Osipova and Vasiliev to leave The Bolshoi
Posted 18 November 2011 - 01:38 PM
The Mikhailovsky is one of only two 'well known' companies on earth that perform the complete Laurencia (the other being Nina Ananiashvili's State Ballet of Georgia). It's a new production -- just one year old, shown on the 2010 London tour. Perhaps Ardani will reconsider its tour programing, in light of latest developments? They now have THE ideal Laurencia & Frondoso on their roster, for cryin' out loud! With all due respect to Nacho Duato...it is Laurencia that would capture the American balletomanes' imaginations the most, IMO. Perhaps the Giselle or the mixed bill of Duatos could be replaced with Laurencia?
Posted 18 November 2011 - 03:07 PM
That wasn't the easiest paragraph to parse, but Mr. Kekhman is the principal owner of Joint Fruit Company (JFC), but the director and major benefactor of the Mikhailovsky Theater. The last sentence of the paragraph, "which once had to survive on meager City Hall funding" goes a long way to explain why he was chosen. Without his funding -- he took over in 2007, and the "Laurencia" production was created during his tenure -- it isn't clear how well the theater would have survived.
Posted 18 November 2011 - 05:43 PM
For starters, I've just learned through this, that the Maly/Mikhailovsky Theater of Opera and Ballet is owned by the City of St. Petersburg; it is not a national theater at all. (I guess that it was a 'national' theater when the Tsar owned it.) However, at one point, the article states that Kekhman is the "principal owner, doubles as director."
The actual article says nothing of the sort, and everybody on this board can read it for themselves, as it is in English, http://www.sptimes.r...&story_id=31897
Here is the full quote from the article:
The article very clearly says that Mr. Kekhman is the owner of JFC and benefactor of Mikhailovsky Theater. Nowhere does the article state or imply that Mr. Kekhman owns or co-owns or derives any profit from Mikhailovsky Theater. On the contrary, the article reports that Mr. Kekhman has donated a lot of money to the theater.
Posted 18 November 2011 - 06:30 PM
The theater didn't have its own company when the Tsars owned it, it was just a building that hosted various guest companies. The current company was created in 1918 and had the title "State Academic Theater" from 1919 until 1964. "State" was dropped from the title in 1964. I suppose this may mean that the city has been supporting it since then. I have not seen any press reports or history books that provide a definitive answer as to who has "owned" it since 1964. For now, this question is purely academic anyway because the company is far from profitable and will remain so for years to come. (E.g., a major renovation is planned for 2013. Clearly, if this is to happen, the funds will have to come from Mr. Kekhman and other private donors.)
Posted 21 November 2011 - 07:57 AM
Thanks for this, Ilya. I KNEW that there was some sort of 'State' ownership at some time...that I wasn't losing my mind yet. When I lived in StP in the '90s, I purchased a bunch of soft-covered 'yearbooks' about the Maly from the 50s/early 60s -- the years when Ludmilla Morkovina, now esteemed professor in DC's Kirov Academy, was one of its stars -- and it was definitely termed a 'State' theater of opera & ballet then.
I thought that the Maly/Mikhailovsky had been renovated around 2008, after Kekhman came on the scene. It certainly looked different -- white-washed and bright inside, with the painted ceiling covered by white boards -- when I last went inside the theater in March 2009 for the Corsaire premiere. So will the theater be re-restored to the beautiful pre-2007 look? Will the elegant atmosphere & look come back, I wonder?
Posted 21 November 2011 - 02:43 PM
I think Ms. Koznetsova's attitude sums up the shock that the world of ballet has changed. I see that in Seattle, where Carla Korbes and Seth Orza left NYCB for a regional company like PNB. They most likely would have not had Peter Boal not taken over the company, but Boal and they could have been considered "Out of sight-out of mind" the moment they went west of Westchester county.
The criticism of Mr. Kekhman sounds a bit like the criticism of Peter Gelb, who runs the Metropolitan Opera, who has been criticized for taking a marketing approach to a prominent arts institution.
Perhaps Mr. Kehkman will enable a "Live from the Mikhailovsky" HD broadcast with Osipova and Vasiliev. Such a venture would put his company on the map globally.
Posted 21 November 2011 - 04:35 PM
A good comparison. I remember a number of NYCB fans was wondering when Peter Martins was going to take Korbes out of the corp and make her a soloist. It took him forever despite the fact she was dancing soloists, and in some cases, prinicpal roles for a long time to great success. When he finally made her soloist it was too late. She was out the door following Peter Boal to PNB, and even though it's been some years now, I still think losing Korbes was a serious lost to City Ballet. But I bet if you ask Korbes she would regard it as the best decision she made in terms of her career. Perhaps an even better comparison is Miranda Weese. Soon after Korbes left City Ballet for PNB, Weese - who was a principal with City Ballet - did the same and joined PNB as well. From what I understood one of the main reasons why she left City Ballet was because it was so overcrowded with prinicpal dancers she rarely got the chance to perform despite being one of the company's then strongest ballerinas. Isn't that one of the reasons why Osipova and Vasiliev left the Bolshoi? To be able to dance more as well as perform in a more variety of roles? Yes this is a shocking departure but for O&V this maybe the best choice for them. After all when everything is said and done they have to think what's best for themselves and not for others.
Posted 21 November 2011 - 05:51 PM
There are some excellent sections of Stephen Manes' book, "Where Snowflakes Dance and Swear" that address the former NYCB dancers' decision-making and concerns. (The interviews took place in the 2007-8 seasons.)
About Seth Orza, who was offered a promotion after he had decided to join PNB, but before he announced his resignation:
About Carla Korbes, to whom Manes devotes a chapter, and who had more of a roller-coaster ride at NYCB that lasted her whole time in the company. In the book, she describes how Martins wanted her thin, and she'd diet, be cast in a lot of ballets, get injured because she was working so hard and "I wasn't eating". Even so,
Boal got the job. Korbes approached him again. He told her okay, she could come, but to think about it -- after all, she was still at New York City Ballet.
Even Boal tried to be sure that she was willing to leave the pinnacle.
Posted 27 November 2011 - 08:55 AM
As always Amy news like this encourages discussion about what "we" want. A dancers career is short compared to many others. Some feel the need to take more chances than others. O/V certainly dont't need my permission to make career decisions. ;-)
Posted 27 November 2011 - 09:52 AM
Posted 28 November 2011 - 10:36 AM
Osipova & Vasiliev make their debuts as Laurencia and Frondoso on January 20 at the Mikhailovsky (the full-length version of the ballet, that is). I hope that it is such a hit that Messrs. Kekhman and Danielian have no choice but to add this to the ballets coming to the USA this summer. (see post #91 at the top of this page)
Posted 28 November 2011 - 10:41 AM
Posted 21 January 2012 - 07:52 AM
I am still learning about the ballet world, but I think Giselle is a cash cow in the ballet world sort of like Carmen is in opera. After 20 years of opera I think attending another Carmen would make me throw up. LOL Seriously, it would take an EXTRAORDINARY mezzo to get me to even cross the street for a Carmen. But regional and international companies program it over and over. La Boheme is similar (cash cow) too, but it is more lovely, so I can tolerate even though I do get tired of it and would much rather see other operas. But these cash cows bring in the crowds. Not sure rare works do even with stars. When I went to NY to see Renee Fleming sing in Il Pirata years ago there were lots of empty seats. Il Pirata is an interesting work and rare for the most part, but it doesn't fill the house. Traviata, Boheme, Carmen, or Rigoletto fill the house, so those are played over and over again. I suspect the ballet world is the same. Balletomanes want to see something like Laurencia for something new, but the general public wants to see Giselle, so Giselle would make a whole lot more money. I suspect that is the case.
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