The Next Step is Tricky
I've posted this on Links, but wanted to put it here also for discussion.
Webre is in the fourth year of a five-year contract, Mary Day just don't-say-retired as director of the School.
Here are some comments from the article about the school, and the direction of the repertory:
First, the school, from Amanda McKerrow (with her husband, John Gardner) decided not to apply to be Day's successor:
"We came to the conclusion that we didn't have the same artistic values; we'd be in constant artistic conflict," says McKerrow. "I just can't agree with some of the things he wanted to do with the school. . . . We are a bit more purist than Septime."
McKerrow says she worried that the educational focus would not remain solely on the pure classical tradition Day had established, noting as an example that Webre had advocated teaching the students some works by neoclassical master George Balanchine, whose speed-driven, stretched-out style often takes ballet off its axis and exaggerates its shapes. "He had discussed an exclusively Balanchine-based school," McKerrow says.
"I have no problem with the children in the school learning a variety of styles, Balanchine being one of them," she adds. "But you have to teach them all equally so they're ready to go anywhere. It's so important nowadays."
Then the rep:
Perhaps this [last year's triple bill of "Concerto Barocco," "Pillar of Fire," and "Esplanade"] signals an opening for works of a more classical nature. Ballets by such masters as Jerome Robbins (one thinks of "Dances at a Gathering"), Michel Fokine ("Les Sylphides") or even Mark Morris would be a welcome change of pace and stretch the dancers in a more musically nuanced and sophisticated direction.
Such fare is not in the future plans, however. Next season will include William Forsythe's stark, athletic study "In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated," Choo San Goh's "Momentum," a production of "Coppelia" that Webre will stage with South African teacher Charla Genn and a program to celebrate Balanchine's 100th birthday that will feature Act I of his "A Midsummer Night's Dream" (with New York City Ballet principal Benjamin Millepied as guest star) and "The Four Temperaments."