Magazine article Dance Magazine

A New Bolshoi? Makhar Vaziev Takes Leadership at the Ballet

Magazine article Dance Magazine

A New Bolshoi? Makhar Vaziev Takes Leadership at the Ballet

Article excerpt

Another director has entered into the Bolshoi Ballet's tangled politics. Two and a half years after the acid attack on its artistic director Sergei Filin, the Russian company decided to eliminate his position and search for a replacement. Last October, it was announced Makhar Vaziev, until recently La Scala Ballet's director, had taken up the challenge. He officially takes over as ballet director this month, though much remains unclear about his new role in Moscow.

The acid attack in January 2013 left Filin's vision permanently diminished. But his departure is no medical retirement: The decision was made by Vladimir Urin, who replaced Anatoly Iksanov as general director of the Bolshoi in the summer of 2013. While Iksanov was hands-off and focused on administrative matters, Urin is keen to exert more artistic control over the venerable institution.

Urin also joined from the Stanislavsky Theatre, where Filin was ballet director until the Bolshoi snapped him up. Filin took several top Stanislavsky dancers with him, Kristina Kretova among them, and the relationship between the two men has remained strained since. When Urin announced Filin's departure last summer, he explained the position of artistic director of the ballet company would be eliminated and replaced by a company manager, who would focus more on administrative duties.

New ballet director Vaziev brings impeccable artistic credentials to the Bolshoi, however. …

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