Dmitrichenko, Zarutsky, Lipatov Trial
Posted 26 November 2013 - 11:27 PM
It will be interesting to see if their testimonies (assuming their request to testify is granted) will be given the same amount of press coverage in Russia as Tsiskaridze's.
Posted 26 November 2013 - 11:42 PM
Stephen Manes wrote in "Where Snowflakes Dance and Swear" that there were classes that were essentially auditions for stagers and choreographers. These weren't announced, and dancers lost and gained parts by the impression they made, sometimes unknowingly.
If I understood Maria Chapman's description correctly, David Dawson did most of his preliminary casting by watching company class over a webcam. I don't think that's going to become standard practice anytime soon, though!
Posted 27 November 2013 - 02:46 AM
Per the Ismene Brown article:
Tsiskaridze also commented that Filin 'would do anything for publicity'
something about a pot and a kettle here?
Posted 27 November 2013 - 10:28 AM
It depends on the AD and/or the dancer. Where style is important, taking putside class could be counterproductive. There was a quote in the "People" article on Michael Shannon where he says that people watched and tried to correct him for doing things certain ways, but he responded that, no, that's the way they did things at the Bolshoi.
From Alexander Meinertz's book on Vera Volchkova, Ninette de Valois forbade her dancers from taking Volchkova's class, but Fonteyn and Ashton went anyway, and Volchkova was responsible for her development in style and technique. Balanchine highly discouraged his dancers from doing a lot of things, including taking outside classes, but some of them did. Many felt his classes were too hard on the body, especially when they were older or nursing injury, since his classes didn't include much warm up and delved straight into whatever he was interested in at the time, and the tendus at the beginning of class were extremely difficult, done at both breakneck speeds and extremely slowly. Melissa Hayden was direct about how she felt his classes during Farrell's prominance were inadequate to maintain jumps, since Balanchine eliminated jumps because of Farrell's knee problems. Stephanie Saland's then-husband for part of her career was the notable teacher Robert Denvers, and she often showed a purer technique with fewer shortcuts than most NYCB dancers, at least of her time.
Where class is not a contractual obligation, some dancers might make the trade-offs based on how acceptable it would be to adjust the exercises to work around injury. I know NYCB dancers have talked about taking classes at Steps, but that may be in addition to company class, and it might be in other genres.
Posted 27 November 2013 - 10:56 AM
Going back to the large number of corps layoffs at NYCB in 2009, one of the dancers who was let go noted that Peter Martins cited lack of attendance at or early departure from company class as a reason for the dismissal of certain corps dancers.
Posted 27 November 2013 - 01:55 PM
Another dancer, speaking on condition of anonymity because she was changing careers and did not want her layoff to become the focus of attention, said Mr. Martins had noted a lack of attendance at company class or early departures from it. “He said that I lost my spark,” she added.
Posted 27 November 2013 - 07:47 PM
Company style includes many small details the audience is not supposed to notice but that create the company's flavor, accent, attack. Do frappes go straight to the floor or do they lift up slightly at the end; Do pas de chevals wrap and go straight to the floor, or does the foot rise up the standing leg and make a larger arc before extending. Balanchine taught both at different periods -- if you watch Tallchief coaching Judith Fugate in the pdd from Scotch symphony, you'll see her insist on a pas de cheval that stays low -- she corrects it several times, and it's very beautiful when Fugate does it her way. By Ashley's time, pas de cheval had become an airier move.
Is the preparation for pirouette from a straight back leg, with the arm in arabesque in front [Balanchine]? Straight back leg with the arm rounded [which I'm told Careno is asking for at SanJose Ballet]? Does spot stay behind for the first part of the turn and only then flip round, or does the head go round first [which Williams taught]?
Are the fingers rounded [Vaganova and all the West] or extended [Bolshoi]?
That's the sort of thing [and there are many more of these details] that company class is for: it's necessary to creating a true unison, without any "noise" -- and it's reasonable for an AD to require it, especially for the corps so individuals won't be pulling focus.
[BTW, these are just examples off the top of my head-- I'm apologizing in advance for mistakes. I shouldn't trust my memory, and you shouldn't either. The point is that differences LIKE these are important to company style.
Posted 27 November 2013 - 11:07 PM
Ovarchenko testifies about Filin's condition in the hospital right after the attack in response to assertions that Filin has faked his injuries.
Dancers testify on behalf of Filin's character and behavior
Pronin testifies that Dmitrichenko was protected in the theater by Grigorovich
The latter is pretty critical, since it sheds light on Dmitrichenko's sense of invincibility and Tsiskaridze's insubordination towards Ratmansky, but also how Dmitrichenko used this protection on behalf of his fellow dancers. It also reveals the inner workings of the compensation committee after Dmitrichenko sat in on one meeting.
Posted 27 November 2013 - 11:28 PM
Reporting on this has been very scattered. There are just smatterings of information in various sources, so it's nearly impossible to get a complete picture of what was said in court. This is, perhaps, understandable, given that the primary witness of the day was Yuri Zarutsky. Contrary to what Ismene Brown's blog suggests, he did testify and insisted that he'd acted alone.
However, Brown missed what appears to have been the most critical testimony directed against Tsiskaridze, whom Denis Medvedev accused of being the only provocateur in the company.
What little was reported of Marina Kondratieva's testimony seemed to reflect primarily her sorrow over the Bolshoi's besmirched reputation.
Posted 28 November 2013 - 03:55 AM
From Alexander Meinertz's book on Vera Volchkova..
I am afraid, Helene, that your computer mistyped the name of this remarkable teacher
(While VolCHkov is the surname of the the Bolshoi’s Principal Alexander Volchkov.)
Posted 28 November 2013 - 11:20 AM
A much more complete version of yesterday's testimony has appeared in Izvestia. It notes that the Bolshoi employees who appeared in court were Olga Smirnova, Evgenia Obraztsova, Semyon Chudin, Artem Ovcharenko, Denis Medvedev, Marina Kondratieva, Alexander Petukhov "and others."
All of them said that they had no conflicts with Dmitrichenko, and none had witnessed any arguments between Dmitrichenko and Filin, though they had heard rumors. Dmitrichenko's lawyer Sergei Kadyrov protested repeatedly against introducing hearsay as testimony. All of the dancers attested to Filin's polite behavior. They noted that currently Filin is always accompanied by his sister or his wife. Chudin described Filin's right eye as having a purplish-blue tint, and Ovcharenko said it had no eyelashes.
Smirnova confirmed that she had attended a performance at the Moscow Art Theater with Filin on January 17 at the request of Filin's assistant and her (future) mother-in-law Dilyara Timergazina, and that Filin had driven her home because no man would have left a girl alone in the cold and the dark.
Ovcharenko said he had learned of conflicts between Dmitrichenko and Filin from Filin himself. He noted Dmitrichenko's sense of fairness, and that minor conflicts with the administration arose from Dmitrichenko's desire to defend the rights of dancers.
Chudin contradicted one of Filin's claims. During his testimony Filin said that Dmitrichenko had called Chudin a "freak." (Filin also said that Dmitichenko had described Vladislav Lantratov as an "a__-licker.") But Chudin said that his relations with Dmitrichenko were very good, and he was uncomfortable having to address Dmitrichenko formally in court rather than informally.
The harshest words reported against Dmitrichenko came from Kondratieva, who was deeply offended by suggestions of a liaison between her pupil Smirnova and Filin. [It's not at all clear that Dmitrichenko is the one who made this claim.] She was also prepared to describe the poor relations between Filin and Tsiskaridze, but the judge stopped her, saying that at issue were Filin's relations with Dmitrichenko.
When Zarutsky took the stand, he took all the blame for the attack on himself and said that driver Andrei Lipatov in particular was completely ignorant of what had happened. Zarutsky said he wanted to use Dmitrichenko and to use the attack to make Dmitrichenko dependent on him. Another report on yesterday's testimony elaborated on this. Since Dmitrichenko was responsible for the Bolshoi dacha complex located close to Zarutsky's home, Zarutsky hoped to use Dmitrichenko's influence to bring gas lines to the area. Zarutsky described the solution he used in the attack as boiled-down electrolytes, the sort used in prisons to remove tattoos (tattoos being a prominent feature of Russian prison culture), but diluted with urine. Zarutsky said that had he opted for physical force against Filin, he probably would not have been able to restrain himself and could have killed him. Zarutsky also said that Dmitrichenko had paid him 50,000 RUB not for the attack, but as a loan to purchase a car, and that the relevant paperwork exists. Although Zarutsky repeatedly asked to end his testimony on the grounds of his right to protect himself from self-incrimination, he ultimately answered all questions posed.
Posted 28 November 2013 - 11:46 AM
I haven't read anything to suggest that the proscecution is trying to prove Dmitrichenko intended Zarutsky to do anything more than smash Filin's face, or that Dmitrichenko approved the acid attack. The prosecution is trying to show that Dmitrichenko conspired with Zarustsky to attack Filin, abetted Zarutsky in the attack by telling Zarutsky of Filin's whereabouts, and is culpable for initiating an attack gone wrong. The judge has brought this up herself, asking Dmitrichenko outright if he thought he was culpable in this way.
Posted 28 November 2013 - 12:34 PM
I took it to mean that Zarutsky anticipated not being caught following the attack--because if he had been, it would have mattered relatively little whether his house had a natural gas line or not--and that he would then be able to blackmail Dmitrichenko into doing whatever he asked.
Posted 28 November 2013 - 01:37 PM
If he were able to blackmail Dmitrichenko, then Dmitrichenko would have had to have something to hide. If Dmitrichenko had nothing to do with an attack, there would be no basis for the blackmail. To claim now in court that it was all his doing sounds absurd on Zarutsky's part. It's very possible that he never told the driver what was up, either to keep him out of it and to not leave an audit trail, or it may have been a joint agreement to See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil. However, he did have to have some basis for blackmail, and there has been no suggestion that this was based in dacha-related business dealings or any other type of unrelated scandal.
Zarutsky may have set up Dmitrichenko, which when done by the government can be considered entrapment, and he may have exploited Dmitrichenko's hot-headedness and resentment. This fits in very well with Dmitrichenko's colleagues description of him exploding in the moment but having it blow over. However, there are two complicating factors here: first in his role as dancer advocate, he had increasing number of incidents that would fan the fire and spike his temperament, including the compensation committee meeting, and while he might not have had the attention span to plot out an attack on his own, he was engaged in it by someone who did and who kept him involved in it. He didn't just have one major rant over coffee months before. However unhappy he was to engage with Zarutsky since their first conversation, he disclosed Filin's whereabouts knowing they would lead to a confrontation that would result in some form of violence right after having met with management to report corruption, and that's not even factoring in his constant upset over his partner being refused more and more roles, being taught to find a new, female coach -- in one account because Tsiskardize's contract would not be renewed, in another to learn Odette/Odile from someone who danced it -- and Tsiskaridze fomenting discontent about his pupil.
The second is that if he had the protection of Grigorovich, he was able to be a thorn in Filin's side in the theater without fear of retaliation -- look at how long it took them to get rid of Tsiskaridze -- which was a longer-term strategy, and he did it consistently and tactically, if not tactfully. He wasn't an oversensitive flake in that respect.
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