A Great Crime at Crimea: Austrian Ballerina Prisca Zeisel Dances at Sebastopol Gala, Only to “Self-Eject” from the Bavarian Opera

With the exception of the celebrated Fanny Elssler, departed this world in 1884, Austria has produced virtually no classical dancer of international stature—rather surprisingly given’s the country’s pre-eminence in music and theatre.

All the more cause for rejoicing then, when in 2011 a teenaged Prisca Zeisel joined the Ballet attached to the Vienna State Opera on graduating from its School. Swiftly enough, the girl rose through the ranks, to a degree that she was poached away by the Bavarian State Opera, where she was appointed principal dancer in 2019.

At that time, the Ballet Director at Munich was Igor Zelensky, a Russian who happens to be Putin’s son-in-law. As one might have expected, shortly after the Special Military Operation (SMO) was launched, in April 2022 to be precise, Zelensky quit Munich “of his own accord”—amongst the most interesting and influential jobs in European theatre, and one that no-one would ever quit of his own accord.

At Munich, Mr. Zelensky’s position was straightaway filled by Laurent Hilaire, a French dancer who had just “self-ejected” from the Stanislavsky Theatre at Saint-Petersburg, where he had run the ballet since 2017. In February 2022, a few short days after the SMO began, Hilaire left Russia at speed, owing to “circumstances” which “prevent one from settling down to work with peace of mind.” Whether “circumstances” might have had to do with Micronian/World Economic Forum rule over the Quai d’Orsay (French Foreign Office) is likely a figment of Moufid’s fevered imagination.

Whatever the case, following Zelensky’s departure from Munich, Miss Zeisel kept up ties to her former Director and his dancers, amongst whom several then “self-ejected” from Munich as well.

Now, in 2019, Miss Zeisel had danced at the Sebastopol Ballet Gala, without this ruffling a Bavarian feather. Then, in August 2023, she returned to the Crimean city to dance with Dmitri Sobolevski. On returning to Munich, she was almost immediately self-ejected, or as the Theatre’s press release put it:

In early September 2023, principal dancer Prisca Zeisel asked to leave the Bayerisches Staatsballett. Over the summer, she had danced at a Crimean gala (editor’s note: the word “Russia” never appears, as NATO which rules Germany does not, of course, recognize the Crimea as Russian). Further to exchanges with our Ballet Director and our General Intendant, Prisca Zeisel asked that her employment contract be terminated, to which Management has agreed.

According to the Spanish newsletter Mundo Clasico, Miss Zeisel’s departure… only serves to shew the de facto complete subservience of Mr. Hilaire to General Intendant Serge Dorny, also responsible—a thing of which Dorny then boasted—for Igor Zelensky’s so-called resignation as Ballet Director.”

All-too-evidently, the hothouse-orchid clique of General Intendants who run almost every major Opera House in the West enjoy an (exceptionally lucrative) career dependent on two factors: unswavering Wokism, and obsequious—if coyly naughty—boot-lickism to Whomever may be in Power. As for Serge Dorny, he emerged from the Gérard Mortier/Bill Viola côterie, of which ‘Nuff Said.

For the French art newsletter Diapason, though, it ain’t ‘Nuff Said. In May 2022 Russian pranksters Vovan and Lexus, playing at being Ukrainian Minister of Culture, got Intendant Serge Dorny on the phone, where he crowed about having got rid of conductor Valery Gergueev (“despite our having worked with him for 35 years”) and opera singer Anna Netrebko (“we don’t want artists like that (sic) about”), and as for Igor Zelensky “he didn’t really take the decision to quit of his own will.” The Vovan and Lexus prank is most definitely not “fake news”: their conversation with Serge Dorny was confirmed without comment by the Bavarian State Theatre.

Now, if those oafs parading as the Government of Germany—Finance Minister Robert Habeck, “Miss Piggy” Annalena Baerbock and Chancellor Oaf Scholz, can Sing along with Mitch while the USA blows up Nord Stream, what is to stop their having an an Opera House Intendant hammer the purportedly weak—a little ballerina—whilst boot-licking the purportedly strong?

A practising Catholic—her official portrait for the Munich Ballet, shews a small crucifix carefully placed over her lace garment—Mlle Zeisel’s principles would appear to be non-negotiable, and thus on the same plane as her ability.

Not on the breadline, perhaps. On September 27th 2023, she is scheduled to appear as Gamzatti in La Bayadère at the Mikahilovsky Theatre at Moscow.

As for NATO’s arm-twisting a slew of European artists, whether Russian, pro-Russian or just plain unwilling to toe any line, we have been advised by The Postil’s editors to eschew all vulgar langage. Point taken.

Moufid Azmaïesh writes from France.

Lynn Seymour (March 8, 1939 — March 7, 2023)

Born in the province of Alberta in 1939, Lynn Seymour was one of the tiny circle of classical dancers for whom the turn “genius” is not hyperbole.

At the age of 14, she was sent to England to study at the Sadler’s Wells (now Royal Ballet) School, where her most influential teacher was Winifred Edwards, a disciple of Anna Pavlova. Such was her talent, that at 20 she was appointed principal of the Royal Ballet, despite a curvaceous physique and ample bosom, scarcely the norm in the trade even then.

What is Plastique?

Every human being, every body, is different. Thus, the world’s leading dancers can call only upon what is known as “available technique”, and no more. That means dancing within the limits peculiar to one’s own body type, biomechanics and mental/emotional abilities, lest one come a cropper. What one refers to as a “great” dancer is he who masters, first, all the technique his own being will allow of, and then has the mental strength and cultural depth to project “thoughts, feelings and emotions” across the footlights, in Maria Fay’s words. Now, some, such as the French, will stress clean articulation and faithful execution of academic forms (attitude, arabesque…) and steps (jeté, assemblé…), others, such as the Danes, revel in the in-between, indeterminate moments of transition. Given men’s straight up-and-down structure, tremendous attack and superior muscle quality, they will tend towards exact articulation, and women, towards the in-between shapes.

In the profession, the French term plastique describes something rare and paradoxical: the ability to trace academic forms that, whilst being one-of-a-kind, sprung from that artist as an individual, are so strictly true to the principles that they remain in the spectator’s mind forever. The forms become a thought-object; they will never die. Without there being a literal explanation for the phenomenon, the dancer has unleashed in the spectator’s mind a movement of grey-matter which has changed him, and will therefore, in some unpredictable way, affect everyone that spectator meets.

Although the notion is harder to grasp in relation to the aforesaid in-between or indeterminate forms, they too belong to the category of plastique; as such events are almost impossible to photograph, a pragmatist will likely dispute their very existence. In the theatre, faced with a great dancer who plunges boldly into that domain, an attentive spectator will confirm that he has indeed perceived indefinite ideas that are, however, definitely ideas, associated with a premonition of the eternal or the infinite.

In the dance world, the Russian critic Achim Wolyinskii (1863-1926), well-acquainted with the world of ancient Greece and the Renascence, attempted to make intelligible a terrain which the Germans call Unheimlich (uncanny, eerie), a terrain lying between the visible/conscious, and the invisible/preconscious (for further discussion of Wolinskii Cf. Alexander Meinertz’ biography of Vera Volkova, published by Dance Books in 2007).

Amongst the ballerinas for whom we have some record on film, three are indisputably masters of the plastique: Galina Ulanova, Lis Jeppesen – and the late Lynn Seymour.

In the short excerpts linked to below, observe how Miss Seymour moves from an academic form of severe and ideal beauty to virtually liquid shapes, nameless, summoned up from .. whence? and vanishing … whither? As though independent of her will, an ectoplasm takes shape, surrounded by some kind of electric field of emotion. Around Miss Seymour, the depth and breadth of the stage seems not a void, but inhabited, extending into space but also, strange to say, in time. The arms, shoulders, the full length of the spine all speak, her hands echo like shells with the sound of the sea. Alert in every fibre to her partner, Lynn Seymour never tries to “look pretty” – the impetus is all.

Below, two of the few films that remain of Lynn Seymour (bearing in mind that she was nearly 40 and a mother of three when they were made):

The choreography, by Ashton and MacMillan respectively, was made on her and her partner.

Moufid Azmaïesh writes from France. This article originally appeared in France Soir.

Micronia, Land of the Spree, Home of the Knave

In a single week in Micronia, events untoward press in so thick and fast that one can scarcely keep keep up with the Fanta-Scienza of it all, as our Italian friends would say.

Those living in France, particularly those in the Upper-Middle Classes who WILL carry on savaging their mind by reading MSM, fondly imagine France being steered, genteel-like of course, by PLUs (People Like Us), i.e., dream-boat under-forties, captained by a slim, smartly set up matinée idol called E Macron or Micron. The latter, being allegedly committed to a “fairy-tale marriage” with his former school-teacher, the seventy-year old, mini-skirt wearing Brigitte Trogneux, teetering on stiletto heels 24/7.

The country is now known as Micronia, home of the Knave.

To set the tone for the rejoicings, I invite the reader to examine, closely, and think about the implications of these slightly earlier photographs and videos, which have most likely never appeared in the US or other foreign press.

To wit:

Micron, posing with self-acknowledged, and scantily clad, hoodlums in Guyana.

The Elysée Palace turned into a discothèque, 2018.

The same, with view of Brigitte Trogneux and E. Macron in the crowd:

Micron, wild-eyed Amok Time at the Qatar World Cup 2022:

Micron, petting and stroking a French soccer star at Qatar 2022:

In an especially repellent scene, the mini-skirted Brigitte Trogneux with disabled athletes in bathing suits. Fresh, or rather chilly meaning to the term “making sport”:

Confirmed by the “fact-checkers”: the weird and extremely costly Elysée Palace redecoration is NOT a hoax:

Brigitte Trogneux flogging state property, items from the Mobilier National (equivalent of the National Trust) for a foundation she chairs.

Which brings us to the latest update.

Subsidized by public funds since the 17th Century, the Paris Opera Ballet is one of the Western world’s oldest theatrical institutions. State-educated at the Opera School since the reign of Louis XIV, its artists are respected civil servants, engaged for life (they draw a pension at 42), and who enjoy a status akin to the diplomatic. However, as the country has fallen under the Micronian axe – McKinsey, Blackrock, and related US and UK defence-industry fronts – the entire public sector has been taken down. Over the past decade, the Paris Opera has seen its subsidies slashed, and is now wont to courting private-sector funds in ever-more undignified ways.

Despite attempts by various municipal councilors to block AIRBnB, the Silicon Valley slicksters have succeeded in voiding Paris of all affordable housing, and will henceforth offer tourists a chance at sleeping in a Paris Opera balcony at night.

The “best” is yet to come.

On Sotheby’s Auctioneer’s, there suddenly appeared this month a photograph of principal dancer Hugo Marchand, in what some might think a suggestive pose, with the heading “Inside the skin of a principal dancer” (sic). In pidgin English, Sotheby’s text goes on: “Follow Hugo Marchand, Étoile dancer of the Paris Opera Ballet, for a day. From the morning dance class to the show, from backstage to the preparation in the dressing room, you will live an unforgettable day in the daily life of an Étoile, and leave with a pair of signed ballet slippers. Experience valid for two people. Bidding starts at 20,000-30,000 Euro.”

And here we have principal dancer Germain Louvet, also being flogged, though for less (kept his shirt on?).

Despite much protest, the auction, set up by l’Association pour le Rayonnement de l’Opéra de Paris (AROP) went forward, flogging a day with Gustavo Dudamel, and the baritone Ludovic Teizier as well, plus (taxpayer funded) costumes. Total : 1.6 million Euro.

One wonders how much Commission Sotheby’s siphoned off for ridiculing public life in this way.

Meanwhile, out on the streets, on February 2nd, in the latest of an interminable list of splendid Ministerial buildings and taxpayer-funded property tossed to private sharks, a French Website reports that the Minister for Universities and Research has ordered the National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) to sell to two private property developers, Vinci and Kaufmann & Broad, an exceptional ensemble known as the Pavillon Bellevue, built in 1843 and home to the celebrated dancer Isadora Duncan between 1913 and 1927.

As it happens, the site is now the National Institute for Sciences of the Universe headquarters, and holds advanced materiel and equipment including machine-tools that weigh several tons. Not basket-weaving courses, in other words. As the developers are being offered the site at well under market rate, the CNRS’ Director rejected the deal, in reaction to which the Ministry has issued the CNRS with an expulsion order, effective 15th March.

An amusing meme is now doing the rounds : it shews President Putin on the phone, ringing Micron: “I shall destroy France,” he bellows down the phone. “Don’t bother, man,” replies Micron, “I have dealt with it.”

Moufid Azmaïesh writes from France.