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Lawsuit against Vaganova Academy

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#16 Natalia


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Posted 03 March 2005 - 09:47 AM

vrsfanatic - Ah, but I was not at the Vaganova Academy; only following it closely as a fan. I was shown around once by Mr. Nadirov & used the library a few times (with Ms. Vivien). I was employed by a USAID contractor in the privatization of the port. Then, as now, ballet was just a passion.

#17 Cygnet


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Posted 03 March 2005 - 07:05 PM

vrsfanatic -

Actually, I always felt a bit sorry for Daria Pavlenko because she was the 'star' of the class as she grew up, only to have the 'outsider' Zakharova step in & become the unofficial Queen of the 1996 Graduation Class. :) That's life, though.


I agree with you vrsfanatic. At the '96 graduation performance, Pavlenko missed her chance to dance Nikiya in Act 3 because she had fallen ill, so her performance went to V. Part. With great respect to Zakarova, IMO I find Dasha and Veronica to be much more versatile artists than she. Certainly, Dasha's rep is already varied, and at least comparable to Sveta's. Part is also a very fascinating dancer. With few great exceptions, you can't get around this fact: These characteristics are nurtured on the foundation, guidance, discipline and experience one gets when spending a minimum number of years in the corps. Both Sveta and Diana were aggresively pushed by the management, by-passing the corps. Indeed, Sveta and Diana are more travelled and well known than the two Ps, but in the last few years life seems to have balanced everything out. Today each of these ballerinas more than hold their own in their respective theatres. Re the lawsuit - V Academy has the final say, as they should. Like someone mentioned earlier in this thread - acceptance, graduation and a career are not guaranteed.

#18 Marc Haegeman

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Posted 04 March 2005 - 09:21 AM

I believe she graduated in the summer of 1996 in the class of Zubkovskaya, but that may not be correct. I ran a search but could not find any biographical information on her.


:( For your info: a bio can be found on her website: Svetlana Zakharova website. Same for Daria Pavlenko website. There is also biographical information about both ballerinas on For Ballet Lovers Only, while Zakharova is also covered on Small Ballet Encyclopedia.

#19 vrsfanatic


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Posted 04 March 2005 - 01:48 PM

Thank you Mr. Haegeman. I did run a search on whatever search engine my carrier has. Next time I will be more thorough! To tell you the truth I could not remember who was opposite Zubkovskaya's class that graduation year. Was it not Evteyeva's first graduating class? I remember both classes in 5th year with Baltacheva and...who was that teacher. Sorry about the slip up in memory! :(

#20 Natalia


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Posted 13 April 2005 - 08:05 AM

In a St. Petersburg Court, a judge has ruled in favor of the Vaganova Academy & against the parents of the young girl who filed suit to have their daughter reinstated to the academy. The news was published in several St. P. newspapers on April 9 (last Friday). Here is a link to the Russian-language article in a leading periodical:


The newspaper mentions all names, including that of the young girl, one Polina Asmalovskaya. It also mentions the names of two other young girls who were similarly dismissed by the Vaganova Academy, whose parents also filed lawsuits, which are pending at present.

The trial (hearings) took place last week, on the 7th & 8th of april. The Vaganova Academy rolled out its 'biggest names' to testify, including Director Altynai Assylmuratova & many great professors. It was a no-holds-barred testimony exposing all of Polina's perceived deficiencies. In other words, it was not pretty. The following excerpt from the the testimony was given by Dean of the teachers, Marina Vasilieva. I translate a bit of the Kommersant article (link above):

Marina Vasilieva, the former soloist of the Mariinsky Theater and dean of the Performance Department, in which Polina Asmalovskaya studied, was more categorical: "To me, even before the examination, it was clear that the girl would not pass to the following year of instruction, according to professional data. She has a heavyish, feminine figure. For an [average] girl this is good; for a ballerina - it is bad ," stated Mrs. Vasilieva.

Interestingly, until Vasilieva's words were pronounced, the press had been under the impression that Polina's main problem was the shape of her feet, not her 'heavyish' figure.

Too, the article mentions that, last November 2004, another judge had asked that Polina be reinstated into the academy. She is back at the academy, preparing for the next round of annual exams. Regardless of that fact, Polina's parents decided to proceed with the case, presumably to make a point & set a precedent. [The article does not really state why the parents continued with the suit, despite the daughter being reinstated into the Vaganova Acad.] Now the case was lost; no precedent was set, which would have helped the two pending cases.

Assylmuratova was quoted in Kommersant thus:

According to the artistic director of the Academy, Altynai Assylmuratova, "If the girl passes the next examination, then she will pass into the following class and, naturally, will not be asked to leave."

Imagine the pressure on Polina Asmalovskaya, these days!

Natalia Nabatova

#21 Bartok


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Posted 23 April 2005 - 02:13 PM

The Vaganova Ballet Academy won the case against the parents who insisted that their daughter should stay at the School despite her lack of ability for classical dance. The School is subsidized by the Government of the Russian federation, and has only money to teach students with big talent for ballet.

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