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Bolshoi Theater confirms Artistic Director Ratmansky will quit in 2009

MOSCOW. Feb 5 (Interfax) - The Russian Bolshoi Theater Artistic Director, Alexei Ratmansky, will resign in January 2009 when his contract with the theater expires.

"The contract with Ratmansky was signed until December 31, 2008. Ratmansky has decided to resign as Bolshoi's Ballet Artistic Director. But he will remain the main guest choreographer of the Bolshoi Theater," Theater's General Director Anatoly Iksanov told Interfax on Tuesday.

The chief spokesperson for the Bolshoi Theater, Yekaterina Novikova, told Interfax that Ratmansky spoke about his resignation "even before the press conference in early autumn, which opened a new season."

"He also confirmed that he will remain the main guest choreographer of the Bolshoi Theater," Novikova said.

"Supervising a group of 220 ballet dancers, handling administrative issues and all kinds of conflict situations is not interesting at all for a creative person like Ratmansky," she said.

"In this sense, working for the New York City Ballet looks much more interesting for the young and talented Ratmansky. So we can only wish him every success in his new job, and hopefully we will also see Ratmansky and his new productions for our theater as the main guest choreographer as often as possible," Novikova said.

So far, we do not know who will replace Ratmansky as Artistic Director at the Bolshoi Theater, she added.

Earlier on Tuesday, the New York Times newspaper reported that Ratmansky will quit at the end of 2008 and will go to the United States to work as a choreographer for the New York City Ballet.