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Principals who retire but continue to dance


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#1 bart

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Posted 26 January 2009 - 12:19 PM

A note in the February/March issue of Pointe summarizes material al of which (I think) has previously been noted by posters on Ballet Talk:

Muriel Maffre, a former principal with San Francisco Ballet who now performs as a guest artist with Alonzo King's LINES Ballet, was named Chevalier de l"ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Ministry of Culture


Maffre retired in May 2007 but continued to dance. Similarly, Ileana Lopez -- arguably the most beloved of Miami City Ballet Principals -- retired in May 2004 but continues to dance as a member of the classically-trained contemporary company Ballet Gamonet. (She moved to Gamonet after a stint as one of MCB's Ballet Mistresses.)

Clearly, some dancers at the top just don't want to give up performing and are willing to take on a new repertoire in a smaller company in order to extend their careers.

Are there any other principal dancers with long-term associations to a single company who have retired from the company and then gone on to real commitments to a smaller company.

(I'm not thinking about people like Ananiashvili, who leave one company in order to guest extensively around the world, though if you want to mention one of those, that's fine, too. :wink: )

#2 sandik

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Posted 26 January 2009 - 02:05 PM

Well, it's not quite the example you're looking for (I think), since this is a change in genre as well as company, but here in Seattle Julie Tobiason and Timothy Lynch left Pacific Northwest Ballet, and then formed the Seattle Dance Project. The new ensemble is mostly a contemporary dance company, but the style is very heavily influenced by their work in ballet.

Alongside this would be artists who have joined Nedelands DT 3 (I think that's the correct number), a group that is comprised of older artists.

I know of a couple specifically modern dance companies with a similar mandate.

#3 SandyMcKean

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Posted 26 January 2009 - 03:56 PM

Are there any other principal dancers with long-term associations to a single company who have retired from the company and then gone on to real commitments to a smaller company.

bart, as sandik mentions here in Seattle we have a new company (10 dancers, company is 2 years old I think): the Seattle Dance Project. Having talked to the founding directors (Julie and Tim), I gather from them that their objective is well summarized by your statement above. They are highly trained, and in most cases are retired from full time dancing, but still want to perform. Obviously, it takes a huge personal commitment to actually start a company, but they felt this was the best way to both expand their style of dance beyond classical (but including classical), and at the same time maintain a very high level of quality. Amost all the dancers have strong connections to Seattle's PNB (including at the principal level), and to SAB.

See my post on the the company and a recent performance here.

#4 Farrell Fan

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Posted 26 January 2009 - 06:08 PM

Then there are dancers who retire and continue dancing as "guest artists"with the company they've retired from. Robert La Fosse at NYCB is one example.

#5 carbro

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Posted 26 January 2009 - 06:43 PM

Then there are dancers who retire and continue dancing as "guest artists"with the company they've retired from. Robert La Fosse at NYCB is one example.

"Dancing" may be overstating it, as LaFosse performs character roles.

As, incidentally, does Frederick Franklin.

Jock Soto returned to the stage to portray Lord Capulet and, more recently, Herr Stalbaum.

#6 SandyMcKean

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Posted 26 January 2009 - 06:46 PM

Naturally there are lots of dancers that guest in one way or the other, but bart's question was:

Are there any other principal dancers with long-term associations to a single company who have retired from the company and then gone on to real commitments to a smaller company?



#7 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 26 January 2009 - 09:26 PM

Naturally there are lots of dancers that guest in one way or the other, but bart's question was:

Are there any other principal dancers with long-term associations to a single company who have retired from the company and then gone on to real commitments to a smaller company?

Iliana Lopez, gone from MCB still keeps dancing with Ballet Gamonet

"After sixteen years as principal dancers, ILIANA LOPEZ and FRANKLIN GAMERO, who are married, will retire from MIAMI CITY BALLET at the end of the 2003-04 season ..."

http://findarticles....ag=artBody;col1

And then, Jorge Esquivel...Mme. and all her girls's partner since the very early times is being "retired"-(erased...exiled..who knows.? well, you pick the right word, cause I can't really come out with a better one, but he is certainly full time employed as per the Roster of the SFB as a character dancer.

#8 GWTW

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Posted 26 January 2009 - 11:03 PM

(I'm not thinking about people like Ananiashvili, who leave one company in order to guest extensively around the world, though if you want to mention one of those, that's fine, too. )


bart, Ananiashavili actually is a very good example as she left a world renowned international company in order to direct (and dance for) a much lesser known company in her home country. :wink:

#9 bart

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 05:36 AM

Good point, GWTW. I'm not up on the story, but didn't she leave the Bolshoi at the top of her form? Or even before the top? It seems that many dancers in the U.S. are "allowed to" or "encouraged to" retire after a certain age or to make room for younger people. At least that's my impression in a number of these stories.

#10 diane

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 09:21 AM

Alongside this would be artists who have joined Nedelands DT 3 (I think that's the correct number), a group that is comprised of older artists.


unfortunately, NDT III does not exist anymore. The Dutch gov. decided to no longer fund it.

(please correct me if I am wrong, but that is the info I was given..)

-d-

#11 sandik

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 11:48 AM

Alongside this would be artists who have joined Nedelands DT 3 (I think that's the correct number), a group that is comprised of older artists.


unfortunately, NDT III does not exist anymore. The Dutch gov. decided to no longer fund it.

(please correct me if I am wrong, but that is the info I was given..)

-d-


I'm sorry to hear that -- I didn't get the opportunity to see the group in person, but knew several of the performers and was so glad they were still involved...

#12 volcanohunter

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 06:44 PM

Less than three weeks shy of her 50th birthday, Nina Ananiashvili is preparing to dance Nikiya in Kiev tomorrow. Today she appeared on Ukrainian television on a late-night chat show hosted by Belarusian dissident journalist Pavel Sheremet.

Among the things they discussed were her vineyards and wines, why she likes Makarova's production of La Bayadère, why it is that she has only recently begun to appear in Kiev--this being her third visit, why Denis Matvienko is a good partner, why partnering isn't as easy as it looks (no translation required), her secret of youth (answer: her 7-year-old son), and a delicate question on Georgian politics (her husband having been a cabinet minister in the previous administration), to which she replies that art and politics shouldn't mix, but that the state ought to support the arts for the sake of national prestige.There is a tiny bit of rehearsal footage. At the end Sheremet advises viewers to try their luck with ticket scalpers and thanks Ananiashvili for allowing him to try his hand at being a ballet dancer for a few seconds. My, she looks great.

http://tvi.ua/new/20...balet_bayaderka

#13 ZZP1

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Posted 12 April 2013 - 09:29 AM

What about Sylvie Guillem? I saw her doing a Kitri which (in my opinion) equalled Osopova's. I dancer I would love to know more about.

#14 abatt

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Posted 12 April 2013 - 10:22 AM

Misha formed the White Oak Project and danced for many years after leaving ballet.

#15 Helene

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Posted 12 April 2013 - 10:35 AM

What about Sylvie Guillem? I saw her doing a Kitri which (in my opinion) equalled Osopova's. I dancer I would love to know more about.

Has she ever worked extensively with a small company?

In Seattle, a couple of former Principals have been affiliated with small, pre-professional companies that hire professionals to dance the leads. Le Yin has danced with International Ballet Theatre, and Mara Vinson has danced for Olympic Ballet Theatre, where she and her husband, former PNB dancer Oleg Gorboulev, are co-Artistic Directors.


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