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Peter Martins successor


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#46 papeetepatrick

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Posted 16 January 2007 - 08:49 AM

I was also going to suggest Peter Boal. If Martin's has 20 or so years left as AD...maybe at that point Mr. Boal will leave PNB and move back to NYCB.


Yes, that does sound good for the long term.

#47 richard53dog

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Posted 16 January 2007 - 10:17 AM

. A much stronger board may be what NYCB needs, not an artistic director who functions like a king and oversees all things. A stronger board would be able to say 'no' to new, expensive productions that do not fit within the realm of the institution's mission. (I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest that Martin's production of Romeo and Juliet will be one example as I expect it will be another stripped down, revved-up, Cliff's Notes version of a classic. There is nothing wrong with Cliff's Notes. They are just not the same as literature.)


This is my way of thinking. R&J pushes NYCB in the wrong direction in terms of adding new rep. Do we need another "streamlined" production?

#48 Leigh Witchel

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Posted 16 January 2007 - 10:49 AM

Pushing that question - if we're going to get more narrative ballets from NYCB are they going to start grooming and training dancers to do them? How will it affect the rest of the repertory?

#49 On Pointe

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Posted 16 January 2007 - 02:54 PM

Isn't it more likely that it is the NYCB Board, and not Peter Martins, that wants a new R and J? No doubt their marketing surveys indicate that this would bring in considerable revenue from the full length ballet fans. Because everyone is familiar with the story and/or the score, Romeo looks like the most logical candidate for a box office winner.

The relationship between a board and an artisitic director is crucial to the vitality of any arts enterprise. But the artistic director should always be a first among equals. The problem is that decisions that seem to make perfect sense to lay people, could have disastrous consequences in the long term for a company. And it's very distasteful - to me, anyway - when some society figure stamps her little foot, and decides that she knows more than professionals who have dedicated their lives to the art. (Or he. No sex bias intended!)

#50 Haglund's

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Posted 16 January 2007 - 04:02 PM

Isn't it more likely that it is the NYCB Board, and not Peter Martins, that wants a new R and J? No doubt their marketing surveys indicate that this would bring in considerable revenue from the full length ballet fans. Because everyone is familiar with the story and/or the score, Romeo looks like the most logical candidate for a box office winner.

The relationship between a board and an artisitic director is crucial to the vitality of any arts enterprise. But the artistic director should always be a first among equals. The problem is that decisions that seem to make perfect sense to lay people, could have disastrous consequences in the long term for a company. And it's very distasteful - to me, anyway - when some society figure stamps her little foot, and decides that she knows more than professionals who have dedicated their lives to the art. (Or he. No sex bias intended!)

:) @ "when some society figure stamps her little foot". To complete your visual - ". . . and shakes her blond head." That's precisely why strong boards are needed - not with society ladies, but with thinking, accomplished (and wealthy) business people who have a passion for the institution's mission.

The NYCB institutional mission is: 1) to preserve the ballets, aesthetic and excellence of its founders, and 2) "to develop new work that draws on the creative talents of contemporary choreographers and composers, and speaks to the time in which it is made." So where does R&J fit into this mission? A strong board would have said "No, not unless it can be accomplished in accordance with the mission."

The current board may be hesitant to challenge Martins, because he was handpicked by Balanchine. It might seem like they are challenging Balanchine. Presumably that will change when the next artistic director comes on board, and I suspect the artistic focus of the company will regain clarity. OR someone could decide to change the institution's mission. Uh oh.

#51 Leigh Witchel

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Posted 16 January 2007 - 04:13 PM

Boards are needed to raise funds to further an institution's mission. They're are not there to defend or define that mission and generally they aren't qualified to. It's the artistic director's job. If it isn't happening there, one needs a new artistic director, not for the board to fill the vacuum.

#52 Haglund's

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Posted 16 January 2007 - 04:28 PM

Boards are needed to raise funds to further an institution's mission. They're are not there to defend or define that mission and generally they aren't qualified to. It's the artistic director's job. If it isn't happening there, one needs a new artistic director, not for the board to fill the vacuum.

Found this explanation of a non profit board's responsibilities at Hurwit & Associates website. They are legal counsel for nonprofits.

B. General Responsibilities:
Governance: Oversee/Evaluate Review/Monitor
Leadership: In partnership with CEO and management, guide the mission and direction
Stewardship: Ensure dedication to, and use of assets for, benefit of public
C. Specific Responsibilities:
Hire/support/evaluate/discharge CEO
Review and approve annual budget
Review and approve major organizational decisions, commitments, and plans including expenditures, loans, and leases.

#53 carbro

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Posted 16 January 2007 - 04:43 PM

The current board may be hesitant to challenge Martins, because he was handpicked by Balanchine. It might seem like they are challenging Balanchine.

At the time of the aforementioned stamping of little foot, someone raised the fact here* that NYCB's board members have limited terms. This is, to the last (or first) member, Peter Martins' Board. None of them trace back to the Balanchine -- or even, I believe, Kirstein -- era. They are there to support Martins.

*I searched in vain for citation but will keep trying.

#54 Leigh Witchel

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Posted 16 January 2007 - 06:30 PM

Haglund's - what you've cited (down to the description of the head as a CEO) is more applicable to a charitable organization than an artistic one. The Board should not define an artistic mission except in the broadest terms. It does have oversight.

#55 ViolinConcerto

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Posted 16 January 2007 - 06:50 PM

Speaking as one who has worked in Not-for-Profits for over 20 years, in (nearly) every not-for-profit, the Board is there to "give or get," that is, to give their own money, or bring in their contacts to give (tickets to a gala, gifts to a particular fund....). But as well, in every not-for-profit, the head honcho, whatever he/she is called, HAS to get out there and shake hands, kiss cheeks, have tea, waltz around and otherwise shake the tree. Peter Martins is quite good at this, in part because he was Balanchine's pick, and (maybe) because he is so good looking. That never hurts with the ladies.

I'm surprised no one has mentioned Balanchine's remark: "Apres moi, le Board."

#56 kfw

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Posted 16 January 2007 - 07:44 PM

Isn't it more likely that it is the NYCB Board, and not Peter Martins, that wants a new R and J? No doubt their marketing surveys indicate that this would bring in considerable revenue from the full length ballet fans.

But between ABT and whoever else lands at the Met each year, the full length fans already have a lot to choose from. I would think the board would have enough familiarity with and love of NYCB history to want the company to follow NYCB tradition, not glom on to someone else's.

#57 Amy Reusch

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Posted 16 January 2007 - 08:05 PM

It always seems to me when a dance company shows signs of being Board driven, that its engine has begun to stall, and one might want to put one's seatback in the upright position before the nosedive. Sometimes the pilot can regain control, but there's an awful lot of crash & burn in the dance world.

#58 Leigh Witchel

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Posted 16 January 2007 - 08:34 PM

I would think the board would have enough familiarity with and love of NYCB history to want the company to follow NYCB tradition, not glom on to someone else's.


I wish I had your faith.

#59 Helene

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Posted 16 January 2007 - 08:46 PM

The NYCB institutional mission is: 1) to preserve the ballets, aesthetic and excellence of its founders, and 2) "to develop new work that draws on the creative talents of contemporary choreographers and composers, and speaks to the time in which it is made." So where does R&J fit into this mission? A strong board would have said "No, not unless it can be accomplished in accordance with the mission."

I also don't see how a neo-classical version of Romeo and Juliet is antithetical to fulfilling the mission to "preserve the aesthetic" of its founders. It's not as if Balanchine didn't choreograph The Nutcracker, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Pulchinella, or Coppelia, all multi-act narrative ballets, as well as several versions of Firebird. Balanchine dreamed of producing Sleeping Beauty, and if he had lived longer, we might have seen Darci Kistler's Aurora in the Master's version. Lincoln Kirstein was instrumental in supporting a number of choreographers -- not only at NYCB, but with Ballet Caravan and some of his other ballet ventures during Balanchine's Broadway and Hollywood periods -- who created works with narratives and characters.

I don't see where Martins would have had to justify R&J from a mission perspective at all. To speculate that he did has no foundation in official news.

#60 papeetepatrick

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Posted 16 January 2007 - 09:18 PM

I don't see where Martins would have had to justify R&J from a mission perspective at all. To speculate that he did has no foundation in official news.


Yes, and I am glad they're making it. I also think that his SB and SL will be seen to have been important things to do at some point. Unfortunately, I've seen neither, and that will be my next NYCB project. I wish I'd gotten to the SB last week, but no time. This is an area in which he may have been very wise. They could always be revised too, couldn't they? I've heard a lot of complaints about them, but I don't care, can't be much worse than that Mackenzie thing ABT televised. I definitely think NYCB needs every single one of these ballets in the repertory, and Nutcracker and Coppelia and Midsummer Night's Dream are the same sort of thing, as Helene pointed out. Nothing distasteful in this, and there is simply no way to ignore that the theater is almost never full anymore. One 'Jewels' I saw at a Sat. matinee in 2004, other than that, I've seen plenty of 2/3-3/4 full houses. That's a serious problem.


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