CriticalDance Forum

Nikolai Tsiskaridze
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Author:  Cassandra [ Mon Mar 07, 2005 8:16 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Nikolai Tsiskaridze

There is a very animated discussion about Nikolai Tsiskaridze over on Danser en français. For those with a knowledge of French, I recommend taking a look on the following link.;f=18;t=002637;p

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Mon Mar 07, 2005 8:47 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Nikolai Tsiskaridze

Thanks Cassandra, but for those of us with limited French, ie coffee and croissants and railway tickets, can you give us the gist of the discussion?

Author:  Cassandra [ Mon Mar 07, 2005 10:00 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Nikolai Tsiskaridze

That’s not so easy Stuart, because our French posters are covering an awful lot of ground here.

Originally someone posted some uncomplimentary comments on N.T.'s dancing based on observations in the rehearsal room and compared him unfavourably to his compatriots Goudanov and Sarafanov, questioning his reputation as being the "best" dancer in Russia. The word best of course is very subjective, but nevertheless it's fair to say that he is the most famous dancer in Russia

Our French moderators quickly responded to criticism based on seeing a dancer in rehearsal and pointed out that some of the language used contravened CD's rule of courtesy.

Since that original post a great many views have been put forward about his dancing, both for and against, some criticism balanced, some less so.

Of course Tsiskaridze is a great Francophile and a huge admirer of the Paris Opera Ballet. During the time he was injured, the classes he gave at the Bolshoi proved amazingly popular partly because he incorporated some of the things he had learnt in Paris into his classes. His admiration for French style is boundless.

I got the impression that the original poster had only seen N.T. rehearse "Clavigo" and was perhaps unaware of the large and varied repertoire that he performs. Anyway it looks like a good clean fight now with no punches being pulled.

Author:  ripowam [ Mon Mar 07, 2005 11:14 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Nikolai Tsiskaridze

If Sarafanov's current performances, which are school recital level in terms of artistry, are being held up as a paradigm of Russian male dancing, the art form is in more trouble than I thought.

<small>[ 07 March 2005, 12:15 PM: Message edited by: ripowam ]</small>

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Mon Mar 07, 2005 1:52 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Nikolai Tsiskaridze

Your views on Sarafanov, ripowam, were not shared by the 3000 people, including me, who were impressed by his artistry, as well as his technique, at a recent performance in Tallinn.

<small>[ 07 March 2005, 02:53 PM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>

Author:  ripowam [ Mon Mar 07, 2005 1:54 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Nikolai Tsiskaridze

We are all free to admire different things.

I thought Sarafanov's performances in Washington in January with the Kirov were infantile, and there is no question that the audience response was tepid.

Moreover, he danced both the complete Rubies and the Corsaire pas de deux on the opening night gala (dancing only Corsaire on the two subsequent repetitions) -- thus starring in two out of the five ballet pieces on the program -- so for those of us who aren't Sarafanov fans there wasn't much else to see.

Moreover during the opening night Corsaire he let his ballerina, Alina Samova, slip out of the overhead lift. At the second performance he went to lift Samova and could not get her off the ground at all.

Moreover the Kirov's Andre Batalov, whose Corsaire created a sensation in the US during a highlights tour in 1997, was not even brought to Washington and so far as I can tell has not performed during a Kirov overseas event since 2002.

<small>[ 07 March 2005, 04:22 PM: Message edited by: ripowam ]</small>

Author:  coda [ Thu Apr 14, 2005 5:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Nikolai Tsiskaridze

On the 29th of April Tsiskaridze made his debut as De Grieux at the Mariinsky Festival. Photographs can be seen on:

http:// ... tml#cutid1

The very first photo was taken at a rehearsal of course.

Author:  olechka [ Wed May 04, 2005 10:32 am ]
Post subject: 

Reports on Russian ballet forums confirm that Nikolai Tsiskaridze is definitely bouncing back to his previous form after that horrific injury in October 2003. You can see beautiful photographs of him in "Manon", which he danced with Daria Pavlenko at the Mariinsky Theatre on the 1st of May (sorry, the text is in Russian):

Author:  Xoreograf [ Sat May 28, 2005 8:40 am ]
Post subject:  reality check from Moscow

I have seen Nikolai Tsiskaridze dance a number of times here in Moscow and I know many of his colleagues and he is considered by Russians to be a bit of a joke. He's not famous here for his artistic abilities but for the personal scandals that he has created for himself,a bit like Volechkova. He dances in a very feminine way which is not interesting especially in the case of the romantic classics. He became a bit known here for his character role in a very low level musical version of romeo and juliet. What I can say about his classical work; he has good lines and is very flexible, but it's a bit hard to distinguish his style of dancing from that of the ballerina he's dancing with. Unfortunately his ego eclipses an talent he might really have. Tellin it from the source- EC

Author:  frederic [ Sun May 29, 2005 2:51 pm ]
Post subject: 

sorry mister xoreograf but all you said is UNTRUE. I do live in Moscow where Tsiskaridze IS a star. By the way, he never did any character role in Romeo and juliet but play the Fee carabosse once when he was injuried. He is not included in any scandal. You don't appreciate the way he dances? OK , but pleae, dont write like this: it is really unfair to tell lies about dancers. So sorry...

Author:  coda [ Sun May 29, 2005 5:37 pm ]
Post subject: 

“He (Tsiskaridze) has good lines and is very flexible” – only these words are true in the ‘Xoreograf’s posting. The rest is a lampoon.
Nikolai Tsiskaridze is the most decorated dancer in Russia: the People’s Artist of Russia, winner of two State Prizes, of the prestigious Triumph Prize, of three (!) Golden Masks, of Benois de la Dance; he is awarded with the Order of Honour of Georgia, etc. The list will be long. Is this “a bit of a joke”?
Tsiskaridze was invited to dance with the Opera de Paris ballet company twice. Such famous ballet critics as Rene Sirvin and Clement Crisp wrote excellent reviews on his performances.
As recently as on the 20th of May, when speaking in the Bakhrushin Museum, the Bolshoi’s Principal Sergei Filin spoke about his colleague and rival Tsiskaridze with respect and admiration.
‘He became A BIT known here.’ Really? He is tremendously popular at home and is quickly recognized wherever he goes.
Nikolai is an outspoken person who can criticize authorities’ decisions but he is not involved in any scandals.
While he was recuperating after his horrendous injury, Nikolai missed the stage. So he did the role of Carabosse at the Bolshoi and, in fact, appeared in the role of Destiny in “Romeo & Juliet” musical, which was produced by the respectable Operetta Theatre in Moscow – nothing to do with ‘a very low level’.
Most of the people who write on this website do love and know ballet; therefore, your disrespectful slander, 'Xoreograf', goes against good traditions of this forum. When trying to denigrate a brilliant dancer you brought your hogs to the wrong market.

Author:  Cassandra [ Tue May 31, 2005 3:41 am ]
Post subject: 

If Xoreograf doesn't care for Nikolai Tsiskaridze's dancing - fine: we all have our likes and dislikes. But this kind of character assassination is way out of order.

As Coda has correctly pointed out, his performance in a musical was during the time he was unable to dance. Many dancers have appeared in musical and straight theatre in the past, from Nureyev down and there is nothing unusual about that.

Having met Mr Tsiskaridze (have you Xoreograf?) I can confirm that he is one of the most modest and unassuming dancers I have ever met. His manner is quiet and thoughtful and he is endowed with a delicious wit and a surprisingly self-deprecating sense of humour.

Scandals? What scandals? The ballet world is a very small one and news spreads like wildfire. Had Tsiskaridze been involved in any scandals we would all know about them by now.

Author:  Tahor [ Tue May 31, 2005 6:27 pm ]
Post subject: 

Well Xoreograf, it seems to me that you must be talking about a different place called Moscow to the one I have visited many times, where I have seen Tsiskaridze hailed by the public as the greatest living dancer in the whole world. A frenzy of response surrounds his dancing akin to worship of a God, such passions does he rouse in the audience. I think it is not Tsiskaridze who is out of tune with Moscow, but Moscow and the rest of the world who is out of tune with you Xoreograf.

Of course we all have different personal taste in dance qualities, however people who focus on femininity in a male dancer as a personal problem / issue suggests to me that the problem is resting for sure with them, not with the dancer. For many of us it is precisely this quality of softness, suppleness, refined elegance and romantic majesty, which you lable simply as feminine, possessed by Nikolai, which, amongst many other qualities, make him a truly great, unique and inspired artist. This quality which you deride, contrary to being a fault is infact a great strength for Tsiskaridze, because in essense he is dancing true to himself, and it is only through truth that great art has ever been created.

I am sure some of his colleagues in the theatre may well, as you suggest regard him as a joke. Do you know why? Simply because they are jealous that they cannot also achieve such artistic perfection. Jealousy inspires all sorts of strange reactions in human beings, and people actually become extremely irrational in their judgements when they are so. As a poster above suggested it seems S Filin has recently been praising Nikolai, well this is because Sergei is also a great dancer himself, a very special and talented artist who has no need to feel jealous of Tsiskaridze. Those around him that are artistically inferior however will not surprise us if they chide and spread nonsense about scandals from the shadows. I do not know if Volechkova is one such person, but she is certainly someone who needed scandals to make her famous, seeing as her dancing was never destined to do so. For sure however that whatever some deriders may say, Nikolai's fame has spread throughout the world and justly so - the Time Out guide to Moscow in reference to the balletic life of the city says there are ultimately two dancers that you must see as unmissable on any trip to Moscow, one is Chernobrovkina, and the other, of course is.....Tsiskaridze. Tellin it from THE source, as they say.

Nikolai's genius on stage is incandescent, and therefore by it's very nature some people, like Xoreograf, will be blinded by it. It's just too brilliant for some people to see, for them to comprehend. I can only suggest in such a case that when you see him in performance, just try to focus on one moment, distill one single image, one single movement, one glance, one detailed placement of a limb, one flash of the body in flight - hold the moment and think, really think, about what you have just witnessed. Revalation will follow for sure. Watching Nikolai dance is like looking directly at the Sun - brilliant, powerful and awe inspiring. Some people bathe in it, some people need to blink and re-focus, but ultimately it's magic will enrich us all.

Author:  Xoreograf [ Sat Jun 11, 2005 3:25 am ]
Post subject:  Russian Ballet

Yes fredric, Nikolai is a Star (so is the group Via Gra) and living in Moscow as a journalist you of all people should know how stardom is made here and how the politics of ballet work. Maybe once you've actually worked
in Ballet in Moscow you will understand it's inner-workings.

Cassandra, yes I have met him and ... Character Assasination, what are you talking about? Did I say anything about him personally. I wrote exactly about his professional conduct on the stage and in the media.

My point, which was profoundly misunderstood, is that the guy should forget about all the international praise and focus on developing himself as an artist. There is a lot more to ballet than pretty feet, high jumps and tours. Maybe you should all revisit the work of Vladimir Vasiliev, if you want to see what immeasurable talent and artisitc achievment is. Nikolai is not even in the same class(yet)

And to Tahor, referring to a person as a god is a very scary thought. There are many talented artists in Moscow, the difference between those that become stars and those that don't is simply a matter of money, and the connections one has to give the money to, period. Visiting Moscow is not the same as living here.

Thank you all so much for contributing such meaningful responces. I've been referred to as a lier, character assasinator and blind. Is this a (critical dance) forum or a club where everyone just get's together and praises one another. Art doesn't evolve or develop like this, hello? Have any of you heard of Noverre? He was tremendously disliked for his opinions that later became the standard of classical ballet which layed the foundation for Petipa, later Fokine...

Russia is a riddle wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma- Winston churchill. This is especially true of Russian ballet.

Author:  Cassandra [ Mon Jun 13, 2005 8:27 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Russian Ballet

Cassandra, yes I have met him and ... Character Assasination, what are you talking about? Did I say anything about him personally. I wrote exactly about his professional conduct on the stage and in the media.

To refer to a leading dancer as "a bit of a joke", "not famous ... for his artistic abilities, but for personal scandals" and "his ego eclipses any talent he might really have" can't, I feel, be described as anything other than character assassination.

As someone familiar with the work of Vasiliev for over thirty years, I am aware of his greatness, but every outstanding dancer is unique and comparisons are meaningless. Vasiliev's near contemporaries, Liepa, Nureyev and Soloviev also possessed "immeasurable talent and artisitc achievment" (sic)

As to your reference to Noverre; towards the end of his life there was a young dancer who was routinely referred to as “le dieu de la danse” – Auguste Vestis.
There are many talented artists in Moscow, the difference between those that become stars and those that don't is simply a matter of money, and the connections one has to give the money to, period.

If I read this correctly, you appear to be accusing Tsiskaridze of having bribed his way to the top. Here in the UK Mr Tsiskaridze would be justified in suing you for libel for such a claim.

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