After his controversial dismissal by the Spanish Minister of Culture from the Madrid-based dance company he directed for 20 years, Spanish choreographer Nacho Duato takes on the directorship of the Mikhailovsky Ballet in St. Petersburg, seeing it as a chance to redeem himself professionally


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However, great artistic challenges lie ahead as the classical dancers of the traditional ballet troupe struggle with his contemporary vision for a new Russian ballet. Plunged into cultural and social isolation, the new “Maestro” of the Mikhailovsky Ballet – a gay icon in his native Spain – must now face these challenges and prove his standing amongst the Russian dancers, public and critics alike.

Although he eventually finds professional success after three years in Russia, Duato’s personal life reaches a dead-end, leaving him feeling alienated and alone. When he suddenly receives a surprise offer to take over the Berlin State Ballet as Artistic Director, the choreographer is presented with the promise of new creative horizons.

He must now choose between honoring the lifeline he was given in St. Petersburg or uprooting himself, once again, in favor of an unforeseeable future. The film is an extreme and exhilarating close-up of one of Europe’s biggest artistic personalities.

Directed by Ulrik Wivel & Alejandro Alvarez
Producer Talal Al-Muhanna & Katrin Pors
Produced by Barok Film for ZDF in association with ARTE, NTR,, NRK, DR, YLE, ERR and Ceska Televize
Duration 52 min.
Year of Production 2014