A perfect example of that Moscow claque spreading its tentacles can currently be found in (of all places) The Guardian arts pages. A couple of days ago the Guardian 2 section of that paper carried an interview with Nikolai Tsiskaridze; that was depressingly skewed towards the Bolshoi scandals. In the comments that followed the author of the piece Judith Mackrell did have the decency to add the following:
I'd like to emphasise one important issue which had to be edited out of the published interview. However personal the conflict became between Tsiskaridze and Iksanov, recent history at the Bolshoi underlies the problems with the large Russian cultural organisations. T rightly pointed out that in the rush to expand and modernise the repertory, insufficient time has been allowed for the dancers who are having to get to grips with choreographers as different as Matz Ek and John Cranko. The fact that the company are often split, with half the dancers on tour and half performing at home Moscow means that injuries are frequent, and dancers are overworked. The situation is even graver at the Mariinsky, although there the dancers organised themselves to present a petition of complaint, rather than getting embroiled in the vitriol and personal attack we've seen at the Bolshoi. The theatre building may have been renovated but many of its work practices still remain very out of date.
Of course Tsiskaridze has complained vigorously about the poor quality of the Bolshoi refurbishment, and the final sentence of Ms Mackrell’s comment, is quite chilling in the light of the recent death of a member of the orchestra who I have heard died falling through a trap door: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-23348430
the poor man being a victim of the lack of health and safety policies in the theatre. It is clear that Tsiskaridze had interesting things to say that were edited out though perhaps not by Ms Mackrell herself.
Here is the online version of the interview: http://www.guardian.co.uk/stage/2013/ju ... siskaridze
Scroll down the list of comments and at the end you will find claque members‘Nereida’ and ‘piruette’ (sic) The former is a ballet flora regular who posts under a host of aliases but whose imprecise English is instantly recognizable and with the latter I believe Prof S.’s son has actually made an appearance. Check back their status as Guardian comments contributors and surprise, surprise, they have never commented before. They simply dropped by to engage in their favourite activity.