What do long-time Joffrey watchers think?
The piece is largely a social study, long on history and economics and politics. But it has this to say about the Joffrey's artistic transformation:
And then there are artistic costs. The Joffrey, in its pre-Chicago days, continually broke ground and bubbled with new work. Here, it has become more of a repertory operation, restaging old successes and only dabbling occasioinally in premieres-a fate, to be fair, that plagues large, established ballet troupes worldwide. That has allowed for an ongoing festival of Arpino's lush, highly varied work and a return to the breathtaking commissions and revivals of its touring heyday, from Nijinsky to Tharp, from storytelling novelties of John Cranko to the company's groundbreaking rock ballets.
I must say, I'm appalled by a board co-chair who "admits candidly that '(he's) no aficionado of ballet'." But, in this city, I guess it's always who you know. If he can raise money and visibility and support, I suppose it doesn't matter if he personally enjoys the shows. But how can you truly support something you are not passionate about? Can you be the proselytizer that is needed?