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Length of contracts, Mariinsky, Bolshoi Etc.

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Does anyone know if there is a "standard" in these Russian schools as to how long a new graduate's contract is if they are hired? For example, a student graduating from the Vaganova Academy who is offered a corps position in Mariinsky: do they all receive only one year at a time? I'm curious as to how corps members are generally handled from one year to the next. And, is there any difference between how male and female dancers are presented contracts? 

Beyond the traditional Russian companies anyone who would like to inform about any other companies I'd love to hear. I am curious as to how things are/were with an eye on how things will necessarily adapt in the coming year(s). 


Thank you very much.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Mariinsky usually receives once in the year, the same with The Bolshoi. But this is official auditions and truly speaking usually theaters know before auditioning about successful students, because Vaganova Academy gives school performances on Mariinsky stage, and of course teachers promote their best students. [The AD] He has strong connection with The Bolshoi, that's why you can find there persons who graduated from Vaganova Academy. But it doesn't work back with Moskow State Academy of Choreography. I don't know any student from there who performed in Mariinsky Theater.

In the basic terms of the contract, there is no distinction between female and male dancers. They usually have a one-year contract. But in the end, it depends on the person, for some gifted students, I think they can get contracts for one more year. But this is really non-public information.

Other the company except for The Bolshoi and Mariinsky is The Eifman Ballet of St.Petersburg. I work here. This year we employed 4 students from Vaganova Academy. We are not so large like Mariinsky and Bolshoi, that's why for dancers easier to achieve some goals and become the first soloist. Our Artistic Director is the friend of Nickolai Tsiskaridze (rector of Vaganova Academy). But Nikolai protects classical ballet whereas Boris develops his own style (more neoclassical). If you are interested you can find information here http://eifmanaudition.com/ 

You can also search State Theaters in other big Russian cities: Novosibirsk, Krasnoyarsk, etc.

I hope I was helpful.🤞



Edited by Noodles
Edited to remove names and hearsay.
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Welcome Eifman Ballet to Ballet Talk for Dancers. Please do post in our Welcome Forum a bit about yourself. Our members do enjoy learning a bit about each other. You do not have to divulge more than you have in this post, but it would be wonderful to have your information also in the Welcome Forum.

Eifman Ballet has given such wonderful information about contracts in Russia. It has been 26 years since I left Russia so I am sure many things have changed. Thank you very much Eifman Ballet for your most helpful post. 😊🌞👍🌻

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Eifman Ballet, I thank you sincerely. This was extremely helpful. It is very difficult to get an understanding of the business of professional ballet without information from those within the companies.

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  • 5 months later...

My DD was employed by a Russian Ballet company for two years, her contract was renewed each year. From what I understand all the dancers (male and female, all ranks) in the company were on yearly contracts, September-July or thereabouts with August off (unpaid). I think all the Russian ballet companies are run by the different subjects (states), and receive money from the government so the dancers are government employees. It was an amazing experience for her but also very challenging for many reasons.


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