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Ballet couple who quit Bolshoi do not say farewell yet

November 16, 2011, 16:59 UTC+3

The couple, who handed in their notice on November 13, is to stay in their jobs at Bolshoi for two more weeks yet as envisaged in the Labor Code

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MOSCOW, November 16 (Itar-Tass) — A star ballet couple, Natalia Osipova and Ivan Vasiliev, who quit dancing at Bolshoi, do not say farewell to Bolshoi yet.

The couple, who handed in their notice on November 13, is to stay in their jobs at Bolshoi for two more weeks yet as envisaged in the Labor Code. On November 27, which is their last day at Bolshoi, they are to dance together in Don Quixote ballet.

Marina Kondratyeva, Natalia Osipova's tutor and choreographer, told Itar-Tass that she expected Natasha to come to the rehearsal on Wednesday. The ballet choreographer deeply regrets the departure of her favorite dancer from the Bolshoi ballet company. "I do not think Natasha did it for reasons of gain. Money is not her interest. She is an artistic person. Ballet and her ballet parts mean everything to her. We have worked together for five years. She often used to say she could dance for no pay at all. Dancing is the only thing she wants. I think someone has lured the couple astray," the choreographer said.

It turned out that Natalia Osipova had not even told her teacher that she was leaving. “She did not even call me. I was deeply hurt because I am deeply attached to her both in my heart and soul. We were like a family. I would have never interfered in her plans. They are both young. Perhaps, its being young which did that. The young generation nowadays cannot be compared with their predecessors. The young people are different now, and one cannot always understand them," the choreographer said.

Indeed, it is difficult to understand artists who leave their theater which actually became their homeplace without saying goodbye, without explaining the reasons and saying no “thank you". "Let us see what their fate will be like, I wish them all the best," the choreographer said. "I want Natasha to become a great ballet dancer; Bolshoi offered her every opportunity for a ballet star career. She danced both classical and modern ballet parts. She had a rich repertoire. In December Natalia Osipova was to have danced in the Nutcracker, and she also had other plans. Her work schedule was not too tiresome; last year she was free for seven months,” the choreographer said.

As for Ivan Vasiliev, his career at Bolshoi was developing successfully as well. He had a good teacher - People's artist of the Soviet Union Yuri Vladimirov, and his ballet repertoire could only be envied. He danced principal ballet parts in the Nutcracker, Giselle, Spartakus, which I think was his best part,” the choreographer said.

Marina Kondratyeva deeply regrets that young talented artists are quitting Bolshoi. Throughout 59 years in Bolshoi I can' t recall any such incidents, except a few Soviet-era "desertions. " There have been no such incidents in Russia's modern history, and I hope there will not be any," Kondratyeva said. As far as Ivan and Natasha are concerned, I cherish hope that they might go back on their decision and realize, what Bolshoi Theater really is," Kondratyeva said.

The theatre’s Director General Anatoly Iksanov said that Bolshoi is always open to the two ballet dancers and that they may return there any time.

The excellent dancing couple decided to go on with their career at St Petersburg’s Mikhailovsky Theater, press attache of Bolshoi Theater Katerina Novikova told Itar-Tass on Monday. “Natalia Osipova and Ivan Vasiliev handed in their notice that they were leaving Bolshoi last Sunday, but their notice has not been signed yet,” she said.

As for the reasons behind their decision, the press secretary supposes that financial interests are most probably involved. “One can hardly think about any other reason,” Novikova said. “The Bolshoi company was like home to the young people. They developed their talents here, became leading dancers and were given spectacular roles. Ivan danced the leading part in Spartacus, in Don Quixote and in contemporary ballets. Natalia danced virtually the entire classical repertoire and roles in ballets of contemporary choreographers,” the press attache said.

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