In conversation with Ivan Putrov, the Man in Motion

We spoke to international Ballet superstar Ivan Putrov about Men in Motion, his latest production exploring the changing role of the male dancer. Ivan tells us all about the challenges of producing and performing and gives us an insight into what we can expect.

Tell us a bit about Men in Motion and how it began?

Men in Motion began as an idea to showcase the development of the man in dance over the last century up to the present day and as part of that to work with some of truly best dancers of today, an equivalent of 3 tenors in opera if you like.

With full backing of this idea from Alistair Spalding, the Artistic Director of Sadler’s Wells, Men in Motion started dancing for the first time in January 2012.

The evening programme features classical ballet works such as Fokine’s Le Spectre de las Rose alongside contemporary work by Russell Maliphant and Arthur Pita, how did you decide which pieces to include in the programme?

I am looking for balance in showing the retrospective of the man’s development in dance. As Artistic Director of the project, I am excited about using great pieces of the choreography from the past and finding them the perfect match of a dancer (or the other way around sometimes as dancers ask to perform rare pieces) but also to commission new works and be inside (as a spectator) of the creative process.. It’s like a dream of a fan living out his fantasy. How do I choose? I rely on my inner fan instincts.

How did you decide which dancers to approach to be part of Men in Motion?

Keeping the idea of the best male dancers I have been honoured by those who have participated: Daniel Proietto, Edward Watson, Vadim Muntagirov, Sergei Polunin, Matthew Ball, Marian Walter, Igor Kolb, Andrei Merkuriev, Marijn Rademaker, Timofej Andrijashenko.. Many return to dance with Men in Motion again and some new dancers join – Mathieu Ganio Etoile of the Paris Opera Ballet will join this November, previously the schedules never worked out but the stars are in the right place this time.

Being a fan of dance myself I want to show in London (and see myself) the best there is in the world and this time it’s an outstanding line up from the greatest dance theatres from Paris, Berlin, Milan, Oslo, Amsterdam to London.

What are some of the challenges you’ve faced being both the producer and a performer in Men in Motion?

I enjoy challenges! Well not always, but once they are in the past and you achieve what was planned – there is a sensation similar to when you dance on stage. You spend hours, days, weeks and months preparing and it’s over in a few hours. In that sense dancing and producing is similar and give similar injection of energy from the show.

The challenge is to keep everyone inspired and happy.

Have you ever done house dinner parties and thought later what was the point of that? Well it’s not like that, it is inspiring at the time and stays memorable to people on both sides of the curtain. I keep hearing from dancers and audiences who like to see/do more and how inspired they stayed. All the challenges worth it.

What can audiences expect from Men in Motion?

At any age you are good for dance. Dance is inclusive, intimate and open at the same time, unexpected and momentous, magical and hypnotic. Expect all this from Men in Motion.

Ivan Putrov – Men in Motion will be performed at London Coliseum between 22-23 November. Book tickets here.