Russian star quits American Ballet Theater

Veronika Part, principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre for the past eight years, has announced an abrupt retirement. She will dance for the last time on Saturday at the Metropolitan Opera House.

Her withdrawal comes two weeks after the final performance of prima ballerina Diana Vishneva.

To lose one Russian prima is unfortunate. Two suggests a political movement.

Veronika Part (c) ABT


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  • Political movement? A bit of a stretch (though not, admittedly, for SD). Vishneva said she is leaving because she is overscheduled, and for a prima aged 40 she certainly is that. Part, 39, is leaving because ABT did not renew her contract, a decision for which they refuse to give reasons. Given her popularity in general, they should give reasons. And if they don’t, there may be those who claim it must be because she is Russian, lack of evidence never being a deterrent to such compulsive speculators. In short, there is no justification for saying all this suggests a political movement — unless, of course, trying to stir up another bloody silly political row on what claims to be a classical music blog may be deemed a justification. I think not.

  • Part’s contract was not renewed because of her age. She turns 40 on her next birthday. Then the American Ballet Theater would have to prove that she wasn’t good enough to dance or else face an age discrimination lawsuit. Unfortunately for them, she is one of their best and the only one would can dance Swan Lake properly. What ABt is doing is illegal and unethical.

  • Or suggests a diva angry over not being offered her retiring colleague’s work/salary/perks etc.

    The us is not the Third Reich, yet.
    Such asinine assertions do no one good.

  • Diva like qualities will not take you anywhere. You cant dance in a company and go around bad mouthing the Director. It just does not work out. Bad image.

  • The original remark is perhaps an allusion to Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, i.e. in part, at least, a joke?

  • Seriously Seth? Your sexism is showing. If an artist of her stature can be trashed in words (by you) or actions (by her director), her boss’s mysterious ways certainly earn him scrutiny. Men in power, particularly aging agist men, can count on someone like you to show up with vapid remarks out of concern for their fragility. Until you know his reasoning, why put a shield in front of him? Let him do that for himself. If he ever does, let’s hope for it’s not dishonest, ego-driven, self-serving/protecting posturing. What a pity to lose such an exquisite ballerina from a grandiose stage that deserves the likes of ballerinas like Part, whose instruments alone match such a stage. Ballerinas deserve to be revered for their pure devotion to the this dying Art, given their fortitude as they endlessly tolerate a ubiquity of uninspired, vacuous thinking like what you just demonstrated.

    • It was known that Veronika Part went around bad mouthing ABT. She wasn’t happy at the company for a while. This has nothing to do with sexism. I am not saying Kevin is a nice person, but she is not as innocent as she seems in all of this. Maybe Canada might take her.
      Wish her well.

      • Seth – do you have any link to show that Veronika Part was bad mouthing ABT or wasn’t happy with the company? Also, by the time of your post, it was widely known that Veronika Part didn’t leave but was fired, and this is after being the only ABT ballerina who actually managed to do all 32 fouettes in Swan Lake. Strange of you not to know it.

        • There is a video floating around showing how badly she was badmouthing Kevin.
          I am not saying he is a nice person, but she should of known better. How can she put Abt in a bad light. I think the video is when she went to teach a ballet class and there was a Q and A afterwards. It was not good!!!

  • Seth, the ABT Director has been criticized for years so no novelty here. Do you see the ABT is improving?

  • the russians ballerinas are leaving or have left becuase they are insanely jealous over all MISTY COPELAND”S huge succeess and SOLD OUT PERFROMANCES..after years of belittling Misty and demanding to be put in a ‘different leveil or class’ such as Absoluta

    • Finally the truth. MC is unfortunately overrated in traditional ballet that requires great technique. Her legs are not strong enough and often don’t extend straight.

  • Russian dancers are so well-trained. And, Veronika has done nothing but dance beautifully the whole time. She is also the ONLY BALLERINA WHO HAS EXECUTED ALL 32 fouettes this season.: HELLO??

    While it may not be a political movement, per se, it could point in the direction of a possible nationalistic “sea change.”

  • I may be the only one in the world to say this, but Misty Copeland is highly overrated. Any dancer in the corps at NYC Ballet can surpass her. I don’t understand all this hoopla.

    As for Veronica Part, I think it’s a crying shame that she was dismissed from Ballet theater. Not renewal of a contract = getting fired. No reason given.

    As for Diana Vishneva, yes, yes, she is a great ballerina , as is Part, but she is 100% pure theatrics. I don’t know what is going on at Ballet theater, but, it’s not good

    • Yes! A rotten shame! What I found even stranger is that out of all the Principal Dancers, only Marcelo Gomes bought came out to bring her flowers. Where were the others? We’re talking about a 15 year career at ABT! Couldn’t they had been a little more respectful?

    • ..ha ha your opinion of yourself is WAY over-rated darling…scary oMg! are you a trumpe too!!,,,Misty is Misty Diana is Diana & Veronika is Veronika.( and should have kept her ‘russian racist remarks to herself..FooL yeP).& you sugar?pie are a dying to e x p r e s s ?yourself ‘hidden racist’,,,, so?……boo hoo….haven’t accomplished ..???… N o P e ,,ha ha!! xoxo

      • Veronika Part racist?? I had no idea! I was just seeing her as an artist! Now I know why she was given the cold shoulder. Thank you for the information.

      • What exactly was the racist remark Veronika made? I am not surprised, but wondering if it was targeting Misty.

  • Strange how the other Principal Dancers (expect Marcelo Gomes) came out onstage to bid her farewell. We’re talking about a 15 year career at ABT.

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