VLADIMIR MALAKHOV A PORTRAIT:
THE SEARCH FOR WEIGHTLESSNESS


D 2004/05
D: Carsten Fiebeler
W: Carsten Fiebeler

Documentary, 55 min.


Synopsis // Crew // Info

Already considered one of the legends of classical ballet today, he is one of the few world stars celebrated from Berlin to New York, from Vienna to Tokyo. Within his twenty-year career, Vladimir Malakhov has already achieved everything possible in classical dance. Critics have praised him as "dancer of the year", he has been honored by pieces created specifically for him by prominent choreographers, and showered with awards all over the world. His unbelievable jumps are legendary: without the usual thrust of torque using the arms, lightly, and always a moment longer in the air than the rest, with an extremely soft landing - bringing him close to the ideal of weightlessness and the dream of flying characterising classical dance. He could have easily gone into retirement by now. Instead, starting in the 2002/2003 season, he has taken on a new challenge as Director of the State Opera Unter den Linden in Berlin.

It is a clear shift in Malakhov's life: now Berlin is his artistic center, confronting him with new challenges as ensemble director, programme organiser, and choreographer. His sharp eye for promising talent has already lead to a greater appreciation of the ensemble.

Thus his new goal of making Berlin one of the first addresses in dance is far from imprudent. Malakhov has continued his career as a dancer in the midst of all this which is not a matter of course considering the hard work involved in daily training.

The film shows Vladimir Malakhov in a phase of artistic transformation: the popstar-like celebrity dancer in Tokyo, the choreographer rehearsing "Cinderella", the Ballet Director of the State Opera in Berlin, the dancer himself performing in Austria, and naturally in Moscow visiting the Bolschoi Ballet School, where Malakhov began his training as a boy. It becomes clear where his roots are when his parents tell us that he wanted to be a dancer from an early age and began his training at the age of four. We see Malakhov as a dancer in "Giselle", "Romeo and Juliet", Sleeping Beauty", "Voyage" and "Cinderella." His partners are Diana Vishneva, Nadia Saidakova and Polina Semionova.

The director Cartsen Fiebeler, whose newest film ("Kleinruppin forever") ran successfully in German cinemas, shows a personal portrait of Malakhov. Many of the people who still influence him, friends and fellow artists, speak in the film. The human side of a world star who has dedicated his life to dance comes to light. It also becomes clear that the art of weightlessness is the result of arduous work.