“It’s bittersweet,” he said of his retirement in a phone interview. “But, I’m not saying goodbye. My new job is a continuation of the creational process. I’ll still be at home in the studio and part of making what happens on stage.”
Nedvigin, who completed 19 seasons with San Francisco Ballet in the spring, will perform for the last time on July 30 at DESPERTARES in Guadalajara, Mexico, an event showcasing renowned dancers including The Royal Ballet’s Lauren Cuthbertson, English National Ballet’s Tamara Rojo, San Francisco Ballet’s Maria Kochetkova, Dutch National Ballet’s Michaela DePrince, and New York City Ballet’s Joaquin De Luz, among others.
Atlanta Ballet’s 11-year veteran Nadia Mara will join Nedvigin as his dance partner. “I wanted Atlanta Ballet to be represented at the gala,” he said. “It’s wonderful to work with Nadia and get to know her better.”
At DESPERTARES, Nedvigin will perform a piece he didn’t get the chance to dance during his career–the Nighthawk pas de deux from Yuri Possokhov’s contemporary ballet Swimmer. “It’s a dream come true,” said Nedvigin, who appeared in other passages of Swimmer during its premiere at San Francisco Ballet in 2015 and encore earlier this year. “It’s emotional and challenging,” he explained. “Yuri is an intuitive choreographer and this pas de deux is a story within a story.”
In an intimate preview rehearsal at Atlanta Ballet’s studios on Monday, Nedvigin and Mara performed Nighthawk, set to Tom Waits’ smoky song of longing If I Have to Go. Dressed in costumes suggesting mid-century America–a dark suit and hat for him, a vintage-style red dress for her–Nedvigin and Mara portrayed a couple struggling through an undesired goodbye. Nedvigin also shared a lighthearted solo from the other piece he and Mara will perform in, Les Lutins by Johan Kobburg. The works highlighted Nedvigin’s refinement and diaphanous jumps and Mara’s strength and sense of drama.
In a post-performance Q&A, Mara said that Nedvigin already felt like part of the company’s family. Nedvigin is likewise looking forward to the start of the season next month. “I can’t wait to begin working with these dancers,” he said. “I’m excited about the future of Atlanta Ballet.”