Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Russian Ballet Gone Nuts

What the hell is happening with the Bolshoi? Acid in a director's face. Old oligarchs using ballerinas as prostitutes. It is worse than a night time soap opera. We usually associate higher class behavior with ballet, but that must just be aesthetics.  The acid attack is supposedly not linked to the prostitution, but it is an odd time for that accusation to leak to the public. This part of the article made me laugh:

Volochkova, who has previously said that dancers were pimped out as escorts at oligarch parties and was fired in 2003 for being overweight, repeated those claims.

Ballet. Where you get fired for gaining weight. Knowing professional ballet dancers, this means she looked more normal. Are we really shocked about the prostitution? My former ballerina wife wasn't, and actually sounded surprised that isn't reported more often. This isn't anything new as far as the dancers using their status, sex appeal and figures for money. Stefan Zweig wrote that in pre-Great War Vienna ballerinas could get the highest of prices for a night of sin. The Kirov Ballet, formerly the Mariinsky Ballet, was renamed after the beloved Soviet figure who was a major patron and admirer of the ballet. He loved dating ballerinas and was commonly seen with different dancers. Kirov had a thing for them. Russia is stocked with pretty women, so I am surprised the Russian oligarchs would risk being compromised or even spending the money for a ballet dancer. This might be a Russian cultural quirk.

Any Russian insight into this possible fetish?


Anonymous said...

Shocked that you have read Zweig's "The World of Yesterday". So obscure yet wonderful.

Son of Brock Landers said...

Required reading for a lover of the belle époque + art. His passage on his meeting with Rodin is the essence of creating art.

I reviewed it here....