In what is the latest move in the ongoing turf war at the Bolshoi Theater, ballet star Nikolai Tsiskaridze got to keep his teacher job at the theater despite his strained relations with the Bolshoi management.
The theater reserved its decision to terminate Tsiskaridze’s teacher contract in mid-January on the dancer’s own request, a representative of Bolshoi’s personnel management department told RIA Novosti on Tuesday. The contract runs until June 30.
The 38-year-old Tsiskaridze is splitting teacher duties at the Bolshoi with Yan Godovsky. In December, theater management announced plans to replace the duo with one full-time teacher, Regina Nikiforova. The move was not to affect’s Tsikaridze’s job as one of the Bolshoi's premier dancers.
Tsiskaridze, who joined the Bolshoi troupe in 1993, said in December he was never offered the job full-time and threatened to sue.
“I never requested anything from Bolshoi Theater management. I just explained my point-of-view and said I would be complaining to appropriate authorities in case the contract’s terminated,” Tsiskaridze said Tuesday.
The decision to fire Tsiskaridze came after his criticism of the Bolshoi’s revamp, which took six years and 21 billion rubles ($650 million) to finish. When the theater’s main stage reopened on October, Tsiskaridze was the lone critical voice, saying the renovation failed to properly restore the historical interior and made the premises less convenient for performers.
On Tuesday, Tsiskaridze also said that “it’s hard to fight for your rights” at the Bolshoi because Sergei Filin, the artistic director of Bolshoi's ballet troupe, is the head of the theater’s labor union at the same time. The dancer unsuccessfully tried for Filin’s job last spring, which, media report, soured the relationship between the two.