News » Ivan Vasiliev

Osipova and Vasiliev Quit Bolshoi
Author: Super User
Date: November 14, 2011
Publisher: Dance Channel TV

The world of ballet was shaken earlier as two of the most celebrated dancers of Bolshoi Ballet announced that they are leaving. Natalia Osipova and Ivan Vasiliev, the famed principals of Bolshoi, have handed in their notice and announced that they are moving to a much lesser known Mikhailovsky Theatre of Saint Petersburg for the next 5 years. Although it is a well-regarded theatre, it is always overshadowed by Bolshoi and Saint Petersburg’s other ballet company, the world-famous Mariinsky.

Vasilieav and Osipova

According to the Russian newspaper “Izvestia”, the couple has two weeks to make their decision final.  It is reported that the two had become frustrated with the creative conservatism of Bolshoi and were seeking greater creative freedom.  Moreover, they wanted greater freedom to guest, tour and perform with other companies.  Mikhailovsky may have been their choice because it has been showcasing a lot of artistic experimentation under Nacho Duato.

As if adding to the shock of the departure, the outspoken principal of Bolshoi, Nikolai Tsiskaridze, while commenting on the news noted that this departure will not be an isolated instance.  Speaking to “Izvestia”, Tsiskaridze said that the best artists of the Bolshoi are forced out of the theatre.  “My wonderful friend Andrei Uvarov was forced to give notice.  Recently, the artistic director of Bolshoi, Sergei Fillin, asked me to leave. But that will not happen: for me ballet means Bolshoi, and I am not going anywhere,” he stated.  Although the general director of the Mikhailovsky Theatre, Vladimir Kekhman, has said that financial motive was not the reason for the pair’s departure, Tsiskaridze thinks otherwise, saying “there is a lot more pay.  They are young and need to think about it.  Kekhman will do anything to make sure they dance there.”

Whatever the reasons for the departure, the news is big, as is everything with Bolshoi, true to its name.