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Nikolay Tsiskharidze and Ulyana Lopatkina are now in charge of the Vaganova Academy of Russian Ballet.


Nikolay Tsiskharidze has been named as the rector of the Vaganova Academy of Ballet. That’s according to the minister of culture, who broke the news in St. Petersburg. Moreover – as Vladimir Medynskiy specified – the star of the Mariinsky theatre Ulyana Lopatkina will become the “Vaganovka’s” artistic director. Evgeniya Malyshko reports on how the appointments were made and what jobs were given to the Academy’s former bosses.


Evgeniya Malyshko, correspondent: “Employees of the Vaganova Academy were the last to know of coming changes. All students were invited into the hall of the museum in –between studies. No-one had expected to see Nikolay Tsiskharidze within the walls of the oldest Academy of Russian ballet”.

It turned out he wasn’t just visiting. From now on, the former leading dancer of the Bolshoi will be involved in developing Russian ballet – acting as the academy’s rector. His predecessor – Vera Dorofeeva – today waved goodbye to the staff. She signed her resignation letter in the morning. 

Vera Dorofeeva, former director of the Vaganova Academy of the Russian Ballet: “Im leaving on condition that the Academy stays as an independent unit, not joining the Mariinsky theatre or any other institution. That goes beyond saying”. 

Maestro Gergiev had offered to merge the Mariinsky theatre, the academy of the Russian ballet and the Russian history of arts institute into one alliance. Quite naturally – under the aegis of the Mariinsky.

Vladimir Medinskiy, Minister of Culture of the Russian Federation: “The stance of the culture ministry is determined. We believe that the merger of the academy, the Mariinskiy and the conservatory under proposed conditions is completely not worthwhile. And we would like this appointment to bring this discussion to a halt”

However, for now Nikolay Tsiskharidze has been appointed temporary rector of the academy. This means that there are several procedures still ahead. Mostly formal ones – paperwork and the “Vaganovka’s” staff voting. 

Nikolay Tsiskharidze, temporary rector of the Vaganova Academy of the Russian Ballet: “Today, when reports came through, everyone started congratulating me. Its hard work. The one where a “good luck” wish would probably do best”.

Ulyana Lopatkina is also being wished good luck today. The prima-ballerina of the Mariinskiy will now be employed as the “Vaganovka’s” artistic director. Aside from doing stage work, she will also teach students and will be involved in finding jobs for the graduates. However, due to busy schedule, the renowned dancer couldn’t make it to the first meeting with her new colleagues. Her place at the table was occupied by Vladimir Kekhman. As long as he’s mentioned, the director of the Mikhailovskiy Theater must have foreseen a lengthy cooperation when he chose a seat next to Vera Dorofeeva. It later became known – the academy’s former rector had accepted a job of the Mikhailovskiy Theatre’s deputy director.

Correspondent: Evgeniya Malyshko

Cameraman: Alexander Skokov