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Sergei Filin Attacked


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#316 Mashinka

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 06:59 AM

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.

#317 Natalia

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 06:59 AM

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.

#318 abatt

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 07:05 AM

. 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.)

#319 volcanohunter

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 07:12 AM

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.

#320 aurora

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 07:12 AM


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.

#321 abatt

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 07:22 AM

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.

#322 Natalia

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 07:24 AM

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.

#323 Natalia

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 07:26 AM

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.

#324 Mashinka

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 07:26 AM

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.

#325 Amy Reusch

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 07:28 AM

"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....ttack/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?


#326 Natalia

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 07:39 AM

Bingo, Amy. Unless she is an unusually pushy whiner, Vorontsova's career desires make no sense as a real motive. Something bigger was afoot.

Dmitrichenko may have been paid-off ("You'll go to jail but your family will be financially set for life..." or something to that effect) by a bigger force.

#327 Mme. Hermine

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 07:42 AM


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.


Or, as it seemed to me when I read the different statements, like somebody was being greedy. Given of course that I'm only going by what I read.

#328 Drew

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 07:47 AM


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,


I agree that that's what Taranda meant, but there is still doubt about Filin's recovery and forgive me, you can't really think that "poor vision" (as in, partial blindness) isn't a terrible thing to suffer from in life or that people who suffer a traumatic physical attack don't suffer from it in more numinous ways for the rest of their lives. And Taranda should know that as well. (There is much testimony on the last point.) It's also premature to say what will happen to Tsiskaridze's reputation because the full story of the crime itself is still not known....though I agree it may not recover. The wounds to his reputation for wisdom or tact at a moment of crisis (I'm thinking of his earliest remarks when the attack took place) are partly self inflicted.



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.


Or, as it seemed to me when I read the different statements, like somebody was being greedy. Given of course that I'm only going by what I read.


It may be she was just naive and the people around her crazy. Obviously, if Dmitrichenko did this--as it appears he did--then he is not given to the most rational analysis of events.

#329 Helene

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 09:05 AM

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.


It depends where and when in the US, where there is and has been common-law marriage with the legal rights and restrictions of marriage. A "marriage-like" relationship for one year is considered the basis for a family sponsorship for Permanent Residency in Canada. The difference is in the way the press states it. Even in places with common-law marriage, in a non-City Hall registered marriage the person is more oftened described as someone's "partner" than wife, whereas in Russia, it serms, the press refers to a live-in partner as a "husband" or "wife."

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.

There was hardly "no doubt" when he made his statement, and how big of him to decide the relative fall-out, especially when Tsiskaridze had already escewed the high road in his initial statements about how this was a love affair or business deal outside the theater and, as it turns out, it was in his own backyard, or at least part of it was. Even after his own conflicts with Filin and Bolshoi management made him a suspect -- not just his criticism but his methods -- and even after saying that he didn't think Dmitrienko was capable of the attack, he still threw him under the bus by talking about how Dmitrienko had conflicts with Filin "that everyone knew about" over grant money and how Filin distributed it. What a guy to be defending.

Filin has been damaged permanently physically, his vision has been stolen, and he and his family have been traumatized, and Taranda thinks that Tsiskaridze's mostly self-inflicted damage to his reputation is somehow worse? Unlike most people, Tsiskaridze had a very public pulpit from which to do damage control: first by expressing his sympathy for the attack and decrying it, second by not speculating in ways that made it sound like the attack was caused by tawdry deeds outside the theater, and by using media to say, "I'm, like everyone else who had conflicts with Filin, being interviewed by the police, and I'm certain I will be cleared soon," even if he added that he thinks Filin is a horrible manager.


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.

If he's known more for his conflicts than his dancing, then that is his own doing. At this point, it's impossible to separate the damage he's inflicted on himself before and after he was suspected in any way -- Filin himself said early on that he didn't suspect Tsiskaridze -- and how much being suspected hurt his reputation. Perhaps it was not a good strategy for Tsiskaridze himself to say it hurts him more than Filin.

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 ever emerge.

In my opinion, Taranda's opinion speaks more about Taranda than Tsiskaridze, and Filin, by stating that he's sure there is more behind this than the three in custody, is trying to ensure that the backstory comes out.

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.

Conflict is a given in his line of work: there are more dancers, designers, conductors, and coaches than opportunities. What happened to him was criminal, and to change in light of a criminal attack -- an exception -- is a questionable strategy.


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.

Except for second part of the story, which is that Dmitricheno didn't think it was enough, just like Vorontsova didn't think it was enough, so the motive is still there, even if it is a frame-up or Dmitichenko was involved but is taking the fall for others as well. Dmitrichenko was also quoted as complaining about salaries at the company, which is presumably why he was managing a dacha village outside Moscow, and wilth bigger promotions come bigger pay and sometimes (bigger) guesting opportunities. None of the articles said that Filin had rejected Dmitrichenko's grant proposals, only that they has fought about grants, but if that were so, it would be another financial motive.

As far as Vorontsova or her entourage thinking she is being held behind, she's probably not only looking at the Somovas and Smirnovas and their careers, but also the trajectory of Osipova's. (It was Burlaka, not Filin, who insisted that Osipova break her ABT guest contract to join the company in DC for "Le Corsaire.") Osipova was offered money and apartments and great flexibilty in her contract by Kekhman, and she is back to guesting at the Bolshoi. What uber-talented 21-year-old who was sponsored at 16 to go to one of the most pretigious schools in the country by a former star and company director, was asked to join the Bolshoi, is the girlfriend of a rising dancer from a dance family, is coached by one of the most famous and self-promoting dancers around, and has been told and shown how wonderful she is and how she is being robbed of her due opportunities by coach and boyfriend wouldn't want to go as fast as possible up the food chain and think she deserves it? Most of the ones who haven't have loyalty to the institutions or get their dancing identities from them or put their careers into the hands of a creative genius like Balanchine despite other offers and possibilities.

#330 Amy Reusch

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 09:42 AM

he was managing a dacha village outside Moscow


Dmitrichenko is involved in real estate business circles? I smell the trail of the syndicate. They've seemed to be involved from the beginning (attack seems so professional hit-man)... but exactly how they were involved seemed rather vague... this is still vague, but another thread.


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