Troubling news in the ballet world: Wayne Eagling, Artistic Director of the English National Ballet, is leaving his post effective in August.
Follow the sequence of events:
- ABT's Kevin McKenzie armed with his Koch money goes poaching after Eagling's star principal, Vadim Muntagirov and the Royal Ballet's principal Sergei Polunin.
- Polunin can't get a release from the RB to guest at ABT so he has a meltdown and quits the Royal Ballet, loses his permit to work in the country, and recedes into despair with a series of way-too informative comments on Twitter. The Royal Ballet clearly expresses its hope that Polunin would return.
- Wayne Eagling offers Polunin a "lifeline" to come and train at the English National Ballet as a way of securing Polunin a visa and hopefully persuading him to dance at ENB, and most importantly, plugging the anticipated hemorrhage involving Muntagirov.
- Wayne Eagling is suddenly out as the English National Ballet's artistic director.
Perhaps when the Royal Ballet is trying to persuade its talent to return and plug its own hemorrhage, it may not view kindly another company down the road giving the star talent negotiating points - no matter what the circumstances. It all may have been the last straw for Wayne Eagling.
Good work, McKenzie.