Igor Zelensky, ballet director of the Bavarian State Ballet, resigns on Monday. The Bavarian State Ballet announced this on Sunday evening and referred to private and family matters as the reason for the Russian’s resignation. But he was also under public pressure because of his sideline activities. Until a new director is found, the ballet masters Judith Turos and Thomas Mayr are supposed to “ensure continuity”. Zelensky’s successor should be settled in the next few weeks.
Zelensky himself wrote about his resignation: “Leading a ballet company requires absolute concentration and capacity,” said the outgoing ballet director. “At the moment, however, private family matters require my full attention and time, which is not compatible with running a ballet company. (…) My family now needs all my support.”
He did not want to comment publicly on the war
The choreographer had recently come under pressure because of his part-time job. He worked for the “National Cultural Heritage” foundation based in Moscow, which is close to Vladimir Putin, as reported by the “Süddeutsche Zeitung”. The task of the foundation was to establish four major cultural centers, including on the Crimean peninsula annexed by Russia. According to Bayerischer Rundfunk, Zelensky spoke out against the war internally, but he did not want to take a public position on it.
State director Serge Dorny thanked Zelensky for his work at the Bavarian State Ballet. And Minister of Art Markus Blume (CSU) also paid tribute to Zelensky: “I respect the personal decision. The Bavarian State Ballet has enjoyed great artistic success under the direction of Igor Zelensky. Above all, the many performances by world-famous ballet stars that Mr. Zelensky brought to Munich will be remembered.”
Zelensky took over the management of the Bavarian State Ballet in September 2016.