Why do you think Tsiskaridze was supportive (I…

Why do you think Tsiskaridze was supportive (I'm assuming) of Oscar Frame going to the Bolshoi even though he's not Russian? I just remember him being unhappy about Hallberg joining the Bolshoi because he isn't Russian.

I don’t think Nikolai’s issue with Hallberg was that David is a foreigner – Tsiskaridze is many things but chauvinist isn’t one of them (by the way, Nikolai made it clear in several interviews that he has nothing against Hallberg personally). The problem was that the Bolshoi made a foreign dancer (with no prior experience of working in Russia) a principal. I take issue with that descision too. In fact, my main complaint against ABT has always been that they “outsource” their stars rather than nurturing and promoting their own dancers. It shows the management’s lack of respect for and investment in the company. 

A far better example of a Russian company slowly integrating a foreign dancer and eventually promoting them to principal is Xander Parish at the Mariinsky. I think every company can benefit from having a few foreigners in its ranks and the Mariinsky did things the right way.

Nikolai was the one who convinced Oscar to take the job offer from the Bolshoi over the offers from other Russian companies (including the Mariinsky). I don’t know what his motivations were. All I can say for sure is that Tsiskaridze loves the Bolshoi and he loves his students. He wants the best for both, so he likely decided that Frame joining the Bolshoi corps would benefit both Oscar and the company.


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