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About Catherine

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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
    former dancer, current critic
  • City**
    St. Petersburg
  • State (US only)**, Country (Outside US only)**

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  1. I can comment as I was at the festival press conference. When asked if the Theatre intended to keep Silvia in the repertoire long term and/or if permission/rights had been paid in order to do so, Fateyev responded that they paid to have the sets and costumes done anew specifically for the Mariinsky and that unlike ABT which had borrowed theirs from the Royal Ballet, this 'set' of costumes/scenery is new and belongs to the Mariinsky and thus he hopes the ballet will remain in rotation for years to come. He did not comment on how many years or any amounts paid or not paid.
  2. Perhaps they can support him because they believe he is the fall guy paid to carry out and also to take the public blame for the entire thing which was orchestrated by someone else... As such, what he says would not be the truth but rather what he was commissioned to say in court.
  3. Just wanted to say I agree with these observations and they're very astute. Regarding the sham marriage: she was married for a short period of time (I read one month, I believe but perhaps it was longer) and is already divorced, because she thought it would help her get somewhere. What I find surprising is that it is not difficult to read online the Russian requirements (in English or in Russian) for obtaining 1) visas 2) legal employment 3) residency and 4) citizenship. In either language it is clear that marrying a Russian does not get you any of the above (not in the short term at least). Before moving to Russia I did extensive reading about the requirements for legal working visa and the tax requirements for dual residency or Russian residency as a foreigner and what taxes need to be paid, to whom, at what %, and when. It's not the Bolshoi's responsibility to be aware of US tax law. They are responsible for adhering to tax requirements within their own country only. It is the individual's responsibility to file a Federal US Tax return whether residing in the US or not, as Helene I think pointed out. Furthermore, when signing an employment contract in Russia, the contract lists the amount of tax that will be deducted from your paycheck based on your status. She would have seen what that percentage was before signing. As a tax resident it should be a flat 13% along with the rest of the country. It is higher for other categories (I have to check as this has changed recently, but I believe it's higher if you have not been in Russia long or are not officially employed, or are a subcontractor etc). And a final thought: casting couch policies exist in nearly every company on the planet. We don't hear about them in the mainstream press but they happen. So I'd extend the comments in that area as well. If she was exposed to those comments, she was not the only one. But it's up to the individual how they react, whether they succumb, if they work hard without the bribes or try to take /give money to get somewhere faster. It is a fact that not every (or even many) corps members are paying bribes to get on stage. The below is very very true:
  4. Me too. I don't know if they are - I suppose only the courts and those with access to them will know for sure.
  5. Izvestia is pro-Tsiskaridze, and therefore anti-Filin, so take into account the source of who's "producing" the news.
  6. What relevance does it have to the case to what extent Filin has lost, regained, or will regain his eyesight? The fact that acid was thrown in his face is documented by medical and surgical photos that are available online. In my view, legally speaking, and not legally speaking, it bears no relevance how severe the damage is or was, then or now -- because there IS damage and acid WAS thrown. And it was ordered thrown by someone other than Dmitrichenko. Those are facts. I don't understand the focus (in the courtroom) on that or the focus on whether or not Filin was carrying on a casting couch situation. Unless that is going to determine the amount (in monetary funds) of compensation for his suffering. Other than that I think that line of questioning by the courts/attorneys is a bit irrelevant. Or is that just me? Secondarily, as a journalist, I can tell you that the coverage in certain US papers is decidedly slanted against or for certain pieces of news. As a journalist I've personally been asked by US national papers to find more "dirt" on someone when there was no dirt to be found (and when the someone in question was Russian). I just say that to suggest we should take with a grain of salt whatever is in print by a national paper (US or otherwise). Look at the source and look at what their typical political views are in most articles on said topic, and then seek out a paper with the opposite views and you will likely find the facts in order to piece together the story.
  7. 2. Financial audits are not necessarily black and white. Accountants make projections and assumptions that are subjective. Methods of accounting are also subject to the accountant's judgment, within a range of standards. 3. If AA ran the educational docket and DV ran the budget, then why would AA have to run away, Birdsall? Also, what about DV? 4. Why the pressing agenda to unify the schools and the theatres? Is it for greater access to larger budgets and greater power over more supplicants? Or to standardize outputs? Or both? 5. Why do London, NY, and other orchestras need Gergiev? 6. Is the word audit used in a nonfinancial setting in Russia, to mean an internal investigation of other behaviors? 6. Yes in this case that is how the article sounded. 5. They don't IMHO 4. Bc the Min of Culture is an idiot. But from a PRACTICAL standpoint the only reason i can think of is that it would give more "power" to whomever heads this new entity up. The money won't necessarily be larger...unless you consider one person ruling a $10 budget in city A, and one person ruling a $10 budget in city B, each only manage $10. But if the city structures are combined, and the budget is now $20, then one person gets to manage $20.... But I still dont see the economic advantage there bc the institutions must still be run in a functional manner (therefore said person cannot just pocket $20). So to answer your question - no one knows! 3. Will let birdsall answer. 2. Right but if the books do not add up, and money is missing, that's pretty black and white. 1. Lack of employment contracts have zero to do with a financial audit. But they have to do with an administrative audit. Why weren't the human resources files filled? The answer is bc the Min Culture did not provide the required documents. My point is - that is not the Academy's fault as far as I can tell. You can ask the MinCul for the documents. Whether they provide them or not is up to them... Just to recap, the audit is all encompassing: administrative/financial/educational. Its not just financial.
  8. You were not referring to the Bolshoi reno, too? Personally I was not, no...I dont think the Bolshoi reno qualifies as costco bc at least there is form to the building...
  9. (Oh - I meant the MT2. Someone called it Costco bc it resembles the square-box form of Costco...)
  10. Lord, at this point, I suppose sky is the limit. I want to say, "it would depend on the legal situation" but apparently nothing is based on that here anymore. In the article they note that the audit also involves "educational" processes. How can the Ministry of Culture audit the way a 275 year old ballet academy teaches its own students, I'd like to know? Financial audits are obviously more black-and-white. If they find missing funds, yes, I'm sure someone will be charged. Then the irony is why aren't people responsible for building billion dollar Costco theatres also being audited? ahem. We'd have a quick list of jail applicants in that case... The fact that none of the rectors were given employment contracts however, is a reflection on the MINISTRY and not on the administration of the Academy. So I honestly do not know what they plan to "find" in this audit. Between that and the "idea to unify" the schools, I....have no more words.
  11. More at day's end. First, the good news: Fomkin met with Gergiev in a productive meeting and sources say he is not in support of Tsiskaridze leading up the Academy. His (Gergiev's) main grievance was the "distance" of the Academy from the theatre, he claimed. Tsiskaridze heading up the academy will only widen that gap. Second, the bad news: The Ministry of Culture has announced suddenly that it will be running a financial/administrative audit of the Academy due to violations. (Unclear what violations, when, how, or why). Propaganda at its best to perpetuate the drama? Unbelievable.
  12. Ha sandik ))))) and Drew ["the Minister's tin ear and really spectacular display of ignorance is...well...astounding.] YES. This. ___ Yesterday here in Saint Petersburg at 2 p.m. on Ligovsky Prospekt Rosbalt hosted a press conference organized by the petitioners for ...perhaps I will call them the petitioners for fairness and democracy. In attendance were Kuznetsov, Igor Kolb, Anton Korsakov (also proposed as a candidate in fact), Yuri Smekalov and Fomkin along with pedagogues from the Academy. The candidates spoke and part of the conference is recorded on youtube (without visual but with audio) for those who understand Russian. It is impressive that the group has rallied press support> the petition is reaching 1000 signatures but we need 10 times more than that to take it to the Duma. I'm praying that the more press attention this gets, the less likely a long-term disastrous outcome will be.
  13. Well it's preferable when doing a manege or diagonale and heading *downstage* ahem because the momentum takes you forward faster and in jumps you seem to go higher since, as you travel forward (downstage), the floor is lower than it was where you took off from the jump (due to the grade). I can't personally say it's preferable when running upstage though (because you're running uphill)... From an audience's point of view it's also preferable because you can see everyone on stage, up to the girl in the last row. In the West this is achieved mostly by grading the orchestra seats...but still, from the orchestra you look at the stage and it's one level, so the "girls in the back" can get lost from view more easily. It depends of course on the hall, where you're sitting, but overall the sight lines are better, i find, in theatres with raked stages (better for the audience I mean).
  14. Tamicute, I totally agree that Gergiev doesn't intend to make MT2 (or other) studios... the dancers I interviewed during the opening of the MT2 for the article were told in explanation for why the MT2 *stage* itself is not raked that "since they dance on flat stages on tour, they can do it at home" -- that is the reason they were given! For Westerners, the rake takes a huge toll on joints when you are at first not used to it, but once you are used to it (as Xander noted) it can be a preferable option. What is not easy is the "back and forth" (even though they do it for touring). What is staggering (or OK, at this point, nothing is surprising) but the inconsistency, considering the MT1, the Mikhailovsky, the Conservatory and the Alexandrinsky (unless I'm mistaken) stages are all raked...--as tamicute noted, every rehearsal studio and stage in the city basically -- as well as any major Russian theatre intended for ballet/opera viewings in any city, has a raked stage, with few exceptions. Oh - but not the MT2.
  15. I have no proposals and didn't realize we were obliged to submit proposals here - my job is not to solve that problem (with the 3 jobs I already have, it's plenty for me!). I just don't believe that laying a floor (of the type that you mentioned) is an option or they would have already done it at present time. Nor will it be easy to find sudden empty space that is usable. Something will have to be built or converted (renovated) unless the school is booted out of their 275-year home. It's great if the NYCB man made that floor in the US, and that was a solution there, but it isn't one here (at present time)...I don't know that the Russians have that technology or knowledge, asI have not seen it done here before. So presuming they do not have that option: is Mr Bates willing to fly to Russia, and would they hire him? Or will someone in Russia fly to the US to learn how to build it? The Sochi workforce isnt needed as the MT has their own stagehand builders. But if they do not have that knowledge, even though that proposal is great, if it is not accessible here either due to cost (visa/flight/training) or skill on site at the MT...then we're back at square one.
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