I'm a little late (again) but I have to say, I'm enjoying reading about Nikolai Tsiskaridze again and thinking how interesting that he excites such discussion.
First, welcome VS! You mentioned that I know you, so of course I'd love it if you'd drop me a line and let me know how you're doing.
I've met a fair number of people who don't care for Tsiskaridze, so you're not alone. On the one hand I can see why, but on the other, I do feel that Tsiskaridze tends to be judged overly harshly -- and interestingly, it is often other male dancers who are the harshest.
Regardless of what anyone thinks of his technique or style, the truth is that the level that Tsiskaridze (Why do I have the unnerving feeling that I keep misspelling his name?) has risen to at a very young age, is that of international star. From the interviews I've read from him, I believe he understands that this means he is under extra scrutiny and that there is enormous pressure on him to "produce." BUT, I feel that before we criticize his performances too closely, we do have to remember that he is still young (relatively speaking for a principal), he will have to develop his future roles and dramatic approaches under the glare of the spotlight. He is in a company which, as far as I can see has undergone a great deal of stress and flux, and who knows what kind of teaching and coaching has been available to him to help him develop strength and control.
VS, I agree with you that there are a great many dancers out there these days with what Otis Stuart once called "a great hoof" (meaning pretty feet) and fewer with stage presence and command. I'm glad, though, that there are people out there that still look for the artistry. If we see too many principals out there with more hoof and less presence, though, is it really entirely their fault, or is it the lack of coaching and perhaps poor decisions by the artistic staff?
And not that I would necessarily put Tsiskaridze in the category of all hoof, and no presence. As I said in my review, I'd really like to see him in something else. (BTW, the review is about halfway down the page in the link that Cassandra provided, or you can read it on my own site here
)I understand that his Slave in Scheherezade is really terrific.
Thanks so much for your compliment, Cassandra,
I really appreciate that.