delibes

Ratmansky leaving Bolshoi helm

64 posts in this topic

Kind of peculiar how St. Petersburg and Moscow have crossed over in fifty years. The Maryinsky (late Kirov) used to be home to a company that looked like what would have happened had Balanchine NOT defected in the 1920s. The Bolshoi was all about circus tricks. Stalin's Ministers of Culture kept raiding Petersburg (Ulanova a case in point), so that the capital would have the company that the Marshal wanted to see.

Share this post


Link to post

Following consultation with my Russian teacher, I have amended two translations slightly, both being idioms. Ratmansky when a dancer in Denmark "renounced dancing" to become Bolshoi's director [not: he was tied up with creating dances] . And Ratmansky will, most probably [not: as soon as he can] , become New York chief guest choreographer. I also inquired about the "lack of principles" that was ascribed to Senors Taramanda and Leipa, and the rather blunt words about them and others. She told me first that the writer would be applying the "unprincipledness" more to their artistic approach than their attitude to company finances, and second that extreme bluntness is quite characteristic of Russians discussing people's talent, and would therefore be the general atmosphere in which the theatre's operations carry on. She added that Russians think the English beat around the bush much too much, khodit' vokrug do okolo. Useful to hear.

Share this post


Link to post
.....that extreme bluntness is quite characteristic of Russians discussing people's talent, and would therefore be the general atmosphere in which the theatre's operations carry on. ....

Well, you definiltely got that one right, delibes! (ha-ha) While I personally have great respect for the Liepas, I have heard fellow audience-members comment on the 'tacky commercialism' of some presentations (big-screens framing the proscenium of the Kremlin Theater and such). But they've provided so much happiness and beauty to balletomanes with their Diaghilev-Era reproductions, for example, that how can one fault them for trying to find their way in the business arena in this 'New Russia'? Thank goodness that somebody cares to present Dieu Bleu and other rarities.

re. Tsiskaridze as a possible successor. The Kommersant article's words about NT possibly doing away with the 'hits' of the past five year's repertoire (e.g., reinstating Grigorovich versions of all ballets) mirrors exactly what some folks in St. Petersburg say about the fate of the Mariinsky Ballet if Lopatkina ever became its Artistic Director: the end of the current hits (Vikharev reproductions, in particular) and the return of Konstantin Sergeev's productions as the only options to the classics. Allegiances to old coaches & teachers are a big deal with both Tsiskaridze and Lopatkina.

Thanks again for all of your hard work in providing this very interesting news, delibes.

Share this post


Link to post
re. Tsiskaridze as a possible successor. The Kommersant article's words about NT possibly doing away with the 'hits' of the past five year's repertoire (e.g., reinstating Grigorovich versions of all ballets) mirrors exactly what some folks in St. Petersburg say about the fate of the Mariinsky Ballet if Lopatkina ever became its Artistic Director: the end of the current hits (Vikharev reproductions, in particular) and the return of Konstantin Sergeev's productions as the only options to the classics. Allegiances to old coaches & teachers are a big deal with both Tsiskaridze and Lopatkina.

That would be the major difference with the current situation under Ratmansky: he not only broadened the repertoire of the company, he also always tried to keep a balance and nothing much of the previous "regime" has been discarded. Most of the Grigorovich ballets are still performed and toured. But then again Ratmansky also still gives Tsiskaridze opening nights and performances...

Share this post


Link to post
But they've provided so much happiness and beauty to balletomanes with their Diaghilev-Era reproductions.

<…>

Thank goodness that somebody cares to present Dieu Bleu and other rarities.

Natalia, have you ever watched this “rarity”? The new ballet on the music by Scriabin with the choreography by Wayne Eagling has nothing to do with Fokine’s Dieu Bleu. These are different ballets. Oh yes, they have something similar – the synopsis and costumes designed by Bakst. And they have the same fate. Dieu Bleu with Nijinsky and Karsavina turned out a complete fiasco in May 1912, Dieu Bleu with Tsiskaridze and Ilse Liepa failed in October 2005. Press was awful. Sorry to tell this!

Concerning the potential pretenders for Ratmansky's chair, I found that Tatiana Kuznetsova presented in Kommersant rather precise and short-spoken pro and contra.

Share this post


Link to post

I realise that it's a different choreography but I still loved it, Mikhail! Call me a sucker for beautiful Bakst costumes.

Share this post


Link to post
....as Somova and Osipova are the wunderkinds of their respective companies, and one has had a much different reception from us here than the other.

ngitanjali :)

ngitanjali, you are so right about the different receptions from the west. But I would hardly call Somova a 'wunderkind' the likes of Osipova. Osipova is admired and cheered in her own city. Somova is admired and cheered by her coaches (and her one-person public-relations department on the internet).

Oh, I'm never going to say that Somova should even be compared to Osipova, I'm just saying that from what I've seen on youtube comments (OMG! Her Extensions are...like, so amazing!), the younger generations of dancers are looking up to her. Plus, she is marketed as the "New Mariinsky".

In my opinion: I don't want new. I want my "Old" (I cringe to say that), "traditional", "normal" Lopatkina.

I finally saw Osipova's Act II of Giselle. It wasn't Ferri or Makarova or Bessmertnova...but it was something else and that's a good thing :)

Share this post


Link to post
I realise that it's a different choreography but I still loved it, Mikhail! Call me a sucker for beautiful Bakst costumes.

Me too! After seeing it in France last year I looked the ballet up in a book of Bakst designs and was really impressed by how faithfully the design team had recreated the costumes. It went down very well in France and although rather over-long in structure (a little Scriabin goes a long way) some of the choreography was excellent and there was a beautiful act I pas de deux.

Share this post


Link to post
Looks like Ratmansky is coming over to NYCB to fill the vacant Choreographer in Residence position:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/05/arts/dan...amp;oref=slogin

Today the Bolshoi Theater issued a statement regarding this news.

http://www.cultradio.ru/doc.html?id=162872&cid=44

Their press attache Yekaterina Novikova states:

It has been known for some time that Alexei Ratmansky is negotiating with NYCB. He wishes to remain with BT [bolshoi Theater] solely as a choreographer, with no administrative duties. He is not leaving BT to become an administrator with any other theater. He is simply an artist who wishes to be free. He will remain as chief guest choreographer.

Alexei Ratmansky has made very great progress as AD of the BT.

The statement goes on to list his choregraphic successes, and takes note of his triumphs with the BT in Paris and London. Then she discusses BT's future:

BT General Director Anatoly Iksanov will try to preserve continuity with tradition and with Alexei Ratmansky's innovations. We are pleased that Alexei Ratmansky is with the BT team. His contract should be completed later this year. Ahead is his production, this summer, of Flames of Paris.

They plan to consider a wide range of candidates for his position.

Share this post


Link to post
Looks like Ratmansky is coming over to NYCB to fill the vacant Choreographer in Residence position:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/05/arts/dan...amp;oref=slogin

Whew! Last week, I shoehorned in an extra program that I otherwise couldn't have cared less about just to see Russian Seasons one more time (my fifth since the premiere). I mean, I love Russian Seasons, but I'm gonna need some fresh Ratmansky in the rotation soon. Middle Duet is fine, of course, but tearing open a season brochure to find just Middle Duet for the Ratmansky offering would be like finding just one sip of champagne left in the bottle.

Share this post


Link to post

On the Bolshoi ballet forum someone has drawn unfavourable parallels between the uncertainty and "intrigue" over Alexei Ratmansky's succession with the orderly succession at the Royal Danish Ballet from Frank Anderson to Nikoali Hübbe. If the Western model of timing had been adopted at the Bolshoi the decision about who takes over from Ratmansky would be yesterday's news by now, they say: however, Russians feel no obligation to do things the Western way, and by Russian standards there was still plenty of time to keep the intrigue going.

Apparently the TKuznetsova article that I translated about all the potential candidated has been given some post-publication editing. Mr Tsiskaridze is no longer described as motivated by aggressive self-promotion, but has become motivated by ambition for the Bolshoi company, which as the person who quoted the change noted, is quite another thing ;). A commentator has added that though she has noticed Miss Kuznetsova can at times make "subjective" or "insulting' comments, she is not noted for talking nonsense or perverting facts.

Mr Tsiskaridze himself has given interviews denying that he is a directorship contender as he considers hmself still very much a dancer albeit doing more and more coaching. He wants people to remember him as the public has described him over the past 15 years, as one of the leading dancers on the planet. However he has already stopped doing certain classical roles and will stop dancing even contemporary work in 3 years. He "categorically disagrees" with the idea that the last five years' BB success is down to Ratmansky. He says that for all time, since 1956 when the BB first went abroad, the Bolshoi has been considered the world's greatest company. It has never had a failure or an empty hall. This success was due above all to the dancers and their coaches. It was completely independent of who the director was.

Maya Plisetskaya has announced her support for Ratmansky.She says that she has never known so strong a company of dancers in the BB as today. An "enormous quantity" of world-class ballerinas, and above all of rich repertoire. Ratmansky had introduced excellent contemporary repertoire to the Bolshoi stage. Others too had brought contemporary work in their time, but not always "healthy' for the company. She also commends the theatre's overall director Anatol Iksanov, for, finding ways to continue Ratamansky's choreography link with the BB. She herself thinks that the jobs of administration and staging ballets should be separated now.

Of parallel interest: The artistic directorship of Moscow's Stanislasky Ballet is also vacant, after completion of legal formalities following the mysterious death of Dmitry Bryantsev, the 20-years director. At least 8 pretenders there, it is said.

Share this post


Link to post

I can't speak for anybody else, but the Ratmansky succession looks more like "business as usual" not only for a Russian company, but for many western ones, too. Don't forget that a few years ago, the Danes were going through a chaotic time of finding a durable balletmaster.

Share this post


Link to post

Not sure if this has been posted elsewhere but the NYTimes now reports that he won't be joining NYCB, as he's too busy right now. He's still scheduled, however, to make additional ballets for the company.

-amanda

Share this post


Link to post

According to the latest news from the Bolshoi, Yuri Burlaka is going to succeed Alexei Ratmansky as artistic director of the Bolshoi Ballet, starting from January 1, 2009. Burlaka (39), a classmate of Ratmansky, is an expert in ballet reconstruction, he is now heading the Russian Ballet company in Moscow and was with Ratmansky the main force behind the revival of the Bolshoi's Corsaire last summer. At the Bolshoi he also took part in the 2004 workshops, reconstructing fragments from Reveil de Flore (Petipa) and The Little Humpbacked Horse (Gorsky).

Ratmansky will be chief guest choreographer and responsible for his own ballets in the Bolshoi rep, as well as for new works.

They also pulled Yuri Grigorovich back in as ballet master responsible for his own ballets at the Bolshoi, but also to decide about the casting of new soloists and touring. More details later.

Article in Izvestia, March 3.

Share this post


Link to post
....Yuri Grigorovich back in as ballet master responsible for his own ballets at the Bolshoi, but also to decide about the casting of new soloists and touring. More details later.

Article in Izvestia, March 3.

Whoa! I'm not sure that everybody is going to be happy about that last little bit about casting & touring decisions.

Share this post


Link to post

We shouldn't make too hasty conclusions here, Natalia, because it seems the position of Grigorovich within the new structure still needs to be cleared out.

Share this post


Link to post

I am just reacting to what is in writing, not drawing conclusions. Read my words again, Marc.

Share this post


Link to post

I have been searching for more info on Burlaka. I find him mentioned in articles on the Bolshoi's Le Corsaire reconstruction, where he is described variously as being a ballet master, a notation specialist, Ratmansky's "assistant", a ballet historian, a specialist for classical choreography and a Petipa scholar. Probably all these descriptions apply to some degree, but I would appreciate some more concrete info (of which I have only what Marc said, about him being a classmate of Ratmansky and an expert in ballet reconstruction).

Has he danced himself? Where has he principally been working before he collaborated with Ratmansky? How much experience has he had in directing?

Share this post


Link to post

Related to the above, I can confirm that the Hermitage Theater Ballet with Kirov-mariinsky & Mikhailovsky soloists will be touring the southeastern US next month, commencing with a gala in Savannah, GA, on February 8 '08. Stars include Irma Nioradze, Tatyana Tkachenko & Sergei Popov of the Kirov-Mariinsky & the divine Irina Perren of the Mikhailovly (ex-Maly). Oh...and Anastasia Kolegova who is on both the Kirov-Mariinsky and Mikhailovsky rosters (and is a huge favorite in Japan with her supermodel looks). The Hermitage's own principal ballerina, Alyona Klochkova, is also a stunner.

Below is a link to the dancers' page on the tour's website:

http://www.hermitageballet.com/site/807174/page/90754

Nataly, it's your post. Help me to find them, where they are now. I can't open this link. I ask you so much.

Share this post


Link to post

Thanks, swan,and welcome to BalletTalk.

It appears that Hermitage Ballet's website is down. I tried googling the company, and of several links I tried, none worked. :cool:

Share this post


Link to post

Swan, the tour ended on Feb. 22 in Augusta, GA.

I was to have seen them in Atlanta on the 21st but Delta cancelled my flight out of DC National Airport & there were no other direct flights to Atlanta on that day so I just stayed home as I was traveling just for that one performance. Darn... At least I got money back from the airline and was able to cancel a one-night hotel stay in time to not be charged (whew!). Alas, I lost the price of the show ticket but those are the chances taken when traveling for performances. Oh...and I lost a half-day of Annual Leave from work...but ended up using it by relaxing at home for the rest of the afternoon (not a bad thing).

There were some really great dancers on that tour, so I am sorry to have missed them this time around. Hopefully they'll be back next season, as they've been promising.

Yup, the Hermitage Ballet web link is down for me too. Just tried it...

Share this post


Link to post

Marc or anyone else in the know:

Was Burlaka responsible for the Paquita Grand Pas that was presented in last year's Bolshoi Academy Graduation Concert (June '07)? I'm curious if this is the version that will be staged by Burlaka for the 'grown-up' troupe next fall.

I'm also happy to read that Sergei Vikharev's reconstruction of Petipa-Ceccheti's Coppelia will be staged in spring '09. I fondly remember Vikharev's staging for Novosibirsk Ballet ca 2001. There had been some talk at the time that it would go to the Kirov-Mariinsky but it came to nothing; glad that it's finally going to one of the top-two ballet companies of Russia.

Share this post


Link to post

Ismene Brown on the succession in The Telegraph:

Bolshoi Ballet: 'Molotov cocktail' springs surprise changes

And she concludes with more news:

Meanwhile at St Petersburg's Maryinsky Ballet, formerly the Kirov, it emerges that Makhar Vaziev, who has long suffered the disdain of the Maryinsky's celebrated director Valery Gergiev, will quit as ballet chief next year. The battle for his chair is likely to be similarly pitiless.

Share this post


Link to post