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By Kristin Schwab
Rhoden (center) and Matvienko (right) working on a video trailer for the ballet. Photo by Sergey Efanov, Courtesy The Great Gatsby.
F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby has lived long past its Roaring Twenties heyday: in high school English classes, on Baz Luhrmann’s big screen and, this October, in ballet. “The issues raised by Fitzgerald are relevant as ever to the contemporary audience: pursuit of wealth and fame, vanity, love, greed and the inevitable loneliness of all those passions,” says Ukrainian dancer Denis Matvienko, director and star of the version being choreographed by Dwight Rhoden, to premiere in Russia. Though it isn’t the first ever Gatsby dance production, a preview promises it to be one of the flashiest—dancers pirouette in piles of cash, swig champagne and hang from chandeliers. The team hopes to round out the cast with members of the Mariinsky Ballet and Complexions Contemporary Ballet.