Posted 11 April 2007 - 06:52 AM
For housekeeping reasons, I thought I'd just add to this existing thread instead of starting another.
Major changes are afoot at the company. Adam Sklute is going to Ballet West, and taking Mark Goldweber with him as Ballet Master-in-Chief. (This was announced last night at an in-studio lecture/demonstration for contributors, so I hope that is public enough to be an official announcement.) Gerald Arpino is still Artistic Director, of course, but my impression from having attended contributor lectures and open rehearsals over the last couple of years is that his artistic staff was really in charge of the company's operations. (My impessions only, based on who did the presenting and how they spoke; others with more intimate knowledge of the company may have other, and more legitimate, takes.) Anyway: with Sklute's and Goldweber's departure, that leaves Cameron Basden as Associate Artistic Director and Charthel Arthur as Ballet Master, and Willie Shives as Assistant Ballet Master. Basden and Arthur have long associations with the company.
Another curiosity: next year we will see no choreography by Joffrey or Arpino (except for Nutcracker). The season as slated includes Giselle; a Tudor Centennial celebration consisting of Jardin aux Lilas, Dark Elegies, and Offenbach in the Underworld; and an American Modern program consisting of choreography by Paul Taylor, Mehmet Sanders, and Twyla Tharp. I cannot remember a season in the last five or six that I've been attending that did not feature choreography by at least one of the two company founders; usually, in fact, we've had entire programs devoted to their work, often titled something like Accent Arpino.
I am very curious to see how the situation evolves, in terms of staffing and artistic trajectory.
Again my impression, but administratively the company feels very solid. There were probably 60-100 people at the presentation last night, most of whom looked considerably better heeled than I. It feels as though the company is doing the things it needs to do to gather and maintain strong community support and financing (including inviting people like, apparently, me, who it feels can be enticed to give at higher levels by dangling the prospect of more in-studio demonstrations).