Here are some of Kokyat's images of the ballerina Veronika Part working in the studio on Avi Scher's new pas de deux. I suppose it is a high compliment to refer to a dancer is "an artist to her fingertips" but I have to say that after spending an hour in the presence of Ms. Part, no dancer I have seen is more deserving of that accolade.
Aside from her personal beauty and her beautiful technique, Veronika Part has a certain poetic resonance about her. It's quite hard to define: there is an almost other-worldly feeling about her. She is a tall woman with a strong physique yet there is a kind of delicacy and mystique about her that seems incongruous - the more you watch her, the more captivated you become.
For a few minutes I was left alone with her in the studio - always a moment of panic for me to be alone with someone I idolize. She was so lovely; speaking to me in her enchantingly soft voice she seemed paradoxically both supremely self-assured and toughingly vulnerable.
In June 2008 I watched Veronika Part in an unforgettable performance as Nikiya in BAYADERE. After that I always thought of her as a goddess so you can imagine the state of awe in which I watched her at close range in Avi's studio.
In the lost days of Tsars and Crown Princes, the great ballerinas like Kschessinskaya, Pavlova and Karsavina were thought to be divine. They were showered with black pearls and white roses, dined on caviar and champagne, escaped to villas on the Caspian during the off-season. One could easily imagine Veronika Part being of that world. But as she bundled up after the rehearsal to trek forth into the frigid day, she seemed wonderfully contemporary and real.
All photos: Kokyat.
Veronika Part and Matthew Renko will perform Avi's pas de deux at City Center Studio on Monday January 11th at 3:45 PM. Visit the event's Facebook page here.