CriticalDance Forum

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Author:  Cassandra [ Thu Mar 17, 2011 7:53 am ]
Post subject:  Bolshoigate

For the past week I have been aware of a distasteful scandal unfolding within the Bolshoi Ballet and today the details have been revealed in the UK press: ... ctor-quits ... tures.html

Gennady Yanin has been forced to resign over this and whether the pictures were genuine or not isn’t the point; the true villain of the piece is whoever was behind what was either a plot to oust him from his position or a possible blackmail scenario.

Yanin was one of the most naturally gifted Russian dancers I’ve seen in the past twenty years and I have followed his career with great pleasure since his days with the Stanislavsky Company. During his time as assistant director at the Bolshoi the company has flourished so I doubt that any one could pin accusations of incompetence on him, hence this vicious on line campaign. How dreadful this must be for his family as I believe he has two children in their early teens.

During the week Yuri Burlaka, the company director stood down as his contract had ended and the Russian press announced his successor: Makhar Vaziev. This was a shock to everyone I know as Vaziev is still director of ballet at La Scala and as his stint as Kirov director had been controversial to put it mildly, I couldn’t see either dancers or the audience taking to this appointment quietly. Almost as soon as the announcement of his becoming director was made it was rescinded. In the interim Yan Godovsky, a company soloist, was made first assistant director (Yanin’s old job) and then after the Vaziev debacle, acting director, until a permanent replacement for Burlaka is decided on.

This statement in the Telegraph article was news to me however.
(NB the following is only available on line and not in the actual paper).

Other critics saw it as part of a broader attack on the theatre's management and Anatoly Iksanov, its general director………………..Mr Iksanov has been under pressure amid rumours that an old friend of Vladimir Putin's, the prime minister, is coveting his job.

I remember Anatoly Iksanov very well after he spoke at a reception I attended at the Russian Embassy in London where I was representing CriticalDance. Lillian Hochhauser, the impresario who presents the Bolshoi in London, said that in her many decades of transactions with Russian officialdom no one had been such a pleasure to work with than Mr Iksanov.

I’m trying to imagine a similar scenario in Britain where for example Prime Minister David Cameron sought to unseat ROH chief executive Tony Hall to give a job to one of his pals. The political fallout would be such that it could bring down the government.

All this just goes to show what a morally bankrupt place ‘New Russia’ has become.

Author:  Cassandra [ Thu Mar 17, 2011 12:29 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Bolshoigate

This story is rolling on with a momentum of its own; here is the BBC take on events:

Bolshoi-phobe Ismene Brown discusses the story at length; tossing around casual insults at those personalities she irrationally dislikes viz. Nikolai Tsiskaridze. ... &Itemid=12

Ms Brown seems to be of the opinion that (God forbid) it is just a matter of time before a deal is done with Makhar Vaziev, but surely there are a number of other candidates for the job such as Sergei Vikharev and Mikhail Lavrovsky, come to that exactly why is Tsiskaridze considered a bad choice? An arch-conservative in his tastes, he would seek to maintain the classical heritage of the company which would be no bad thing.

It is worth remembering that for all the problems the company has, and the failure to complete the rebuilding of the theatre on schedule must be considered the most serious, it still remains head and shoulders above the worlds other companies and has some of the greatest dancers of today within the ranks. The Bolshoi doesn’t shed dancers in the way the Kirov does, indeed several such as Merkuriev and Luboutin have discovered whole new facets to their talents since defecting to Moscow.

Ms Brown wishes Yan Godovsky luck, and yes, he’ll need it, but don’t dismiss him because of lack of experience; he has been in the company for eighteen years and knows how everything works. He is well liked by the other dancers (a feat in itself) and his quiet intelligence will hopefully endear him to those sections of the ballet world at present unfamiliar with his name and I rather hope that his appointment will put an end to this dreadful soap opera even if it is only in the short term.

Author:  ksneds [ Fri Mar 18, 2011 11:37 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Bolshoigate

Sergei Filin is the new head of the Bolshoi... ... &Itemid=12

Author:  Cassandra [ Wed Mar 23, 2011 10:57 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Bolshoigate

After the appointment of Sergei Filin as the new director I thought things would quieten down, but it seems Anastasia Volochkova must have her views aired: ... NTCMP=SRCH

Take most of it with a very large pinch of salt, but note also the lack of accuracy from the author, she clearly has not a scrap of knowledge about ballet.

Author:  Cassandra [ Thu Mar 24, 2011 11:41 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Bolshoigate

It seems the Guardian just won't let go of this story, hanging on to it like a dog with a rancid bone: ... black-swan

This article is actually in the comments section where it is open to debate by all and sundry, but although written by a 'reputable' critic I get the feeling that this is nothing more than muck raking for the sake of it. The fact remains that the Bolshoi enjoys a far better state of cohesion and morale than that other Russian company and indeed one company a whole lot nearer to home.

Surely it's time to put this sad episode to bed?

Author:  Francis Timlin [ Mon Apr 04, 2011 3:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Bolshoigate

In the Los Angeles Times, Sergei Loiko writes about drama at the Bolshoi.

LA Times

Author:  Cassandra [ Tue May 03, 2011 9:37 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Bolshoigate

After being named as director, then acting director and then assistant director, Yan Godovsky has now been replaced by Ruslan Pronin, presumably appointed by Sergei Filin.

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