If (as several posters maintain) that there isn't a single guy in the ABT corps worth promoting to soloist status, then it begs several questions:
1) What is going on either at the audition level or at the corps mentoring level that ABT is unable to find suitable candidates for promotion from within, and
2) if (as Helene notes) "there will never be a shortage of dancers who are willing to be in the ABT corps", then (as Memo notes) what is the point of the school/summer programs/scholarships/ABT II? If the end result is that the beneficiaries/graduates of these programs/entities dead end in the corps, then why bother? Why not scrap the programs, take the money and become the New York Yankees of the ballet world -- go forth and start waving money under dancers' noses in London and Paris and Copenhagen and St. Petersburg and Moscow and create a 70s-style all-star roster of principals and soloists who will pack the Met and get the fan base hooting and hollering and shredding their programs.
I apologize if it seems like I am being argumentative for the sake of being argumentative. My quarrel isn't with Mr. Simkin, who I am sure is the greatest thing since Grape Crush soda (my favorite). What I'm annoyed about is that ABT wants it both ways. They want to be mentioned in the same breath as the French and the Danes and the Russians and the City Ballet-ers so they've created this whole apparatus of a school and summer programs and scholarships and ABT II to create the impression of school-to-corps-to-soloist-to-principal just like all the others. But then they also want to have an array of larger-than-life personalities on stage and so they defy their own internal apparatus and go out and hire dancers from the outside.
To me, ABT is a company that doesn't know what it wants to be. Personally, I think that whole 70s-style/Lucia Chase/"can't have enough stars" approach is their true DNA and they should just embrace it and stop trying to please people who carp about the absence of a "company style". But I wish they would just pick one direction and stick with it rather than the current muddle which (if this thread is any indication) only divides the fan base.
(And thanks to vipa for mentioning Bujones. I had forgotten that he, like Ted Kivitt, got the downside of the Baryshnikov hiring. Curiously, I think Lucia Chase's hiring/treatment of Bujones was correct -- he won at Varna but he started in the corps, became a soloist the next year and became a principal the year after that.)
Blaine Hoven 4 Ever!