Natalia

Kirov's AD, Vaziyev, to resign?

49 posts in this topic

It's all in the linked article. Not yet official, as Gergiev has not signed-off on this. Lopatkina is very high on the list of successors.

http://www.kommersant.ru/doc.aspx?docsid=868119

Very interesting that this news comes out in the midst of the 8th annual Int'l Ballet Festival and just before the big NYC-City Center tour!

I've started this thread to discuss this matter as it unfolds. Moderators, apologies if this is already being discussed elsewhere in our forum...wasn't able to see the topic, at quick glance.

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Lopatkina is very high on the list of successors.

Can you explain why, Natalia? Does she have some organizational skills that make her especially suitable? If just being a principal dancer with the Kirov is enough to make you a candidate for Director, then why not Vishneva or Kolb?

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It's all in the linked article. Not yet official, as Gergiev has not signed-off on this. Lopatkina is very high on the list of successors.

http://www.kommersant.ru/doc.aspx?docsid=868119

Very interesting that this news comes out in the midst of the 8th annual Int'l Ballet Festival and just before the big NYC-City Center tour!

Wow, major news. It will be interesting as this unfolds if we can find out his reasons for resigning.

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Hello everyone,

From what I understand, Lopatkina holds a certain amount of respect and clout with Gergiev inside the theatre. Combine that with her desire to become AD (not every principal dancer, it should be noted, would want the position) and that puts her at the top of the list, as Natalia noted.

Richard to your question, Gergiev adores the opera... and the opera comes first in the MT...

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Hello everyone,

From what I understand, Lopatkina holds a certain amount of respect and clout with Gergiev inside the theatre. Combine that with her desire to become AD (not every principal dancer, it should be noted, would want the position) and that puts her at the top of the list, as Natalia noted.

Richard to your question, Gergiev adores the opera... and the opera comes first in the MT...

I agree with Catherine and Natalia. Due to the mutual respect and professional relationship that Gergiev and Lopatkina have, she will probably be at the top of his short list. She was Dudinskaya's student, and Dudinskaya was Vaganova's student, so there's a direct lineage here. On the other hand, Gergiev has never been a balletomane, he is an opera man. Nor does Gergiev understand the needs of the ballet, either musically, (the Lopatkina "Swan Lake" dvd and other CDs), or aesthetically, (failure to build the new theatre, and the rehearsal "space" the ballet's been accorded). Also under Gergiev, the Orchestra received a new concert hall. Here's another example: Does anyone remember the infamous Shostakovich marathon at the London Coliseum two years ago?

IMO Uliana couldn't do worse than Vaziev, and neither could Altynai. Even Gennady Selyutski would be an excellent choice. Consider this: The number of eligible choreographers can be counted on one hand right now; and most of them are already committed. Gergiev will need to start looking as soon as possible and make a selection - even if it's an interim selection.

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Does anyone remember the infamous Shostakovich marathon at the London Coliseum two years ago?

Infamous? I wouldn't call it that, what we got was a wonderful triple bill of real rarities and a new full length ballet that was flawed due to its rushed genesis but still very much worth seeing. It was not a commercial success, but filling the Coliseum isn't easy. Just ask NYCB!!

The more I think of Lopatkina in the role of director the more uneasy I feel. They need Baryshnikov, but I don't think he would take the job if his life depended on it. I wasn't Vaziev's greatest fan but with the names being bandied about I think I prefer the devil I know.

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I hope it is NOT Lopatkina. She is known to be extremely conservative in her taste of ballets, and vehemently against any of the "new-old" reconstructions, thinking them to be a betrayal of her teacher (Dudinskaya).

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Hi All!

Well, disclaimer: I KNOW nothing about administration at the KM :) So, any info you are giving me is soooo valuable and useful and interesting!

First of all, why not Lopatkina? I've seen a few posts with misgivings about her. Is there something about her that translates to "Excellent Dancer, Prima...etc..." but not an "Excellent AD"???

If not Lopatkina, what about Ruzimatov? Or Zelensky? I believe they are heading companies in Russia, no? Who would you pick and what qualities would you want a Mariinsky director to have?

thanks so much!

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I believe the article states that Mr. Vaziyev has never been given the title of AD of the ballet in the Mariinsky Theatre which seems to be one of the issues at hand. If I have understood the article correctly (hum as well as the discussions of my Russian colleagues), Mr. Vaziyev has held a title similar to the administrator of the ballet of the Mariinsky Theatre. :huh::)

Just out of curiousity, I thought the name was spelled Vaziev in English? :dunno:

Edited by vrsfanatic

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Is there any news regarding Mr. Vaziyev's intentions to stay at the Mariinsky as the Director of the Ballet? :clapping:

Edited by vrsfanatic

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re: transliterating cyrillic, normally the russian 'E' (or 'ye') is written as E when englishing russian words/names, but, this then leads to sounding the letter 'eh' which as russian speakers know is off the mark. i'm not sure what the library of congress rules are nowadays but some time ago i think there was a move on, for example, to transliterate the russian for catherine as Yekaterina rather than Ekaterina as had been done previously.

i guess nowadays it's up to the editors to decide how to spell russian names in english text.

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Is there any news regarding Mr. Vasiyev's intentions to stay at the Mariinsky as the Director of the Ballet? :dunno:

There are reports floating around that, at a social event following the closure of the recent ballet festival, Vaziev announced that he has decided to stay on, prompting cheers from dancers in attendance. [What the heck else were they to do, I ask myself...boo?] :clapping:

p.s. ...although I can think of ONE uber-flexible wannabe who must have been jumping up and down with relief.

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cheers from dancers in attendance. [What the heck else were they to do, I ask myself...boo?]

Quite so. I'd put money on some sobbing silently in corners though.

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Hi again,

Just to put the record straight, there are no reports "floating around." I was the first person to post, on Criticaldance.com, what I saw and heard just past midnight at the Hotel Astoria in the wee hours of Monday morning as Vasiev addressed everyone in attendance. I just want to be sure this is not classified as rumor because it absolutely is not. I was inside the theatre and heard the announcment firsthand from dancers on March 12, when there had been a company meeting announcing his plans. At this point the letter was not public and the press office would not comment on the zayavlenie, therefore I refrained from posting unofficial information at that time, out of respect for the dancers who I know and who trust me. I posted the link to the Kommersant.ru article also on the above-named site only after it became public.

It goes without saying that the company was divided on the issue. Many no doubt wish the outcome had been otherwise. But at the Astoria, that wasn't visible -- and why should it be, in a venue like that, with donors and philanthropists and rich visitors filling the room?

Someone, I think VRS, mentioned Vasiev's title, and yes, absolutely that was part of the issue. Many Russians were discussing the fact that Vasiev is *not* listed as artistic director, that no one on the company masthead/admin list has that title at present time.

[Natalia, to your post-script comment, perhaps that thing is the single most disappointing aspect to all of this! And one not overlooked by many, I assure you!]

+++

VRS, to comment on your question, in English we're transliterating sounds and not letters. This is why there are numerous "versions" of the same Russian last name, because more than one ENglish letter is often needed to recreate the singular Russian Cyrillic symbol. Witness Tchaikovsky, Tchaikovski, Chaikovsky, Tchaikowsky, and so on. In my book, Vasiev, Vaziev and Vasiyev are all similar transliterations of one and the same Russian name. It's really just a matter of taste; I'm not aware of certain guidlines but various publications do follow certain rules (ie. endings in Y and not I, for example, Sergey and not Sergei).

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Thank you rg and Catherine the input on how to spell Russian words in English. :thanks:

Is there an official announcement by the Russian government that Vaziev will stay and under what title?

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The gymnasts in the crowd were probably dancing tastelessly for happiness. ::grumble::

Honestly though, I think that someone else, with an idea of taste (Ratmansky, where are you???) and innovative ideas needs to come in. I don't want to see 300 Swan Lakes, but I do want to see 20 and other ballets, all done Well.

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On from Catherine's post about transliteration, Vaziev should really be with a 'zee' rather than an 'es' as the sound is distinctly the zee letter, not the s. However as in the name Plisetskaya, there are those who write the 's' sound with two 'ss' to make the sharp unvocalised sound, and Kshessinskaya the same. The problem arises that in English 's' can have both the 'ss' and the 'z' sound. Many people seeing Plisetskaya would instinctly turn the s into a z.

But on the 'iev' question - there are two problems here. If we wrote Vaziev consistently with the way we write 'Nureyev' would we not write Vaziyev? And re the 'v', if you have the wonderfully funny Caryl Brahms book 'A Bullet in the Ballet', you will see that Stroganoff is the company's director (as in Diaghileff - the old-fashioned spelling). This only reflects the care that Europeans took at first to get the sounds right - the 'v' sounds like 'ff' at the end of the word. (You see how they put an 'h' after the 'g' in 'Diaghileff' -- it is because in English and French 'g' before 'i' becomes softened, like 'ginger' or 'gîte', and they wanted to help us get it right.) Beef Stroganoff seems, perhaps for sentimental reasons, to have retained the 'ff', where now Stroganov would, I think, be acceptable as in Romanov.

On the subject of Matilde Kshesinskaya, one of the hardest-to-transliterate names, her original name would be spelled in English as 'Matilda Krzhesinska', as her father was Polish. I am assuming that the Kshesinskaya (or the short version Kshessinska) was the French version as the Tsar's court only spoke French. She is not, by the way, Kchessinska, which I have seen from time to time. KCH would have different letters in Cyrillic. Also it is Matilda, or French-version Matilde, not Mathilda.

The Tchaikovsky/ Chekhov anomaly arises from the fact that Russian names were first Europeanised into French, whose alphabet does not have the same sounds as the English. 'Ch' in French would be 'sh' in English - as in 'Chat'/ cat or 'Chopin' - so I suppose that Chaikovsky would be pronounced 'Shaikovsky'. So they put the T first. Maybe the English cottoned onto Chekhov before the French did and were happy to transliterate the sound into Ch as in Church. (Nureyev became Noureev in French - just to confuse matters further). I do not know how the French write 'Chekhov', with a T? Also there is the Polish factor, that 'w' can sound like 'v', so you see Tchaikowsky.

Where we get into deep water is the Shch and Io (= Yo, but not as in Yo bruv/my man) sounds. According to my studies, there is no real reason, as far as I can see, why Rodion Shchedrin (the composer and husband of Plisetskaya) should not be Roden Schedrin - as we routinely write Gorbachev, not Gorbachyoff as per pronunciation, and we write Soloviev and Vishneva, when actually the sound should make them Soloviyoff and Vishnyova, and we often write Khruschev, when it should probably be Khrushchyoff. I think that my conclusion has to be that we should just go with the flow and do as the French do with consistency. I now wish that I had not begun this.

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I now wish that I had not begun this.
No, no, no. It's fascinating! It helps us with pronunciation ... and also when Googling.

I especially appreciate your insights into French transliteration.

Thanks also to Catherine, earlier in the thread. It always thrills me to see the way ballet people are often so knowledgeable about many fields.

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Well delibes, this has definitely brought a big laugh to my day. So glad you have posted. I actually had this conversation at work yesterday with two Russian colleagues who came to the same conclusion you have posted. In short, the answer lay in the deep history of Russia and the French influence that Alexander the Great has left the Russian people.

...I think that my conclusion has to be that we should just go with the flow and do as the French do with consistency.

I love this! Thank you so very much! :thumbsup::bow:

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Going with the flow sounds good to me. It certainly seems okay for he US's two biggest companies. ABT dances to Tchaikovsky, NYCB to Tschaikovsy.

The NYCB website says the following about its Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux:

Language: French

Pronounced: chi-kov-ski pah deuh dew

Meaning: A dance for two set to the music of Peter Ilyich Tschaikovsky

You have to love the pronunciation.

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Going with the flow sounds good to me. It certainly seems okay for he US's two biggest companies. ABT dances to Tchaikovsky, NYCB to Tschaikovsy.

The NYCB website says the following about its Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux:

Language: French

Pronounced: chi-kov-ski pah deuh dew

Meaning: A dance for two set to the music of Peter Ilyich Tschaikovsky

You have to love the pronunciation.

"Deuh"?? As in :thumbsup: ?

Ouch! :bow:

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Actually it is the "dew" that is more bothersome in my book -- No french pronunciation of "deux" is "dew".

Although fondu could be phonetically transliterated as fon-dew.

A travesty they actually wrote that!

I have often heard the "tchii" at the beginning of Tchaikovsky when spoken by Russians. This makes sense as, in Russian, the first syllable of a word is very very very rarely accented (unlike in English), and an unaccented vowel is declined/spoken differently than an accented vowel. Open vowel sounds in Russian (A, for example) are never pronounced as A unless the accent is on that very syllable. So it would be Tchi-KOV-sky rather than TCHAI-kov-sky (or Tchai KOV sky) but in either case the emphasis shouldn't be on the first syllable. In sum I've heard that first syllable said both ways here.

To the previous question -- the government wouldn't announce anything as this was Vasiyev/Vasiev/Vaziev/Vaziyev's (however you prefer to spell it) zayavlenie but I also haven't seen anything official following his announcement either.

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There is a whole lot of strange spellings/ transliterations from the Diaghilev/ Dyaguileff Ballets Russes time. Sergeev can come out as Serguéeff, nowadays Sergeyev, and I guess that 'Serge' with the soft 'ge' sound was the result of French people having a stab at saying 'Sergei'. We presumably also owe to that time the kind-of-misspelling of Nijinsky. In Russian to English direct, as prounounced, he should be written Nizhinsky. But the French 'j' sound is the same as what we write in English as 'zh', so we inherited the French Nijinsky spelling from his first European transliteration, even though it makes us speak it with a hard 'j' as in 'Jump'. I have heard horseracing folk pronounce the name more accurately when talking of a famous racehorse by that name, using the soft 'zh' sound.

Also his first name, directly transliterated from Russian-to-English 'Vatslav', started with its original Polish 'Vaclav', where the Polish 'c' is pronounced 'ts'. This was perfectly transliterated into the Russian 'ts' character, but in French maybe it was taken as the Russian 'c' (which is pronounced 's') and therefore became 'Vaslav' in the French version, and therefore the standard English version, which makes two mispronunciations in one name. I think some people even sometimes say 'Vaklav', reading the 'c' as hard one, when they are for example talking of Vaclav Havel. So Vatslav/ Vaslav/ Vaklav = vats it all about?

incidentally many famous ballet dancers' names can be translated amusingly, as several Russian surnames are close to adjectival, and not always flatteringly. Yuliana Lopatkina's surname means 'little spade', or even 'little digger'. Diana Vishneva means 'Cherry girl'. Bessmertnova means 'immortal, undying'. Volochkova has an homonymical relationship to 'svolochka', a very rude diminutive of 'pig' . Zelensky means 'green man'. Nizhinsky/ Nijinsky means 'low to the ground, short', which is rather suitable for his height. Diaghil is the herb angelica, though I am not sure whether Diaghilev was the most angelic of men. Lopukhov means 'simpleton'. Lifar's name associates with the word 'lif' or 'lifchik', meaning bosom or bra. I am quite taken by the English homonymical aspect of 'lifchik' (bra) and the strong pictorial association of Lifar lifting a lady's, erm, chicks. Khrushchev means the son of a cockchafer. Talk about being born with a disadvantage.

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Yes, and I believe 'Baryshnikov' means 'horse thief' and Tsikaridze's name is related to 'evening star' ('tsiskari'). And I once knew what Nureyev meant, but now I forgot. Something nice I think...

And what, to get back to some semblance of the original topic, does Vasiyev/Vasiev(whatever) mean?

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Bessmertnova means 'immortal, undying'.
Yes!!!
Nizhinky/ Nijinsky means 'low to the ground, short', which is rather suitable for his height
But not for his jumps.

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