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Joy Womack has left the Bolshoialleges corruption


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#16 Mme. Hermine

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 04:54 AM

Goodness



#17 Plisskin

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 05:17 AM

Also, according to this article,via Google Translate, I got that if it is his wish, Sergei Filin's lawyer doesn't rule out taking her to court over her allegations:

 

http://www.vesti.ru/...html?id=1153985

 

Can someone who understands Russian confirm? If that is true, yikes.



#18 volcanohunter

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 06:45 AM

Yes, Sergei Filin's lawyer Tatiana Stukalova says he reserves the right to take Womack to court.

#19 puppytreats

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 09:09 AM

Where the unofficial tours are concerned, she says she was told her participation would help her down the line. Her suspicions about not being paid what she was owed stem from the fact that a third of her Bolshoi pay was deducted as income tax despite the fact that the Russian equivalent of a Social Security Number was never issued to her.

 

As for being an American, Womack seems to think that it had a great deal to do with the way she was treated. The article puts it this way, though it doesn't quote her directly: "Oh, she's an American; she must have money. Why doesn't she pay, or why doesn't she find herself a sponsor?" She didn't say that $10,000 was demanded of every dancer. Perhaps there is a sliding scale of corruption within the company.

1. So who pocketed the 1/3?

2. Yes, all Americans are rich, just like all Jews are rich and crooked, and all lawyers, too.  

3. Wasn't she offered a job elsewhere and lured to the Bolshoi? I wonder what she was told at that point.



#20 Helene

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 09:23 AM

the language barrier may be a reason she was "slow" to pick up choreography.

It's unlikely there is a language barrier after she spent three years in the school where her training was in Russian.

#21 Helene

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 09:40 AM

1. So who pocketed the 1/3?

There's no evidence that anyone "pocketed" the 1/3, aside from the usual and final destination for withholding taxes, the government.

2. Yes, all Americans are rich, just like all Jews are rich and crooked, and all lawyers, too.  

Or, perhaps they assume that anyone whose family can pay the tens of thousands of dollars of fees to the Vaganova Academy for three years of training, for which, unlike for Harvard, no student loans are available, must have money. In fact, Russian anecdotes about Americans often highlight Americans' naievite (to use a mild term) concerning The Way It Is, and don't understand why North Americans don't just pay up, because everything is corrupt and why don't they ever know what the story is and how things work, but havean illusion of meritocracy?

The children of rich Russians who are assumed to have bought their way into the Vaganova and Moscow schools don't get a free ride as far as criticism and stereotyping, either.

#22 abatt

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 10:05 AM

I don't think the problem of rich people buying their way into top ballet schools is limited to the Vaganova.  I'm guessing that SAB lets in plenty of little kids whose parents are well connected and who give SAB and/or NYCB  a lot of money. 



#23 Helene

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 10:18 AM

Speculation and stereotypes about how kids get into elite schools has never been limited to Russian academies. The difference between the Russian academies (and POB and RDB schools) and most North American training is that there is either a dual track for professional vs. high-level recreational training and/or a distinct split at a given age between the two. Ivanka Trump went to SAB as a child and performed in "The Nutcracker" but many children could pass the relatively low-bar audition to general children's training which doesn't become professionalized until ~ age 13-14. There's a reason why so relatively few NYCB dancers start as young children in the school and make it into the Company, and only a handful of Principals, like Fugate, Boal, Somogyi. Scholarships were also need-based, unlike Vaganova and Moscow training during Imperial or Soviet times, which were officially subsidized by the state, unlike now.

The issue I brought up, though, was in Russia, where there is criticism of rich Russians buying their chidrens' way into the school, because a child can't possibly ge rich and talented. Womack isn't the only one subjected to sterotyping.

#24 California

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 10:37 AM

I don't think the problem of rich people buying their way into top ballet schools is limited to the Vaganova.  I'm guessing that SAB lets in plenty of little kids whose parents are well connected and who give SAB and/or NYCB  a lot of money.


According to Bloomberg News, Mary Julia Koch, the now-12-year-old daughter of David Koch, is a student at the School of American Ballet. The sad thing for kids in that situation is never really knowing whether they were admitted for their talent or other reasons.

http://www.bloomberg...allet-gala.html

But this kind of influence is hardly limited to the art world. It's widespread in higher education admissions as well.

#25 Helene

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 10:55 AM

It's codified in the legacy admissions policies.

In the case of Koch's daughter, is she in the professional division or still on the standard student track? If the latter, there's little to question, just like there was little to question when Ivanka Trump attended as a student.

#26 Plisskin

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 12:36 PM

I don't understand why they would consider suing her. She's not the first Bolshoi dancer to talk about bad things that go on behind the curtain. Volochkova said similar things Womack has said about sex sponsorships and I don't recall them suing/ threatening to sue her.



#27 Helene

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 12:53 PM

What does the Bolshoi get directly out of sex sponsorships except the headaches of having outsiders who know little about the ballet pressuring management to cast their wives, girlfriends, and mistresses?  They already don't care about how much or little they pay their dancers in one of the most expensive cities in the world, there are dancers who have been much more unhappy with the Mariinsky and have moved to the Bolshoi, like Obraztsova, Zakharova (for a while), and Mercuriev, and they think the prestige and the pull of Moscow -- culture, families -- will keep dancers there.

 

Bribery for parts, however, are a different story:  that's being brought up simultaneously in the Dmitrichenko trial; I'm not surprised Filin is considering a suit (or at least putting out the word that he is).  I think his take-away from ignoring the threads to him that culminated in the acid attack against him and watching Iksanov being sacked is to come out strong and not expect things to fade away.



#28 Drew

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 12:57 PM

I don't understand why they would consider suing her. She's not the first Bolshoi dancer to talk about bad things that go on behind the curtain. Volochkova said similar things Womack has said about sex sponsorships and I don't recall them suing/ threatening to sue her.

 

Volochkova made her accusations considerably before the time of Filin's directorship. Womack is attacking Filin's Bolshoi and it's Filin's lawyer doing the talking about the accusations that are directed at the company under his leadership...As for Filin, right now he is under similar attack in a courtroom by Dmitrichenko and his team. That is, he is under attack by the very person he considers responsible for the acid attack against him (and who, indeed, has confessed to involvment)--acid that partly blinded him and has caused him untold misery and suffering. Something I do not remotely believe is being faked. I don't think it's surprising he is aggressive in parrying additional attacks that seem to support the allegations being made against him by Dmitrichenko under these circumstances. 

 

And I continue to feel strongly that even if everything alleged against Filin or the Bolshoi under Filin's leadership turned out to be true, it doesn't begin to justify hiring a dangerous thug to attack him in any way, shape, or form. I certainly don't believe that the person capable of doing THAT can in any way be trusted to stand straightforwardly for truth, fairness, and justice at the Bolshoi.

 

(I was typing this as Helene posted...)

 

In general the Bolshoi's institutional reputation has taken such a huge hit, by everything that has happened this year that I think reactions all round may be different than they were when Volochkova left the company.  



#29 Helene

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 01:12 PM

Volochkova was easy to dismiss at the time, partly because she was tabloid fodder around what was described as a garish renovation of a garish apartment and lawsuits with contractors and for non-payment. 



#30 volcanohunter

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 01:28 PM

Perhaps the threat of legal action is intended to dissuade anyone inclined to corroborate Womack’s allegations. But I think it is heavy-handed and unlikely to make the story “go away” any faster. That genie is already out of the bottle.




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