Bolshoi Ballet ‘PornoGate’ Scandal Clarified

In light of my recent post about the ‘Bolshoi Ballet Director’ resigning over a pornographic scandal here, I would like to offer the following corrections to clarify a muddy matter made muddier by reporters incorrectly applying the titles ‘Director’ and ‘Head’ to Gennady Yanin:

Gennady Yanin was never the Artistic Director of the Bolshoi Ballet. The title of the article I provided a link to in my previous post, written by Andrew Osborne for the Telegraph, was Bolshoi ballet head resigns over ‘pornographic pictures’and was, therefore, a bit misleading-even to me. Also terrifically misleading was another reporter’s headline Bolshoi ballet director quits after erotic photos are published online, the reporter in question being Miriam Elder for the Guardian ( Neither reporter had it right.

Gennady Yanin was neither the ‘Director’, nor the ‘Head’, of the Bolshoi Ballet.

Gennady Yanin was the ‘Manager’ of the Bolshoi Ballet. There is another Manager for the Bolshoi Opera. There are several positions over that in the Bolshoi hierarchy, which appears to be thus:

The Minister of Culture (who oversees the Theatre),

The General Director-Anatoly Iksanov,

The Assistant to the General Director-Anton Getman,

The Artistic Director of the Ballet-Yuri Burlaka until 3/15/11 (there is another Artistic Director for the Opera), his spot being vacant till a few moments ago-stay tuned for my next post!,


The Manager of the Ballet-Gennady Yanin, who quietly left his position over the photographic scandal during the first week of March this year. He is now replaced by long time Soloist Ivan Godovsky, who will hold the position till the end of 2011, when his contract will come up for renewal. (Note: again, there is also a separate Manager of the Opera).

I feel further clarification needs to be made to atone for others’ misleading reporting, which in turn mislead me:

It is entirely coincidental that the former Bolshoi Ballet Artistic Director, Yuri Burlaka, has left his position within days of the ‘PornoGate’ scandal, purportedly involving Bolshoi Ballet Manager Gennady Yanin. I use the word ‘purportedly’, as it seems entirely possible that Mr. Yanin was the target of a brutal ‘smear campaign’.

Gennady Yanin, in addition to his job as ‘Manager’, was also a talented Bolshoi Ballet Dancer with many accolades for his skills as a Character Dancer. The pornographic photos were, by all reports, horrific, quite possibly doctored as part of an endeavor to ‘smear’ his reputation (related to the new vacancy for Artistic Director?), and the link to these photos was mailed to scores of email addresses in Russia and abroad. The party (parties?) responsible for the damage have since ‘closed up shop’. But even if I had received the link to the photos, I would not stoop to furthering its cause and damages by providing it to my readers.

The current position of Bolshoi Ballet Artistic Director was still vacant after Yuri Burlaka’s leaving…till a few moments ago. I will post the news as soon as I get the ‘ok’!

Further clarification of Yuri Burlaka’s role with the Bolshoi, as well as some history of the other recent Bolshoi Ballet Artistic Directors, can be gleaned from this insightful article written in March, 2008, when he was first appointed as Artistic Director (click on the purple words).

In closing, I’d like to mention, on behalf of concerned readers who have written to me personally in regards to this Bolshoi Ballet news:

We are in no danger of losing SFB’s beloved Resident Choreographer, Yuri Possokhov, who will stay right where he is-in San Francisco creating ballets of incomparable depth and artistry for our well-deserved appreciation.


About Odette's Ordeal

'Ballet's Head Cheerleader'
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