The Russian Culture Ministry has announced that a new advisory board will be formed to ‘publicly and openly' give advice on the running of the country's top dance academies. It is a move which it insists is not related to the recent Vaganova scandal. The new Russian Coordination Council for Choreography and Education may include the likes of Ulyana Lopatkina and Maria Alexandrova, but “not amateurs, not current management, not journalists”, reports Isvestia.
Vladimir Medinsky, the Culture Minister, said
Recently, the media and the public are paying a lot of attention to ballet education, sometimes even excessively. This is good news for our Ministry, so we decided that we should create a separate entity to deal publicly with these issues.
Which rather sounds like a complaint against the meddlers: we'd better make things more open to obviate further international headlines.
The Ministry also stated that Altynai Asylmuratova initially refused an offer to work at the Vaganova Academy under the leadership of Nikolai Tsiskaridze. It was only then the it was decided to approach Ulyana Lopatkina to replace her. However, after a long debate Tsiskaridze has renewed contracts with all current school directors, and the first contract was signed with Asylmuratova.
The future of Ulyana Lopatkina at the Vaganova remains unknown. The Vice-Minister is quoted as saying,
When we began to look deeper into the situation, we realised that work in the academy alongside that of her career as a ballerina is difficult.
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.