Bolshoi 2020/2021 Season in Bolshoi Ballet Posted October 17 On 10/5/2020 at 4:08 PM, volcanohunter said: At age 38 they are eligible to begin receiving their pension, which sort of absolves the theater of continuing to pay them a regular salary. However, pensions are always smaller than salaries, and because the "under contract" dancers inevitably see a drop, sometimes precipitous, in the number of performances they get, it's not a winning proposition. Under Filin, veteran soloists, especially character dancers, were teased out of their ranks and listed separately in the weird "under contract" (i.e. resident guest artist) category. When it was done to principals Anna Antonicheva and Marianna Ryzhkina there was a public outcry at this visible relegation, and their bios were relisted among the primas. Under Vaziev there are no such niceties, and there has been a discernable pattern of promoting dancers to "replace" a "retiring" principal. When Dmitry Gudanov left at 42 (without going through the "under contract" stage), his spot was given to Vyacheslav Lopatin. When Alexander Volchkov began working "under contract" at 40, his spot went to Artemy Belyakov. Now Ruslan Skvortsov's spot has been given to Denis Savin (although since there is zero overlap in their repertoires, it can't really be described as a replacement.) Savin is a very, very fine artist, but an unconventional principal, and at 36 he won't hold the position for very long. I think the real story here is who wasn't promoted: Igor Tsvirko. Because while Savin is a character/modern dancer, Tsvirko is a demi-caractere dancer with a substantial repertoire of leading roles Savin doesn't dance: Basilio, Solor, Rothbart, Nutcracker Prince, Conrad, Philippe, Spartacus, Ferkhad, Ivan the Terrible, even Albrecht in the Grigorovich production. By the time Savin and Mikhail Lobukhin reach 40 four years from now, Tsvirko will be in his mid 30s and it may well be too late for him. Unless, and this is highly unlikely, he will be given the spot currently held by Ekaterina Shipulina, who turns 41 next month. More likely, her place will be given to Alyona Kovalyova, and the next to Olga Marchenkova (prospects that fill me with shock-horror). I'm not a Tsvirko fan, but given the sort of repertoire he carries, especially Spartacus, and that Savin probably never expected to be made principal, this really is a body blow. Agree! Savin is a fine artist, but I don't believe he deserved to be principal as much as Tsvirko did - and like you, I am not a Tsvirko fan, but in terms of the body of his repertoire, he was by far more deserving of the promotion.