mussel

Bavarian Appointed Zelensky as New AD

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Dance Europe magazine is reporting that 27 29 dancers will be leaving the Bavarian State Ballet at the end of the season, including principal dancers and soloists Daria Sukhorukova, Ekaterina Petina, Lukas Slavický, Cyril Pierre, Zuzana Zahradníková, Katherina Markowskaja, Léonard Engel, Stephanie Hancox, Ilia Sarkisov, Maxim Chashchegorov, Lucia Lacarra and Marlon Dino. This is a huge turnover, constituting more than a third of the company's roster, including two-thirds of its principal ranks and three-quarters of first soloists. In a significant sense, it won't be the same company once Zelensky takes over.

https://www.facebook.com/DanceEurope/photos/a.762806220476174.1073741828.762675407155922/1035181209905339/?type=1&theater

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Re: deleted posts

Official news (with source) only.

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One thing I want to know is how Zelensky feels about reconstructions and I really hope he retains Paquita in the repertoire.

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During the current season's run of Paquita the company's social media feeds made references to "the last" and "the very last" performances of the ballet, which prompted a bit of a panic in response. These formulations turned out to be a result of imperfect English usage, but the company confirmed that the "piece will be paused for the next seasons," so that's part of your answer. Zelensky has programmed Patrice Bart's (not quite) reconstruction of La Bayadère.

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During the current season's run of Paquita the company's social media feeds made references to "the last" and "the very last" performances of the ballet, which prompted a bit of a panic in response. These formulations turned out to be a result of imperfect English usage, but the company confirmed that the "piece will be paused for the next seasons," so that's part of your answer. Zelensky has programmed Patrice Bart's (not quite) reconstruction of La Bayadère.

Ah thank you! Yes I panicked a bit at that reference, but I'm glad to hear it was a typo. It would be great if Zelensky commissioned Alexei Ratmansky to stage his Sleeping Beauty and Swan Lake reconstructions for the Bavarian State Ballet and new ones in the future if Ratmansky's plan is to reconstruct all the ballets in the Sergeyev Collection.

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Dance Europe magazine is reporting that 27 dancers will be leaving the Bavarian State Ballet at the end of the season, including principal dancers and soloists Daria Sukhorukova, Ekaterina Petina, Lukas Slavický, Cyril Pierre, Zuzana Zahradníková, Katherina Markowskaja, Léonard Engel, Stephanie Hancox, Ilia Sarkisov, Maxim Chashchegorov, Lucia Lacarra and Marlon Dino. This is a huge turnover, constituting more than a third of the company's roster, including two-thirds of its principal ranks and three-quarters of first soloists. In a significant sense, it won't be the same company once Zelensky takes over.

https://www.facebook.com/DanceEurope/photos/a.762806220476174.1073741828.762675407155922/1035181209905339/?type=1&theater

That is overwhelming, especially since I saw some of the dancers listed here in Paquita two years ago and they were wonderful. Have they all left by their own choice or has Zelensky terminated their contracts? I'm very happy that he has brought Vladimir Shklyarov and Maria Shirinkina into the company (because it gives me easier access to see them live), but I hope he's not planning to Russian-ise the whole company...

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Yes, when Paquita returns, it will be without Ratmansky's first-cast Daria Sukhorukova. Dance Europe isn't saying whether it's the dancers who don't want to work with Zelensky, or whether Zelensky doesn't want to work with these dancers. In the case of Cyril Pierre, who is in his mid-40s, his departure may have been predictable, but many of the others are significantly younger, and a number of them even share Vaganova-school training with Zelensky. In any case, the company will now be without most of the dancers who have been carrying the bulk of the repertoire, which will inevitably leave a big knowledge gap.

The company currently performs Neumeier's Illusions - like Swan Lake, which has a more authentic lakeside scene than most, but it remains to be seen whether Zelensky intends to keep the company's Cranko-Neumeier heritage.

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Yes, when Paquita returns, it will be without Ratmansky's first-cast Daria Sukhorukova.

The company currently performs Neumeier's Illusions - like Swan Lake, which has a more authentic lakeside scene than most, but it remains to be seen whether Zelensky intends to keep the company's Cranko-Neumeier heritage.

Yes, I saw Daria Sukhorukova as Paquita and she was superb. It'll be interesting to see which ballerinas will dance the role when Paquita returns and I hope that Maria Shirinkina will be one of them because I think this version would suit her way better than the Gusev version of the Grand Pas Classique.

I can understand why they still have Illusions - like Swan Lake in their repertoire because for one thing, it's a retelling of the story of one of the most famous kings of Bavaria, so it's not just representing the company's Neumeier heritage, but also their state's history.

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A press release on the theater site indicates that it's actually 29 dancers who are leaving. (Dance Europe counted incorrectly, and I didn't double check the list either. Oops. :blushing:) And at the end there's a note that adds absolutely no clarity to the situtation:

This announcement names the company members who will be leaving the Bayerisches Staatsballett at the end of the season without distinction. It does not specify whether the change for the upcoming season is due to the dancer’s own decision or an initiative of the new director.

https://www.staatsoper.de/en/press/press-information/press-information-ballet/news/news/june-farewells.html

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Wow, that's a lot of dancers leaving! It'll be interesting to see who else Zelensky is bringing to join the company...

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The company has been playing up the departing dancers in recent days and encouraging audiences to come see their favorites one last time.
https://www.staatsoper.de/en/info-service/aktuelles/meldung/news/farewells-in-june.html?no_cache=1

Yesterday there was an album of photos from the Lady of the Camellias featuring Lacarra, Dino, Sukhorukova, Chashchegorov and Markowskaja.

https://www.facebook.com/staatsballett/photos/?tab=album&album_id=10154275698029743
https://www.facebook.com/staatsballett/photos/a.234889279742.135528.191195124742/10154266164589743/?type=3&theater

Today it's Sukhorukova and Pierre.
https://www.facebook.com/staatsballett/photos/a.234889279742.135528.191195124742/10154278695359743/?type=3&theater

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Thanks to naomikage for spotting this news.

Irène Lejeune, the biggest private sponsor of the Bavarian State Ballet, has withdrawn her financial backing from the company, stating that she wants "no Russian State Ballet." Her annual cumulative eight-year donation of €1.3 million is significant for a company with a budget of €7.3 million. Apparently Lejeune had spent more than a year trying to arrange a meeting with Zelensky, and when she finally did, he had only bad things to say about the company, which triggered her decision to withdraw her support. The intendant of the opera house tried to persuade her to switch her sponsporship to its orchestra, but she declined since she feels no emotional attachment to it.
http://www.sueddeutsche.de/muenchen/nationaltheater-bayerisches-staatsballett-verliert-grosssponsorin-1.3021945

Lucia Lacarra and Marlon Dino also cited Zelensky's leadership style and lack of communication skills among their reasons for leaving.
https://www.br-klassik.de/aktuell/news-kritik/bayerisches-staatballett-taenzer-abschied-100.html
http://www.sueddeutsche.de/kultur/tanz-herzloses-regime-1.3017181

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Oh dear, that's not good! Do those articles say exactly what Zelensky said? And what exactly did Lucia Lacarra and Marlon Dino say about him? (I can't read German).

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The article in the "Sueddeutsche Zeitung" provides no details as to what exactly Zelenksy said about the company to be considered negative, only an indirect quote about too few dancers and too few performances. All I can conclude from this article is that Frau Lejeune is big supporter of Ivan Liska and obviously not a fan of Russian ballet.

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Zelensky had better brush up his communication skills quickly. He needs to think of his audience. They must be furious at the prospect of so many loved dancers leaving, and especially their stars, Lacarra and Dino.

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The article in the "Sueddeutsche Zeitung" provides no details as to what exactly Zelenksy said about the company to be considered negative, only an indirect quote about too few dancers and too few performances. All I can conclude from this article is that Frau Lejeune is big supporter of Ivan Liska and obviously not a fan of Russian ballet.

Thank you.

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Zelensky had better brush up his communication skills quickly. He needs to think of his audience. They must be furious at the prospect of so many loved dancers leaving, and especially their stars, Lacarra and Dino.

Yes indeed, this isn't a really good start, so I hope from here on, he only makes things better. I am grateful that he's brought Vladimir Shklyarov and Maria Shirinkina into the company because it'll give me easier access to go and see them live and being in a western company might be good for them. However, if he really is bringing Skorik, Polunin and Osipova in as well, that's not a good decision in my opinion. I really think he'd be better not bringing them...

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I will be only too pleased if he takes Skorik!

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Thanks to naomikage for spotting this news.

Irène Lejeune, the biggest private sponsor of the Bavarian State Ballet, has withdrawn her financial backing from the company, stating that she wants "no Russian State Ballet." Her annual donation of €1.3 million is significant for a company with a budget of €7.3 million. Apparently Lejeune had spent more than a year trying to arrange a meeting with Zelensky, and when she finally did, he had only bad things to say about the company, which triggered her decision to withdraw her support. The intendant of the opera house tried to persuade her to switch her sponsporship to its orchestra, but she declined since she feels no emotional attachment to it.

http://www.sueddeutsche.de/muenchen/nationaltheater-bayerisches-staatsballett-verliert-grosssponsorin-1.3021945

Lucia Lacarra and Marlon Dino also cited Zelensky's leadership style and lack of communication skills among their reasons for leaving.

https://www.br-klassik.de/aktuell/news-kritik/bayerisches-staatballett-taenzer-abschied-100.html

http://www.sueddeutsche.de/kultur/tanz-herzloses-regime-1.3017181

I thought European countries have a much higher level of employee protection than the US, that employees can't be easily dismissed. May be there's an artistic clause exception in the case of theater?

I am surprised to find out Bavarian State Ballet's budget is only a small fraction of NYCB's or ABT's.

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I'm also puzzled by the 7.3 million figure cited by Sueddeutsche Zeitung. The National Ballet of Canada is a company of comparable size, and it has a budget of about 32 million CAD, or 22 million EUR. Granted, the National Ballet has to rent an opera house, and if I'm reading its budget correctly, it also has substantial expenditures on its rehearsal space and its production facility, and perhaps the Bavarian State Ballet doesn't have to pay for any of that, but even so, this would account for about one million EUR in additional expenditures, not 15 million. Regardless, the loss of 1.3 million EUR in funding would be tough on any arts organization.

And I, too, am surprised that dancers in Pennsylvania apparently enjoy greater labor protections than their colleagues in Bavaria.

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One thing that must be said is about the 15 year clause (which some of you must be aware), a German opera house has to provide lifetime employment if a personnel is hired over 15 years. So many companies do not renew contract for dancers who have worked almost 15 years.

This explains some of the departures at Stuttgart Ballet. (and usually you are in your mid-thirties, if you worked for 15 years you would be in your mid-thirties which means it will be difficult to have another job as a dancer so some seek to move before that)

Apparently, some of the departures (4 or 5 dancers) this time is related to this.

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Her annual donation of €1.3 million is significant for a company with a budget of €7.3 million.

The 1,3 million was not an annual donation, but the whole of her donation in eight years. See the correction under the article of the Süddeutsche Zeitung.

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