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Bolshoi director 'understands and respects' ballet star’s refusal to perform

October 22, 2013, 16:32 UTC+3

Russian media circulated Tsikaridze’s statement saying he would no longer take to the stage at Bolshoi

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© Photo ITAR-TASS/Ruslan Shamukov

MOSCOW, October 22 (Itar-Tass) - Bolshoi Director-General Vladimir Uhrin said on Tuesday that he understood and respected refusal by longtime ballet megastar Nikolai Tsiskaridze to give farewell performances on the Bolshoi stage.

“I hope you know I was prepared to give an opportunity to the outstanding dancer to bid farewell to the Bolshoi’s stage,” Uhrin told Itar-Tass. “This would be in line with normal international practice but here is his decision and I treat it with understanding and respect on my part.”

Russian media circulated Tsikaridze’s statement saying he would no longer take to the stage there, words said to have been delivered to students of Moscow State Academy of Law where he was taking a course of studies.

”There’s an opportunity to give a performance there now but I just don’t want to,” Tsiskaridze said.

Director-General Uhrin made an official proposal to the dancer at the beginning of October to give three farewell performances at the Bolshoi. “To give an outstanding performer an opportunity to say good-bye to the audience is a tradition that’s widely accepted in the West,” he said in an interview with Itar-Tass. “When a dancer who’s rounding up his stage career appears in a bow-out performance or in a gala concert, it’s a normal civilized form of bidding farewell,” Uhrin added.

Tsiskaridze, holding the title of People's Artist of Russia, left the Bolshoi in June after a 21-year career there. June 30 was the date of expiry of contracts with the theatre as a ballet troupe soloist and repetiteur.

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