Anatoly Iksanov, the director of the Bolshoi Theatre, has confirmed that a never-ending reconstruction of the Bolshoi’s historic building is finally coming to an end; he promised that a gala concert in October will cap a tough period in the life of this Russian symbol you can see on the face of a 100 ruble bill.
Iksanov’s announcement last month, however, came like a drink designed to take away the aftertaste of the theater’srecent scandal, in which several dozen pictures of explicit homosexual sex were displayed on a short-lived website closely resembling the Bolshoi’s official one.
The impostor site contained the biography of the ballet company’s longtime manager and popular character dancer, Gennadi Yanin, who appeared in the pictures. The photographs and links to the website were sent to hundreds of people associated with ballet across the world. Before this, Yanin had reportedly been viewed as the likeliest person to lead the ballet company. The Bolshoi’s previous ballet chief, Yuri Burlaka, quit last month after his contract was not renewed.
Yanin has quit his post as manager but remains in the company as a dancer.
My spirits are not low, and I don’t need anybody’s sympathy. I’d rather people would come and enjoy the Bolshoi’s productions.”
Iksanov said the scandal was most likely the result of intrigues within the theatre.
There are some people in the theater who would like to take the job of artistic director, and they must have played a role in this mean intrigue,” he said.
Yanin's departure has opened the floodgates of Bolshoi gossip. Anastasia Volochkova, the former Bolshoi ballerina who was fired in 2003 over her weight, describes a theatre transformed into a quasi-escort agency for wealthy donors. Several other sources backed up her claims.