Vladimir Derevianko's body is an incredibly sinuous and supple instrument. He is capable of executing movements and technical feats that very few other dancers can manage. He can lift his leg 180 degrees high and bend his body just like a contortionist. He has natural physical qualities that other dancers simply do not have. Yet, Derevianko's main features are on the inside, not on the outside. They reside not in his external movements, in his jumps and splits, but rather, in his interpretation - which stems from within. Derevianko's rendering of a character is unique, no other dancer can compete with him, because he lives the role inside himself. That is why when I created roles for Derevianko, I did not stop at his physical talents, like other choreographers - who are literally overwhelmed by the exceptional technical skills of this dancer - do, but I first set about understanding what is going on inside him and, then, tried to bring it out.
What really strikes one about Derevianko is his sensitivity. You are aware of this when he moves, but even more so when he is still, because during those instances something continues to move within him. Even when Volodia is immobile, he "vibrates". Just think of the scene where he jumps out of the box in Act I of my "Nutcracker". He is unrecognizable because his face is completely covered by a mask. And yet, we sense that it is him immediately, because he emanates a special energy. We can feel his presence.
When a choreographer works with a dancer who has such distinctive physical characteristics such as Volodia, he has to be able to "dose" them carefully because he would be diminishing the dancer's artistic vocabulary by making him show off his brilliant technique just for the sake of it. That is why the roles which I tailor-made for Derevianko - Mazapegul, Mercutio, Nutcracker - do not concentrate on his technique but, rather, on his expressivity. As for the technique, that shines through anyway. Just think of him as Mercutio in "Romeo and Juliet", when he evokes Queen Mab. At that moment his body is just like a bow, shooting arrows all over the place, but his virtuoso qualities become expression because his body reflects Mercutio's imagination - from which ideas come shooting out, just like arrows. Derevianko's virtuoso brilliance is always expressive. This is what makes him a unique dancer.