The Mikhailovsky Theater scored a coup last fall by luring Natalia Osipova and Ivan Vasiliev from the Bolshoi, and it was to have brought them to the United States this summer for a run of shows at Lincoln Center, said Arts Beat.
Now those plans have been scrapped because American Ballet Theater has exercised a no-compete clause involving the pair. Osipova and Vasiliev also dance with ABT – Osipova as a principal and Vasiliev as a guest.
The Mikhailovsky had plans to perform at the David H. Koch Theater from June 19 to July 1, while ABT is scheduled to perform at the Metropolitan Opera house around the same time.
The ABT’s artistic director, Kevin McKenzie, said that the company would not release Osipova and Vasiliev from a clause barring its members from performing nearby. Sergei Danilian, the couple’s agent, who also represents the Mikhailovsky, said it would be impossible to present Giselle and Sleeping Beauty with a single cast. The tour was announced before Osipova and Vasiliev joined the company, but it was planned with the expectation that they would.
Danilian said of McKenzie,
I was thinking they would be friendly, but unfortunately, he feels it will affect his season. I was thinking like a human being, that artists need to cooperate; unfortunately, this market today, it’s terrible — everybody fighting for themselves.”
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano’) about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman’s Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia’ column for Dancing Times magazine.