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Osipova and Vasiliev to leave The Bolshoi


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#61 puppytreats

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Posted 16 November 2011 - 09:48 AM

Often, many factors influence a decision, to different degrees; this does not render the stated reasons "contradictory."

#62 Helene

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Posted 16 November 2011 - 10:06 AM

Why did Osipova bring up the fact that she danced only two La Bayaderes, when the point she attempted to make originally was how messed up the scheduling was to her own needs?

Because it's a description of her situation? Because she'd prefer to do more and wants a situation where she can instead of sharing with a number of other Bolshoi ballerinas, which is the reality of a large institution? Baryshnikov gave two reasons for defecting: wanting to dance more modern rep, and only dancing with the Maryiinsky a few times a month, which wasn't enough stage time for him.

Seriously if indeed she was absent from the Bolshoi for total of 7 months, and was allowed to dance major roles not to mention being prepped for new ones, then how much freedom does a dancer need?

Obviously they needed more than that, and the market is such, that they found someone else to give it to them.

Couldn't she give the Bolshoi management and Filin more time to change the theater's scheduling policies in order to better serve both parties?

It's not in the nature of institutions to accommodate individuals, apart from CEO's who are hired and fired like hothouse flowers, which is possible, because there's only one CEO and dozens of top dancers. If they make special arrangements for her, why wouldn't the other dancers want the same thing?

Compare her plight to soloists deserving of more stage time and/ or promotion in other companies, and it's not even a fair comparison. For example, a dancer like Sarah Lane at ABT must be seething to see her company hire foreign guest principals to dance major roles, instead of developing its own homegrown talents like herself.

I agree that it's not a fair comparison: Other dancers have nothing to do with their situation, their marketability, and their choices. If they can get more than they are getting now, whether that be artistically, financially, or a combination of both, it's up to them to make the trade-offs. If we think they are making poor artistic choices, we can lament them, but they are the ones leaving all of the perks at the Bolshoi, and they obviously feel it is worth the risk. Many dancers stay at companies because they've chosen prestige, stability, salary, city, repertory, and personal relationships over the progress of their careers and/or their own artistic satisfaction, and some of them complain publicly. Some are happy to be paid decently for something they love, even if they aren't wearing the big crown, others have said they've made peace with never going up the ranks, others have other roles within the company that give them satisfaction (like union rep, teacher).

Sarah Lane isn't as marketable as Osipova or Vasiliev, but it is very likely she has or could have other choices than staying at ABT, if she's upset about being bypassed. That could be said of ABT for many decades, and it's the well-known and well-establish double-edged sword for dancers who join the company from ABT II or directly into the corps. It's not a company that is known for its Lifetime Achievement awards.

What about the perpetually slighted and fated to never be principal, POB dancer Ould-Braham? I can't seem to think of any Russian ballerinas who are in Lane or Braham's situation, maybe some of you will kindly educate me on this Posted Image

Obratzova, one of the finest dancers I've seen dancing recently, is not at the top rank of the Mariinsky. Neither is Kondaurova nor Korsakov.

#63 Jayne

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Posted 16 November 2011 - 10:16 AM

Looking at American companies, how many principals dance more than 3x / month at their own companies in lead roles?

#64 Natalia

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Posted 16 November 2011 - 10:18 AM

Nor many, MANY dancers at the Bolshoi. I mentioned Chinara Alizade a bit ealrier. Ditto ANNA NIKULINA, who is so talented that, as a student (ca 2003), was tapped to dance Odette in the complete 4th act of Swan Lake in a tribute gala to Ulanova, telecast when I lived in Russia. We all assumed that she'd quickly move up the ranks to Principal long ago. Not so. (Happily, luck is turning her way, as she's just been cast as one of the Auroras in the new Sleeping Beauty!)

#65 Helene

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Posted 16 November 2011 - 10:49 AM

There's no company in North America that has a ten-month schedule like the Mariinsky, Bolshoi, Royal Danish Ballet, or Paris Opera Ballet. Granted, all are rep companies that share with the Opera, but there are two theaters in Paris and Copenhagen. (I'm not sure what they are doing with the New Stage at the Bolshoi now that the main theater's been renovated.) The Mariinsky and Bolshoi tour regularly as well; during tours of full-lengths, generally just a few dancers share the leads, while the rest are home.

The only NA companies that the number of performances that would warrant more than three performances a month are the companies who do lots of mixed rep and/or have lots of performances. Only NYCB has a schedule where they dance for months at a time straight: all other major NA companies share a theater with opera, and have six-eight reps a year, with usually between four-twelve performances total.

For full-lengths, some Principal dancers might get one-three performances over two weeks as the lead, and, depending on the dancer, maybe another one or two as a secondary lead or featured dancer. (Aurora and Lilac, Titania and Hippolyta, Giselle or Myrtha and Peasant Pas, Sugar Plum Fairy and Dewdrop, etc.) For that month, or at NYCB, week(s) of full-lenghts, they are lucky to dance three times.

For mixed rep, there are far more opportunities. As an example, in PNB's recent "Love Stories" program of five ballets and excerpts, which ran for seven performances over two weekends, the original casting, before injuries set in and dancers lost their partners, was:

Nakamura: 3x "Divertimento from 'Baiser de la fee'" ('Baiser'), 3x "Romeo et Juliette 'Balcony Pas de deux'" ('R&J')
Foster: 2x "Baiser", 2x "Afternoon of a Faun" ("Faun"), 3x "Bluebird"
Porretta: 3x "Baiser", 2x "Bluebird"
Korbes: 2x "Faun", 2x "R&J"
Bold: 2x "Faun", 2x "Black Swan Pas de deux" ("Black Swan"), 2x Prince Desire ("Aurora's Wedding")
Rausch: 2x "Faun", 1x "R&J", 2x Aurora
Orza: 2x "Faun", 2x Prince Desire (could have been a typo, since his partner got 3), 2x "Gold and Silver" ("Aurora's Wedding")
Postlewaite: 3x "R&J", 3x "Black Swan", 3x "Gold and Silver"
Imler: 3x "Black Swan", 3x "Gold and Silver"
Cruz: 2x "Black Swan", 3x Prince Desire (may have been a typo, since his partner got 2)
Chapman: 3x Aurora

For context, there are 11 Principals at PNB of 41 dancers + two apprentices at the time the program was danced, or about 25% of the company. (There are now 42 dancers + four apprentices, since the official annoucement yesterday that one dancer re-joined the corps after 8 seasons, and two more apprentices were hired.)

#66 Natalia

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Posted 16 November 2011 - 11:01 AM

The Bolshoi has two active stages, both featuring both opera and ballet...sometimes with two different ballet programs playing simultaneously, on the Main and New Stages. It was like this in 04/05, before the Main Stage closed for renovation & is the same once again.

Even the Mariinsky Ballet has two 'active' theater buildings, as mixed bills requiring smaller casts very often play at the new 'Mariinsky Concert Hall' down the road from the main Mariinsky, even though the Concert Hall has no proscenium. Carmen Suite and Carnaval, for ex, regularly play at the Concert Hall...sometimes on the same nights when larger-scaled ballets are at the main Mariinsky. [For a while, Daria Pavlenko and Irma Nioradze seemed to be the Queens of the Concert Hall but even the more often-used dancers can be seen at the Concert Hall every now and then, including Lopatkina.]

#67 ksk04

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Posted 16 November 2011 - 11:16 AM

Looking at American companies, how many principals dance more than 3x / month at their own companies in lead roles?


It's not even American companies, though. Around the world you'd be pressed to find a company that could give each of their principals much more stage time than that (NYCB excluded because of their specific rep, but they also have a lot of layoff time as well). I understand the frustration that Osipova and Vasiliev feel, but the reality is that it's not just them, it's what most principal dancers deal with in their own companies; this is only magnified by being off and dancing internationally. Look at Cojocaru and Vishneva--both of them reached the top heights in their own companies and then took their careers internationally as well. They now dance considerably less with their home company. It's a trade off. I don't think you can have it both ways and still be fair to others in your home company, who maybe don't receive the same type of outside work.

I don't begrudge them wanting to dance more things, more frequently (who wouldn't?), but it's a reality that today's dancers cannot expect to be everywhere and dance everything in the ballet world, immediately--no matter the star power behind them.

#68 Amy Reusch

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Posted 16 November 2011 - 12:05 PM

All sounds like they've got a wonderful opportunity then in joining the other company, if it is offering more chances to dance before they are 30, original repertory, and touring freedom... maybe they'd be nuts not to go?

#69 Mashinka

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Posted 17 November 2011 - 02:14 AM

Chinara Alizade should be further up the rankings by now, it would be interesting to know what or who is holding her back. The older Goriacheva is seriously under used as well

#70 Natalia

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Posted 17 November 2011 - 03:21 AM

The irony is that Alizade was just promoted out of the corps two months ago, so I think she'll be at the Soloist rank (Choryphee equivalent) for a while.

Back to the main topic:

This article from the London newspaper, The Independent, suggests that money & perks were indeed behind O&V's move, in addition to 'artistic freedom.' Read and find out why several of us have called Kekhman the 'Bananaman' for a while:
http://www.independe...on-6263239.html

Now to a related tangent:

The "management take-over" -- for lack of better term -- of the Mikhailovsky by Kekhman and the partners (including Rosneft) seemed to have happened overnight in 2006/07. Does anybody know how the Maly/Mikhailovsky took on the 'commercial' patina, over and above the normal receptions with donors that we see at the Mariinsky or Bolshoi during pre- and post-performance receptions (or Gergiev's infamous long intermissions)?

#71 aurora

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Posted 17 November 2011 - 05:47 AM

This article from the London newspaper, The Independent, suggests that money & perks were indeed behind O&V's move, in addition to 'artistic freedom.' Read and find out why several of us have called Kekhman the 'Bananaman' for a while:
http://www.independe...on-6263239.html


It does, indeed. With a lot of suggestive innuendos and beyond, and really condescending classist remarks about trying to fit in with his betters... I don't feel I know any more fact of the matter after reading that than before but I certainly have a bad taste in my mouth.

(and I agree with Kekhman's comment about artists not being children, I actually thought the same thing)

#72 Ilya

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Posted 17 November 2011 - 06:30 AM

This article from the London newspaper, The Independent, suggests that money & perks were indeed behind O&V's move, in addition to 'artistic freedom.' Read and find out why several of us have called Kekhman the 'Bananaman' for a while:
http://www.independe...on-6263239.html


The number of factual errors in the Independent article referred to by Natalia is a little too much even for the British press. For example, here are the first two sentences:

For decades, Russia's ballet dancers have had one dream – to dance at the Bolshoi. With the exception of a few defections to the West during the Soviet era, the Bolshoi is the company that everyone wants to join and nobody wants to leave.


What about Irek Mukhamedov, Nina Ananiashvili, Andris Liepa, Andrei Uvarov who left the Bolshoi without defecting, for various reasons, and to various companies? What about other people (e.g., Rudolf Nureyev and Polina Semionova) who declined offers to join the Bolshoi after graduation?

Here is another gem:

The Bolshoi Ballet has been beset by problems recently, with its artistic director resigning after pornographic photographs of him were posted online earlier this year


The only recent artistic director I can think of is Mr. Burlaka. It's absolutely stunning that garbage like this would be printed in a major newspaper.

The rest of the article rehashes all the trash from the Russian media that has been said about Mr. Kekhman, with its tinge of antisemitism ("greedy merchant", "banana oligarch", etc). Somehow completely missing both from the Russian press and from the Independent account are any attempts at evaluation of the Mikhailovsky Theater during Kekhman's directorship and immediately preceding it. Didn't the ballet company tour London last year? Didn't it get good reviews in several British newspapers, including the Independent? I wonder if the author of the article is aware of this.

#73 abatt

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Posted 17 November 2011 - 07:12 AM

I have to say that I, too, was very disturbed by the veiled anti-Semitism in the Independent article.

#74 anin

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Posted 17 November 2011 - 07:15 AM

The Mikhailovsky Theatre has quite an illustrious history.Many wonderful dancers such as Nikolai Zubkovsky, Nikita Dolgushin and Valery Panov danced there.Fyodor Lopukhov,Leonid Lavrovsky and Oleg Vinogradov used to be Artistic Directors.
As Leningrad State Academic Maly Opera Theatre(MALEGOT for short) it was always very experimental in its productions.
So as usual British with their arrogance think they know better.This theatre has always been known to ballet lovers.
These days such greats as Alla Osipenko,Nikita Dolgushin and Zhanna Ayupova coach there.
It has wonderful dancers.Last year Leonid Sarafanov left the Mariinsky and joined Mikhailovsky and his wife the great Olesia Novikov(still not a prima balerina with the Mariinsky) guests there partnering her husband.By the way Sarafanov and Osipova daned quite a lot together either at the Bolshoi or Mariinsky so hopefully that partnership will continue.
What about Irina Perren - Mikhailovsky Prima - what a jem.
Such luminaries as Elena Obraztsova and Farukh Ruzimatov are still involved with the theatre no longer as AD of Opera and Ballet but as Advisors.
It's a wonderful theatre .
Bravo for Osipova and Vasiliev.You go Natasha and Ivan.

#75 Mashinka

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Posted 17 November 2011 - 07:55 AM

For those familiar with the current scandals in the British (though Australian owned) press, the inaccuracies in the report are mild by the usual standards. Wonderful pictures accompanying this piece in the actual paper though.


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