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Bolshoi sacks Tsiskaridze


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#16 Jayne

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 11:42 AM


In an American co. when a dancer's contract is up it is up. If either the dancer or the co. chose not to renew it that is the end of it. (Despite public outcry. See NYCB, MCB, Cunningham) Does anyone know if this is different at the Bolshoi?

The times when it's not he end of it is when a dancer decides to sue, which is expected in this case, since Tsiskaridze has another lawsuit against mangement. If he wins that suit, it most likely add strength to claims of wrongful termination, or whatever the principle is.

Suing will not hurt his career. I'm sure there are plenty of companies with whom he could guest or even join and projects he in which he could paricipate or produce.

ITA. He will sue just as Anastacia Volochkova sued (and won) in the Russian courts. Agreed that the lawsuits will get him plenty of PR, which will up his appearance fees to appear at other Russian companies (Kazan, etc) and around the world (ENB is big on stunt casting, and the Japanese love the name-brand Russian-trained dancers). Indeed he'll probably make far more money in the next 2-3 years while the labor dispute winds through the courts, and dance more often, in more interesting places, than if he had stayed at the Bolshoi. Remember that the Bolshoi has started to restrict more dancers from guesting abroad, because Sergei Filin wants them to appear on their own refurbished stage.

I wonder what his sponsor - the billionaire (I've forgotten his name) - will do in reaction (besides pay for the lawyers)?

#17 canbelto

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 11:54 AM

Tsiskaridze recently danced Albrecht in Kazan with Anzhelina Vorontsova:



#18 volcanohunter

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 01:57 PM

They haven't terminated his contract: they've opted not to renew it. What contract or civil law has management broken?

I'm sure it will go to court, but under what principle would he win?


I have to plead complete ignorance of Russian labor law, but judging by the comment Tsiskaridze made in the linked television report, Bolshoi dancers have greater job security than their American counterparts. He states that as a full-time, salaried dancer, he cannot be dismissed unless he writes a letter of resignation, and since he has not done so, the theater has no grounds for dismissing him. I don't understand how the system works, but if you look at the roster of the Bolshoi's dancers, listed underneath the principals and soloists is a group of dancers identified as "working under contract." This implies that their status somehow differs from that of all the other dancers. Prior to this season all of them were included in the various soloist ranks. http://www.bolshoi.r...persons/ballet/ One of the charges made by Sergei Filin's detractors is that he "forced Andrei Uvarov to write a letter of resignation," which implies that if Filin wanted to put Uvarov out to pasture, it was not enough simply not to renew Uvarov's contract.

I am surprised by this turn of events. In that part of the world, it is not uncommon for opposition politicians to release information as a pre-emptive strike. They may say, "I am about to be arrested," or "Our party offices are about to be raided," or "Compromising information about me is going to be leaked to the press," in the hopes of preventing the authorities from doing so. Often times it works. The government backs off and says, "Oh no, we have no intention of doing such a thing. So-and-so is just being paranoid." I thought that Tsiskaridze spent the last number of months talking about the Bolshoi's attempts to get rid of him by not casting him and depriving him of students because he believed that the Bolshoi management would be loath to prove him right. I guess the management's dislike for Tsiskaridze outweighed the fact that a dismissal would give him the persecution card to play.

#19 puppytreats

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 02:52 PM

Today's NY Times states: "During an interview in February, Mr. Iksanov said he had no legal basis for dismissing Mr. Tsiskaridze and hoped that he would resign voluntarily. 'Our labor legislation is very humane,' he said. 'He has been on pension for more than a year. I cannot send him to retirement, because according to Russian legislation, it’s a lifetime contract. He can stay at the theater until he is 100.' Ms. Novikova declined on Sunday to comment on what had changed since then."

#20 trieste

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 02:52 PM

Yep, that's the only reason I'm at all surprised -- I figured it would have happened already if it was going to happen. And after the recent discussion on how it can be hard for dancers to move freely from company to company (Lunkina, and Dupont wanting to guest with ABT), I find it unlikely that he and his reputation for drama will draw many offers.

#21 Helene

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 03:11 PM

Polunin has a reputation for drama, and that hasn't destroyed his career. Tsiskaridze brings in revenue and lots of prewss coverage where he is cast.

If he has lifetime employment, does that mean the Bolshoi can pare his performances to a minimum and refuse to let him dance elsewhere, as long as they leave his name on the roster and continue to cut him his paychecks?

#22 volcanohunter

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 03:16 PM

Today's NY Times states: "During an interview in February, Mr. Iksanov said he had no legal basis for dismissing Mr. Tsiskaridze and hoped that he would resign voluntarily. 'Our labor legislation is very humane,' he said. 'He has been on pension for more than a year. I cannot send him to retirement, because according to Russian legislation, it’s a lifetime contract. He can stay at the theater until he is 100.' Ms. Novikova declined on Sunday to comment on what had changed since then."


Thank you. This explains Tsiskaridze's comment. What has changed, indeed? Unless the Bolshoi is going back to Tsiskaridze's accumulated reprimands as grounds for dismissal.

#23 Mme. Hermine

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 05:21 PM



#24 volcanohunter

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 06:30 PM

This report is a summary. The footage of Tsiskaridze speaking dates back to April when he went to court in an attempt to overturn the formal reprimands made against him by the Bolshoi. The report speculates that he could find himself in the same position as Anastasia Volochkova, formally employed by the Bolshoi Theater, but not likely to perform there again.

#25 Cygnet

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Posted 10 June 2013 - 06:25 AM

...Oh, I'm sure that this won't quiet NT.

"Keep your friends close - and your enemies closer." (Don Vito Corleone).
I'm ITA with you. Unfortunately, this isn't over yet; not by a long shot.

#26 Drew

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Posted 10 June 2013 - 06:56 AM

Sad all around, though possibly "necessary" at this point; that is, the situation with Tsiskaridze and the company had seemingly become untenable and clearly neither side had any interest in a peace initiative. His admirers and students in the company will be very upset to say the least. I wonder how much of a fuss they will kick up.

I don't care for the way Tsiskaridze has conducted himself in the wake of the Filin scandal and question some of his criticisms of Bolshoi leadership before Filin, but he is a major Bolshoi artist--so this can only be bad news even if it really has been become impossible for the company to keep him on. He is, too, the kind of dancer who really belongs at the Bolshoi and won't necessarily fit, as a dancer at least, in many other settings, though I don't doubt he will have many other opportunities.

#27 Mashinka

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Posted 10 June 2013 - 07:15 AM

He certainly fitted in at the Paris Opera Ballet.

Not blessed with diplomacy to be sure, but his whistle blowing exposed a great deal of the Bolshoi's ugly underbelly.

By the way the 'billionaire sponsor' is news to me.

#28 Helene

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Posted 10 June 2013 - 07:55 AM

Guesting isn't the same as fitting in, especially when you consider yourself in your 40's to be the world's greatest dancer.

Tsiskaridze has exposed his own ugly as well.

#29 Mashinka

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Posted 10 June 2013 - 08:03 AM

He loves to wind people up, haven't you realised that yet?

#30 volcanohunter

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Posted 10 June 2013 - 08:40 AM

By the way the 'billionaire sponsor' is news to me.


A few months ago a television program mentioned that Tsiskaridze's new apartment had been bought for him by a very wealthy admirer. The program is here, but unfortunately I'm no longer getting any audio, so I can't retrieve the oligarch's name. http://www.ntv.ru/pe...m29961/o169038/


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