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Quinten

Olga Smirnova and Jacopo Tissi denied entrance to US

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Country of origin?

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Tissi, although not Russian, has presumably been tarred with the same Bolshoi brush as Olga.  This is not good.

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“Olga is considered the number one ballerina in the world right now”   ....... that's going to ruffle a few feathers at the Bolshoy ! :D

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Remember that several years ago Edward Watson was unable to obtain a work visa to appear at a gala in the U.S., and he certainly isn't Russian. Since these visas were denied to a Russian and an Italian alike, I suspect it has little to do with nationality, and more to do with the visa application itself. Or just an ornery consular officer. 

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I was just at an event with National Ballet of Canada's New Zealander Principal Dancer Harrison James, who recounted that at the beginning of his career, after graduation from San Francisco Ballet's school, he was offered a job by SFB but his work visa was refused. (yep, New Zealand ballet dancers, one of the great threats to the USA). So he joined the Royal Winnipeg Ballet instead. No problems with Canadian immigration.

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Kimin Kim was allowed entry.  He's here and will appear at the YAGP gala tonight.  Was Kim's application different from the ones submitted for Tissi and Smirnova?

My interest in this gala just went WAAAAY down.  Smirnova's absence is a substantial loss.

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3 hours ago, MadameP said:

Tissi, although not Russian, has presumably been tarred with the same Bolshoi brush as Olga.  This is not good.

Kimin Kim works for the Mariinsky, but he was allowed entry.   He's here (as evidenced by rehearsal video posted by Boylston) and will appear  at the gala. Why was he allowed in, but not Tissi or  Smirnova? 

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Posted (edited)
25 minutes ago, abatt said:

Kimin Kim works for the Mariinsky, but he was allowed entry.   He's here (as evidenced by rehearsal video posted by Boylston) and will appear  at the gala. Why was he allowed in, but not Tissi or  Smirnova? 

Kim may have applied for his visa primarily in conjunction with his upcoming ABT gig. (Rehearsals have now begun.) That may have made some difference, not sure.

Edited by nanushka

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37 minutes ago, nanushka said:

Kim may have applied for his visa primarily in conjunction with his upcoming ABT gig. (Rehearsals have now begun.) That may have made some difference, not sure.

1 hour ago, abatt said:

Kimin Kim works for the Mariinsky, but he was allowed entry.   He's here (as evidenced by rehearsal video posted by Boylston) and will appear  at the gala. Why was he allowed in, but not Tissi or  Smirnova? 

Or the notoriety of the Bolshoi played a role? Or Kim’s being South Korean?  Or, just as likely, perhaps that the cruel arbitrariness of the system is part of the point. That’s how power shows it is just that -power. 

Appalling decision in any case....

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Could Kim have applied as an individual but Smirnova & Tissi under the auspices of the Bolshoi?

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Posted (edited)

Decisions on approving or rejecting visa applications are not made by computers but by individuals. A presenter may have been successful in obtaining a certain type of visa a dozen times, but the 13th time a different consular officer may decide that the basis for approval is inadequate. If Kim applied through the (now closed) consulate in St. Petersburg, and Smirnova and Tissi through the embassy in Moscow, the applications would have been processed by different people who applied different standards.

Edited by volcanohunter

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The irony in all this is that Trump has shown little interest in penalizing or admonishing the Russian government for past  or current transgressions (whatever they may be). As Volcanohunter mentions, the bureaucracy that deals with these matters is complicated and often unpredictable.

"It's not personal, it's just policy".  (As if that would make anyone feel better.)

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Well, let's hope that Natalia Osipova has all of her paperwork in order for her scheduled Giselle at ABT next month.

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Posted (edited)

I would have assumed that YAGP would have applied for O-1 visas, which are for "individuals of extraordinary ability." This is what American performing-arts organizations ordinarily use when they bring in individual performers from overseas. It sounds like YAGP applied instead for some sort of P visa, which would be for a group. Do two performers from the same company count as a group, or should they be treated as individuals? Hmm...

As far as I'm aware, the onus is on the presenting organization to secure the necessary visas for its guest artists. Osipova, Kim, Smirnova, etc. wouldn't be responsible for securing their own visas. ABT and YAGP would be applying for them here in the U.S. and they'd be processed at one of the U.S.' visa-processing centers, which are notoriously delay-ridden. And yes, I believe that, to a certain degree, visa approval would be subject to the whims/judgment of the individual processing the visa.

Edited by fondoffouettes

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I don't know what kind of visa they applied for, but yes, the presenter is responsible for that task, which is becoming more capricious by the year.  I've written about this a couple of times, and there's never a lack of "you have to be kidding" stories to illustrate the difficulties.  Some arts organizations that make a practice of booking international artists have a specialist on staff whose primary job is shepherding these applications.

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I know an African rhode scholar surgeon who was denied before ample appeals 

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So sanctions against russia  -which may or may not exist per news - include Europeans working for russian co? Under what law?

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Posted (edited)
27 minutes ago, Vs1 said:

So sanctions against russia  -which may or may not exist per news - include Europeans working for russian co? Under what law?

The Page Six article doesn't seem to me to suggest that Smirnova and Tissi were denied entry as a result of any official sanctions, legal or otherwise, but rather on a technicality pertaining to the type of visa they had — albeit in a move that some have suggested was in fact politically motivated.

Edited by nanushka

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What are nonlegal sanctions

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Just now, Vs1 said:

What are nonlegal sanctions

I was responding to your comment:

Quote

So sanctions against russia  -which may or may not exist per news - include Europeans working for russian co? Under what law?

It seemed you were suggesting that "sanctions" had been the cause of Smirnova and Tissi being denied entry, and that those sanctions might not be legal. I was pointing out that the cause in fact seemed to be something different. My point was that "sanctions" of any sort didn't seem to have played a role.

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I haven't been following the Metropolitan Opera's season that closely, but I assume Russian singers (Ildar Abdrazakov, Dmitry Belosselskiy, Olga Peretyatko-Mariotti, Ekaterina Semenchuk, etc.) have been appearing there this season without issue. It's possible that denying visas to Tissi and Smirnova was politically motivated, but I don't think there's any information to necessarily suggest it was. If YAGP had applied for individual visas and still been denied, then I'd be more suspicious. 

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It could be that some faceless bureaucrat wanted to make trouble for Trump by applying the letter of the law in such a way as to exclude Russians. Trump's purpose in tightening immigration restrictions is to exclude brown non-Christians but the same rules, if strictly applied, could probably be used to exclude Russians (or in the case of Tissi, a non-Russian associated with a high profile Russian company).  Oh to be a fly on the wall when Trump receives a call from an irritated Putin complaining that Russian artists are being unfairly targeted.  Watch for the tweet!

 

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Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, Quinten said:

It could be that some faceless bureaucrat wanted to make trouble for Trump by applying the letter of the law in such a way as to exclude Russians. Trump's purpose in tightening immigration restrictions is to exclude brown non-Christians but the same rules, if strictly applied, could probably be used to exclude Russians (or in the case of Tissi, a non-Russian associated with a high profile Russian company).  Oh to be a fly on the wall when Trump receives a call from an irritated Putin complaining that Russian artists are being unfairly targeted.  Watch for the tweet!

What is there in the facts of the case that might suggest it was an application of Trump-related immigration restrictions that resulted in Smirnova and Tissi being denied entry? Again, this is what the Page Six account cites as the rationale given by immigration officials:

Quote

The immigration service’s objection appears to be that the organizers applied for a visa usually granted to groups of entertainers, but since Smirnova and Tissi were planning to perform at the “Stars of Today Meets the Stars of Tomorrow” gala as individuals, rather than alongside the rest of the Bolshoi company, they’re not eligible for it.

Are there other news accounts that suggest anything different? (I haven't looked.) There may have been political motivations behind the decision to enforce this rule (which the article suggests is not always so strictly enforced), but it doesn't  seem to have anything at all to do with the immigration restrictions that Trump introduced.

Edited by nanushka

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