Cygnet, Yuri Fateev isn't just confused he is incompetent ...
Yes; he's that too
... and it is time for some sort of official explanation as to why Acting Director Fateev hasn't yet been replaced with a director with proven abilities.
It's either indifference or laziness. This is my own opinion, but I don't think Gergiev even wants to make an announcement for a search. Either he's paying attention, and doesn't mind the mediocrity, or he's not paying attention, and turning a blind eye to the situation. He has a full plate, and he doesn't have the time or seem to have the inclination to do anything about it. If it's the latter, he's the amateur, inexpert layperson that he says he is, and therefore doesn't want to make a direct decision on something of which he's stated he's "no expert."
I mentioned before that Gergiev is an autocrat and likes 'yes' men. Fateev is his 'yes' man. Vaziev argued, allowed millions to be spent on Vikharev's reconstructions that he was going to shelve anyway
, lost dancers such as Merkuriev, Dmitri Semionov (Polina's brother), Zakharova and Natalia Sologub, (to name a few), and
Vaziev didn't produce results when it mattered to Gergiev
Gergiev went head to head with the Bolshoi in London a few summers ago when he
pushed his Shostakovich program. The disaster of Noah Gelber's version of "Golden Age," (after the Bolshoi's successful showing of Grigorovich's production a few years earlier), and the infamous "Swan Lake" marathon during the Ballet Festival a few years ago - with no premieres - finally did Vaziev in. For these and many other reasons, Vaziev is AD at La Scala right now.
Why should Gergiev change Fateev for a question mark who isn't a programmed droid? He won't do it. Furthermore, since Gergiev is so ubiquitous, and jet sets all over the world during the year, he won't leave the ballet of his theatre in the hands of anyone who thinks for himself, takes initiative, or questions his authority.
& Richard53dog wrote:
Well, that would be a question to pose to Gergiev, no? I wonder what his answer would be ...
As long as Maestro Inc. is in charge, it's status quo until further notice. Gergiev delegates tasks. His main concern is the Mariinsky Opera and Orchestra, the Ballet has always been secondary to him. So, with the music and the singers, he's hands-on; with the ballet he's hands-off. Fateev has settled into being Deputy Director, and he's no longer acting. IMO there are too many cooks in the kitchen assisting him in keeping an eye on the dance and the dancers. For example, look at Fateev's supporting cast: http://www.mariinsky...let/balmanage/.
Will the real ballet director please stand up? Are these 'bodyguards' supposed to make him bullet proof? This long list speaks to his confusion and incompetence. How many assistant directors of the ballet does one company need? As a result you have a potpourri of factions and "visions," which makes for low morale and, depending on who is center stage, low quality product. If it weren't for the consistently high standards of the corps de ballet and the Vaganova Academy, well, you fill in the blank...
... So perhaps as long as the foreign bookings come in for the MT ballet troupe,
If Fateev continues to cast certain dancers, and this includes the usual suspect,
), he should expect significant box office push-back, sooner rather than later. These, loss of demand and box office are probably the only things that Gergiev may notice and take action on. What kind of action he'll take is anyone's guess. Until then, it is what it is. At this point, one has to wonder, how bad does it have to get?
... and there is no persistent criticism at home, and as I understand it the Russian press is still very much muzzled, Gergiev may take the position things are "just fine".
I'd say "muzzled" is an understatement. Journalism has always been an unhealthy profession in Russia. Those who openly dissent or vigorously investigate have fatal "accidents" or are MIA. Dance criticism is slightly less jingoistic. It's very unfortunate, because few dance critics have the spine to speak truth to power ie. review exactly what they see onstage. The official site Mariinka.org illustrates the same tendancies among it's members. Those critics who butter up the Mariinsky press office, (and management's favorites) get press tickets, backstage access and are invited to the Ballet & White Night Festival receptions. Then there are the claques that some dancers pay to support and cheer them during performances. For entry applause and extended ovations, (whether warranted or not), I call that extortion. Befuddled Fateev is running this system. He's a ballet master who aims to please Gergiev, certain coaches and the factions. It's crazy.
All this is just some conjecture on my part but certainly I see a lot of administration by performing arts organizations where a charismatic name is head of multiple organizations and is effectively spread very thin.
I totally agree. Gergiev is spread too thin, and Fateev is spread too thick.