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Datum objave: 02.11.2017

Ivan Vasiliev

Natalia Osipova.........Maria Vinogradova.....

Ivan Vasiliev

Ivan Vasiliev about to marry Bolshoi ballerina

The superstar Russian ballet dancer – formerly an item with stellar dance partner Natalia Osipova – reveals to Mark Monahan that he's tying the knot

Ivan Vasiliev, the superstar, dazzlingly athletic Russian ballet dancer, is to break hearts across the planet by getting married this Saturday – but not to the ballerina that millions of ballet fans once expected.

In 2011, he and Natalia Osipova, stellar on-and-off-stage partners at the Bolshoi in Moscow, amazed the ballet world by defecting together to the second-string, Saint-Petersburg-based company, the Mikhailovsky. The same year, they also got engaged, and in 2012, Vasiliev joined Osipova as a guest principal at the New York-based American Ballet Theatre, where she had already been guesting since 2009.

Ivan Vasiliev: rocket man

When news broke in April 2013 that Osipova was to join the Royal Ballet, it was widely assumed that Vasiliev (also still a principal with the Mikhailovsky and guest principal with the Bolshoi) would join her in London, while continuing to guest around the world. But in fact, she went alone, and they broke up.

Last week when I met the 26-year-old in Saint-Petersburg immediately after a spectacular performance of La Bayadère, at the Mikhailovsky, he dropped a bombshell. “I am very busy,” he said, breathless and beaming, still in full costume as the warrior Solor. “I have a wedding on June 6!” Then, when we talked at length the following day and I asked him what happened back in 2013 when he and Osipova split up, he gave the simple answer, with a boyish giggle: “I met Maria!”

He revealed that his wife-to-be is the up-and-coming Bolshoi first soloist, Maria Vinogradova. “We’ve been together one and a half years,” he said, “and engaged half a year. After one year’s living together, I proposed. I bought the ring in New York,” he added proudly.

Although they both graduated from their respective ballet schools and joined the Bolshoi in 2006, Vasiliev says that he and Vinogradova did not have much to do with each other for many years. But a performance of the famous Soviet warhorse Spartacus in 2013 changed all that. “I knew her,” says Vasiliev, “but the first time danced we together in Spartacus, we started to talk,” and it was, as he succinctly put it, a case of “Oops!” After Saturday’s wedding in Moscow, where the couple are based, they will first have some international performing duties to get out of the way, and will only then head off for a honeymoon in Dubai.

Vasiliev did, however, strongly hint to me that by the time of that all-important Spartacus, his and Osipova’s relationship was already on the wane, which is borne out by the fact that they remain on excellent terms and continue to dance spectacularly together across the globe. (Next month they are returning to the London Coliseum to perform Arthur Pita’s tale of – what else? – nuptial strife, Facada.)

“Yes,” he told me, “it is true we are friends, and forever we will be friends and partners. It’s life!”

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Ballet dancer Ivan Vasiliev was engaged to ballerina Natalia Osipova

But when he danced with Bolshoi's Maria Vinogradova pair fell in love

He dumped Osipova and is now set to marry Vinogradova on Saturday

He is known as the Russian Rocket while his relationship with another dancer saw them dubbed the Brangelina of the ballet world - but now Ivan Vasiliev has revealed the love triangle which led to him dumping his long-term lover and becoming engaged to another ballerina.

The superstar Russian dancer - also known as ballet's 'Sex on Legs' - is to marry on Saturday, but not to the dancer fans had expected.

The reason behind the breakdown of Mr Vasiliev's relationship with Natalia Osipova, 29, was shrouded in mystery - but he has now revealed that while with Ms Osipova he fell in love with another Bolshoi ballerina, Maria Vinogradova.

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