PetitDi

Tsis­karidze & Lopatk­ina at the Vag­an­ova Bal­let Academy

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The hallways in Vaganova Academy are highly waxed wooden floors although I have noticed in photos that they have now laid some area rugs. Wax gets on the ballet slippers, pointe shoes and street shoes making the new marley/limoleum floors and wooden floors (if there are any left) very, very slippery. It can be quite dangerous. Marley/linoleum floors and street shoes are not made for one another when it comes to dance. When I was in Vaganova Academy, almost 20 years ago, Belsky/Nadirov/Dorofeeva were at the helm, as is the Russian custom, one wore different shoes inside than outside. One carried a pair of slippers for inside wear. In the case of the students, they wore slippers as well in the hallways. This is only an old/new rule. All dancers must learn that wax and ballet slipper or pointe shoes are not a good combination.

It is good to read that the students are required to go to their academic classes now, as this was not the case in my two years studying in the school. While I am not a support of Mr. Tsiskaridze overall for Vaganova Academy, these changes have their merit.

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I am reviving this thread because Ismene Brown translated an article on Nov.20 regarding the permanent position of Rector at the Vaganova Academy:

http://www.ismeneb.com/Blog/Entries/2014/11/20_Vaganova_Academy_rewrites_criteria_to_suit_Tsiskaridze_alone.html

...the Minister of Culture recommended that Russia's top ballet school redefine qualifications for the Rector so as to exclude many academic degrees but to let in a jurisprudence one - which handily Tsiskaridze had just taken a masters in Moscow.

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Thanks for posting this: I must have missed a tweet.

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A JD? To run the Vaganova Academy?

Life does tend to teach you things when you're ready to learn them, whatever the situation, but somehow this seems like a stretch to me.

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It's writing a job description to retroactively justify the choice or writing one fro which only the person you want to hire qualifies.

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Sounds like they took a page out of the Infosys HR manual on hiring. I do like the 5 year contracts for teachers, so I'll give Mr. Tsiskaridze positive credit for that. I hope he's happy to stay at the Vagonova Academy for a while, maybe he will mellow a bit. I think his only chance at the Mariinsky would be if Gergiev gives up his position. I doubt two big personalities would work at the Mariinsky, which is why Yuri Fateyev has kept his position.

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'The rector of the ballet academy must be a lawyer' - that seems to imply that the Vaganova will be fighting in the courts for some time. ;)

But I agree that the job description was simply re-written to describe Mr. Tsiskaridze as closely as possible.

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Sounds like they took a page out of the Infosys HR manual on hiring. I do like the 5 year contracts for teachers, so I'll give Mr. Tsiskaridze positive credit for that. I hope he's happy to stay at the Vagonova Academy for a while, maybe he will mellow a bit. I think his only chance at the Mariinsky would be if Gergiev gives up his position. I doubt two big personalities would work at the Mariinsky, which is why Yuri Fateyev has kept his position.

I could be wrong, but if they butt heads I peg Gergiev as the winner. Gergiev is a famous international conductor. He regularly conducts at the Met and has an appointment in London (and too many others to name). Tsiskaridze is known mainly in Russia and to international balletomanes. I know he is a schemer but not very subtle. I think Gergiev even more shrewd, politically connected and practically untouchable. Yet Gergiev thinks little of ballet so it's not as though his presence is enhancing either the Vaganova or the MT. I think it's more likely that Filin will be replaced (there has already been a rumor someone was offered the Bolshoi AD job), maybe by Tsiskaridze. All I know is I bet Ratmansky is very glad he isn't in Russia now.

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Urin attempted to squash the rumor by addressing it directly, a rarity there, but he did say he'd give Filin notice a year before his contract is up (2016) about whether it would be renewed.

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There seem to be fewer students than I would have imagined... and I'm surprised by the mukluks... 

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The "mukluks" in the photo are worn by a student who is not in uniform therefore I assume she is injured. They were wearing these booties when I was in Russia. I assumed the Russians started the fashion. I can tell you, it is cold enough.

Another reason for the booties is it is customary in Russia to change your street shoes when walking into a building. No one is allowed to walk in Vaganova Academy with the same shoes one wears on the street. It is customary to change your shoes and leave them in the cloakroom. It is also not allowed to walk the hallways in your ballet slippers. These booties are a most perfect solution!

As for the small numbers in class, "eta normalna". The class size in upper levels is rarely more than 10-12.  Remember there are 2 levels of ladies and gentlemen in the intermediate and upper levels, while the lower 3 levels have 3 classes each with 12-15 in each class.

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