O N “ N U R E Y E V ”
“Nureyev” has simply been blown out of proportion. The project itself isn’t necessarily scandalous. I don’t understand why the Bolshoi chose the stage it in the first place. It would make a lot more sense to do it at the Mariinsky. Who on earth had this idea? Why the Bolshoi? Nureyev had nothing to do with that theatre! He wanted to dance there but was rejected, and had always treated the place rather coolly as a result.”
“In life, sometimes people make mistakes due to ignorance. But the fact of the matter is that the most basic legal principal in the world is: “Ignorance of law excuses no one.”
Before I became the rector of Vaganova ballet Academy, I completed a law degree. So I was fully aware that I would now be held responsible for everything. If, God forbid, someone falls down the stairs at the academy, I’d be the one responsible for that too. I do not have the right to not be aware of this. 250 children live in the academy dorms, and I am responsible for every single one of them. I often get accused of being unreasonable because I imposed a 10pm curfew, but I did this precisely because I am responsible for the students’ wellbeing.
When the person in charge of five different companies says that they didn’t fully understand (the responsibility), it sounds bizarre. When you take on this sort of work you must be aware of exactly what you are getting into.
Six months into my appointment at Vaganova, we had a fire. The wiring, which was made in China, went up in flames. That construction was organised by the previous management, but I was the one responsible for the damage. The fire crew ordered me to change all the equipment that didn’t comply with safety standards.
Being a manager is not at all easy and I wouldn’t wish it upon anyone. It’s a tremendous responsibility.”
Tsiskaridze echoes my own feelings here. It’s entirely possible that Serebrennikov simply didn’t know that his colleagues were laundering money. Or he may not have been aware that certain activities were illegal. But that doesn’t absolve him from the legal responsibility.