Helene

Sergei Filin Attacked

653 posts in this topic

I find it absurd that's she's considered 10 lbs. overweight.

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Dmitrichenko appeared in court:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/arts/story/2013/03/07/bolshoi-acide-attack-court.html

"The star dancer accused of masterminding the attack on the Bolshoi ballet chief acknowledged Thursday that he gave the go-ahead for the attack, but told a Moscow court that he did not order anyone to throw acid on the artistic director's face.

The judge, however, refused to release Bolshoi soloist Pavel Dmitrichenko on bail and ordered him held until at least April 18."

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As far as glass in pointe shoes is concerned, this is not only not new but not confined to the Boshoi. It happened at the Kirov/Maryinsky too, and probably at many other companies. My daughter's ballet teacher (Kirov-trained) told me about it nearly 20 years ago. Bits of glass and pins were both popular items to put in a rival's pointe shoes.

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Simon Shuster, the TIME Magazine author who wrote last week's in-print feature story about the Bolshoi-Filin saga, has written a new long article about Anzhelina Vorontzova:

http://world.time.co...=rss-topstories

re. the 'Wife-vs-Girlfriend' designation, it looks like Vorontzova is the common-law wife (as opposed to 'real-law wife') of Dmitrichenko. The above article clarifies this. In the USA, this is called a 'long-term, live-in girlfriend.' In Russia, people in such long-term arrangements are called 'wife' and 'husband'....e.g., Balanchine and Danilova.

re. the accusation of AV being overweight - of course, she is not overweight. However, during last May's run of Coppelias at the Kennedy Center, I remember thinking that she was the 'bounciest' among various beautiful young soloists in the Act III divertissements (she alternated between the solo roles 'Work' and 'Folly'). Her physique didn't hurt at all in those roles; if anything, it enhanced her charm, especially in Vikharev's 1890s reconstruction style. She is definitely a longer-tutu dancer.

Vorontsova often danced Masha in Grigorovich's Nutcracker. I saw her 'liveShe danced it opposite ' opposite Ovcharenko ca-2010, back when both Vorontsova & Ovcharenko were coached by Tsiskaridze. Last season she danced Masha opposite Tsiskaridze himself. She has always been the chubby-cheeked soubrette type - never the hyper-thin and long swan type - so to read that some were pushing her towards those sorts of roles is a bit of a surprise. Even the short-but-ultra-thin Obraztsova has yet to dance O-O at the Bolshoi, even though Filin himself invited her to debut O-O at the Stanislavsky when he was the AD of that troupe.

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The NY Times article today adds another element to this story: the question of how young ballerinas' careers are pushed (or not), with some of the unanticipated consequences of that.

Parsing Possible Motives in Bolshoi Acid Attack)

Ms. Vorontsova was greeted as a sensation when, at 16, she won her first major dance competition. Valeria Uralskaya, the editor of Ballet magazine in Russia, described her as “a luminous and delicate adolescent.” She said that Mr. Filin and his ballet company had taken pains to smooth the way for her to move from Voronezh to Moscow, where she finished her training, providing her with lodging, a stipend and a spot at the ballet academy, as well as finding a job for her mother.

In a 2010 interview Ms. Vorontsova acknowledged that Mr. Filin had assumed she would dance in his company, and that her decision to move to the Bolshoi had been painful and difficult.

“Sometimes in life you have to make a choice,” she said.

Ms. Uralskaya said that Ms. Vorontsova’s career had leveled off in recent years, probably for several reasons, including injuries and postadolescent weight gain.

Vadim Gayevsky, an eminent Russian ballet scholar, said the tension around Ms. Vorontsova is symptomatic of a broader problem, as artists barely out of their teens expect to shoot to the top of the profession. He said he felt sorry for Ms. Vorontsova because she was being pushed forward so aggressively by the people around her.

“Artists, even the most wonderful ones, must go through a rather long path unless they’re totally brilliant,” he said. “I don’t know her desires. I don’t know her. I know that her husband and teacher desire that she dance ‘Swan Lake’ at 20. Some can do it then, for others it’s too soon.”

“No one ever asks her,” he said. “They decide everything for her.”

This question of pushing dancers too quickly -- and the unrealistic (or unrealized) expectataions this may produce -- might we worth a thread of its own at some point.

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Taranda's assertion that this whole thing hurt Tsiskaridze more than Filin has made me lose all respect for a man I consider one of the greatest dancers I've ever see on film.

Perhaps what Taranda meant was that Filin will no doubt recover and return to his job as Bolshoi director, don't forget that poor vision was never a handicap for Alicia Alonso. Tsiskaridze will forever be tainted by the accusatons against him, indeed there are already those suggesting his close association with Vorontsova automatically means he was part of a plot to attack Filin. Mud sticks and and it could be his reputation is destroyed forever by all this and I think that is what Taranda was alluding to.

Taranda's opinion it is worth listening to, after all few know the Bolshoi better than he does and Tsiskaridze has danced in his company so he knows his character well. He is also a neutral in all this as he is hardly Grigorovich's greatest fan after being publicly sacked by him. There is a lot of back story with all this that I'm afraid will never emerge (hence my reference to Yanin).

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The NY Times article today adds another element to this story: the question of how young ballerinas' careers are pushed (or not), with some of the unanticipated consequences of that.

Parsing Possible Motives in Bolshoi Acid Attack)

.....This question of pushing dancers too quickly -- and the unrealistic (or unrealized) expectataions this may produce -- might we worth a thread of its own at some point.

Interesting read, bart. I say KUDOS to Mr. Filin and his immediate predecessors in the A.D. seat for not having pushed her prematurely....as the Mariinsky has been doing with the Somovas, Skoriks and Kampas. Notice that, for the past decade, the Bolshoi has not done this sort of thing with very young promising dancers. Even Osipova had to wait her turn for a couple of seasons and, once she danced Kitri, she danced only the proper roles for her 'dynamic soubrette' emploi. Smirnova is a once-n-a-lifetime diamond but even she had to wait a few months, getting Nikiya at the end of her first season. Krysanova - Nikulina - Stashkevich, etc....all graduated in the 2001/2002 timeframe and are just now coming into top roles. They advanced the Old-Fashioned Way: they EARNED it! Bravo, Bolshoi! Bravo!

'Ye Olde Pay-off' does not seem to have taken hold in Moscow, as it has (ahum) elsewhere. Maybe in other spheres but not to further the careers of dancers.

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I am NOT condoning any kind of acid attack on anyone, but perhaps when Filin resumes the helm of the Bolshoi he ought to also re-evaluate his own management strategies. It's not easy dealing with 200 very ambitious egos I'm sure, but it also seems like his style of management escalated, rather than de-escalated conflict. With Vorontsova instead of telling her she was fat she could have told her she needed additional coaching. Or (and this is something Balanchine used to do when a dancer insisted on a role) he could have given her one token performance and seen whether or not it was a success.

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Even Osipova had to wait her turn for a couple of seasons and, once she danced Kitri, she danced only the proper roles for her 'dynamic soubrette' emploi.

Yes, but it was the restrictive nature of the roles she (and Vasilev) were assigned at the Bolshoi that, in part, led them to seek other opportunities with ABT and ultimately to leave the Bolshoi. I'm not complaining- the Bolshoi's loss was my gain be being able to see them here in NYC at ABT.

If Anzhelina Vorontsova and her supporters believed she was so talented and underappreciated, she should have jumped ship and tried to find other opportuniites. Commission of a crime was not the answer. She is now damaged goods, I believe, and will, fairly or unfairly, be regarded in a very negative light by these events. At a minimum, she will be seen as a troublemaker and not someone any artisitic director wants to deal with. What real chance does she have now to ever advance at the Bolshoi with Filin at the helm?

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If Anzhelina Vorontsova and her supporters believed she was so talented and underappreciated, she should have jumped ship and tried to find other opportuniites. Commission of a crime was not the answer. She is now damaged goods, I believe, and will, fairly or unfairly, be regarded in a very negative light by these events. At a minimum, she will be seen as a troublemaker and not someone any artisitic director wants to deal with.

That is very harsh: I have never seen her dance so can only go by the opinions of those that have and she is much admired I believe. Unless it can be proved she was involved she should not be blamed for the misguided actions of her besotted boyfriend.

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And whether or not he actually told her she was fat might be a matter of hearsay or selective interpretation. IMO anyway.

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With Vorontsova instead of telling her she was fat she could have told her she needed additional coaching.

That's exactly what he did. And then Tsiskaridze began to complain that Filin was trying to take away his pupils.

Obviously a phrase along the lines of "take a look in the mirror and ask yourself whether you see a Swan Queen" could be interpreted in a number of ways, but it doesn't appear that Filin explicitly accused her of being overweight. Marina Kondratieva did say explicitly that Vorontsova had become too heavy, but she's not the one to end up with acid in her face.

Personally, I have little sympathy for a 21-year-old dancer who whines "You have no idea how long I’ve been asking to dance Swan Lake, and they refuse."

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I am NOT condoning any kind of acid attack on anyone, but perhaps when Filin resumes the helm of the Bolshoi he ought to also re-evaluate his own management strategies. It's not easy dealing with 200 very ambitious egos I'm sure, but it also seems like his style of management escalated, rather than de-escalated conflict. With Vorontsova instead of telling her she was fat she could have told her she needed additional coaching. Or (and this is something Balanchine used to do when a dancer insisted on a role) he could have given her one token performance and seen whether or not it was a success.

He did apparently tell her that she needed additional coaching, although there is debate as to how that was taken--her camp saying she was being punished for sticking with Tsiskardize. His camp saying she needed female coaching in addition.

I am also not clear that there is any real evidence he really did say she was too fat, or if this is conjecture (I know it has been said, but is it fact that Filin said it to her...or is this other people justifying after the fact).

Furthermore I don't see that it is good management to give in to what was clearly a demand for a role by a 20/21 year old dancer that you haven't deemed ready for the role. That is not how it generally works in any company. He has a lot of dancers to cast, as you note, and to give her the role would mean not giving it to someone else...someone he did think was deserving of it at this time. She is still young and does have time.

She also has made choices, whether or not they should hurt her or not are debatable, but linking herself to a coach who consistently and openly delights in antagonizes the management and seems to be using her as a pawn in this can really not endear her to management. That may not be fair but I don't see that it is surprising.

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[Personally, I have little sympathy for a 21-year-old dancer who whines "You have no idea how long I’ve been asking to dance Swan Lake, and they refuse."

Bingo. Pride and self esteem are wonderful attributes, but hubris can backfire, and it sure did here. I'm not sure whether she was sophisticated enough to realize that her affiliation with NT was a bad idea from the outset.

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Whether or not Vorontsova or her boyfriend were justified in being angry at Filin is irrelevant to what happened. Violence is never the answer. Not only is it completely unacceptable as a way of resolving conflict, but it also is a career-ender once its perpetrators are discovered.

I keep thinking of Suzanne Farrell's anger that Balanchine would not give her husband roles she thought he deserved. Their response was to resign from the company and perform elsewhere. Whether or not her anger was justified is not relevant. Her response was appropriate in this kind of situation.

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She also has made choices, whether or not they should hurt her or not are debatable, but linking herself to a coach who consistently and openly delights in antagonizes the management and seems to be using her as a pawn in this can really not endear her to management. That may not be fair but I don't see that it is surprising.

She has 'linked' herself to Tsiskaridze because he has a reputation as an outstanding teacher, inspirational in fact. Having sat in on one of his classes I can attest to the fact that he stretches the dancers and enthuses them at the same time. Persecuting this fine teacher and his pupils will do the company more harm than good in the long run.

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ITA about the likely downhill path of Vorontsova's career henceforth, as she was truly a gifted choryphee/1st-step soloist.

In checking my May 2012 Kennedy Center Coppelia playbills, I find it a tad ironic that she was cast in a very nice divertissement solo on opening night ("Work"), with Sergei Filin's wife, Maria Prorvich, as one of the four corps ladies behind her. By the way, isn't it telling that Filin never used his power to unjustifiably promote his own wife?

It's also telling that, in a company so huge with MANY young female dancers with the ability to dance solos, Sergei Filin selected Vorontsova for several meaty solos on a high-profile tour of the USA. If he had somethng against her coaching with Tsiskaridze, he could have gone to any of 20 or 30 other gifted corps ladies when casting the roles. I also understand that Filin cast Vorontsova in the Swan Lake Pas de Trois on the same USA tour. Being coached by Tsiskaridze did not hurt there.

My guess is that she simply wanted more, faster. (Maybe she should have joined the Mariinsky? Ah..but her legs aren't long enough.) We're living in the era of Instant Gratification and this sort of thing happens in all walks of life - "promote me one month after graduation from college...then once every six months after that!" I'm shedding no tears for such spoiled arrogants.

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. By the way, isn't it telling that Filin never used his power to unjustifiably promote his own wife?

Good point, Natalia. (A lot more than we can say for Peter Martins, who elevated his son Nilas to principal at NYCB although he was undeserving.)

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I think it's worth remembering that Filin promoted Vorontsova out of the corps de ballet in May 2012 and that he promoted Dmitrichenko twice, to first soloist in January 2012 and to leading soloist in December 2012.

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She also has made choices, whether or not they should hurt her or not are debatable, but linking herself to a coach who consistently and openly delights in antagonizes the management and seems to be using her as a pawn in this can really not endear her to management. That may not be fair but I don't see that it is surprising.

She has 'linked' herself to Tsiskaridze because he has a reputation as an outstanding teacher, inspirational in fact. I was told by an official at the Bolshoi school that part of his popularity is due to the fact he incorporates some of the methods he observed in Paris, having sat in on one of his classes I can attest to the fact that he stretches the dancers and enthuses them at the same time. Persecuting this fine teacher and his pupils will do the company more harm than good in the long run.

All I said is that it can't endear her to them. Especially when they are demanding (in their own words!) leading roles for her.

As Natalia has pointed out it doesn't seem that up to this point she has been persecuted. In fact she has been given quite nice roles if not the starring roles she wanted. But quite on the level for a talented dancer of her age in this company at this point in time.

Except from within her camp, and in the fact Filin did not accede to their demands and give her O-O now, I fail to see how her career has been thwarted up to this point, when she has been given decent roles and is only 21. As others said previously, if she really thinks she deserves better roles at this moment perhaps she needs to go elsewhere as many people, in many companies have been forced to do. Or she could have a bit of patience.

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I find it laughable that Dmitrichenko may be seeking an out based on the argument that he merely contacted the thugs who carried this out in order to frighten Flin, and that that he never intended that they physically harm/mame/blind the guy. Give me a break. Once you set the wheels in motion, you are part of the conspiracy and crime whether or not you gave specific instructions on how to carry it out.

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Doggone it, this would make one heck of a great book and/or movie! Whatever is done, please don't call it Black Swan II.

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I find it laughable that Dmitrichenko may be seeking an out based on the argument that he merely contacted the thugs who carried this out in order to frighten Flin, and that that he never intended that they physically harm/mame/blind the guy. Give me a break. Once you set the wheels in motion, you are part of the conspiracy and crime whether or not you gave specific instructions on how to carry it out.

ITA! So was the acid supposed to be a little body splash, not intended to hurt? This is ridiculous.

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I think it's worth remembering that Filin promoted Vorontsova out of the corps de ballet in May 2012 and that he promoted Dmitrichenko twice, to first soloist in January 2012 and to leading soloist in December 2012.

Put like that, there isn't any real motive for the attack. Perhaps it's all a frame up.

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"Filin's lawyer and wife, however, both cautioned that the ballerina is unlikely to have been the only cause of the conflict. "Sergei thinks the motives of the crime are somewhat different," Filin's wife, Maria Prorvich, was quoted as saying in an interview to the newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda. "The girl is only a pretext, but certainly not the main cause of the crime." She said Filin had suspected Dmitrichenko's involvement in the attack, but is certain that the circle goes beyond the three men arrested on Tuesday."

[http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2013/03/06/ballet-star-acid-attack/1969643/]

Dmitrichenko admitted telling someone that Filin was in his way home, but did not order the attack. Who then, with what motive, ordered the attack?

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