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Changes at Bolshoi Helm...again!Burlaka out; Vikharev or Vaziyev or MrX in?


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#1 Natalia

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Posted 12 December 2009 - 05:19 AM

These are new reports from a Moscow-based friend. Current Bolshoi AD, Yuri Burlaka, is about to step down and Sergei Vikharev is a very likely successor. Vikharev, of course, recently staged his reconstruction of the Petipa/Ceccheti Coppelia for the troupe, so he is a known entity and 'friend' of the theater...and very much in synch with Yuri Burlaka's love of history and restaging Imperial Russian productions. [Burlaka's own staging of the 1890s Petipa Esmeralda is about to premiere in two weeks' time. That is set to go ahead, of course.]

Opening this thread to paste news reports as they come in and to discuss these latest changes. The turn-over is supposed to happen on January 1, 2010, according to my source. It appears to be a friendly turn-over...Burlaka's wish. Not a Soviet-Era-style coup. :unsure:

#2 Alexandra

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Posted 12 December 2009 - 06:09 AM

Thanks, Natalia! Please keep us posted.

#3 ksk04

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Posted 18 December 2009 - 05:53 PM

Maybe with him as director someone will actually tour with his lovely reconstructions!

#4 Natalia

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Posted 14 March 2011 - 12:25 PM

Well, last year's rumors took a while to come to fruition. A series of news reports from the normally-very-reputable ITAR-TASS Russian news agency & Izvestia now report a number of changes in the Bolshoi Ballet's management, including:

On March 15, Bolshoi AD Yuri Burlaka will be replaced by Makhar Vasiyev (ex-Mariinsky AD, currently the AD of La Scala), according to BT's Genl Director Anatoly Iksanov:

http://www.itar-tass...24452&PageNum=0

Today, company manager Gennady Yanin -- known to many of us as wonderful character artist -- resigned:

http://www.izvestia....article3152663/

...and the new company manager is soloist Yan Godovsky:

http://www.itar-tass...42971&PageNum=0


I had seen the top story before (last Friday) reported in Kommersant but now, on ITAR-TASS, it seems more reputable. Also, some of the 'yellow journalism' papers talk about a "Bolshoi Pornogate" scandal but none of that is really substantiated and this is not the appropriate venue for discussion.

It's not sure if Vaziyev will remain at the helm of La Scala. His current contract is through 2012.

#5 ksk04

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Posted 14 March 2011 - 01:08 PM

Oy. What a mess. Is he going to wreck the same havoc on the poor Bolshoi as he did the Mariinsky??


I wonder how Zakharova feels??

#6 Natalia

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Posted 14 March 2011 - 01:30 PM

I know, ksk04. I honestly didn't want to believe the first articles sent to me on Friday by firends. It seemd absurd, to be honest. I also thought that Vasiyev was happy and doing well in Milan, no? I hope that this doesn't derail the Raymonda reconstruction in October (for La Scala).

Some of the articles mention that Vasiyev didn't want the Bolshoi job but others who DID want it (but did not succeed) include Yuri Grigorovich and Nikolai Tsiskaridze.

#7 ksk04

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Posted 14 March 2011 - 02:41 PM

If I was Vasiyev and they told me that Tsiskaridze also wanted the job I would have high tailed it out of the interview asap. We all remember the raking over the coals Ratmansky got from him, and that was without losing a job to Ratmansky. :smilie_mondieu:



I thought Vasiyev was doing well too...he is premiering 3 new full lengths this year so he clearly has a decent budget to work with and can program what he wants. He got Somova a cushy guesting gig, his wife a coaching position and basically ejected Zakharova from her etoile position (though her pregnancy did partially contribute to this). He is responsible for the return of Guillem in a 3 act ballet, though Guillem did say that all was not well in La Scala after her guesting gig, so I am sure there has to be some unknown drama going on.

#8 Helene

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 12:09 AM

Nikolai Tsiskaridze is hostile to the reconstructions. I remember in an interview the gist of what he rather smugly said was that the people reconstructing the works weren't around when the works were choreographed, so why should we take what they do seriously?

#9 Mashinka

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 02:28 AM

OMG !!! This is astonishing; there must be turmoil in the company at this. My great fear is that he will fill the company with Somovas.

Also, some of the 'yellow journalism' papers talk about a "Bolshoi Pornogate" scandal but none of that is really substantiated and this is not the appropriate venue for discussion.


I can substantiate this, a friend was sent a website via a Russian dancer last week filled with pornographic images, of course they may be photo-shopped but it seems some one was the victim of a hate campaign. Leaves a bad taste doesn't it?

As for Nikolai Tsiskaridze it's true there were personality clashes with Ratmansky, but from a talk I attended that Ratmansky gave in London a couple of years ago, their differences of opinion didn't affect their professional dealings. Also it is worth remembering that Tsiskaridze was a very regular guest at the Kirov during Vaziev's tenure and I believe they got on well so there is no reason at this point to think there will be problems between them.

Surprised that Yan Godovsky is the new deputy director as he is relatively young. He is a first class dancer and a very talented teacher (I've seen him teach) but perhaps too nice for such a tough job: I wish him good luck as he'll need all the luck he can get.

#10 Natalia

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 03:31 AM

Thanks for the insights, Mashinka. I believe that the 'Pornogate' episode simply precipitated the inevitable, although right now we can only assume that Yuri Burlaka, the AD (until today?), is just 'guilty by association' with his company manager, Yanin.

Tsiskaridze DID get on with Vasiyev and even performed in the Bayadere-1900 reconstruction at one of the early Mariinsky Festivals. I also know that he adores reconstructions -- but reconstructions that do not 'take over' Yuri Grigorovich versions. If it's a reconstructed version that supplants a beloved Grigorovich version at the Bolshoi, forget it! But other reconstructions are OK with him. For example, I have the film of Tsiskaridze's ca-1998/99 interview on Russian TV during the staging of the Lacotte 'reconstruction' of Pharaoh's Daughter, in which he GUSHES ON about the great service that Lacotte has done to restore a piece of the Bolshoi's "and Mother Russia's" great cultural heritage.

Alina Somova would indeed become Prima Ballerina Assolutissima of the Boslhoi should Vasiyev/Chenchikova relocate to Moscow. I am now wondering if the Bolshoi developments may, in some way, be related to Somova being taken off recent Mariinsky North American engagements? Just a little thought.

#11 Mashinka

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 05:33 AM

Alina Somova would indeed become Prima Ballerina Assolutissima of the Boslhoi should Vasiyev/Chenchikova relocate to Moscow. I am now wondering if the Bolshoi developments may, in some way, be related to Somova being taken off recent Mariinsky North American engagements? Just a little thought.


I'm trying to see a bright side of this, like Somova leaving post haste for Moscow and not appearing with the Kirov in London this summer.

Seriously though, would the Moscow audience stand for that? They are a vociferous bunch and I know of principal dancers having brooms thrown at them on stage or having someone let off an alarm clock during a solo. If they do that to their own, what could Somova expect?

#12 Natalia

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 05:47 AM

Who knows? It looks like nobody - not Vasiyev, not Vikharov, nor anybody else - is the new A.D. of the Bolshoi Ballet. (No Vasiyev would mean no Somova for Moscow. The city rests.)

This news just in from the Kultura TV (state-sponsored) website:

http://www.tvkultura...=617528&cid=178

My rough translation:

THE SEAT AT THE HEAD OF THE BOLSHOI BALLET IS NOW VACANT

14:58 15.03.11 The head (Artistic Directorship) of the Bolshoi Ballet remains vacant. The awaited naming of a new artistic leader of the ballet company, promised for today, did not take place. As per the BT's General Director, Anatoliy Iksanov, "The contract period of the current ballet company head, Yuri Petrovich Burlakya, expired exactly today. So for Yuri Petrovich, today in reality was his last working day." However, as far as the designation of a new ballet head is concerned, thus far, according to Iksanov, " ...this question is not yet resolved, and the post remains vacant." However, some changes at the BT have already occurred. Yesterday (Monday, March 14) a new Company Manager was announced: a Leading Soloist of the Bolshoi Ballet, the Merited Artist of Russia, Yan Godowski, replaced the Merited Artist of Russia, Gennady Yanin, who had served as Ballet Company Manager since 2003.

#13 Cygnet

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 09:19 AM

Alina Somova would indeed become Prima Ballerina Assolutissima of the Boslhoi should Vasiyev/Chenchikova relocate to Moscow. I am now wondering if the Bolshoi developments may, in some way, be related to Somova being taken off recent Mariinsky North American engagements? Just a little thought.


I'm trying to see a bright side of this, like Somova leaving post haste for Moscow and not appearing with the Kirov in London this summer.

Seriously though, would the Moscow audience stand for that? They are a vociferous bunch and I know of principal dancers having brooms thrown at them on stage or having someone let off an alarm clock during a solo. If they do that to their own, what could Somova expect?

Thank G_d the Somovi aren't relocating to Moscow.

Mashinka wrote:

Seriously though, would the Moscow audience stand for that?


No.

They are a vociferous bunch and I know of principal dancers having brooms thrown at them on stage or having someone let off an alarm clock during a solo.

True. If Vaziev had gone to the Bolshoi and brought Alina with him, he would have to be her human shield because she would be the prime target of the Moscow audience and critics. They're still reeling from Somova's Golden Mask win as the Tsar Maiden in "Little Humpbacked Horse" over Osipova's monologue in "Russian Seasons" last year.

#14 Jayne

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 11:39 AM

This is all quite shocking, but then again, who knows if the photos are real or altered. With endemic corruption in Russia, I wouldn't rule out photoshopping images, maybe he didn't pay a bribe? Or maybe he decided to let it all come out and then seek a position in Europe in a year when things have died down (and where this sort of thing isn't so shocking).

I spoke to a Moscovite emigre friend, who told me Russians are very conservative about these sorts of things, especially whene they involve national institutions like the Bolshoi.

How does someone smuggle a broom into a theatre, and how does one hide it at one's seat without discovery? Faint praise is sufficient to get the message across.

#15 Charming_Lise

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 11:13 AM

This article from the Arts Desk provides a lot of background information on the situation:

http://www.theartsde...andal&Itemid=12


Jamila


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