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Tsis­karidze & Lopatk­ina at the Vag­an­ova Bal­let Academy

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Natalia   

Whaaaaat? Well, at least it won't be Kolpakova, thank goodness. Happy for Uliana. Not so sure about the appropriateness of Tsiskaridze in his job, except that he was a cherished pupil of Semyonova.

So what will Assylmuratova & Zaklinsky do?

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Am I the only one who finds this slightly humorous? Putting Tsiskaridze into an administrative position rather than an artistic position? Sounds like someone would like him to have a taste of what it is like to sit on the recieving end...

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Cygnet   

Whaaaaat? Well, at least it won't be Kolpakova, thank goodness. Happy for Uliana. Not so sure about the appropriateness of Tsiskaridze in his job, except that he was a cherished pupil of Semyonova.

So what will Assylmuratova & Zaklinsky do?

IMO at 80 Madame Kolpakova would have been too old to shoulder that kind of responsibility or be considered.

Back in the 80s or 90s I'd say yes; but not now. Tsiskaridze's connections may have landed him this position. Perhaps "law school" was a ruse to side step the Moscow media. According to the article he already

has "legal training." The only connection he would have to the Vaganova Academy would be Marina Semyonova,

who was Agrippina Vaganova's first pupil and product. But really, this appointment is a stretch if that's the reason. As for Uliana , I'm very happy for her as well. However, if I had my druthers, I'd much rather learn the news that she was the new Artistic Director of the Mariinsky Ballet. That would have been the choice appointment and the smart move.

Gergiev more than likely, pardon the pun, orchestrated her appointment and she has always had his ear. Here's an ominous thought: Could Altynai have been given the choice of retirement or resignation because of her opposition to His Maestroness' quest to unite the Academy and the Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatoire under his control in conjunction with the Mariinsky? The only thing I think that could've been held against Asylmuratova would be the fact that some of the Academy's choicest students in recent years escaped the Mariinsky by going to greener pastures after graduation - and that wasn't Altynai's fault. Otherwise, I can't give an explanation why this has happened - or the haste by which it has happened. So, now that this is a fait accompli, the questions are will Uliana retire from the stage, or will she combine both jobs with gradually lesser performances? Moreover, will Kolya be able to augment his flamboyant, outspoken personality and play ball with V.G. and the comparatively low key, but no less hot house Mariinsky and it's culture of absolute monarchy?

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Natalia   

A least Assylmuratova was able to oversee her daughter's graduation from the Academy this past June & subsequent appointment to the MT corps de ballet. A nice way for AA to end her years as heard of the ARB.

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sandik   

A least Assylmuratova was able to oversee her daughter's graduation from the Academy this past June & subsequent appointment to the MT corps de ballet. A nice way for AA to end her years as heard of the ARB.

I don't know anything about the interior processes at the school, but looking from the outside I would think a nicer way would have been for her to make her own decision about when/how to retire.

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What is the function of an artistic director for a school? I guess in the US this would be encompassed in the principal's work... It must work a little differently in Russia.

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canbelto   

http://www.themoscowtimes.com/arts_n_ideas/article/nikolai-tsiskaridze-to-head-vaganova-ballet-academy/488611.html

Wow. So the appointments are immediate, as Tsiskaridze starts Tuesday. If the Vaganova staff/students did not know this was coming, what an unpleasant "Monday morning surprise."

I feel sorry for Asylmuratova and her husband Zaklinsky. Some of Zaklinsky's students have youtube accounts and blogs and they routinely praise him as an extremely kind and inspiring teacher.

I'm also very disturbed about these developments in light of the recent crackdowns on all sorts of dissident activities in Russia. Seems as if sudden dismissal of Vaganova staff sends a message: be afraid, be very afraid. No job is safe, no artist "honored" enough that he or she can afford any brush with the ruling authority.

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pherank   

What is the function of an artistic director for a school? I guess in the US this would be encompassed in the principal's work... It must work a little differently in Russia.

Great question, AM. Somehow this sounds a lot better for the school and its reputation than it sounds for Ulyana.

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Natalia   

The 'rector' during the 1990s -- during Igor Belsky's time as A.D. -- was in charge of the business end of running the school, while Belsky oversaw the artistic side (pedagogues, headed the panel of jurors on annual evaluations, had last say on casting in school concerts). Sorry that I cannot immediately recall the name of the kind gentleman who was rector in the 90s...but he was totally hands-off on artistic decisions, as I recall. He greeted VIP visitors, was often on TV (spokesperson), handled business/contribution$ and such.

Was this not also the situation between Assylmuratova (A.D.) and Dorofeeva (rector)? It is interesting to now have a former star as rector, rather than a person from the business/admin world.

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Natalia   

Ah, just found the business card of the Rector during the 1990s and into the '00s: Leonid Nadirov. Nadirov was 100% business administrator and handled budgetary matters. He let all of his A.D.s (Sergeyev, then Belsky, then Assylmuratova until 2004) handle all artistic matters. I've always assumed that that was the Rector's job, even after Dorofeeva took over in 2004. Maybe all of that is changing with the new appointments? So who will handle the budget and deal with admin matters not dealing with curriculum, artistic choices, etc. - Tsiskaridze?

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From an interview with Vladimir Medinsky:

- What will happen to Asylmuratova ?

- That is a question for the new rector. My position was the same during staff reshuffles at the Bolshoi Theater, the Pushkin Museum and all other appointments: the Ministry does not intervene in the internal affairs of a body after the top person has been appointed.

- That is to say that you decided on Tsiskaridze, and after that he proposed Lopatkina?

- Nikolai Maksimovich and I made a joint decision about Lopatkina, but at the moment I am not prepared to comment on the matter of Altynai's future position. This is not my area of competence.

- Commenting on the situation at the Academy, the Secretary of the Ministry of Culture Grigory Ivliev mentioned that the leadership could also include Mariinsky Theater prima ballerina Yulia Mazalina [sic].

- This is also the prerogative of Nikolai Maksimovich, but we have been in talks with her. We would also like to see the creation of an Artistic Council at the Academy, to be headed by Irina Kolpakova.

http://izvestia.ru/news/559614

The official handover was apparently less than smooth. Lopatkina was not present because she is currently on the road. Dorofeeva was crying. At one point a number of Vaganova staff and students walked into the room and there was a bit of confusion, after which Medinsky asked the press to leave.

http://izvestia.ru/news/559670

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Drew   

Very enigmatic situation indeed. That is, a few things seem pretty clear -- mostly regarding Gergiev's ongoing power and influence. But the overall direction of all this? Some of it seems unfortunate (say, regarding the apparent treatment of Asylmuratova) but not all of it.

I was relieved to read that Lopatkina is not retiring from the stage though of course what people are saying now and what will happen may be two different things. I certainly believe she can contribute a great deal as a teacher/coach to the future of Russian Ballet. But she still has a lot to contribute on stage.

It is kind of hard to picture Tsiskaridze not being involved in artistic decisions of any organization of which he is the head, administratively or otherwise -- if Lopatkina plans to continue dancing full time then for now at least it may be workable to have an administrative head with artistic involvement/interests. But otherwise? Down the line?

I thought Urin's comments about the diplomatic/people skills required in the head of an organization were very pointed.

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canbelto   

This line was chilling:

Altynay Asylmuratova and Vera Dorofeeva will soon be presented to the government awards.


Читайте далее: http://izvestia.ru/news/559670#ixzz2j33Sofzh

That sounds a lot like a code for "please be advised to accept your dismissals without any protest or comment."

p.s. In light of today's events I wonder how much of Tsiskaridze's conflicts with the Bolshoi were staged. Todays articles have said that Tsiskaridze had been in "talks" to take over the Vaganova for "a year."

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kbarber   

A least Assylmuratova was able to oversee her daughter's graduation from the Academy this past June & subsequent appointment to the MT corps de ballet. A nice way for AA to end her years as heard of the ARB.

I don't know anything about the interior processes at the school, but looking from the outside I would think a nicer way would have been for her to make her own decision about when/how to retire.

I agree! Especially since she's ONLY 52!!!

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canbelto   

Plus the rushed nature of this transition is very weird. They could have told Asylmuratova that this would be her last year as A.D. of the Vaganova and she would get to finish the 2013-14 graduating class. But this sounds very much like both the rector and A.D. were told "not to come back on Monday."

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Me, I can't wait to hear what ismene Brown has tosay about all this. It's probably much more than we can imagine, coming from non-artistic interest-groups -- coming from Putin down, and Tsiskaridze has made many contacts with relatives of Putin's advisors.

If there's 8 ounces to the pound of truth in this report:

http://ismeneb.com/Blog/Entries/2013/7/23_Blogger_reveals_how_they_really_got_rid_of_Bolshoi_chief.html,

then the real question may be, can Gergiev-the-empire-builder keep his position with Tsiskaridze in town? Since Putin doesn't care about art at all, and Tsiskaridze is a master-intriguer....

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sandik   

Plus the rushed nature of this transition is very weird. They could have told Asylmuratova that this would be her last year as A.D. of the Vaganova and she would get to finish the 2013-14 graduating class. But this sounds very much like both the rector and A.D. were told "not to come back on Monday."

I know that these kind of changes happen very differently in different places, but even with that caveat, this seems really awkward

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Helene   

According to Ismene Brown's latest blog:

http://ismeneb.com/Blog/Entries/2013/10/29_Asylmuratova_said_to_be_still_considering_options.html

Rector Dorofeeva submitted her resignation and has been hired by Kehkman as Deputy Director of the Mikhailovsky Ballet. Asylmuratova has not yet submitted her resignation. According to this article and a related blog entry with a translation of an interview with Tsiskaridze (dated 28 October), he had already spoken with Ministry of Culture in September 2012. Tsiskaridze's specialty in law school is Employment Law.

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Thanks, Helene!! That was quick!


Yes, Sandi: "I know that these kind of changes happen very differently in different places, but even with that caveat, this seems really awkward"



Well, it IS convenient for Tsiskaridze, since the same Tuesday he starts his job he was supposed to testify in Moscow at the trial of dmitrichenko, who's up [let me remind you] for throwing acid in the face of Filin which many think he was incited to do by Tsiskaridze. Dostoyevskian.



There's a opera in this. But who could write the music?


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Jayne   

If it's any consolation (minor to be sure) I don't think Mr Tsiskaridze will sate his ambitions by taking on this post. He won't be there long, this just a stepping stone to bigger things.

Can anyone confirm the usual timeline for law studies in Russia? In the US it takes 3 years, plus passing the bar exam. I don't know what the normal length of study is for Russian attorneys.

Here's hoping the departing leaders and instructors (because I assume not all will last the coming year) will find better pastures at other less politically strafed institutions. I think the dancers will have more traditional curriculum, favoring Grigorovich works, but the core of the Vagonova training will be the same. I still don't think this change will cure what ills the Mariinsky Theatre.

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canbelto   

Stanislav Belyayevsky, a teacher at the Vaganova who has published some lovely coffee table books of the Academy, has put out a strong statement on his public Facebook page:

DEAR GRADUATES of the ACADEMY of RUSSIAN BALLET! DEAR TEACHERS!

I think that among you there is no one who would agree with the opinion on the appointment of the Rector of Nikolay Tsiskaridze (in other words "experienced Manager") of the Academy of Russian Ballet!

Tell you a short anecdote, which I was a witness, describing the attitude of this beautiful Russian artist (in the past) to our St. Petersburg alma mater: "once upon a time, a beautiful November morning, the Bolshoi Theatre, I visited the lesson of classical dance, which gave the Artist and educator Nikolay Maksimovich. Except for me, of our famous schools named after a. Vaganova, this lesson was attended by Yevgenia Obraztsova, Mikhail Lobuhin, Philip Stepin, Elena evseeva, as well as wonderful performers of the Bolshoi Theatre, including his student (at the time), Denis Rodkin. His pedagogical talent n.m. sent his apprentice, with sharp, witty phrases. One very bright crashed into my memory. Nicholas didn't like how demi plié, as Denis and pointing at us, he said: "If you are not correct, it will be similar to those with" vagankovo cemetery ".

A joke? A year passes and he our walls will take on raising kids.

Dear graduates, dear teachers! write, if you are of another opinion. If there are any among you who support this nomination, I will be truly surprised

His page has also been filled with his own personal photos of Asylmuratova teaching students.

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