Ponomarev is an artist of ‘high style’. He conforms to such a description not just in terms of his appearance (tall, stately, classically proportioned and with expressive and memorable facial features). The features of ‘high style’, long cultivated on the St Petersburg stage, are exposed to the full in Ponomarev’s execution. His character onstage is irreproachable and his manners refined, his relationship with his onstage partners (often, unfortunately, unreciprocated!) imbued with respect and honour.
St Petersburg Theatre Journal
• Honoured Artist of Russia (2002)
• Medal of the Order For Services to the Fatherland, 2nd class (2008)
• Special prize of the expert council of St Petersburg's most prestigious theatre award the Golden Sofit "For artistic longevity and maintaining performing traditions in ballet" (2013)
Born in Leningrad. Having graduated from the Leningrad Academic Vaganova School of Dance (class of Semyon Kaplan) in 1964 he joined the Kirov (Mariinsky since 1992) Ballet. He appeared in productions of La Bayadère (High Brahmin), Giselle (the Duke), The Sleeping Beauty (King Florestan XIV), Raymonda (René de Brienne), Don Quixote (Don Quixote), Le Corsaire (Said Pasha), Schéhérazade (Shakhriar), The Firebird (Kashchei the Immortal), Pétrouchka (Non-Commissioned Police Officer), Le Sacre du printemps (Shaman, Old Man), Prodigal Son (Father), The Nutcracker (Herr Stahlbaum), Romeo and Juliet (Capulet), The Bronze Horseman (Peter I), Shurale (Chief Matchmaker), Spartacus (Marcus Crassus), Manon (Governor), The Little Humpbacked Horse (Old Man).
He was the first performer of the roles in such productions as Coppélia (Burgomaster) choreographed by Oleg Vinogradov, Anna Karenina (Karenin) choreographed by André Prokovsky, The Nutcracker (Stahlbaum, Rat Emperor) – production by Mihail Chemiakin, The Golden Age (Sophia’s Father) choreographed by Noah D. Gelber, Anna Karenina (Kapitonych) choreographed by Alexei Ratmansky, Paquita (The Corregidor) staged by Yuri Smekalov.
Since 2022 he has been a teacher and coach with the Mariinsky Ballet.