One of the figures at the center of the Bolshoi Theater’s ongoing shadiness, faded-star Nikolai Tsiskaridze, will soon be out of work: the Bolshoi will not renew the veteran principal dancer and dance teacher’s contract.
Tsiskaridze has publicly clashed with the Bolshoi’s honchos, making no secret of his disdain for General Director Anatoly Iksanov, and his ambition to become General Director himself. The internal strife at the Bolshoi makes for excellent drama, which often falls on the outrageousness scale somewhere between a Dallas and a Nip/Tuck, Nip/Tuck obviously representing the most outrageous acts possible. Conflicts can often spill into the press, with high-powered outside interests secretly backing one Bolshoi faction over another.
Tsiskaridze has been mentioned in much of the Bolshoi’s most recent high-profile scandal, in which the artistic director Sergei Filin had acid hurled in his face. Though Tsiskaridze was never linked to the attack, a New Yorker article by David Remnick speculated that the attack on Filin might have evolved from a rivalry between him and Tsiskaridze, and other Bolshoi managers accused Tsiskaridze of creating the tense climate that led to the attack.
Tsiskaridze’s contract expires at the end of June, though he’s questioned the Bolshoi’s “right” to actually let him go.
Image via AP, Alexander Zemlianichenko