Alayna

Anatoly Iksanov fired?

49 posts in this topic

The handover looked very civilized.

http://izvestia.ru/news/553359

Mikhail Lavrovsky had some interesting things to say.

M. Lavrovsky is very diplomatic. A smart guy! He actually just said that Iksanov mis-managed the ballet stars and ADs, then the situation was getting messier and messier. As a "Old" Bolshoi Ballet guy, he should have known that there are some party lines among the dancers. This kind of things happened before, rooted deeply, that some dancers were given more opportunities on stage, records, and etc., while some dancers standing aside NOT because of their artistic quality. I. Vasiliev is not a typical Bolshoi classical dancer. After Ratmansky left, he might not feel contented to stay. When I. Vasiliev and N. Osipova saw more money and opportunities offered by others, they simply left.
A businesslike manner should also mean good practice to deal with dancers' parties. Good luck, Mr. Urin!
“I’m not planning any revolutions,” Urin, 66, said today during a briefing on national television with Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky and Iksanov. “It is very important that this transfer from one manager to another happens in a civilized arena, in a normal, calm and businesslike manner.”
By Ilya Arkhipov - Jul 9, 2013 6:01 AM PT

Share this post


Link to post

All things considered, Lavrovsky is being remarkably non-partisan. After all, it was his pupil Vladislav Lantratov who ended up as the opening-night Onegin opposite Olga Smirnova. As pleased as he must be with that outcome, his bigger-picture view is that something ought to have been done to accommodate Zakharova.

Share this post


Link to post

But what?

Reid Anderson had the authority to choose casts for "Onegin"; it's possible he had the authority to refuse to allow the Bolshoi to perform it. (I don't know what the contracts stated.) There are conflicting reports over whether this was 100% his decision to make, whether it was a joint decision between Anderson and Filin, or whether Filin was there to object if he felt there were grounds or extenuating circumstances. If Filin were to override Anderson, or Iksanov overrode Filin and Anderson, the consequences might be immediate, or Anderson might have agreed to this run, but that would be a big bridge to burn.

I'm not sure what the timeline was in terms of when Anderson made his decisions or what Zakharova knew when. There are the ballet equivalents of "I'm leaving to spend time with my family" to save face, and it's possible that Iksanov missed the opportunity to allow Zakharova to bow out gracefully with an injury that made rehearsing impossible, a mysterious illness, or schedule overload, etc. etc., but it isn't clear she wanted to, or that Anderson didn't made the decision too late for this to be effective, and Anderson's response was far more embarrassing, which is the risk she took when she left the production.

Was Iksanov supposed to lock her in his office? Offer her a dacha (carrot)? Threaten to break her ankle (stick)?

There are a number of articles in Izvetsia in which different theater managers are interviewed or asked for comment, something I can't imagine happening in the US, and there is one common criticism: Iksanov stayed out of artist management, and, as a result, he mismanaged the egos through neglect. His criticisms of Tsiskaridze were organization-based, and another point of consensus from managers and fellow artists like Korsakov is that Tsiskaridze is the equivalent of "too big to fail" and should be treated exceptionally.

Share this post


Link to post

For what it's worth, it's likely that Iksanov's dismissal had little to do with the Zakharova affair. Urin has said that he initially turned down the Bolshoi offer, but after thinking about it for a while, he decided to take it. That timeline is more in sync with the Tsisridze dismissal than the Zakharova walkout. A television report is claiming that the pressure to dismiss Iksanov came from Rostec (Russian Technologies State Corporation) president Sergei Chemezov, an admirer of Tsiskaridze and a political ally of Vladimir Putin.

The TV spot is here, but I'm afraid there are no subtitles or translation.

Share this post


Link to post

They all seem to be playing nicely in public and to the press:

http://translate.google.ca/translate?sl=ru&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&u=http%3A%2F%2Fizvestia.ru%2Fnews%2F553359

In the meantime, Vladimir Malakhov agreed that Tsiskaridze's dismissal was the "last straw," said Iksanov was a failure both at reconstructions and new ballets, and commented that he doesn't know Urin, but doesn't think he'll work out:

http://translate.google.ca/translate?sl=ru&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&u=http%3A%2F%2Fizvestia.ru%2Fnews%2F553351

People's Artist Alexander Belinsky, said he's had little interest in the Bolshoi since Vasiliev left and Maximova died, he only knew Iksanov when Iksanov was younger, and he didn't want to comment on what led up to the change, because the future is more important than the past (emphasis below mine):

I belong to Vladimir Urine is not just good, but enthusiastically. I know this man, I remember his dedication, and most importantly - its delicate taste. I think that soon he will change and principal conductor and artistic director of the ballet company. Recently, he successfully directed the theater of Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko, and now, I am sure his organizational talent is more than enough and the Grand Theatre.



http://translate.google.ca/translate?sl=ru&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&u=http%3A%2F%2Fizvestia.ru%2Fnews%2F553365

Share this post


Link to post

They all seem to be playing nicely in public and to the press:

http://translate.google.ca/translate?sl=ru&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&u=http%3A%2F%2Fizvestia.ru%2Fnews%2F553359

In the meantime, Vladimir Malakhov agreed that Tsiskaridze's dismissal was the "last straw," said Iksanov was a failure both at reconstructions and new ballets, and commented that he doesn't know Urin, but doesn't think he'll work out:

http://translate.google.ca/translate?sl=ru&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&u=http%3A%2F%2Fizvestia.ru%2Fnews%2F553351

Malahkov was/is one of my very favorite male dancers -- but I'm thinking he (like so many others in this mess) is not exactly disinterested.

I can't resist adding that neither of the two reconstructions that I saw during Iksanov's time (Corsaire or Coppelia) remotely seemed to me artistic failures, especially not the Coppelia which I would have described as an unequivocal success. (I don't know how these productions were received in Moscow though. The Coppelia was certainly well-received in London. And of course, I'm just a fan not a professional.)

And would not the "new ballets" that Malakhov is criticizing include the Ratmansky premiers? Including Bright Stream? Color me puzzled--or a person of very different taste than one of my favorite dancers...

[edited to add that clarifications about Malakhov translation below make the above comments besides the point: the translation was just mucked up...]

Share this post


Link to post

They all seem to be playing nicely in public and to the press:

http://translate.google.ca/translate?sl=ru&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&u=http%3A%2F%2Fizvestia.ru%2Fnews%2F553359

In the meantime, Vladimir Malakhov agreed that Tsiskaridze's dismissal was the "last straw," said Iksanov was a failure both at reconstructions and new ballets, and commented that he doesn't know Urin, but doesn't think he'll work out:

http://translate.google.ca/translate?sl=ru&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&u=http%3A%2F%2Fizvestia.ru%2Fnews%2F553351

No, no, Google is wrong. Malakhov said that he regarded the building of the new theater and the reconstruction of the old one to be successes. I don't know why the computer got it exactly backward.

Share this post


Link to post

It seemed really odd in the context of the paragraph. I also misunderstood that he was talking about only the buildings, not the ballets themselves.

Share this post


Link to post

Urin is such an unfortunate name, can't they come up with a better translation? Like Yourin or Uryn.

Share this post


Link to post

You could try spelling it the French way, Ourine, but that isn't necessarily much better. Or maybe Ooreen, though every linguist would cringe at that transliteration.

Share this post


Link to post

Volcanohunter: Thank you very much for clarifications about translation....

Share this post


Link to post
Malahkov was/is one of my very favorite male dancers -- but I'm thinking he (like so many others in this mess) is not exactly disinterested.

Well the Stanik position of CEO is now open....who will get it? I don't think it's Malahkov's cup of tea, but I do see a pattern here that Tsiskaridze should heed: people are getting hired with past experience in the same type of position. So if there is a new AD soon, I anticipate it will be a hire of an AD from another regional or municipal company. Whoever it is - *that hire* will create an AD spot at the regional or municipal level - and Tsiskaridze may fill it. (Sort of a Tetris pattern of hiring)

Share this post


Link to post

Didn't Tsiskaridze already reject the idea of cutting his management teeth in a regional house?

Share this post


Link to post

yes, I recall that he did. But cooler tempers may prevail upon him after the new AD for the Bolshoi is named (assuming that Sergei Filin takes a medical retirement and Galina Stepanenko is not offered the permanent AD position).

Share this post


Link to post

Urin pronounced 'ou Reen ya. At least that is how I heard it on the ru news.

Share this post


Link to post

The stressed "U" in the name of the new Director is pronounced as the short "u" in "bull",

and "i" is short, like in "pin".

Therefore, Oorin could be a right transcription.

Share this post


Link to post

What a horrible way for Vladimir Urin to have to begin his tenure.

New tragedy for Bolshoi as violinist dies in orchestra fall
http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5g-fgZ9vbKlVpF5wXhKVQtYHMgTxw?docId=CNG.136d93fdfc8c2c150da0132f0cc8012b.5f1

Apparently the pit floor of the newer theater had been raised to stage level, but a trapdoor was left open and unmarked, leading Sedov to fall about four meters to his death.

Share this post


Link to post

Mr. Urin sounds very impressive, and the word "transparency" in any project is music to my ears.

Share this post


Link to post

From an interview with Valery Gergiev published today:

- How would you assess the acoustics of the renovated historic building of the Bolshoi Theater?

- When we arrived there, they were always putting up microphones for us. For "Pell
éas et Mélisande" I asked that every last one of them be removed, because to sing Debussy into a microphone is a small crime. They then assured us that without amplification [singing] at the Bolshoi was inaudible. If microphones really are necessary, this is very bad. Perhaps the [technical] services have not had time to sort these things out, haven't checked the acoustics.

http://izvestia.ru/news/554321

When the Bolshoi re-opened, this appeared in one of the wire stories:

Iksanov, in charge of the Bolshoi since 2000, says his building is now back among the world’s top 10 best acoustic stages, up from 55th position before the main stage reconstruction in 2005.
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-10-25/medvedev-hosts-bolshoi-gala-after-scandal-on-680-million-refit.html

Apart from the matter of whether such an acoustical ranking even exists, the question still remains, was Iksanov lying? Was he speaking from a position of ignorance? Or is Gergiev up to some mischief? Is he still smarting from being denied the position of Grand Czar of All the Russian Opera Houses? Is he trying to deflect some of the criticism directed at Mariinsky-2?

Share this post


Link to post

Mr Iksanov was an administrator, not a music, dance or acoustic expert. I suspect he made the statement based on what his staff told him. As for Mr Gergiev, everything he says is based on his experience, but why is he choosing to say it to the media?

Share this post


Link to post

Regardless, if the Bolshoi has been forced to resort to microphones after the renovation, it's a tragedy, and whoever was responsible for monitoring the acoustics should answer for it. We can only hope that the situation can still be rectified.

Share this post


Link to post

Aside from during spoken dialogu, where the score calls for it (contemporary scores), or where the staging calls for it (example, a booming offstage Faffner), needing to mike means the acoustics are substandard for opera, oratorios, voacl recitals, classical pieces with vocalists, etc.

Share this post


Link to post

According to Ismene Brown's tweet from yesterday:

Ex Bolshoi boss Iksanov apptd head of Russia's equivalent to UNESCO, cooperatn in culture, educ, human rights over former Soviet republics.

Share this post


Link to post