Jump to content
This Site Uses Cookies. If You Want to Disable Cookies, Please See Your Browser Documentation. ×

Bolshoi 2015 Promotion

Recommended Posts


Anna Nikulina, Anastasia Stashkevich are promoted from the Leading Soloists to Principals;

Artemy Belyakov from the Soloist to the Leading Soloist,

Denis Savin and Igor Tsvirko from the First Soloists to the Leading Soloists;

Daria Khokhlova, Yuri Baranov from the Soloists to the First Soloists;

Anastasia Vinokur, Angelina Karpova, Ana Turazashvili and Alexander Smoliyaninov from Artists to the Soloists.

Link to comment

These promotions are accompanied by the rather ignominious reassignment of Anna Antonicheva (aged 41) and Marianna Ryzhkina (aged 44) from principal dancers to soloists "working under contract," a category that hitherto had been used primarily for character dancers over the age of 40, at least one of whom does not actually seem to perform on the Bolshoi stage, and never before for one-time principals.

It remains to be seen what sort of roles they will perform in the future. Antonicheva has performed very infrequently in recent years, while Ryzhkina has been somewhat more active, cast by the Balanchine Trust in "Emeralds" and Mats Ek in his Apartment, as well as coming to the company's rescue when it found itself severely short-staffed during a run of Legend of Love in April.

Will this be the new strategy for "retiring" dancers once they reach a certain age? I can't imagine Svetlana Zakharova being subjected to similar treatment 6-7 years from now.

Link to comment

It sounds as if Ryzhkina's remarkable versatility has kept her on stage more regularly than her equally talented colleague, but it is a mean-spirited way to treat two dancers that given so much to the company. I suppose this is the down side of concentrating on younger dancers at the expense of the more experienced.

Link to comment

Russian companies seem to be singularly bad at dealing with dancer retirements. So often older prinicpals linger on the rosters for several years with little or nothing to do, and when personal scores enter the picture, things get uglier, for example, Nikolai Tsiskaridze not being informed that his contract was not being renewed until after his final performance of the season. There are almost never official farewell performances, no Parisian-style showers of star-shaped confetti, no London-style flower throws, no New York-style processions of stage partners and colleagues bearing bouquets. Instead the public usually becomes aware of a retirement when a dancer’s name disappears from the roster. It’s a shabby way to treat dancers, most of whom will have dedicated their entire adult lives to their home companies, and a shabby way to treat their devoted audiences.

Perhaps it would be better to set a standard retirement age, say, 42, maybe with an optional extension for principal dancers. Rather than living with anxiety about being axed unexpectedly, the dancers would then know what to expect and prepare accordingly, choosing themselves which ballet to perform as their official farewell. Those performances would become celebrations of their careers and would allow them to leave the stage amidst a deserved outpouring of affection and admiration, as happens in most of the ballet world.

I wish the Bolshoi would deal with this issue sooner rather than later. Many of its remaining principals were born before 1980 and are steadily marching toward their 40th birthdays and closer to the ends of their performing careers: Dmitry Gudanov (9 July 1975), Maria Allash (9 March 1976), Maria Alexandrova (20 July 1978), Nina Kaptsova (16 October 1978), Svetlana Zakharova (10 June 1979), Alexander Volchkov (20 July 1979), Svetlana Lunkina* (29 July 1979), Ekaterina Shipulina (14 November 1979). They deserve better than to be bumped from the top of the list to some limbo with a clumsy title to wait for their careers to peter out unnoticed. Heck, POB étoiles bear that title for life. I don’t think Bolshoi principals deserve less.

Link to comment

The Bolshoi dancers gave away lifetime employment in the last contract negotiations.

I don't think Tsiskaridze had a leg to stand on: employees who repeatedly undermine a company and management publicly are rarely treated with turn-the-other-cheek kindness.

The Russian companies celebrate big anniversaries much more often than American companies, which tend to celebrate retirements more than anniversaries, although there likely will be fewer long-timers under year-to-year contracts. Each year on the schedule there are special performances to honor dancers and musicians.

Link to comment

The only anniversary Bolshoi ballet galas planned for next season, apart from the obligatory annual Zakharova gala, are for performers since retired (Boris Akimov) or deceased (Sofia Golovkina, Maya Plisetskaya, Raisa Struchkova). Nadezhda Gracheva was the last dancer to get a big 40th-birthday gala in 2009. A gala which was to have marked Maria Alexandrova's 15th anniversary with the company a couple of years ago never took place.

Most dancers around the world don't enjoy guaranteed employment, but most principal dancers do get a big send-off. I don't understand why Russian companies can't manage it.

Link to comment

The Bolshoi has fixed the bad optics by once again listing Antonicheva and Ryzhkina among the company's principal women on the theater's web site. The individual page for each dancer describes her rank as "soloist, working under contract" in English, but the Russian reads "ballerina, working under contract" (as opposed to simply "ballerina"). Antonicheva has a performance of Giselle scheduled for September 26.

Link to comment

This is few days late, but I too would like to extend my heartfelt congratulations to all who were appointed for promotion - brava flowers.gif ! I'm especially ecstatic to learn of Nikulina's promotion to Principal Dancer ->(yahoo.gif ),

and Igor Tsvirko's to Leading Soloist! Anna is a wonderful ballerina who was first coached by Maximova, and Tsvirko is also an amazing artist. If only Maximova had lived to see Anna attain this honor!

I agree with volcanohunter et.al. about how retirements are handled in the Bolshoi (and also the MT and other Russian companies). Dancers, great and small are steadily and gradually faded out/benched, then

quietly deleted from rosters. If they are stars, they might receive benefit gala performances during their careers, of special nights of their best roles and works devoted to them exclusively. The Mariinsky does

this regularly much more than the Bolshoi. If they're already retired and still active repetiteurs in the Theatre, or professors at the Conservatoire, or teachers in the Bolshoi or Vaganova Academy, anniversary

galas starring their best students who are prominent in the company perform in their honor.

Link to comment

The Bolshoi dancers gave away lifetime employment in the last contract negotiations.

I don't think Tsiskaridze had a leg to stand on: employees who repeatedly undermine a company and management publicly are rarely treated with turn-the-other-cheek kindness..

True, but the Tsiskaridze firing and the Zakharova casting fiasco had big fallout. Iksanov got fired only to be replaced by Urin, who is seeming more conservative and anti-West by the minute. Frankly, judging by this year's Vaganova grads, I wish Tsiskaridze would just go back to the Bolshoi. Just let him have the AD position.

Link to comment
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...