Kirov’s Dangerous New Direction

“Questions about the Kirov Ballet’s direction and management — and their effect on the company’s good name — have dogged the troupe for months.” One of the company’s star ballerina’s defected to the Bolshoi in August, and Artistic and General Director Valery Gergiev says that he is planning a major “restructuring” of the Kirov’s leadership team. All the uncertainty is adding to a growing sense of fear and unrest inside the Kirov, which has struggled for years to make the transition from a state-sponsored troupe to a privately funded ballet company competing on the international stage.