Ballet a la Russe (E9): A ballet company’s shift to modern dance splits its troupe down the middle

"Arabesque" contestant Hayato Nisidzima is from Japan, but, inspired by Russian classical ballet, came to work in Moscow. Back home, he set up a classical ballet company to promote Russia’s school of dance. The irony is, however, that the Moscow Ballet Company where he works has decided to give up on classical ballet in favour of contemporary dance.

Hayato is not the only one unhappy with this decision: his fellow dancers are devotees of classical ballet, and the company’s manager is also on their side. They believe contemporary dance doesn’t allow them to showcase their full abilities. Additionally, they feel that it neither presents them with a sufficient challenge nor promotes their professional growth. Their adversary is their choreographer, who is confident contemporary dance is the way to go. He deems classical ballet outdated and irrelevant to modern-day realities.

Related: Dancing Dreams of Plus-Size Amateurs

This divide puts a strain on all members of the collective. Soloist Dmitry Prusakov enjoys neither his instructor’s ideas nor his attitude towards dancers. Under the guidance his mentor, company manager Konstantin Matveev, he begins to rehearse a classical routine to dance in an audition with a different ballet company. But is he ready to leave his job and risk becoming unemployed?