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US ballerina accuses Bolshoi of 'cash for solos' scam

Russia's legendary Bolshoi ballet was embroiled in a new scandal Wednesday after an American ballerina accused the theatre of demanding $10,000 to allow her to dance solos. Texan Joy Womack, 19, a young dancer hired last year after graduating from Bolshoi's dancing school, said in an interview with the Izvestia daily that she dreamt of solo roles only to be told she would have to pay a bribe in order to perform.

London's Sadler's Wells plans new theatre as popularity of dance soars

By Michael Roddy LONDON (Reuters) - The London dance venue Sadler's Wells announced plans on Tuesday to build a new 500-seat theatre to respond to what it said was a surge of interest in dance and to host more visiting companies. It also set out its "busiest season ever" of dance for 2014 with visits in February by Germany's Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch and the Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan.

Opposition grows to Kremlin's ballet academy shake-up

Teachers at Russia's legendary Vaganova Ballet Academy on Tuesday published an open letter to President Vladimir Putin asking him to reconsider the appointment of a controversial dancer as its chief, in a scandal that has plunged Russian ballet into new turmoil. The recent appointment by the Russian culture ministry of the outspoken Nikolai Tsiskaridze, a prominent male dancer who was dismissed by Moscow's Bolshoi Theatre in June, has caused an uproar with some warning it marked the death of the Academy.

Anger grows over latest Russian ballet scandal

Teachers at Russia's legendary Vaganova Ballet Academy on Tuesday published an open letter to President Vladimir Putin asking him to reconsider the appointment of a controversial dancer as its chief, in a scandal that has plunged Russian ballet into new turmoil. The recent appointment by the Russian culture ministry of the outspoken Nikolai Tsiskaridze, a prominent male dancer who was dismissed by Moscow's Bolshoi Theatre in June, has caused an uproar with some warning it marks the death of the Academy.

Russian ballet star breaks ranks over switch at top school

One of Russia's most adored ballerinas spoke out vehemently on Wednesday against the appointment of outspoken dancer Nikolai Tsiskaridze to head its top ballet school, in a controversy that could spiral into a major scandal. Diana Vishneva, a star dancer with the Mariinsky Ballet in Saint Petersburg, became the first high-profile figure to publicly criticise the appointment of Tsiskaridze to head the Vaganova Ballet Academy in Saint Petersburg.

Russian ballet star breaks ranks over switch at top school

One of Russia's most adored ballerinas spoke out vehemently on Wednesday against the appointment of outspoken dancer Nikolai Tsiskaridze to head its top ballet school, saying there was no need for the controversial change. Diana Vishneva, a star dancer with the Mariinsky Ballet in Saint Petersburg, became the first high profile figure to publicly criticise the appointment of Tsiskaridze to head the Vaganova Ballet Academy in a controversy that risks spiralling into a major scandal.

Vienna Ballet director Legris stays on until 2017

Former French star dancer Manuel Legris will stay on as director of the Vienna Ballet until 2017, having revolutionised the stuffy old institution, the company announced Wednesday. Legris, who launched a ballet revival in the Austrian capital after arriving here in September 2010, has extended his contract -- initially due to run out in August 2015 -- by two years, the Vienna Opera said in a statement. A former "etoile" with the Paris Opera Ballet, he retired in 2009 following a 29-year career with the esteemed ensemble.

Russia picks Bolshoi star fired in acid row to run top school

Russia on Monday appointed outspoken ballet star Nikolai Tsiskaridze to head its top dance school after he was dismissed by the Bolshoi in a row over an acid attack on its artistic director. Tsiskaridze, a former principal dancer at the Bolshoi, will head the Vaganova Ballet Academy in Russia's second city Saint Petersburg -- one of the world's oldest and famed for its impeccable classical technique. The theatre dismissed the 39-year-old dancer in June after he gave highly critical interviews reacting to the January acid attack on the troupe's artistic director Sergei Filin.

Russia picks Bolshoi star fired in acid row to run top school

Russia on Monday appointed outspoken ballet star Nikolai Tsiskaridze to head its top dance school after he was dismissed by the Bolshoi in a row over an acid attack on its artistic director. Tsiskaridze, a former principal dancer at the Bolshoi, will head the Vaganova Ballet Academy in the northwestern city of Saint Petersburg -- one of the world's oldest and famed for its impeccable classical technique.

US prize-winning 'Mambo Kings' author dead at 62

Oscar Hijuelos, the Cuban-American author best known for his Pulitzer-prize winning novel "The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love," died in New York age 62, his agent told AFP. Hijuelos collapsed on a tennis court in Manhattan on Saturday and never regained conciousness, his widow Lori Marie Carlson told the New York Times. Hijuelos's literary agent Jennifer Lyons confirmed the report. Hijuelos was born in 1951 in New York of Cuban immigrant parents. He was the first Hispanic to win the Pulitzer in 1990 for the "Mambo Kings," his second novel.
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