Helene, on 12 February 2013 - 11:20 AM, said:
It wasn't a public petition like when a full-page newspaper ad in the New York Times advocating the release of a political prisoner and signed by Nobel laureates is published. It was an under-handed coup attempt when, as a man with a TV pulpit and who's the go-to guy for a pithy quote, his attempts at persuasion failed, and he obtained signatures by misrepresenting the situation to fellow artists. It was never meant to go public: it was leaked to the press.
Lawlessness breeds lawlessness, and step one is to try to establish illegitimacy. That he's been agitating relentlessly within the company is no secret. It's no surprise that, while the translation of Tsiskaridze's literal words were that if Iksanov were Orthodox, he'd understand Tsiskaridze's relationship to Yanin, does anyone really think he wasn't also saying "He's not one of us"? He's the self-proclaimed "preserver of ballet orthodoxy," which is funny when you think about it, with the Bolshoi rep having works like "Spartacus" and "Carmen" so affiliated with the company. You'd think from his words that he was chaneling Petipa, not Grigorovich.
Again, I don't condone NT's alleged misconduct, such as his improper petition (see above), which Helen outlines (see above), but that does not make his separate, proper objections and refusal to lie about colleagues wrongful, or render them the cause of the general lawless behavior described in the theatre (involving many people, described above), nor does it give rise to evidence of his own guilt in a physical attack. All exp
ression of disagreement or refusal to go along with abuse does not make one a contributor to "incivility" leading to violence.
"In response three days later Nikolay Tsiskaridze appeared on the BBC with his share of accusations, accusing the Bolshoi leadership of being totalitarian. 'It's like 1937, the days of Stalin – they're constantly organizing meetings against me, they're trying to force staff to sign letters condemning me.'
Anastasia Volochkova, who was Bolshoi prima ballerina until she was sensationally sacked in 2003, took Tsiskaridze’s side. 'You absolutely cannot call it an artistic conflict, when a leadership of a theater organizes the collecting of signatures against artists, who suddenly became unwanted. That’s what Iksanov is now doing to Nikolay Tziskaridze, who has turned into an obstacle. Ten years ago Iksanov was scheming the same way against me,'
Volochkova wrote in her blog on January 22."
Writers above suggest that ballet dancers should be mute, not just for political reasons (which admittedly may benefit them), but to avoid generating an atmosphere of "lawlessness". Does the theatre have a mechanism to deal with problems? If it does not, would you be able to mute if ethnic groups, political groups, or artistic dissenters were disallowed or marginalized? If ones who did not submit to sexual harrassment were forced out or defamed? If you were attacked or blacklisted for supporting the victims? I am sure many find the safest route to keep their heads down and say nothing, but consequences arise from this, as well.
In sum, I am asking if he had not lied to obtain petitions, and had not objected to Iksanov for ethnic reasons, would you consider his public commentary about the reconstruction, his refusal to criticize and blacklist disfavored dancers and teachers, or his objection to signings letters directed against them, to be improper or a cause of lawlessness, giving rise to hacking and acid attacks? Would your answer be different based on the culture in the U.S. and the former Soviet Union?