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August 23, 2013


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Wow! Good for him. More of those incredibly gifted dancers at ABT should go elsewhere to get to dance the roles they've worked so hard to dance. Matthew Golding's career is the chief case in point.

True, J. They all should leave. But just as importantly, ABT's board should be asking McKenzie to explain why he can't keep the talent in-house, keep it thriving, and keep it happy. You don't see many dancers at NYCB throwing away their New York careers to go to the other end of the earth just to get roles to dance that they should be dancing here. You don't see many at Paris Opera Ballet throwing away their POB careers to go to some obscure point on the map in order to dance Swan Lake or Les Sylphides. It's a damn shame that ABT's board doesn't take its work seriously.

Great move. More opportunities for him to guest with Japanese companies and be invited to dance there too. Most importantly he will finally have chances to dance the classics, something he'd have no shot at doing as an American at ABT.

True, Genna. Ya gotta love how Russia just plows ahead and invests in the infrastructure for a huge performing arts complex with the confidence that great artists will find it. That city is mostly known for making cars and its navy fleet. Almost overnight, they've gotten a huge theater, and opera & ballet companies. BTW, Vladivostok is also the hometown of Ivan Vasiliev; so you can assume that he'll come back at some point in time to perform.

This is a great move for Phillips. I still hope, though, that someday he ends up working for Bocca.

wasn't Joseph the one who did an amazing performance of Ali a day after being in the ER?

Yep, k, that was him.

I have to agree that this new opera house checks all the boxes compared to the Mariinsky II. Something definitely got lost in the translation between the Canadian and Russian architectural firms re the M II project. BTW the latest skuttlebut is that the Czar of Music, (Valery Gergiev) wishes to become the Director of a new "National Center of Performing Arts," - combining all the performing venues and performing arts institutions of Petersburg under his Direction. This includes the Repin Institute, Vaganova Academy and the Rimsky-Korsakov Conservertoire and the St. Petersburg Philharmonic. If this should come to pass, after Petersburg, what's next? Moscow & the rest of the Federation (i.e. Vladivostok)? He wants to be the 21st century equivalent of the 19th century's Director of the Imperial Theatres, bypassing the Ministry of Culture, requesting a decree from President Putin. I hope that this is a senseless rumor and that Forbes.ru's is inaccurate.

Hi Erica. I read the Forbes.ru article. Very interesting, but it didn't seem to clarify what Gergiev saw as significant benefits to such a National Center that would obviously devalue each organization's individual identity.

Do you think it would be a good idea if someone other than Gergiev suggested it and was in charge of it? In other words, does the premise hold promise?


Quick update from Phillips' FB page. He will begin his new job in September, and yes, he will be a principal dancer. Fantastic.

Today's NYT has an article on V-Rox, the rock music festival in Vladivostok. Pretty soon this will be a vacation destination point as well known as Moscow or St. Pete, and with its comparatively mild climate will seem more hospitable.

Phillips is getting in on the ground floor of something really, really exciting.

Joseph Phillips, Principal Dancer, State Primorsky Opera and Ballet. It sounds damn fine.

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