Tsiskaridze & Lopatkina at the Vaganova Ballet Academy
Posted 13 November 2013 - 10:01 AM
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.
Posted 13 November 2013 - 10:04 AM
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]
Posted 20 November 2013 - 10:18 PM
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.
Posted 21 November 2013 - 07:44 PM
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.
Posted 22 November 2013 - 10:36 AM
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.
Posted 25 November 2013 - 12:58 PM
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.
Posted 26 November 2013 - 11:09 PM
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.
Posted 27 November 2013 - 03:25 AM
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.
Posted 14 January 2014 - 04:32 PM
There's an article about how Tsiskaridze is clamping down on discipline with the students:
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.
Posted 14 January 2014 - 04:46 PM
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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