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Helene

Tsiskaridze: Save Russian Ballet from Half-Trained West

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I can't help thinking it would be better to ignore him. We all know Tsiskaridze is an inveterate publicity hound. By translating and disseminating these stories, Ismene Brown is giving him exactly what he wants and inadvertently acting as his enabler. We ought to care only about the quality of Vaganova graduates. The rest is bluster, and I'm not going to give Tsiskaridze the satisfaction of paying attention.

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Well - Russian productions of the classics ARE the best... :-)

;) And they can just keep on doing them, if that is what "Russian art" requires. Meanwhile, back in the real world - we continue to create...

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No offense, but generally Russian dancers can't do Balanchine, modern, or any type of non-classical choreography like Petipa, etc. as good as dancers in the West. Yet no high profile figures over here have never denigrated them and called them "half-trained". Just saying...

Tsiskaridze is crazy, but isn't he echoing sentiments shared by most Russians anyway? I was always under the impression that generally, Russians feel their style of ballet is superior from everyone else.

And if he wants Russian ballet to be isolated, he needs to start getting rid of all non-Russian ballets in their rep. I'm sure their audience would probably get tired of it though, lol.

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Well - Russian productions of the classics ARE the best... :-)

;) And they can just keep on doing them, if that is what "Russian art" requires. Meanwhile, back in the real world - we continue to create...

And somewhere in the next world there is a Frenchman who is, no doubt, positively thrilled that a jester has been inserted into Swan Lake, and some terribly, ahem, "Iberian" gypsy dances have been interpolated into Don Quixote, and loads of pointe work has been added to La Bayadère, which are all, if you can imagine, passed off as his work. dry.png

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Not to mention having cut out hours of his masterpieces, changed the style of all of the male variations, and added 190 degree extensions.

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Tsiskaridze ... accused the world of effectively pirating Russia's ballet by staging Swan Lake, Don Quixote, and La Bayadère without paying the country for them.

Swan Lake, Don quixote, and La Bayadère, ..., are those classical ballets, like the classical operas, in public domain already?

I thought that patents and copy-rights would NOT be interminably valid. Since Marius Petipa's works were done 100 years ago, unless the western took or copied the Russia's updated and modified choreographing of classical ballets, there should be NO protection for Marius Petipa's original creation any more.

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Well - Russian productions of the classics ARE the best... :-)

The Russian dancers are so......o good! flowers.gif

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I think there's still anger over the manuscripts in Stepanov notation having been taken out of Russia and then sold and eventually donated to Harvard, even if Russian companies have zero interest in using them, and Mariinsky having chosen the Soviet version of Sleeping Beauty over the reconstruction.

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I think there's still anger over the manuscripts in Stepanov notation having been taken out of Russia and then sold and eventually donated to Harvard, even if Russian companies have zero interest in using them, and Mariinsky having chosen the Soviet version of Sleeping Beauty over the reconstruction.

bingo

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Well - Russian productions of the classics ARE the best... :-)

Not really. Russian SL, Bayadere and Nutcracker do not honor the original libretto, and this is in both Mariinsky and Bolshoi.

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Well - Russian productions of the classics ARE the best... :-)

Not really. Russian SL, Bayadere and Nutcracker do not honor the original libretto, and this is in both Mariinsky and Bolshoi.

Well, that is my opinion! My opinion is that Russia productions of the classics are the best - and I have seen countless Mariinsky productions, in particular, on the Mariinsky stage, as well as Bolshoi, Mikhailovsky, Paris Opera, Royal Ballet , and many other companies - as no doubt many here have! - but more Russian productions than any other. -Taking into account the quality of the dancing (actually, especially the quality of the dancing,) the staging, the choreography, the libretto, costumes, scenery, orchestra - the whole package, if you like, Russian productions are the best! For me there is no contest! :-)

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Really? Clearly you've never sat through the Bolshoi's swan Lake.

The company has rung enough changes on this production that you two may both be right -- depending on which versions you're discussing!

I've been thinking about his comments about the Petipa repertory though, particularly his complaint that companies in the West don't pay royalties to some entity for the works. Although I cannot think offhand of a production that wasn't staged by someone who received payment of some sort (artistic director salary or one-off project fees) there are indeed plenty of works in the standard repertory whose "ownership" is cloudy, to be polite. Of the current Swan Lakes in production now, which ones are not the property of a specific artist?

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I've been thinking about his comments about the Petipa repertory though, particularly his complaint that companies in the West don't pay royalties to some entity for the works. Although I cannot think offhand of a production that wasn't staged by someone who received payment of some sort (artistic director salary or one-off project fees) there are indeed plenty of works in the standard repertory whose "ownership" is cloudy, to be polite. Of the current Swan Lakes in production now, which ones are not the property of a specific artist?

A dig at capitalist societies and their need to put a price on everything? Perhaps, but me thinks the Russians just want to join the party, in their own way.

I don't think you will find that his comments hold up under much scrutiny: it's mostly wishful thinking. But plainly in line with Putin's policies (naturally) - bring the money home to Mother Russia, and support the state system! This may be Tsiskaridze's notion for creating a 'nurturing' environment for a Russian-centric art, but I doubt seriously that this will lead to any great work. Too much politics, and more poor economics, but little art in this.

Edit: I was just reading something about the Marat Daukayev School of Ballet, where Maria Kochetkova just performed (Nutcracker of course!) with the school. How ironic that the "half-trained" West is so often instructed by Russian ex-patriots who, for one reason or another, sought opportunity outside of Russia. A veritable army of artists brought up on the classics and yearning to do that and so much more - outside of Russia.

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Mr T is an interesting character - he received nice reviews for performing the mother role in Ashton's Fille a few months back - and now he's denegrating the very "western" choreography that he chose to perform. I read an interview (maybe 5 years ago?) where he said his dream role (at that point he hadn't been asked to perform it) would be Des Grieux in Manon. So where does MacMillan fit into this rant?

As for royalties, Russians are not paying royalties for 100+ year old dance/literary/musical masterworks that are played regularly in Russia (Bach, Mozart, etc). Anyway wouldn't royalties be paid to the descendants of the composers & choreographers? Those might not even live in Russia any longer.

As for who dances Petipa the best, I think it makes sense for Russians to perform the old works well as they've invested in the instruction and schools to produce romantic / classical ballet. To turn it about, I'd say that American musicians still play the best jazz music - more so than the Russians at any rate. But there are plenty of wonderful jazz musicians all over the world. And American companies that focus on neoclassical Balanchine & Robbins still perform those works the best - more so than the Russians. But there are still wonderful international dancers who make neoclassical works look really great.

I could make additional comparisons, but I think you get the idea.

He's playing to his moneymakers, and we should all just ignore his politically tinged yelping. If quality dancers continue to emerge from Vagonova, I'm sure it has to do with the continuity of the teachers in place, rather than the rector in place.

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Isn't there a basic sanity (IQ) test for appointments to these sorts of positions? Being a bit LOCO may be good for artistry; not so much for running an entity like the Vaganova.

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