understand how it happened. An amazing desire for life is one of the features of Nuriev's character. He is a person of passions. How did he work! He was so obstinate that he did not leave the hall until he did what went wrong. And I will have to accumulate it all, play to persuade the spectators. An animal that needs to be liberated is inside every person. Such an animal in Nuriev was constantly asking to go outside.

''This injury reset me''

Do you think your temper coincides with Nuriev's temper?

Not exactly. We coincide because I want to become better and achieve a result. His desire for life was stronger than mine. I am interested in everything new like him, I try not to stay in one place, develop. There also was stagnation in my life when I had an injury. But right this injury reset me. I broke my leg and I understood it was not accidental, that life had ''talked'' to me but I did not listen to it. And life said to me: ''Here is your injury and think what you are doing, how you want to live further.'' It was a stop, I did not understand what to do… The injury helped me to understand what to do next. It was a huge impetus, and I went ahead. I went to a contest, I am receiving invitations from new theatres, I am invited to Europe.

''I opened a dance studio in Kazan, work with kids. <> Older girls who want to learn to dance, make their dream real also visit the studio.'' Photo: vk.com

What's new in your ballet?

It coincided so that there are many things, many offers, one thing lies upon another one. I want to do many things but at the same time I can't leave my dance studio.

What a studio?

I opened a dance studio in Kazan, work with kids. One my pupil is a laureate of contests, another girl entered a choreographic college… Older girls who want to learn to dance, make their dream real also visit the studio. I had such a new life this year.

What relations with the Kazan theatre are you going to have when the shooting begins?

I hope they will let me go. I love our theatre and try to not let it down. I will try to perform plays and fly for shooting. I hope the theatre will meet me halfway. I would like our film to be different from Black Swan: I am fine about the actors who played there. Black Swan just expressed one point of view on ballet, we will have another. We want to show how it was in his life in reality. This is why a huge job is done by the shooting team.

Are not you going to leave the Kazan theatre and go to another?

I have invitations now. But I am proud of working in the company of the Kazan theatre: it gave me a lot, such a start that one can envy. I have been in Kazan for 7 years.

''Nuriev helped me in this role. I was already working on the film when I came to Kazan to prepare the role and dance. The reserve of information I had while preparing for the shooting helped me on the stage. Because Nuriev also performed Mercuzio.'' Photo: Maksim Platonov

''Nuriev helped me to work on Mercuzio''

Your latest role of Mercuzio in Romeo and Juliet is just amazing.

Thank you. Nuriev helped me in this role. I was already working on the film when I came to Kazan to prepare the role and dance. The reserve of information I had while preparing for the shooting helped me on the stage. Because Nuriev also performed Mercuzio, though his hero was a bit different, he amazed with his temper. Working on the role, I wanted to mix everything to make a ''bomb''. Earlier when I performed Mercuzio, the character was different. Now I became older, the work on the film yielded its fruits. Everything went well. And it is good that I touched spectators.

Oleg, are not afraid of being broken by the fame? Because copper pipes are the toughest trial. Nuriev went through this trial decently.

He was a very strong person, of course. One can envy his strength. How much he was pushed and bullied, how much he was praised – he went through everything. But that situation with the injury gave me to understand other values – the importance of family (my family lives in Ukraine), the love of family, friends. The value of life, every day… You don't need just to live every day but do something you have never done. This is why my studio, photo project, just a desire to do something for people appeared. Why should I have my nose in the air?

By Tatiana Mamaeva

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