Jayne

Nikolay Tsiskaridze Opinions

65 posts in this topic

Wow. That is a weird situation with the union-rep., but perhaps it is that way for a reason. :)

(to help keep caps on things, you know)

-d-

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Fired as a teacher, but not as a dancer???

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The firing of NT is (so far) only as a teacher/coach. He continues to dance & did, brilliantly, in a recent Nutcracker with his young protegee, Vorontsova, as Masha (which my lucky husband, in Moscow, witnessed first hand!).

from YouTube - jan 2, 2012) performance:

NT was given the option of quitting his dancing position shortly after the reopening of the grand old theater in late October, at about the same time that another long-time male principal, Andrei Uvarov, was asked to leave. Uvarov left - one will notice that he has been off the dancers' roster since his final appearance @ the Bolshoi, partnering Zakharova in the Swan Lake white adagio at the grand reopening gala. NT could not be convinced to depart quite so easily; most likely, he has 'lawyered up.'

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NT was given the option of quitting his dancing position shortly after the reopening of the grand old theater in late October, at about the same time that another long-time male principal, Andrei Uvarov, was asked to leave. Uvarov left - one will notice that he has been off the dancers' roster since his final appearance @ the Bolshoi, partnering Zakharova in the Swan Lake white adagio at the grand reopening gala. NT could not be convinced to depart quite so easily; most likely, he has 'lawyered up.'

Why did Bolshoi get rid of Uvarov and try to get rid of NT? I assume it's for NT's trouble making? What's AU doing now? If NT were to leave his dancing position, would he be offered a teaching/coaching position at the Bolshoi? I assume he'd have no trouble finding a dancing position in the West if he left Bolshoi?

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I wish I knew, mussell. The Uvarov ouster got me by surprise because he looked so good at he opening gala, partnering Zakharova.

NT continues to dance strongly. I won't post it here but there's another YouTube of him dancing Sleeping Beauty opposite Alexandrova on Jan 14, 2012.

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With regard to Tsiskaridze I prefer the term outspokenness to ‘trouble maker’.Uvarov’s departure is something of a surprise as he was a hard working dedicated member of the company.Uvarov and Filin were close contemporaries so there may have been rivalry, Tsiskaridze is very slightly younger, but his career eclipsed those of the other Bolshoi male dancers. Settling of scores?

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Tsiskaridze is at the epicenter of yet another scandal. Several prominent Russian artists signed a letter to Putin, requesting to dismiss the Bolshoi's General Manager Iksanov and to appoint Tsiskaridze to be the General Manager. From the press accounts, it appears that Tsiskaridze himself did not sign the letter.

The story broke on November 9, when the former Russian Minister of Culture M. Shvydkoy wrote the following on his blog on the website of the Echo of Moscow radio station (http://echo.msk.ru/b...oy/949699-echo/):

Recently, a group of famous Russian cultural figures sent a letter to the President of Russian Federation V.V. Putin with a request to fire A. Iksanov and to appoint to his position Nikolay Tsiskaridze, a remarkable dancer nearing the end of his career and a famous media personality.

A media frenzy ensued, and within several days several press accounts uncovered eight out of the twelve signers: Gennady Khazanov, Oleg Tabakov, Mark Zakharov, Alisa Freindlich, Elena Obraztsova (the opera singer), Zurab Sotkilava, Mikhail Lavrovsky, and Galina Volchek:

http://izvestia.ru/news/539479

http://news.rambler.ru/16335399/

http://izvestia.ru/n...8#ixzz2C7lwbGCV

http://www.aif.ru/cu...e/article/57218

http://izvestia.ru/news/539686

http://www.ng.ru/cul.../1_talents.html

http://www.echomsk.s...delaki/9898.php

At first, it was unclear where the letter came from. However, the following excerpt from the interview with Lavrovsky suggests that the letter was authored and circulated by Tsiskaridze himself (http://izvestia.ru/news/539686):

Q: Mikhail Shvydkoi in his blog at "The Echo of Moscow" claimed that in the letter to the President there was a call to fire Anatoly Iksanov.

A: I never sign letters against anyone. We have a director, Iksanov, he is wonderful. However, there was a rumor that he was leaving, and we were worried. Because in our theaters they sometimes appoint butchers, sometimes accountants, sometimes tank crew members. I respect all professions. However, somehow in boxing, boxers become the bosses, whereas people who come to us do not know how to do anything, and become the managers of the best theater in the world.

Q: How did you find out that signatures were being collected?

A: I was asked by Nikolay Tsiskaridze.

Q: Do you still have the text of the letter?

A: No, Kolya took it away. [Note: "Kolya" is short for "Nikolay" in Russian.]

Q: What was the main premise of the letter?

A: The substance is that if Iksanov leaves, then let us select the director ourselves. No need to assign someone to us. And if the new director were to be selected on the basis of a competition, I would select Tsiskaridze. He is an international star. That was my wish.

The letter has not been made public. When contacted by the newspaper "Izvestiya", Tsiskaridze refused to comment:

http://izvestia.ru/news/539479

In the meantime, the Ministry of Culture renewed Iksanov's contract until 2014 and declared the case closed until then:

http://www.aif.ru/cu...e/article/57218

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I know nothing of Tsiskaridze and his turmoils, but I notice that he has been very involved in the past in all the galas offered to the old stars of the Bolshoi-(Lepeshinskaya, Semionova, etc..)-and he always seems to be aiming for the "old" Bolshoi, so he being in charge might be a good idea...maybe...? (I'm thinking mainly about how the ballet future could be with him on top, involvement in repertoire, promotions,etc. Others with more knowledge and insight could shred some light on the subject probably)

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Thank you all for your thoughts on this -- Someone who dances with the incredible natural gift of Tskskaridze deserves to be heard, however odd his remarks might seem, given the depth of this gifts -- it's not just the ease and lightness and reach of his back leg in coupe jete -- though that is one of the wonders of the world-- but his musicality and graciousness to the audience are phenomenal as well, and his taste in both mentors [semionova], partners, and protegees is so penetrating. Divo is FINE -- maybe he's wrong sometimes, but please let him speak.

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Iksanov is the general manager of the entire Bolshoi---i.e., both ballet and opera companies. He is a theater administrator with many years of experience: 20 years in various administration and management positions at the Bolshoi Drama Theater in St. Petersburg and 12 years as the General Manager of the Bolshoi. It's interesting that Tsiskaridze no longer wants to be simply the artistic director of the ballet company (the position currently occupied by Sergey Filin)---now he is aiming to become the general manager of the entire vast organization, having had zero managerial experience.

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I know nothing of Tsiskaridze and his turmoils, but I notice that he has been very involved in the past in all the galas offered to the old stars of the Bolshoi-(Lepeshinskaya, Semionova, etc..)-and he always seems to be aiming for the "old" Bolshoi, so he being in charge might be a good idea...maybe...? (I'm thinking mainly about how the ballet future could be with him on top, involvement in repertoire, promotions,etc. Others with more knowledge and insight could shred some light on the subject probably)

Like you, I simply don't know very much about the internal situation of the Bolshoi. I can say that I think Ratmansky had a creative way of looking back at earlier moments in Bolshoi ballet history (the new Bright Stream and Flames of Paris) and w. Burlaka honored the classical past in productions like the reconstructed Corsaire and, more of an absolute success in my eyes, the post-Ratmansky Coppelia. As I understand Tsiskaridze has had some reservations about these regimes; I'm not sure all fans would agree.

In any case, I have no sentimentality whatsoever about the OLD "old" Bolshoi being revived in 2012--if that were to mean Grigorovich productions ruling over all. I am not opposed to honoring Soviet ballet by any means (I always liked Sergeyev's Sleeping Beauty) and I was pleased that the Bolshoi could still make Spartacus 'work' in London a couple of seasons back. But it seems from the outside as if the company has had a lot of success in recent seasons, even following up the losses of Osipova and Vasiliev with the hiring of Obratzova. (All credit to Filin for hiring and developing Smirnova as well.) So whatever changes happen there are a lot of recent developments at the Bolshoi one would hate to lose.

(I believe Tsiskaridze also objected to Hallberg being featured in the HD Sleeping Beauty broadcast: I would not like to see the Bolshoi lose its "Bolshoiness" but I don't think there is much risk of that--and could wish Tsiskaridze had felt differently about that one broadcast performance as well.)

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(I believe Tsiskaridze also objected to Hallberg being featured in the HD Sleeping Beauty broadcast: I would not like to see the Bolshoi lose its "Bolshoiness" but I don't think there is much risk of that--and could wish Tsiskaridze had felt differently about that one broadcast performance as well.)

Objections to that particular piece of casting are understandable and as usual Tsiskaridze was probably giving voice to what the majority of the company thought. Back in the 1970's I remember a similar reaction when a film was made of the RB Swan Lake with Makarova in the leading role as it was thought her style was in no way representative of the company as a whole. Those that raised objection were, in hindsight, right as stylistically she clashed with the once admired 'English style' that was at that time greatly admired.

Mr Iksanov's future with the Bolshoi has been called into question before and I remember that a couple of years ago there was a strong rumour that he was to be ousted to make way for a Putin crony. Perhaps the fact that the story was leaked at the time prevented that from happening; this present situation could well have come about to prevent an unsuitable (but well connected politically) apparatchik getting Iksanov's job.

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Iksanov is the general manager of the entire Bolshoi---i.e., both ballet and opera companies. He is a theater administrator with many years of experience: 20 years in various administration and management positions at the Bolshoi Drama Theater in St. Petersburg and 12 years as the General Manager of the Bolshoi. It's interesting that Tsiskaridze no longer wants to be simply the artistic director of the ballet company (the position currently occupied by Sergey Filin)---now he is aiming to become the general manager of the entire vast organization, having had zero managerial experience.

Ilya, this is a valid point. The last time a famous Bolshoi premier danseur ran both the opera and the ballet it

didn't end well: (Vladimir Vasiliev).

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The letter, along with all the signatures, has been published:

http://www.echo.msk....ki/953596-echo/

I have tried to keep the translation as close to the original wording as possible, with line breaks corresponding to where they are in the Russian text. This inevitably resulted in some awkwardness of certain passages in the translation.

To the President of Russian Federation

V.V. Putin

Dear Vladimir Vladimirovich!

One of the central tasks of the state policy is

the preservation and promotion of Russian culture in all its diversity

both in Russia and abroad.

An undisputed embodiment of its majesty and international importance is

the State Academic Bolshoi Theater of Russia. At different times, on its

stage appeared such eminent performers as Feodor

Chaliapin, Yuri Grigorovich, Yelena Obraztsova, Ivan Kozlovsky, Yevgeny

Nesterenko, Maya Plisetskaya, Yevgeny Svetlanov, Galina Ulanova,

and at the conductor’s stand stood the great Sergei Rachmaninoff.

During the long history of its existence, the theater became a benchmark

in the field of the world opera and ballet, and the world famous

brand “Bolshoi” is a synonym of virtuoso performance

craftsmanship. The productions of the Bolshoi Theater always have a resounding

success both in our country and outside of it.

However, for the preservation of its leading status the theater needs changes,

which must begin already at the end of December 2012 with the replacement of the General

Director A.G. Iksanov who has been occupying this position since 2000.

With this appeal, we would like to support the invitation to this position

of Nikolay Maksimovich Tsiskaridze, one of the symbols of the Bolshoi Theater

of the 1990s-2000s.

Nikolay gave the Bolshoi Theater more than 20 years of his life, performed on

its stage all the leading ballet parts, having become its chief performer.

It’s impossible not to note also the international recognition

of N. Tsiskaridze, People’s Artist of the Russian Federation, twice the winner

of the State Prize of Russia, three times the winner of the National Theater

Prize “Golden Mask”, Chevalier of the French Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.

We know Nikolay as a person who sincerely worries about the Russian

cultural heritage, and who is capable of preserving and multiplying it.

We express a deep conviction that under N. Tsiskaridze the Bolshoi

Theater will preserve its status as the world temple of great ballet and opera.

We ask you, dear Vladimir Vladimirovich, to consider

the candidacy of Nikolay Maksimovich Tsiskaridze for the position of the General

Director of the Bolshoi Theater.

People’s Artist of the USSR

V.A. Andreyev

Honored Coach of Russia

I.A. Viner

People’s Artist of the USSR

Yu.V. Vladimirov

People’s Artist of the USSR

G.N. Volchek

People’s Artist of the USSR

M.L. Lavrovsky

People’s Artist of Russia

M.K. Leonova

People’s Artist of the USSR

Ye.V. Obraztsova

People’s Artist of the USSR

Z.L. Sotkilava

People’s Artist of the USSR

M.A. Zakharov

People’s Artist of the USSR

O.N.Tabakov

People’s Artist of the USSR

A.B. Freindlich

People’s Artist of the RSFSR

G.V. Khazanov

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One of the signers now claims that he was duped into signing under false pretenses. He sent an apologetic letter to Iksanov:

http://www.echo.msk....sk/953719-echo/

http://izvestia.ru/news/540047

To the General Director

of the Federal State

State-Financed Cultural Organization

“State Academic

Bolshoi Theater of Russia”

Iksanov A.G.

From the Artistic Director

of the Moscow Theater “Lenkom”

Zakharov M.A.

Dear Anatoly Gennadyevich!

Unfortunately, I got acquainted with the letter regarding N. Tsiskaridze

only in a telephone version. I supported his possible appointment

as the Artistic Director of the Ballet of the Bolshoi Theater of RF, after

the enumeration of certain names of theater personalities who had already

put their signatures under the aforementioned letter. Unfortunately, I was

not informed about the proposal to relieve you from the management

of the theater. This information about you caused me to be shocked and feel

guilty for my in-absentia signature.

I do not have any rights and causes to discuss you, as a long-time

and experienced manager of the main theater of the country, who has

a multitude of awards and encouragements from the Government of RF and international

organizations.

I ask to be excused for my rash and thoughtless decision

to put my signature under a letter which I had not read and whose meaning I do not

agree with.

I ask to not consider my signature valid.

With respect,

Artistic director of the theater

Mark Zakharov.

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How dramatic is the whole thing! clapping.gif

Fasten your seatbelts, it's going to be a bumpy night!

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Yes, "fasten your seatbelts" is exactly right. smile.png Having seen the text of the letter, two more signers have withdrawn their signatures: Obraztsova and Sotkilava. First, here is Obraztsova's apologetic letter to Iksanov:

http://www.echo.msk....sk/953744-echo/

Dear Anatoly Gennadievich!

Please accept my deepest apologies after I caused you pain. I didn't want this, and it would have been sacrilegious to sign that letter had I known that you are continuing to work at the theater.

I was told that your contract had not been renewed; and, being afraid that the theater could get a person who is incompetent in music, I signed the letter.

There is no way that any of the signers had it in their mind or wanted to strike a blow to you, as everybody thinks of you with great respect. I wish you joy and happiness at work.

With respect,

Yelena Obraztsova.

11/20/2012

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And here is an article in "Izvestia" about Sotkilava's retraction:

http://izvestia.ru/news/540108

Zurab Sotkilava Retracted His Signature in the Letter against Iksanov.

People's Artist of the USSR told "Izvestiya" that he was misled by Nikolay Tsiskaridze.

Demarches are continuing in the group of 12 famous arts personalities who signed a letter to the President of Russia in support of Nikolay Tsiskaridze. Recall that the letter contains a request to provide Bolshoi Theater with "changes, which must begin already at the end of December 2012 with the replacement of the General Director A.G. Iksanov" as well as a proposal to appoint Mr. Tsiskaridze as the head of the theater.

People's Artist of the USSR Zurab Sotkilava told "Izvestiya" that he had not read the letter he signed.

"Nikolay Maksimovich told me that the third term of Iksanov's contract is expiring, and that he is not eligible for a fourth term according to the law. Tsiskaridze gave me a list of people, and I put my signature on it. I didn't have time to read the letter, I was working at the Conservatory," said the singer.

Now, having seen the text of the letter, Sotkilava asked "Izvestiya" to announce that he is retracting his signature.

"I don't have anything against Iksanov, because he is a good administrator. Since Tsiskaridze deceived me, I have to remove my signature," he said.

Recall that yesterday, a letter from Mark Zakharov was published, in which the People's Artist announced that he signed the appeal "in absentia," and admitted to Mr. Iksanov: "I was not informed about the proposal to relieve you from the management of the theater."

How exactly Mr. Zakharov's signature appeared in the collective letter, is unclear: the press office of the Lenkom Theater told "Izvestiya" that their artistic director has been undergoing medical treatment abroad for a long time.

Also yesterday, on the blog of "The Echo of Moscow" a letter from Yelena Obraztsova appeared whose content was similar to Mark Zakharov's statement.

In the meantime, People's Artist of the USSR Alisa Freindlich who is among the 12 signers, confirmed that she had read the letter before signing it.

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Finally (at least for now), here is an article containing the first official reaction from the Bolshoi:

http://izvestia.ru/news/540111

"Tsiskaridze is Fighting for the Position of the General Director Using Any Methods Available"

The press office of the Bolshoi Theater gave comments to "Izvestiya" regarding the letter from 12 eminent arts personalities in support of Nikolay Tsiskaridze.

The press office of the main theater of the country for the first time has commented on the message of 12 theater personalities to the President of Russia with the request to furnish the Bolshoi Theater with "changes, which must begin already at the end of December 2012 with the replacement of the General Director A.G. Iksanov" as well as a proposal to appoint Mr. Tsiskaridze as the head of the theater.

"The current situation is absolutely obvious: the ballet artist is fighting for the position of the General Director using any methods available to him," the press secretary of the Bolshoi Yekaterina Novikova told "Izvestiya". "It's a pity that in this fight the victim is the reputation of the theater."

Ms. Novikova confirmed that letters from Mark Zakharov and Yelena Obraztsova with apologies came to the Bolshoi Theater and were received by Anatoly Iksanov. The artistic director of the Lenkom Theater and the opera primadonna explained that they did not know about the invective against the current General Director which was contained in the collective letter.

The press secretary of the Bolshoi also reported that, besides the letters to the General Director of the theater, there have also been phone calls from several signers with analogous apologies.

Recall that today Zurab Sotkilava joined the ranks of signers who retracted their signatures. He claimed that he was deceived by Nikolay Tsiskaridze. In the meantime, Alisa Freindlich confirmed to "Izvestiya" that she had read the letter before signing it.

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Wow. Wow. If he duped the signees by misrepresenting what was going to be in the letter -- getting advanced approval is par for the course -- did he really think 1. There wouldn't be retractions? 2. That the retractions wouldn't go public? 3. That the signees would be too embarrassed to retract?

Mr. Tsiskaridze was born in the wrong era.

Thank you so much for all of the translations and keeping us up to date, Ilya :flowers:

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Curiouser and curiouser, as Alice (in wonderland) would say!

It is quite dramtic.

I add my thanks to Ilya for keeping us informed on all of this!

-d-

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Someone who dances with the incredible natural gift of Tskskaridze deserves to be heard, however odd his remarks might seem, given the depth of this gifts

Divo is FINE -- maybe he's wrong sometimes, but please let him speak.

No one is denying his right to speak. In fact, he speaks freely and regularly, using every conceivable and inconceivable media outlet, including a show called "Our Favorite Animals" and a Russian version of "Dancing with the Stars" where he has been a judge since 2006. Interviews with him abound on TV and in print. His media exposure easily exceeds that of all the other Russian ballet dancers combined.

Yet in this case, he has gone out of his way to avoid public limelight: the letter was not intended to be published; he avoided affixing his own signature to it; and even now that the letter has become pubic, he has refused to comment.

did he really think 1. There wouldn't be retractions? 2. That the retractions wouldn't go public? 3. That the signees would be too embarrassed to retract?

All the reporting suggests that the letter was not intended to become public. That it did appears to be an accident.

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