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POB 2008-2009 season


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#1 cygneblanc

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Posted 17 March 2008 - 12:03 PM

POB's next season was announced today to AROP's members. It's far better than the current one. So we'lle have next year:

New-York City Ballet

- Balanchine: Divertimento , Episodes, Vienna's Walz


- Balanchine/ Robbins/ Tharp: Serenade, Symphony in 3 movements and ?

-Balanchine/Martins/ Wheeldon/Robbins:
Duo concertant, Hallelujah Junction, After the Rain, Dances at a Gathering


- Wheeldon, Balanchine, Martins, Robbins: : Carousel (A Dance), Tarentella, Barber's Violin Concerto West Side Story Suite


NYCB/POB: Balanchine: Apollo, Sonatine, George Balanchine: Symphony in C
Robbins: Suite of Dances



Robbins' triple bill
En Sol
Triade (creation of Benjamin Millepied)
In The Night
The Concert

Jose Martinez
Children of the Paradise (creation)


Nureev
Raymonda

Béjart's triple bill
Serait-ce la mort, L'Oiseau de Feu, le Sacre du Printemps

School of POB
Péchés de Jeunesse
La Somnambule
Yondering

National Ballet of China
Le Détachement Féminin Rouge
Sylvia


Lifar/Petit/Béjart's triple bill
Suite en Blanc
L'Arlésienne
Boléro

Preljocaj
Le Parc

Neumeier
third Symphony of Malher

Young dancers night


Cranko
Onegin

Gat/Duato/Preljocaj triple bill
Hark!
White Darkness
MC14/22

Petit
Proust ou Les Intermittences du Coeur

Ashton
La Fille mal gardée

We'll have a blast!!! I can't wait

#2 carbro

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Posted 17 March 2008 - 01:27 PM

Thanks for posting this, cygneblanc.

New-York City Ballet
. . .
- Balanchine/ Robbins/ Tharp: Serenade, Symphony in 3 movements and ?

It looks to me, since Balanchine is the choreographer of Serenade and Symphony in Three Movements, that the third ballet will be the joint Robbins-Tharp collaboration, Brahms-Handel, which reenters the company's active rep in the upcoming season.

#3 Estelle

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Posted 17 March 2008 - 02:23 PM

Thanks a lot, cygneblanc !!

I'm looking forward to the NYCB tour, especially with works like "Divertimento n.15", "Duo concertant" or "Episodes" which haven't been seen in Paris for a long time (by the way, will the POB ever perform "Div. n. 15" again ? Sigh...) I wonder which casts we'll see in the POB/ NYCB Gala (might "Suite of dances" be suitable farewell program for Manuel Legris, or is he supposed to have his farewell performances before ?)

I'm very happy to see that there will be a Robbins triple bill, as not many of his works had been performed in recent years. I regret the POB won't be dancing "Dances at a gathering" (they haven't danced it for a long time, and I had missed it when they last performed it...) I guess it will be a somewhat nostalgic moment to see "In the night", as nearly all the dancers who had performed it when it was staged by Robbins himself now have retired or will soon (Hilaire, Guérin, Loudières, Legris, Platel, Belarbi, Arbo, Romoli, Delanoë, Gaïda... I do miss them !) And "The concert" is such a lovely work.

Nice to see that "Suite en blanc" is back- I guess that the Lifar-Petit-Béjart program was quite successful on tour, so that they decided to perform it again "at home" ? And also I hope to be able to see "La fille mal gardée" this time :)

Compared to previous seasons, this one is richer in 20th-century neoclassical works, and with fewer modern works (Preljocaj, the triple bill, and I don't know where to count Martinez's new work). The only 19th century classic is "Raymonda", which is a bit surprising- well, at least they haven't scheduled two big classics at the same time in December, as they did this year (which generally leads to a lot of injuries, cast changes, etc.)

The school program includes nothing new, but it's interesting nonetheless (and at least an opportunity to see some choreography by Jean-Guillaume Bart again. But what a pity that, unlike fellow principals Belarbi, Le Riche and Martinez, he never was commissionned a full length work for the company...)

#4 cygneblanc

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Posted 17 March 2008 - 02:53 PM

Since Jean-Guillaume Bart is now retired as a dancer, he will asked to do a full lengh work in the future, who knows ?
Divetimento was danced (very well!) by POB's school two years ago.

#5 Alexandra

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Posted 17 March 2008 - 02:58 PM

What happened???? There is actually BALLET in this season!!!! Oh, lordy, I hope it's a huge success and starts a trend.

#6 cygneblanc

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Posted 17 March 2008 - 03:16 PM

Well, I guess it will be very, very difficult to get tickets for NYCB's performances.

As for ballet, Yes, I'm as thrilled as you. The word now in France is that public funded institutions have to be profitable. Since tickets sales for contemporary works are very far from being great, they have to plan works which will fill theaters. And the personality of the new director who will be around in 2009 (Nicolas Joel) is less eccentric than Gerard Mortier's one. We can presume POB will be more classical in the next few years.

#7 Estelle

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Posted 17 March 2008 - 04:03 PM

Since Jean-Guillaume Bart is now retired as a dancer, he will asked to do a full lengh work in the future, who knows ?


I do hope so.
But I don't know how popular he is with Ms Lefèvre, especially as he definitely isn't afraid to speak his mind about repertory choices...
Do you know if he works as a teacher now ?

Divetimento was danced (very well!) by POB's school two years ago.


Oh yes, I forgot, I was only thinking about the company (who hasn't danced it since the Dupond period, I think). How paradoxical that there are several Balanchine works which are danced mostly or only by the school (e.g. Le Tombeau de Couperin, La somnambule, Western Symphony) and not by the company...

If the change of director means that there will be more ballet, well, that's great news !
By the way, I wonder for how long Ms Lefèvre will stay. It already feels as if she had been there forever (more than ten years ? Isn't it the longest POB directorship since Lifar ?)

Well, I guess it will be very, very difficult to get tickets for NYCB's performances.


Do you mean the Paris audience will rush to get tickets, or would there be another reason too ? Now I just have to hope that the calendar is such that I can go to Paris at the right moment and see several programs :)

#8 cygneblanc

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Posted 17 March 2008 - 04:20 PM

I think JGB has some projects abroad. One teacher position is available because Noella Pontois who turned 65 got retired and Ghislaine Thesmar will get retired soon, too. So there are some possibilities for JGB to teach at POB but I don't know if he wishes it.

Well, BL will stay until she turns 65 if she can. She'll have to leave at that age. Yes, her directorship is the longer since Lifar, and she has been there since 1995.

Yeah, I mean Paris' audience will rush to get tickets for NYCB and other european audiences too since tickets will be cheap according to british standarts eg. I believe for London's tours the most expensive tickets were about £200. In Paris they will about 80-100 euros.

#9 Estelle

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Posted 18 March 2008 - 05:22 AM

I think JGB has some projects abroad. One teacher position is available because Noella Pontois who turned 65 got retired and Ghislaine Thesmar will get retired soon, too. So there are some possibilities for JGB to teach at POB but I don't know if he wishes it.


I suspect that working at the POB can be quite exhausting nervously sometimes...

What a pity that there are so few ballet companies in France now, perhaps Jean-Guillaume Bart could have done a good job
as a company director (at least he has a genuine interest in the classical repertory and is interested in coaching and teaching...)

Well, BL will stay until she turns 65 if she can. She'll have to leave at that age. Yes, her directorship is the longer since Lifar, and she has been there since 1995.


I wonder what people will think of her tenure in retrospect. Dupond was criticized for his tendancy to cast himself a lot (a problem shared
by many directors who are also dancers, alas...) but in my opinion he had some really interesting programs. And it might not be entirely Lefevre's fault, but I have the feeling that the present generation of dancers isn't as interesting as the previous ones (and some choices of principals were really controversial).

Lefèvre seems to have no real policy, and sometimes says one thing one season and then the opposite later...

Yeah, I mean Paris' audience will rush to get tickets for NYCB and other european audiences too since tickets will be cheap according to british standarts eg. I believe for London's tours the most expensive tickets were about £200. In Paris they will about 80-100 euros.


Oh, I hadn't thought that it would appeal to people from other countries, too.

he word now in France is that public funded institutions have to be profitable. Since tickets sales for contemporary works are very far from being great, they have to plan works which will fill theaters.


What surprises me, then, is that they chose "Raymonda" as the only full-length 19th century classic.
As far as I know, it's far from being the most popular Nureyev work, or the most popular classic in the POB repertory...
Something like "Swan Lake" or "La Bayadère" or "The Sleeping Beauty" or "Coppélia" would probably have sold far more seats...
Also, staging only such a work in the season might not be enough to train the corps de ballet (especially as there have been complaints in recent years about the corps de ballet behaviour in some classics).

#10 naomikage

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Posted 18 March 2008 - 08:50 PM

I think JGB has some projects abroad. One teacher position is available because Noella Pontois who turned 65 got retired and Ghislaine Thesmar will get retired soon, too. So there are some possibilities for JGB to teach at POB but I don't know if he wishes it.


Recently JGB was teaching in Japan with the Tokyo Ballet, and he spoke in a interview of Japanese magazine Dance Magazine that he wishes to teach at POB and is likely to do so as soon as there is a vacancy for the position (which we be availale soon). He is also teaching at Mikhailovsky Theatre for a short period.

#11 bart

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Posted 19 March 2008 - 05:35 AM

This has been a fascinating and informative discussion. Thank you all so much.

:thumbsup: Regarding funding for the POB. Mme. Chirac was said to favor ballet, and this may have had an impact on government policy. What about President Sarkozy? Is there any sense that he, his new wife, the Minister of Culture, or anyone else significant in his administration has a special interest in ballet? What do ballet people in France think about the prospects for state-funded classical arts during a Sarkozy administration as compared to the past?

#12 cygneblanc

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Posted 19 March 2008 - 06:27 AM

President Sarkozy is a good friend of former POB director Hugues Gall, but I think besides that, he hasn't a particular interest in arts. He likes popular things and was being reported by his former wife not to be particularly fond of music and ballet. He went with her because she liked it, but that was all.

One cannot say Carla Bruni isn't an educated lady and for sure she knows art but from what I've heard she is more into litterature and painting than music and ballet.

I don't think Christine Albanel has a special interest in ballet. The health minister has, and she's often been seen at POB.

I think but I may be wrong that the prospects for state-funded classical arts may not as a bad as it has been said. Our intelligensia is yelling now and it's true there are cuts in t state's subventions. But the goal is to have profitable institutions. It's true some theaters in province will be affected, or at least their lyrical productions. Ballet won't suffer since there aren't any ballet compagnies in province except in Bordeaux and Toulouse but contemporaries center certainly will. By the way, it is reported there are some problems in Marseille (anonymous letters against the director).

What's curious is that Marie-Claude Pietragralla, who has a very contemporary compagny, in her last book denounced
all this public funded compagnies and pleaded for ballet!

It has been shown classical arts are generally profitable. You have to queue a long time in order to see some expositions, a lot of classical concerts are sold out 6 months in advance. What we can say is POB, as "a mirror", will have to be profitable and probably will come back to a more classical approach.

As a tax payer, I noticed the public funds are given to anyone doing everything in dance but ballet, and that has to be ended, as some very bad ideas carried by the left. To give you an exemple, POB came for one night in Saint germain en Laye, one of the two royal cities with Versailles, about 20 kilometes from Paris. Tickets were cheap, the theater was full, with a lot of kids. But the left wrote an article in the local newspaper where it was said that ballet is elitist and ins't interesting anyone anymore. They were pleading for having what they're calling a popular show like "celtic legends", if the right really wants to have dance in this theater...

#13 bart

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Posted 19 March 2008 - 07:06 AM

Thank you so much, cygneblanc, for your response. This is an element of French affairs not often publicized in the U.S., even in higher level publications. It interests me that contemporary dance seems not to be flourishing as much as predicted -- and the audience for ballet remains strong and even age-diverse.

We, too, have our cultural commentators who overpraise Celtic dance, or African dance, or full-length hip-hop story dances as "popular" and other forms as elitist. In the U.S., such critics are just as likely to be found on the populist right as on the left, possibly even more so. "Country," for instance, has been the national theme music of at least two right wing administrations (the Bushes) not to mention one center-left administration (the Clintons) in recent memory. And an oblivious (I don't know; I don't care) attitude towards the classical arts has become the norm in government circles.

#14 cygneblanc

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Posted 19 March 2008 - 08:27 AM

Well, actually, to my mind, contemporary dance is much more elitist than ballet. Everyone can go to see a ballet production and enjoy it without knowing anything about it, wich isn't the case with comtemporary dance, at least the one we have in France. I'm even not certain one can call some of these works dance. In spite of a clear lack of visibility of ballet, little girls are still dreaming about it. Blogs and boards hold by french teenagers and young girls are flourishing. Theater are full when there is by chance a ballet production, even in rather poor suburbs, as Massy or Créeail.

That being said, I like very much the irish shows, too, even if celtic legends is rather pale imitation of Riverdance and Lord of the dance.

#15 Estelle

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Posted 19 March 2008 - 09:32 AM

What's curious is that Marie-Claude Pietragralla, who has a very contemporary compagny, in her last book denounced all this public funded compagnies and pleaded for ballet!


Well, perhaps Pietragalla isn't an especially coherent person... Also, I think that most of her popularity comes from ballet (I somehow doubt that many people would attend her choreographies if she wasn't known as a former POB étoile, who had been involved in some ads on TV, etc.)
She recently was awarded the Légion d'Honneur, so perhaps it means that she is in good terms with the powers-that-be ?

It has been shown classical arts are generally profitable. You have to queue a long time in order to see some expositions, a lot of classical concerts are sold out 6 months in advance.


Well, "profitable"... It depends on what you count (how much is the subsidy per seat for each Paris Opera performance ?) It seems to me that some of the switches from ballet companies to contemporary companies were motivated partly by cuts in subsidies (e.g. in Nancy): it's expensive to have a ballet company as you must have a rather large number of dancers in the corps de ballet, you must pay for pointe shoes, costumes, sets, etc. while you can have a much smaller modern company, dancing works with no sets and minimalist costumes. Of course it's a rather short sighted choice (especially if you realize a bit too late that there are almost no viewers for the new company's performances...), but it's a kind of argument which is unfortunately appealing to politicians.

What we can say is POB, as "a mirror", will have to be profitable and probably will come back to a more classical approach.


If it helps reviving the POB repertory, it's a good thing, but let's hope that it won't go too far (there are parts of the classical repertory which are very interesting but probably not very "profitable", e.g. it would be simpler to fill the theater programming long series of "Swan Lake"/ "Bayadère"/ "Sleeping Beauty"/ "Romeo and Juliet"/ Béjart than for example to stage lesser known works by Lifar, Tudor, Fokine...)

To give you an exemple, POB came for one night in Saint germain en Laye, one of the two royal cities with Versailles, about 20 kilometes from Paris. Tickets were cheap, the theater was full, with a lot of kids. But the left wrote an article in the local newspaper where it was said that ballet is elitist and ins't interesting anyone anymore. They were pleading for having what they're calling a popular show like "celtic legends", if the right really wants to have dance in this theater...


That's an interesting anecdote. Was it an official POB tour ? And who wrote the article, was it some "conseillers municipaux" of the city, and who were they blaming, the city mayor ? Anyway, that sounds like a really stupid article...

Everyone can go to see a ballet production and enjoy it without knowing anything about it, wich isn't the case with comtemporary dance, at least the one we have in France.


I'm not really sure of that (a lot of people, for example, are somehow intimidated by ballet and afraid to attend it because they think they "won't understand it", and some others, on the other hand, consider it as too childish, generally without having seen any of it...) But I agree that much of French modern dance definitely isn't very accessible for most of the audience, and that some of it has little to do with dance (rather with a sort of mix of theater, reading of texts, video experiments, etc.) And what a pity that there still is so much animosity against ballet from a lot of modern dance fans, critics, etc.


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