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Nikolay Tsiskaridze Opinionswould you like some whine with your cheese?


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#16 ksk04

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Posted 21 November 2011 - 10:30 AM

I know he can often be diva-like with his behavior but usually I find his complaints stem from somewhere. In the Mesericordes docu posted above, Wheeldon was woefully underprepared for dealing with the Bolshoi system, and while Tsiskarizde's methods are questionable the problem he is rebelling against is certainly not made up.

Similarly, he criticized the management a few years ago for passing over established ballerinas for younger dancers for everything, and made it a point to invite those who were on "the outs" with management to partner him. I think because we are not used to a dancer airing dirty laundry he gets a bad rap, but at least he's honest about his feelings and can back up it with his dancing. I don't know, I've always liked him despite, and perhaps because of, all of this.

#17 Cygnet

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Posted 21 November 2011 - 10:39 AM

Oh, that's a 'classic,' Quiggin!

Rock, Yuri Smekalov could & should be promoted to Principal at the MT. He is versatile and can dance 'noble' roles, in addition to his forte or character-type dramatic roles, such as the comic 'gentleman of the chamber' in Little Humpbacked Horse. I'm a little afraid that he & Ilya Kuznetsov might languish in 'Perpetual 1st-soloist Land' because of 'emploi.' Ditto the versatile Alexander Sergeev, who can dance both a Prince and the monster in Shurale. Versatility can be a curse in Russian companies -- "once a grotesque, always a grotesque," some seem to think.

p.s. Poor Smekalov isn't even a 1st soloist; he was hired as 2nd soloist...even though he was, for years, the Principal of the Eifman Ballet, even winning the Golden Mask award for best male ballet performance in Russia, for The Seagull. He was Spartacus at the Mikhailovsky & the Jacobson Ballet companies.It's almost insulting that he is but a 2nd soloist.


Exactly. One of the major problems at the Mariinsky is not only the soloist traffic jam in the 1st & 2nd ranks (male and female), but
the languishing of transplants who were principals in other theatres, and are "slumming" now. For example, the Matvienki (Denis and wife Nastya - they're leaving), Nastya Kolegova (left the Mik as a Principal, mainly been relegated to occaisional O/Os, and hardly ever tours with the " 'A' Team"), and Y. Smelakov, a Golden Mask winner from the Eifman Ballet. There are others who are part of the what I call the Mariinsky Soubrette Army that make up the majority of females in the 1st and 2nd soloist ranks. There are also certain others in the 1st and 2nd rank (and the female Principal rank) whose time has passed. Re the men, Sergeyev and Smelakov deserve promotion, and like Natalia mentioned, Volodya Shklyarov, Danny Korsuntsev and Yevchushenko cannot dance every night or "do" everything.

#18 Mashinka

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Posted 21 November 2011 - 11:05 AM

I know he can often be diva-like with his behavior but usually I find his complaints stem from somewhere. In the Mesericordes docu posted above, Wheeldon was woefully underprepared for dealing with the Bolshoi system, and while Tsiskarizde's methods are questionable the problem he is rebelling against is certainly not made up.

Similarly, he criticized the management a few years ago for passing over established ballerinas for younger dancers for everything, and made it a point to invite those who were on "the outs" with management to partner him. I think because we are not used to a dancer airing dirty laundry he gets a bad rap, but at least he's honest about his feelings and can back up it with his dancing. I don't know, I've always liked him despite, and perhaps because of, all of this.


All that is true and I often wish there were more dancers prepared to take a stand. I respect him a great deal for his championing of Grachova and Stepanenko. I'm very much of the same mind as ksk04 and Cubanmiamiboy.

#19 Natalia

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Posted 21 November 2011 - 11:14 AM

What Tsiskaridze did at the Mariinsky last week -- partnering Lopatkina -- is in tune with his championing of older star ballerinas at the Bolshoi, i.e., Gracheva (who has since moved on to coaching) and Stepanenko (who lingers on). He has always had a lot of respect for seniority & tradition, which is commendable. I remember his face when talking about Marina Semenova or other greats of the past, on Kultura-channel interviews. It's a shame that he sometimes comes across as El Divo because it tends to take away from his good qualities.

#20 Amy Reusch

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Posted 21 November 2011 - 12:15 PM

I wouldn't mind seeing a fiery artistic director with passion at the Bolshoi... Seems the company's style would be in tune with this... A bureaucrat might be the worst type to direct a company like the Bolshoi.

#21 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 21 November 2011 - 02:18 PM

Definitely, Natasha. The main difference I see between Hallberg and the example I mentioned is that Hallberg GENUINELY has star qualities, dancing wise speaking. Miss Hormgon, on the contrary, didn't, and that certainly added fire to the resentment.

#22 Helene

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Posted 21 November 2011 - 02:25 PM

Tsiskaridze reminds me physically of a beloved cousin -- although my cousin's hair doesn't need gel or any other help to do what NT's does -- so it's hard for me to hold a grudge for very long. When I take issue with him, it's because his idea of tradition stops at 2.5 generations back, not that this is surprising in an art form passed down across generations, and the "grandparents" are the prominent ones during schooling.

#23 Rock

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Posted 21 November 2011 - 06:41 PM

I know this is in the wrong place, but I seem to be on the Bolshoi thing so much these days reading about Osipova and Vasiliev's departure - and I wanted to say to everyone that although I realize it can never replace the real thing - a live performance - I'm very grateful for Youtube and the vast scope of what you can see. Last night I watched Uliana Lopatkina do the variation from Paquita over and over. I was mesmerized. I thought it was extraordinary. The port de bras, the epaulement, chainee turns in 5th - which I don't think I've ever seen before. Then I watched Alina Somova do the same variation - because it was right there - and I thought she was a very good dancer, but the difference was so informative. It was the difference between good dancing and great dancing. I'm very grateful to have the opportunity to see all those things, and very grateful to this site for the opportunity to see worldwide reviews every day. I think it's great.

#24 diane

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Posted 22 November 2011 - 07:52 AM

^^ I totally agree, Rock!
I am also learning so much through this discussion and of course this forum in its entirety. (whatever DID we do before there was internet and all these fantastic opportunities to exchange thoughts and ideas with others from around the globe?)

Back to topic: Tsiskaridze is a very interesting character, and I wish I had known more about him earlier.
It takes a lot of chutzpah to challenge the establishment, esp. in such an established establishment as these huge state theatres can be.
Good for him if he is in fact speaking out in behalf of others, too, and not only to further his own cause.

-d-

#25 Amy Reusch

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Posted 22 November 2011 - 11:11 AM

:^D I don't think Tsiskaridze could ever be considered to be lacking in chutzpah!! Chutzpah is his specialty!!!
(I'm agreeing with you, in case it seems otherwise)

#26 Amy Reusch

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 12:15 PM

And now.. He's been fired. How can the head of the union also be part of administration. Shouldn't there be a new shop steward when the old shop steward moves to the administration side of the equation?
http://rt.com/art-an...renovation-505/

#27 diane

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 01:53 PM

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-

#28 Jayne

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 03:51 PM

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

#29 Amy Reusch

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 04:09 PM

Isn't it odd that they replaced him with a woman? Wait, a 76 year old woman?
http://themoscownews.../189366405.html


#30 Natalia

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 05:39 AM

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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