Future and role for the classics at Houston?(and elsewhere?)
Posted 23 January 2006 - 06:29 AM
Molly Glentzer in the Houston Chronicle on the future of ballet in Houston:
"Five years from now, will traditional classical ballet exist in Houston? Maybe not, if Houston Ballet continues on the neoclassical arc artistic director Stanton Welch has set.
"He characterizes the company's 2006-2007 season, announced today, as "gems of the ballet world."
"It's ambitiously contemporary, adding "vintage" works by modern masters Hans van Manen, Glen Tetley, Jerome Robbins, Jirí Kylián and (pending contract negotiations) Christopher Wheeldon.
The article points out that Houston does have a rep of full-length ballets, some in Ben Stevenson productions, which are popular with the audience. It implies, however, that Stanton Welch and others find them not technically demanding and possibly not as interesting as other non-classical alternatives.
-- classics (which are popular and need to be performed consistently in order to maintain the company's ability to do them)?
-- or contemporary (which brings the company in line with Europe, is popular with dancers and creative people, etc.)?
-- or both (which is not all that easy to balance in practice)?
Any thoughts about this? As it applies to Houston -- or to other companies (and there are many of them) in a similar boat?
Posted 23 January 2006 - 02:04 PM
Posted 23 January 2006 - 04:09 PM
My question has to do with (a) the implication that classics are somehow on the way out and (b) that Welch's own ballets -- five more next season -- are definitely on the way in. Also © is this the route to popularity in the Houston market?
P.S. I note that the separate contemporary series is being dropped. Edward Villella, on the other hand, is creating such a series in Miami.
Posted 30 January 2006 - 08:05 PM
Each and every ballet company in the US has an interest in keeping and expanding it's audience base. No company wants to be caught behind the eight ball in addressing trends towards perferred entertainment. You must anticipate and deliver what the audience wants to see. By mixing the classics and contemporary, you address those issues and offer up "something for everyone."
I do believe that Houston is ready for this change and Mr. Welch is anticipating what is to come. Full length classical ballets, hugely expensive to produce, put a strain on the resources of ballet companies. They must find a balance between that classical rep and a more contemporary fare, which is oftentimes less costly to produce. Only time will tell if Houston is successful in doing so.
Posted 31 January 2006 - 11:44 AM
Posted 31 January 2006 - 04:00 PM
Edited by pattypirouette, 31 January 2006 - 04:02 PM.
Posted 31 January 2006 - 06:30 PM
Posted 31 January 2006 - 07:03 PM
I'll weigh in on the "new" version after I have seen it.
I do bow down to your knowledge, regarding ballet, as much superior to mine! Additionally, I am truly envious of your knitting technique as well! Perhaps I need to read more and comment less... However, as for "tweaking" - that's been going on forever, with every ballet.
Edited by pattypirouette, 17 February 2006 - 07:14 AM.
Posted 31 January 2006 - 07:07 PM
As far as expenses, there are plenty of classical works that can and often are presented in one act versions, such as Aurora's Wedding from Sleeping Beauty, or Act II of Swan Lake, Act III of Don Q, or a pastiche of dances from Raymonda or Paquita. Granted, the costumes are much more expensive than those for leotard ballets, but perhaps they can be shared with or rented from another company? Sharing sets and costumes seems to be fairly common nowadays, which makes good sense , unless you're a designer or maker .
Posted 31 January 2006 - 07:58 PM
Posted 04 May 2006 - 08:45 PM
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