PetitDi

Tsis­karidze & Lopatk­ina at the Vag­an­ova Bal­let Academy

213 posts in this topic

(Oh - I meant the MT2. Someone called it Costco bc it resembles the square-box form of Costco...)

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Lord, at this point, I suppose sky is the limit. I want to say, "it would depend on the legal situation" but apparently nothing is based on that here anymore. In the article they note that the audit also involves "educational" processes. How can the Ministry of Culture audit the way a 275 year old ballet academy teaches its own students, I'd like to know?

Financial audits are obviously more black-and-white. If they find missing funds, yes, I'm sure someone will be charged. Then the irony is why aren't people responsible for building billion dollar Costco theatres also being audited? ahem. We'd have a quick list of jail applicants in that case...

The fact that none of the rectors were given employment contracts however, is a reflection on the MINISTRY and not on the administration of the Academy. So I honestly do not know what they plan to "find" in this audit.

Between that and the "idea to unify" the schools, I....have no more words.

1. How does a lack of employment contract lead to the conclusion that one may not find anything in a financial audit? Even if a contract were determinative of a specific issue related to employment, a range of issues would still be subject to audit related to the contract, and a larger range of issues would be subject to audit unrelated to the contract, unless the audit were limited in scope.

2. Financial audits are not necessarily black and white. Accountants make projections and assumptions that are subjective. Methods of accounting are also subject to the accountant's judgment, within a range of standards.

3. If AA ran the educational docket and DV ran the budget, then why would AA have to run away, Birdsall? Also, what about DV?

4. Why the pressing agenda to unify the schools and the theatres? Is it for greater access to larger budgets and greater power over more supplicants? Or to standardize outputs? Or both?

5. Why do London, NY, and other orchestras need Gergiev?

6. Is the word audit used in a nonfinancial setting in Russia, to mean an internal investigation of other behaviors?

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(Oh - I meant the MT2. Someone called it Costco bc it resembles the square-box form of Costco...)

You were not referring to the Bolshoi reno, too?

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(Oh - I meant the MT2. Someone called it Costco bc it resembles the square-box form of Costco...)

You were not referring to the Bolshoi reno, too?

Personally I was not, no...I dont think the Bolshoi reno qualifies as costco bc at least there is form to the building...

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2. Financial audits are not necessarily black and white. Accountants make projections and assumptions that are subjective. Methods of accounting are also subject to the accountant's judgment, within a range of standards.

3. If AA ran the educational docket and DV ran the budget, then why would AA have to run away, Birdsall? Also, what about DV?

4. Why the pressing agenda to unify the schools and the theatres? Is it for greater access to larger budgets and greater power over more supplicants? Or to standardize outputs? Or both?

5. Why do London, NY, and other orchestras need Gergiev?

6. Is the word audit used in a nonfinancial setting in Russia, to mean an internal investigation of other behaviors?

6. Yes in this case that is how the article sounded.

5. They don't IMHO

4. Bc the Min of Culture is an idiot. But from a PRACTICAL standpoint the only reason i can think of is that it would give more "power" to whomever heads this new entity up. The money won't necessarily be larger...unless you consider one person ruling a $10 budget in city A, and one person ruling a $10 budget in city B, each only manage $10. But if the city structures are combined, and the budget is now $20, then one person gets to manage $20.... But I still dont see the economic advantage there bc the institutions must still be run in a functional manner (therefore said person cannot just pocket $20). So to answer your question - no one knows!

3. Will let birdsall answer.

2. Right but if the books do not add up, and money is missing, that's pretty black and white.

1. Lack of employment contracts have zero to do with a financial audit. But they have to do with an administrative audit. Why weren't the human resources files filled? The answer is bc the Min Culture did not provide the required documents. My point is - that is not the Academy's fault as far as I can tell. You can ask the MinCul for the documents. Whether they provide them or not is up to them...

Just to recap, the audit is all encompassing: administrative/financial/educational. Its not just financial.

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Assulmuratova doesn't have to "run away." The new overall director can choose his or her own Artistic Director.

Other symphonies don't "need" Gergiev any more tan the NY Phil needed Bernstein then or Gilbert now or Muti as a guest conductor anywhere. They want Gergiev and they've hired him. It's up to Gergiev to accept or reject ther offers and only limit outside engagements if he has contractual obligations to do so or of any of his employers find his work inadequate.

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[Admin beanie on]

General statements about individuals' or groups' corruption of must be backed up.

Please formulate questions carefully, as speculation in the form of questions will be removed.

[Admin beanie off]

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From Ismene Brown's latest blog entry are a series of articles and statements about Putin's decision to reject a plan to combine the Mariinsky Theatre, Vaganova Academy, the Russian Institute of Art History, and the St. Petersburg Conservatoire in to a single Cultural Arts Center.

According to Gergiev's statement, it wasn't his idea: he only wanted a closer relationship between the Vaganova Academy and the Mariinsky Ballet. However, he goes on at length to complain that Russian singers were shut out of the prizes at the Tchaikovsky Competition in voice, violins, and cellos and stated (emphasis mine),

We've reached a critical point. But the professors of our conservatoires still think our school is everything, while the world changed a while ago. Today in China, in South Korea, they're preparing specialists who can come and take not just two gold medals at the Tchaikovsky Competition but all four. As the competition's Organizing Committee Chairman, I can't even think about this happening. As long as I have the strength I want to do something about it.

If he's so concerned about Russians winning medals at his music competition -- as opposed to worrying about making great music -- you'd think he'd be focusing his energy on music education and not waste it on dance education, which doesn't need his help. The Vaganova Academy is producing more great graduates than the company can absorb, and the biggest criticism of the Mariinsky is how they are casting dancers who don't embody the Mariinsky ideals and ignoring those that do.

The Mariinsky Ballet has been the cash cow because what it offered traditionally is unique, and it is unique because of its school. There's almost always a lag between reputation and actual performance (in either direction), and the realization that the standards have dropped, particularly in featured casting, might take a while to affect box office and touring, but when it catches up with the company, it won't be because the world changed and the school didn't.

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Well I don't agree with everything Mrs. Kolpakova has to say, but she is correct that Tsiskaridze may be an excellent teacher for the boys.

Actually I think that is how he should have started at Vagonova - just as a boy's teacher. In 20 years he could have worked his way up to rector and everyone would have accepted it if he could prove over that time that he excels at teaching / managing children.

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Very tense moment between A. Asylmuratova and Tsiskaridze. The body language is very telling, and Asylmuratova looks like she's fighting back tears. I don't see them working together for long.

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Simon Morrison wrote an Op-Ed piece in today's NYT; from the article in today's Links, he contradicts other information reported earlier or emphasizes one aspect, not the complete story. He states,

According to a widely disseminated report by Kseniya Sobchak, Mr. Urin responded to the minister of culture’s suggestion that Mr. Tsiskaridze might return to the Bolshoi with the Russian equivalent of “over my dead body.”

but doesn't mention the farewell "Nutcracker" performances Urin tried to arrange, and Tsiskaridze rejected.

He also states, "To date, though, [Gergiev] has not expressed an interest in overseeing the operations of the Bolshoi. Should that happen, the historical loop, scandals and all, will be complete," when there were reports from Russia that Gergiev wanted exactly that, but that his proposal was rejected, and, as a result, he refused to take leadership at the Bolshoi and give up the Mariinsky.

I also think it's pat and dismissive to describe Dmitrichenko as "a mercurial soloist who harbored a grudge against Filin for failing to cast his ballerina girlfriend in choice roles," as if there weren't a number of other professional reasons for Dmitrichenko's anger, whether those reasons were justified or not.

A lot of people will read the NYT only and assume this is a complete picture of what's going on in Moscow.

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According to this Dance Blog post by Judith Mackrell in "The Guardian," from last Thursday's Links:

The Academy's artistic director Altynai Asylmuratova, whose role in the school has been uncertain over these last few weeks, has apparently resigned over news that her own post is to be merged with that of the rector. And while Tsiskaridze has yet to be officially elected, few doubt that he will be holding that new, enlarged post.

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What a soap-opera! (though playing with real people, whose fates are in the hands of those mainly interested in power and influence, not art)

When positions appear to be given almost purely according to politics, then those positions seem to become less important and also lose their seriousness, in my mind at least.

-d-

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Altynai Asylmuratova has gone to work at the Mikhailovsky, and now Zhanna Ayupova is leaving her teaching post at the Mikhailovsky to take over Asylmuratova's old job as the Vaganova Academy's artistic director.

http://izvestia.ru/news/562374

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There's an article about how Tsiskaridze is clamping down on discipline with the students:

http://lifenews.ru/mobile/news/125382

Among the tidbits:

Asylmuratova occasionally let students skip class if they had long rehearsals. This is now banned.

Also, apparently going to class in ballet shoes used to be allowed, now it's banned.

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It's going into ballet class wearing street shoes and walking down the hallways in ballet shoes that have been banned. According to the video, in the event of long rehearsals, pupils had sometimes been allowed to skip academic classes, but this is no longer the case. Everyone's got to go to physics class whether they're tired or not.

The whole piece seems to be about how good it is to have a man in charge and discipline restored.

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I don't see why walking down the hallway in ballet shoes is banned. I'd imagine that it's convenient for students to run from class to class in ballet shoes.

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I don't think it's an entirely off-the-wall idea. It would help keep the shoes cleaner and in good working order for longer. For all we know slipping on a pair of booties over top may be sufficient to satisfy the rule.

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It probably tracks dirt in to the studios and wrecks the floors. I don't know what they put on the sidewalks in Russia, but here a mixture of salt and sand would come in on the boots and then be tracked from the hallways into the studios via the ballet slippers... Such a rule does not seem odd.

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I just don't really like the tone of the article which seemed to imply that under Dorofeeva and Asylmuratova, kids were allowed to run wild and skip classes and now Tsiskaridze is putting the discipline back in the school. I doubt this was the case. What I do believe is that Asylmuratova was maybe more "student centered" in her approach. I don't see anything wrong with telling the kids it's okay to go home if they're very tired after a long rehearsal or performance or occasionally ignoring the shoes rule. Kids are kids.

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I agree with you Canbelto. However, I'm not surprised by the tone of this short article; it has the slight whiff of

misogyny lingering in it as well. I was expecting some kind of progress report. His P.R. machine never stops.

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