Because of the way I'm built, I constantly have to strengthen. This is sort of a ritual: I put on my tights first, and right when I'm about to put on my costume, I get down on the floor, and I plank.
I love the dancers in the Bolshoi, but all of my Moscow friends are outside the company. A friend introduced me to Vika Gazinskaya, a well-known Russian designer. I met her group. The rest is history.
When stress sets in, and pressure, I focus.
New York at times runs me dry because there's so much to do. There's never enough time to do everything. It's nice to have the balance in Moscow.
Russians are very discerning about ballet. They're very opinionated about what classical ballet is.
I will never stop questioning. I will never stop wanting more and discovering other things and wanting to do other things. That will always be a part of me, and it's something I've come to terms with.
Bejart is almost never performed in New York City; critically, he just gets attacked here.
Every company has its own texture, vocabulary, and singular place in dance history, and I have always wanted to share my perspective of these world renowned institutions.
Every company has its style, and that's what makes the Bolshoi so impressive: their attack on jumps or their attack on choreography.
I sew my own shoes. Other male dancers don't, but I like it one way, and I've learned to do it that way.
I walk like a duck: very straight up and down. Or like a penguin. It's a dead giveaway that I'm a dancer.
Ballet is incestuous. This world is smaller than small.
I stopped acting Romeo and just became Romeo.
The Bolshoi style is bigger and more emotional, in a way that I love. It has the freshness and intensity that is like what I've tried to achieve in my dance-acting roles.
When I went to Moscow, I felt I was relearning Swan Lake - which was written for the Bolshoi - and being immersed in a tradition and history I had never experienced. It took a while to adjust to living there and learning the language, but now I have lots of friends. I get the best of two completely different worlds.
I'm not one who goes to a lot of fashion shows or tries to infiltrate that world, really.
I've been interested in art and fashion for as long as I can remember because they are so visual. I am fascinated by the idea of visual creation from the ground up, which is a challenge in ballet when the audience has seen every show of yours, every other principal that you've shared a role with, and every different production.
I've always questioned the way dancers, myself included, must do the same role year in and year out. It's important for me to be able to say to myself, 'O.K., I don't want to be a prince anymore. I want to put on a leather jockstrap and pose.'
Many dancers are content with the repertoire they're given. Others are dissatisfied but don't know why. Then there are a few like me that are curious and grab at everything. Can that curiosity thrive in the ballet world, or should it exist elsewhere? That's the eternal question.
No one around me was obsessed with Fred Astaire except for me. It just snowballed, really. I started with tap lessons. When I didn't have tap shoes, I taped nickels on the bottom of my penny loafers.