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Gergiev wants to replace Asylmuratova with ...Kolpakova?

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#16 Catherine


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Posted 28 October 2013 - 12:51 AM

This is the latest update (article dated Oct 28) which states --I believe legally and correctly -- that Gergiev does not have the right to hire/fire within the Vaganova Academy.




Interfax, with a link from Gergiev's press secretary, stated that Maestro is not carrying out any discussions regarding appointing a new *rector* of the Academy. (But note: the previous articles spoke not of Dorofeeva's position but of Altynai's as AD).

And that Gergiev is at present time not in NYC but in Vienna for the second day of orchestral concerts. The press sec added that he doesn't have the right to address hiring issues that are under the purview the Ministry of Culture. And that the issue of appointing a director of the Academy can ONLY be managed by the Ministry of Culture, and therefore the comments/articles that Maestro was holding discussions to this effect was just a fantasy.



If *that* article is true then there's a lot of speculation in the press going around.

#17 Catherine


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Posted 28 October 2013 - 12:59 AM

Even if they were to change Asylmuratova, the teachers within the Academy would remain and they are, as a collective, the ones responsible for training and continuing the style.


Not that the person at the top does not have influence, but they also have administrative duties; all of the history and style does not rest on Asylmuratova's shoulders, nor should it rest on hers or any single person. Seems a bit of a cop out to me for Gergiev to say he is dissatisfied with the company and put it all on the Academy - especially when it is widely commented that many are unhappy with the *acting* Artistic Director of the MT (which is another topic that has been debated a lot on here and elsewhere, I realize, so I won't beat the dead horse, as it were).


All of this is a bit bizarre, to say the least.

Just a side note, Elena, I am not sure that is 100% true. The AD and rector can hire/fire pedagogues. It is quite possible that if one of their positions were replaced, that the staff of the Academy would in turn change. It is not a fact that all pedagogues would remain. That too becomes a political issue, as to who prefers which teachers or teaching methods. The competition for pedagogical positions at the Academy is very fierce as they are highly coveted and well paid. It would not be difficult to dismiss older (or younger) teachers based on personal preference.


Anyway about being a cop out = yes... and bizarre, very much so.

#18 Catherine


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Posted 28 October 2013 - 01:04 AM

The Vaganova School has produced many beautifully trained dancers over the last decade. If there's any aesthetic basis to Gergiev's power play -- talk about political -- it could be that the school has not produced enough contortionists. Kolpakova certainly wouldn't be more successful in this area. She would understand the coaching and training necessary to dance the rep into which the Bolshoi and Mariinsky have been trending.

Plenty of musicians, teachers, dancers, and figure skating coaches went abroad in the early '90's, and many were politically connected to the Soviet system. Many have returned, some to great resentment that they are not flogged publicly for leaving, but to target Kolpakova would mean targeting many who've been welcomed back by the public. (Alexei Yagudin, who wore a Canada team jacket as a spectator at the SLC Olympics, draws crowds whenever he appears, replaced hip and all.) Kolpakova would face similar resentment within the School; however, part of Gergiev's strategy might be to clean house, which would solve that issue.

Also, if Kolpakova has a fully oufitted free apartment in St. Petersburg, and got to pocket any cash she made, however low the salary, moving to NYC on salary for ABT in what is one of the most expensive cities in the world (then and now) far from family and friends in a place where ballet isn't nearly as respected, where there isn't fully subsidized institutional training, where she had to work in another language, and where she went from being a household name and cultural hero to being known and respected in a very small niche, is not exactly living high on the hog.

A great opportunity that she's made the most of, surely.


I don't think that Kolpakova's move to the West diminished her name per se, at least not anymore than it has diminished other former ballerinas or male dancers who move West to teach/coach or open schools. People in the ballet world know who she is, regardless of where she's located. Also there is no fully subsidized institutional training in Russia anymore if you are speaking of government subsidies. Neither the MT nor the Vaganova Academy are funded fully by the government, and that is as of years ago. They depend highly on private donors or corporate sponsorships, just as ABT or NYCB or SFB do. The difference is there is *some* government support, unlike in the USA.

Further, we do not know the terms of her agreement with ABT, the salary, the package offered. But I am 100% sure it is financially more beneficial than staying in Russia would have been.

#19 Catherine


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Posted 28 October 2013 - 03:13 AM

Aaaand the latest news that Tsiskaridze and Lopatkina will be running the Vaganova Academy:



#20 Catherine


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Posted 28 October 2013 - 03:25 AM

Further confirmation with nice photos:



#21 Natalia


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Posted 28 October 2013 - 04:02 AM

She already has a fully outfitted apartment in Saint Petersburg that is hers, given to her in return for her service to the KGB an to the Communist Party and it is in very nice condition, well decorated. So she can stay for free, no rent, no mortgage payments. I do not know if she rents or owns in NYC/DC.


If you dont have to pay for rent/mortgage and your entire salary is pocketed...that's a lot of free cash to have each month.


Catherine - crisis averted! It appears that Lopatkina & Tsiskaridze have just been appointed A.D. and Principal of the ARB, as per Russian news outlets this morn. Kolpakova can continue to enjoy her free luxurious apartment whenever she visits her home, ONLY visiting old friends and enjoying ballet performances. :)


Next question:  I wonder if Lopatkina really wants this...or if this is a gracious way of pushing her out of the dancing roster? This may have been a big surprise to her, not just to us. 

#22 Helene



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Posted 28 October 2013 - 01:22 PM

To answer the question in the title, no, but she seems to be in the plans for a different role.

The news has been posted in the "Ballet News" forum. Please continue the discussion there:

I'm closing this thread so that there's one place to discuss this.

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