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The Bolshoi under Vaziev

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I regard it as an outrage. Careers have ups and downs, and dancers will fare better or less well under different directors, but in the case of Bolshoi dancers for the past 20 or so years, they could generally count on outlasting the current boss. Enduring certain indignities is easier with the reassurance that they won’t last forever. Alexandrova would have joined the company under acting director Bogatyrev and subsequently worked under A. Fadeyechev, Akimov, Ratmansky, Burlaka, Filin and Vaziev. We know from the press interviews she gave for Bolshoi Babylon that her relationship with Filin was not good, or more precisely, “non-existent.” Apparently working under Vaziev proved to be that much worse. I shudder to think what was said or done to push her to leave the company to which she had dedicated her entire adult life and to leave it so abruptly. What is Vaziev to the Bolshoi and what is Alexandrova? His net contribution to the company isn’t even a fraction of hers.

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This might be more drama than the Lady Gaga Superbowl performance tomorrow (gets up to make popcorn).  

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On 7/9/2016 at 1:23 AM, Euphra said:

Again, great gain for Bolshoi, and loss for Mariinsky. Another Vaganova graduate Alena Ledyakh is joining the Bolshoi, too.

I wonder where Eleonora Sevenard is going. It would be a shocking news if Sevenard is not accepted to Mariinsky.

 

It has just been confirmed that Sevenard has been hired by the Bolshoi. She was offered a position at the Mariinsky as well but she turned it down. 

Bolshoi really seems to be attracting the Vaganova gems. 

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5 minutes ago, Balletfreak said:

 

It has just been confirmed that Sevenard has been hired by the Bolshoi. She was offered a position at the Mariinsky as well but she turned it down. 

Bolshoi really seems to be attracting the Vaganova gems. 

 

Wow...but not a total surprise. I guess that Fateev is totally banking on Renata Shakirova for the future. 

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What about Egor Geraschenko?   Bolshoi?

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Two other male Vaganova graduates will also be joining the Bolshoi along with Sevenard.

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On June 10, 2017 at 3:44 PM, toitoi43 said:

Two other male Vaganova graduates will also be joining the Bolshoi along with Sevenard.

 

Is the USA's Oscar Frame among them? I know Oscar from DC's Kirov Academy so am extra curious about his progress.

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32 minutes ago, Natalia said:

 

Is the USA's Oscar Frame among them? I know Oscar from DC's Kirov Academy so am extra curious about his progress.  

 

Yes, Oscar Frame is going to Bolshoi as well as Geraschenko and Sevenard.   He is British incidentally, not American.  He trained at the Hampton Academy in the UK before winning a scholarship to the Kirov Academy in 2011 and then transferred to Vaganova in St Petersburg in 2016.  

 

 

Edited by MadameP

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2 hours ago, MadameP said:

 

Yes, Oscar Frame is going to Bolshoi as well as Geraschenko and Sevenard.   He is British incidentally, not American.  He trained at the Hampton Academy in the UK before winning a scholarship to the Kirov Academy in 2011 and then transferred to Vaganova in St Petersburg in 2016.  

 

 

 

Whoopee, Mme P! Thanks for the news, clip and correction on Oscar's citizenship. He was so superb all those years at the Kirov - including his "first graduation" performance in the lead of KAB's Paquita Gnd Pas, May  23, 2015 - that we love to also claim him for ourselves. I was pleasantly surprised when I learned that he had gone to Vaganova in Jan/Feb 2016 for 16 months of "finishing school." Cheers, Oscar Frame! :clapping:

 

From the KAB Facebook...Oscar chose the Bolshoi among four offers, including the Mariinsky!

https://m.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=795835960584357&id=100004738810343&set=a.628960940605194.1073741826.100004738810343&source=48

Edited by Natalia
added KAB Facebook link

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 Perhaps I am being naive but I had assumed that Vaziev was appointed because of his experience running other companies and his lack of connection with the Bolshoi and its factions. I  suspect that his main management strength, as far as those who summoned him back to Russia are concerned, is the time that he spent at La Scala which established that he had the management skills to deal with a company with an entrenched working culture. Perhaps they think that those skills are needed to address the factionalism in the Bolshoi which culminated in the acid throwing incident in which Filin was injured. 

 

Ballet companies which do not have a mandatory retirement age present problems to anyone who has to run them as they make succession planning incredibly difficult.I have no idea what the age profile of those in the upper ranks of the Bolshoi look like in reality but, from my limited knowledge, there seem to be a number of artists who are fast approaching the time when decisions have to be about what roles they will dance in the future if only to ensure that the company is able to prepare its new generation of leading dancers adequately and develop the talented young dancers who it seems continue to flock to the Bolshoi in preference to the Mariinsky.

 

As I understand it in the US and in some other countries a new AD is able to dispense with the services of dancers he does not want. Vaziev is not able to do that at the Bolshoi. He has to plan for the future while dealing with the present. At some point he has to put young dancers on the stage to dance roles like Odette /Odile and Siegfried to give them the performance experience that they need in order to become the great dancers that some of them undoubtedly will become. Transitional periods are tough on the mature dance artists who are coming to the end of their careers and on their devoted fans.

 

Perhaps Vaziev is favouring the company's young talent  for purely artistic reasons and for the health of the company. Perhaps he also sees it as a way of ensuring that the company rapidly becomes his artistically. A company of talented young dancers whose boss has given them the chances that they want is likely to be much easier to run than one in which there are factions and dancers who harbour resentment. I don't think that any of us are in a position to know whether Vaziev is making the right decisions for the company. Only time will tell. As far as his casting decisions are concerned. Experience suggests that few Artistic Directors escape criticism on that front at some point during the course of  a season and sometimes throughout entire seasons. The same applies to repertory choices.     

 

 

Edited by Ashton Fan

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19 minutes ago, Ashton Fan said:

As I understand it in the US and in some other countries a new AD is able to dispense with the services of dancers he does not want. 

This depends entirely on the contract.    If there is a union contract, sometimes Principal Dancers are covered by it, and sometimes they are not and have individual terms, and I think for all AGMA contracts, there is a set number of weeks of guaranteed work.  There are also state employee laws that stand in addition to the contract that can cover injured employees, for example.

 

In general dancers are not fired:  instead their contracts are not renewed.  In PNB's AGMA contract, for example, dancers who've been with the company more than a set number of years have to be given 18 months notice that their contract will not be renewed.

 

Traditionally AD's also get rid of senior dancers by not casting them.

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... or by shunting them sideways.  Fourteen former soloist or principal dancers are now in the "Working under Contract" category, and it remains to see how many performances any of them will now get.  

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That's the double-whammy: you don't get paid if you're not cast, so it's not just an issue of professional fulfillment.

 

I remember in The Turning Point where Anne Bancroft's character, after learning she won't be doing Aurora, says that she feels bad for her partner, Freddie, because he was now being paid by performance.  If you're not in high demand, there's every incentive not to cast you.  From real life, Joy Womack spoke about how she was not cast in corps roles, which meant she didn't get paid.

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48 minutes ago, Helene said:

That's the double-whammy: you don't get paid if you're not cast, so it's not just an issue of professional fulfillment.

 

I remember in The Turning Point where Anne Bancroft's character, after learning she won't be doing Aurora, says that she feels bad for her partner, Freddie, because he was now being paid by performance.  If you're not in high demand, there's every incentive not to cast you.  From real life, Joy Womack spoke about how she was not cast in corps roles, which meant she didn't get paid.

I remember that scene -- but I thought she said "we" are only being paid by the performance. It wasn't just Freddie! And this was in the mid-70s.

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1 hour ago, Helene said:

I remember in The Turning Point where Anne Bancroft's character

 

What a great movie this was/is !  Will try to find the dvd when I get home tonight and watch it again.

 

Re remuneration of dancers : at the time of the Bolshoy Filin acid incident it was said/written that the bad blood resulted

from Filin not casting Dmitrichenko's then "partnyor" Vorontsova (currently principal at Mixailovskiy) leaving her skint, as

at the time dancers did not have a salary and were paid on piecework.

Edited by mnacenani

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1 hour ago, MadameP said:

 Fourteen former soloist or principal dancers are now in the "Working under Contract" category,

 

Indeed - including some of my favourites : Alexandrova, Kaptsova and Allash. I could hardly believe

it when I read that Kaptsova is 39 ....... she looks at least 10 years younger ..... to my "buyer's eye"

at least  :D

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43 minutes ago, California said:

I remember that scene -- but I thought she said "we" are only being paid by the performance. It wasn't just Freddie! And this was in the mid-70s.

But Freddie had a family to support.

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13 minutes ago, Helene said:

But Freddie had a family to support.

Ah, yes -- the 70s, when serious people who should have known better argued that equal pay for equal work was unwarranted as only men had families to support...

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6 hours ago, mnacenani said:

Re remuneration of dancers : at the time of the Bolshoy Filin acid incident it was said/written that the bad blood resulted

from Filin not casting Dmitrichenko's then "partnyor" Vorontsova (currently principal at Mixailovskiy) leaving her skint, as

at the time dancers did not have a salary and were paid on piecework.

 

To be precise, Vorontsova danced quite aplenty under Filin, the issue was that he did not give her the lead role in Swan Lake that she coveted, not that she could not make a proper living.

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11 minutes ago, Fleurdelis said:

To be precise, Vorontsova danced quite aplenty under Filin, the issue was that he did not give her the lead role in Swan Lake that she coveted, not that she could not make a proper living.

 

Could very well be - I started seeing ballet in Russia in January 2015 so my version of events is hearsay but I do believe

I read this somewhere.

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All news on Ballet Alert! must come from official sources, not hearsay.  Many official sources posted here after Fillin was attacked so eggregiously stated what Fleurdelis posted, and reports of her performances and cast lists support the official sources.

 

Separate issues around money which caused dissent were Filin's distribution of the bonus pool, also described I'd official news reports.

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8 hours ago, Helene said:

All news on Ballet Alert! must come from official sources, not hearsay

 

Taken note of !

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The issue with Womack was that she was on a production contract rather than a full time contract (essentially a freelancer). So she wasn’t getting a (however nominal) base pay 

Edited by Deflope

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Tissi has been promoted to first soloist and Kovalyovav to soloist. 

While it’s obvious these two are being promoted as the golden couple, I feel bad for those like Soares, who has danced a number of lead roles and gotten good reviews from the Russian audience and Olga Marchenkova who has actually gotten repeats for the lead roles she dances

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Kovalyova is SO talented - I am happy for her - but I can't help wishing Zhiganshina also had been promoted.  She deserves it.  

Edited by MadameP

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