Well, from The Seattle P-I
, there is the article
from which Ari excerpted the following quote:
Among many in the dance world, in Seattle and elsewhere, Boal always has been considered the leading candidate from the five finalists to succeed Stowell and Russell. However, a number also were dismayed that PNB seemed unwilling to move beyond its present artistic parameters. There were a number of candidates, from the United States and Europe, with substantial reputations who would have taken PNB in other directions. None made it to the short list.
"It was very obvious," said one knowledgeable observer of PNB, "that the search committee wanted the company to stay where it is and keep the same aesthetic." Indeed, if one looks at recent changes in artistic directorship in leading American ballet companies, such as Boston and Houston, or even Oregon, run by Stowell and Russell's oldest son, Christopher, the companies' artistic profiles are undergoing quantum shifts in focus.
If I understand correctly, the "quantum shift in focus" undertaken by Christopher Stowell at OTB is from a modern-based company to a direction closer to PNB, San Francisco Ballet, and, to an extent, Arizona Ballet: a core classical/neo-classical repertoire including some Balanchine, with a few new ballets each year, some full-length (or 2/3 length) classics, and a smattering of modern ballet. I'm not sure what Boston Ballet has moved away from (apart from some mediocre-awful performances I saw in the early 80's), but looking at next season's rep, there's a Cranko story ballet, Sleeping Beauty
(after Petipa), The Nutcracker
(no choreographer listed on the website), La Sylphide
, a Balanchine/Robbins triple-bill, and a "modern" triple bill (Kylian, Forsythe, Lucinda Childs). That actually sounds more conventional than what Russell and Stowell have programmed, with the exception of this "farewell" year. Houston Ballet looks a bit scarier, with a lot of its choreography by Stanton Welch. (Granted, I've only seen a limited sample, but I prefer Stowell's full-lengths to Welch's choreography by far.)
What other directions are we talking about? The opposite of what Christopher Stowell is doing at OBT, just for the sake of saying that there was a change? And I would hope that the new artistic director would subscribe to the same aesthetic. I don't know why that's such a big disappointment or reason for "dismay."
I don't see a problem with mixing it up a bit, as I mentioned in an earlier post on this thread, to stretch the dancers and give them interesting people to work with, but that doesn't mean a change in aesthetic, but rather substituting a Mark Morris/Agnes de Mille for a Hans van Maanen/William Forsythe once or twice a season.