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Nurturing new choreographic talent

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Ray raised this issue on the 'Next Balanchine' poll topic, and on reconsideration I think it would be nice to have a new thread on the subject, as it could raise a lot of new issues. Ray writes:

I just wonder the extent to which ballet watchers (both BTers and others) are interested in new choreographers at all--beyond, perhaps, providing vehicles for their favorite dancers. And I am genuinely curious as to how others feel about nurturing new choreographic talent--i.e., is it essential for the continuation of ballet?

What do you think?

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Yes and Yes.

Yes #1: I really enjoy seeing new work—either “new to me” or (even better) newly created. Some of it will be good, some of it will be awful, and there might even be a masterpiece or two. (As Balanchine himself observed, you have to make the bad ballets to make the good ballets.) I consider myself to have been privileged to be alive when it was still possible to see brand new ballets choreographed by Balanchine and Robbins. (Not to mention new works by Cunningham, Taylor, Brown, Morris, et al.) I was too young to be there for the really big works, but I there for the premieres of “Mozartiana” and “Antique Epigraphs” and those ballets seem special to me still. I prefer to believe that experiences like that aren’t just in my past, but are in my future, too. I was at the premiere of Wheeldon's "After the Rain" and Ratmansky's "Russian Seasons" and they're special too.

Here’s something that Susan Sontag wrote in her preface to the 1996 republication of the Spanish translation of Against Interpretation (her second book, written in 1966) that for me at least captures the special exhilaration of being “present at the creation”:

“I could never have imagined that both New York … and Paris … were in the early throes of a period that would be judged as exceptionally creative. They were … exactly as I’d imagined them to be—full of discoveries, inspirations, the sense of possibility. The dedication and daring … of the artists whose work mattered to me seemed, well, the way it was supposed to be. I thought it normal that there be new masterpieces every month …”

Yes #2: If no one choreographs new ballets, then doesn’t ballet become something like Kabuki or Noh, a carefully preserved artifact of another time and place? And I’d worry about dancers who spent their lives performing works by dead giants without ever thinking that they too could make masterpieces.

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Yes #2: If no one choreographs new ballets, then doesn’t ballet become something like Kabuki or Noh, a carefully preserved artifact of another time and place? And I’d worry about dancers who spent their lives performing works by dead giants without ever thinking that they too could make masterpieces.

Lots to chew on, Kathleen, but in re Yes #2, I wonder if that is enough for some viewers--it's not for me, but I want to really understand another way of seeing the ballet heritage, w/o the "modernist bias" that Sontag represents in that wonderful quotation (though expecting a masterpiece every month could prove disappointing--and Sontag elides the material conditions that made that creativity possible--i.e., it's not all genius erupting spontaneously). I share that bias; I tend to lose interest in an art form that's not producing new work, and I share the concern about dancers who may be incipient choreographers. BUT we'd never say this about other classical forms like Noh, would we?

For some, the ballet establishment barely holds onto the classical (or even neoclassical) rep, and that's a legitimate worry.

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If no one choreographs new ballets, then doesn’t ballet become something like Kabuki or Noh, a carefully preserved artifact of another time and place?

"Carefully preserved" doesn't sound like a bad idea to me at all, to be honest...If faced with the non probable question of choosing between dancing ONLY the preserved XIX repertoire with no room for anything else, or electively choosing to loose it, and keep experimenting...I would go for the first choice.(But again, this is a highly hipotetical thing)

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If no one choreographs new ballets, then doesn’t ballet become something like Kabuki or Noh, a carefully preserved artifact of another time and place?

"Carefully preserved" doesn't sound like a bad idea to me at all, to be honest...If faced with the non probable question of choosing between dancing ONLY the preserved XIX repertoire with no room for anything else, or electively choosing to loose it, and keep experimenting...I would go for the first choice.(But again, this is a highly hipotetical thing)

Nothing wrong with preservation, and I agree that we're unlikely to have to choose between creating new ballets and loosing the old ones.

My concern is that without new works ballet becomes a dead language like Latin: a relative handful of specialists pore over the old masterworks, a few students learn to read them -- maybe write a sentence or two themselves for practice -- and the real conversation takes place in another language. There is general agreement that The Aeneid is a touchstone of Western literature, but hardly anyone reads it in either the original or in translation and any influence it has on the culture at large is at a two or three degree remove.

Or maybe ballet turns into something like the Broadway musical, a once vibrant form that is now mostly for tourists and nostalgic aficionados, with the only over-amplified revivals and "new" works like "Mama Mia" on offer. We might not be lucky enough to get Noh.

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My concern is that without new works ballet becomes a dead language like Latin: a relative handful of specialists pore over the old masterworks, a few students learn to read them -- maybe write a sentence or two themselves for practice -- and the real conversation takes place in another language. There is general agreement that The Aeneid is a touchstone of Western literature, but hardly anyone reads it in either the original or in translation and any influence it has on the culture at large is at a two or three degree remove.

Or maybe ballet turns into something like the Broadway musical, a once vibrant form that is now mostly for tourists and nostalgic aficionados, with the only over-amplified revivals and "new" works like "Mama Mia" on offer. We might not be lucky enough to get Noh.

Kathleen,

Before Balanchine & Ashton became "set in stone greats" they both worked in commercial theatre, in Broadway, Vaudeville, The Negroe Revues, Films, commercial dance - it was their take on how populism could enrich ballet that moved them forward to become what they were.

Nor were they alone De Mille, Holm, Falco, Massine, Petit - none of them were adverse to exploring the wider field and using their findings to enrich creativity.

What will make ballet die and wither is viewing it as rarified, too precious to be tainted by base popular entertainment forms. If what it is is a language that can't be deciphered in any other format or form than classical purity it will be Latin; a dead language of interest to historians, librarians and antiquarians.

In their lifetimes the greats who now are viewed as establishment were straining to break free of the weight of the past, to find how classicism was relevant to creating within their time and space and for the society in which they lived - it's what artistic progression is about.

Balanchine & Ashton were lucky they had nascent companies and space to create as much as they wanted, to make mistakes and lived in a time when ballet was seen as relevant, or at least more relevant than it is now.

But to yearn for a past which probably never truly existed in the first place, to attach to it a quality of a halcyon nirvana to aspire to is a death knell. If ballet's apogee is historical and it's salvation as an art form is nothing but looking back and regressing,then perhaps it'll deserve to be relegated to the forgotten & dead languages file.

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My concern is that without new works ballet becomes a dead language like Latin: a relative handful of specialists pore over the old masterworks, a few students learn to read them -- maybe write a sentence or two themselves for practice -- and the real conversation takes place in another language.

Kathleen, but if there's something highly unlikely to happen, is the fear to start having just a "few students" that will be able to "write a sentence or two themselves for practice"-(this translated into the ballet world as a few ballet students able to learn a couple of ballet exercises for themselves). Reality is, ballet schools, ballet technique and ballet competitions are fierce and in high demand. More and more kids are trying to get into companies, and they are sharper than ever. The feeling is certainly very enthusiastic, and even better than that...the kids want to dance the classics, and dance it good. I will always remember when I read Kirkland's book, and her internal struggling when she realized that she wanted to dance the classics, having to leave NYCB in order to do so. I sill this is still happening.

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Reality is, ballet schools, ballet technique and ballet competitions are fierce and in high demand. More and more kids are trying to get into companies, and they are sharper than ever. The feeling is certainly very enthusiastic, and even better than that...the kids want to dance the classics, and dance it good. I will always remember when I read Kirkland's book, and her internal struggling when she realized that she wanted to dance the classics, having to leave NYCB in order to do so. I sill this is still happening.

I'm not sure I agree with this summation CMB, competitions are really increasingly seen as a passport to a company job, in a field in which jobs are becoming scant, companies having funding cut, companies downsizing or closing altogether and the few entry positions narrowing and with dancers holding on to jobs for longer than usual at corps level.

An astounding talent will always be given room, but with technique becoming so homogenised and prevalant there are too many dancers being trained for too few positions if any. Coupled with the fact that dance training is astronomically expensive - it's why foreign dancers go for the Prix de Lausanne for the Royal Ballet scholarship - because it's the best bet for a job with a company that offers 52 week contracts and a modicum of job security.

Especially in the current climate who can afford to train their children and even if one could who would want their children to graduate with no qualifications, into a field with fewer and fewer job opportunities or future and definitely no financial security?

In regards to the question of nurturing new choreographic talent, something struck me, what exactly do you (general you) want to see choreographed? Without an underlying intellectual and emotional and artistic intelligence even the prettiest of pretty dances is just that a dance.

A great choreographer has something to say, the problem is will anyone want to listen?

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I personally think it's important to have new works to keep ballet vibrant. I think Kathleen's language analogy is a good one .

In an ideal world there should be lots of both performances of the classics and well as new entries. This is important to renew the audiences, in many cases new viewers may be attracted by new works that have more points of reference for them. On the other hand the potential new viewer may relate well to the format of a tried and true classic. So let's have both.

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Simon, I don't think Kathleen was saying musical theatre is not worthy of good choreography; rather, she was (it appears to me) comparing the state of the two art forms.

Also, I feel I ought to point out that we have always trained too many dancers for too few jobs. There has never been any money or job security in ballet (well, not in the last 100 years anyway) and unfortunately, that is life when you're a performing artist.

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Simon, I don't think Kathleen was saying musical theatre is not worthy of good choreography; rather, she was (it appears to me) comparing the state of the two art forms.

Also, I feel I ought to point out that we have always trained too many dancers for too few jobs. There has never been any money or job security in ballet (well, not in the last 100 years anyway) and unfortunately, that is life when you're a performing artist.

Hans,

I didn't take it to mean that Kathleen was saying musical theatre wasn't deserving of great dance makers at all. What I meant was that those great choreographers specfically Balanchine & Ashton Robbins, Demille, Petit etc worked and created in such a time the divisions between high and "low" art weren't so cut, it wasn't a case of never the twain - and perhaps that's why their art continues to be so relevant and their sensibilities as creative artists were more catholic (in the non religious sense of universal).

Those great bastions of high art such as the Royal & NYCB are actually historically pretty recent occurrences and it's sad how divorced the public at large increasingly sees ballet as being. If a choreographer has any duty whatsoever it's to create art and dances which reflect his society and are for his society - be relevant and then perhaps you'll have great choreography.

I wonder though is there really a dearth of choreographers creating today? I don't know, what's perhaps more apt is that there's a dearth of anything meaningful being done in choreography, leaving no impression and being so quickly forgotten.

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If a choreographer has any duty whatsoever it's to create art and dances which reflect his society and are for his society - be relevant and then perhaps you'll have great choreography.

But what is there left to reflect, if I may be so bold to state a depressing thought? Masterpieces don’t come out of thin air, and what they used to come out of was keen intellectual curiosity and a wealth of venacular forms of expression. These seem greatly diminished, even in the last ten years.

Susan Sontag was discovering masterpieces each week, but many of these had been written years before. She was introducing them to U.S. audiences and this made them seem new and exciting. And she was still going to Carnegie Hall every week and listening to pianists like Maurizio Pollini play Beethoven.

Yet there were many great great things: Beckett plays in little rooms and the Polish theater and Godard films, but these happened out of sight, along the margins, out of the watchful eye of the mainstream press. When it was announced that the Joseph Patelson Music House would close, a friend said with all these nurturing out of the way places disappearing, why would a young person want to come to live in New York now.

The last things for me to happen in the protected margins are Cuban ballet, and Roberto Bolano and Javier Marias novels.

But classic ballet is a sort of Latin in a good way, a fixed form with complicated rules that we can enjoy again and again intact. (And in ballet-Latin Petipa would be Ovid, Wheeldon Catullus, and Balanchine Horace, the adjectives several beats behind the nouns.)

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My concern is that without new works ballet becomes a dead language like Latin: a relative handful of specialists pore over the old masterworks, a few students learn to read them -- maybe write a sentence or two themselves for practice -- and the real conversation takes place in another language.

Kathleen, but if there's something highly unlikely to happen, is the fear to start having just a "few students" that will be able to "write a sentence or two themselves for practice"-(this translated into the ballet world as a few ballet students able to learn a couple of ballet exercises for themselves). Reality is, ballet schools, ballet technique and ballet competitions are fierce and in high demand. More and more kids are trying to get into companies, and they are sharper than ever. The feeling is certainly very enthusiastic, and even better than that...the kids want to dance the classics, and dance it good. I will always remember when I read Kirkland's book, and her internal struggling when she realized that she wanted to dance the classics, having to leave NYCB in order to do so. I sill this is still happening.

It isn't the number of students I'm concerned about. What I had in mind was my own experience learning Latin and ancient Greek in school. We would very dutifully write little paragraphs and and even poems to demonstrate that we'd mastered whatever point of grammar or rhetoric it was that we were learning that week, but there was no expectation that we would ever write something real in one of these languages. We might try our hand at imitating a few lines of Virgil, but none of us were ever going to write an epic poem-- or any kind of poem for that matter--in Latin for other people to read and enjoy.

I was thinking by analogy of ballet students mastering the steps and putting together little combinations to sharpen their understanding of what they'd learned, but never having any expectation that they might use that same vocabulary to make something new.

I don't think there's any great dearth of choreographers, by the way, even though there may not be a towering genius out there. I was just trying to address Ray's original question as to whether or not new works were necessary for ballet to continue. The answer probably depends on how one defines "continue."

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I didn't take it to mean that Kathleen was saying musical theatre wasn't deserving of great dance makers at all. What I meant was that those great choreographers specfically Balanchine & Ashton Robbins, Demille, Petit etc worked and created in such a time the divisions between high and "low" art weren't so cut, it wasn't a case of never the twain - and perhaps that's why their art continues to be so relevant and their sensibilities as creative artists were more catholic (in the non religious sense of universal).

Nor were they alone De Mille, Holm, Falco, Massine, Petit - none of them were adverse to exploring the wider field and using their findings to enrich creativity.

All true, SimonG, but as far as Balanchine was concerned, at least, he did a lot of these extracurricular activities from hunger. I’m sure his art benefited from them to some extent and he did not look down on this work, but if he had been able to concentrate on ballet full time, he would have done so. (I suspect the same is true for Ashton, as well.)

I think you are right to emphasize that the classical choreographers of that era benefited from the closer ties between vernacular dance and the danse d’ecole. (Leigh remarked on this once upon a time.) What has happened in the last half century is that the distance between popular dance and music and ballet has increased. Something similar has happened to musical theatre, as Kathleen mentioned, which began slowly to die once its music was no longer mainstream pop. When Robbins’ original casts performed Interplay and Fancy Free, for example, they were doing dances very close to what people were dancing for fun and pleasure. That’s no longer true for the most part.

I agree with those who emphasize the need for new work, mediocre or no. Dancers need it, the audience needs it.

Masterpieces don’t come out of thin air, and what they used to come out of was keen intellectual curiosity and a wealth of venacular forms of expression.

Right, Quiggin, and as you've pointed out on other threads, Balanchine's genius didn't emerge from a vacuum but from an environment full of intellectual and artistic energy.

This has been a great thread to read. Thanks, everyone. :)

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Right, Quiggin, and as you've pointed out on other threads, Balanchine's genius didn't emerge from a vacuum but from an environment full of intellectual and artistic energy.

Regardless of whether the general environment is as intellectually and artistically stimulating as Balanchine found, he started to choreograph experimentally at a young age -- not without difficulty or criticism -- at school, using his fellow students. As cubanmiamiboy has pointed out, the number of students in ballet academies has grown beyond the capacity for companies to absorb, and at schools, there are still the laboratories for someone who is compelled to create classical ballet.

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All true, SimonG, but as far as Balanchine was concerned, at least, he did a lot of these extracurricular activities from hunger. I’m sure his art benefited from them to some extent and he did not look down on this work, but if he had been able to concentrate on ballet full time, he would have done so. (I suspect the same is true for Ashton, as well.)

Hey Dirac,

Yes, I know, but I think that's what made him, and Ashton, perhaps it wouldn't have been their first choice but how different would their art have been without that huge eclectic tapestry of experience, those years in which they formulated their views on society, life, their world and how it would impact on the art they came to create.

That's the thing, I don't see those experiences as negative at all. In relation to Quiggan saying that everything that there is to be said, or done has been, true, but what is infinite in variety is the way the individual reinterprets.Would someone who's spent their whole life within a studio, first as dancer then as choreographer have that wealth of experience to draw from? That's part of my problem with Christopher Wheeldon, he knows his technical onions, you can't argue that but the outlook is as academic as a series of barre exercises - the intellectual motivation behind the work, kind of parochial.

It's the individual who has seen a great deal who makes work worth a damn. I think that's what I've been unclear in saying, i believe that instead of interrupting their progress as choreographers that wealth of life experience in no small part made them.

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Actually in relation to Balanchine did anyone see those interviews with Tallchief describing how he formed her or reformed her into a technical instrument capable of dancing his choreography?

I thought that really interesting, this came after Ballets Russes, those incredible early works which must have been danced in the Petrograd style, after his first US experiments and after those long fallow years of little or no ballet choreography, when Kirstein had seen in Balanchine the future and was willing to finance and put his considerable resources into creating their vision of "American" ballet.

What I found most fascinating was that here was a man who knew choreography but had a vision of how choreography should be reinvented and reformed in relation to a totally new approach to technique and he was reinventing the ballerina and her technique to express and interpret that - he was creating a new instrument for dance, both reimagining the old works and inventing the new.

By this stage Balanchine was a "mature" seasoned and highly exerienced choreographer, of course, but it was like he was being born anew - all those years had led him to a point where he was starting from scratch.

And I think that's what nurturing is reaching a point where the triumphs and failures create a full-blown artist.

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Right, Quiggin, and as you've pointed out on other threads, Balanchine's genius didn't emerge from a vacuum but from an environment full of intellectual and artistic energy.

Regardless of whether the general environment is as intellectually and artistically stimulating as Balanchine found, he started to choreograph experimentally at a young age -- not without difficulty or criticism -- at school, using his fellow students. As cubanmiamiboy has pointed out, the number of students in ballet academies has grown beyond the capacity for companies to absorb, and at schools, there are still the laboratories for someone who is compelled to create classical ballet.

And let's not forget that the rise of Balanchine and the NYCB were made possible from the increase in public and private funding for the arts, especially from the Kennedy era onwards. And while Balanchine may have had to choreograph for his bread at times in his life, his career is really more than most a testament to the value of patronage: 2 Russian governments, Diaghilev's backers, Lincoln K., City Center, the Ford (and many other) Foundation, the NEA, etc.

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One more point in the "going forward" vs. "becoming a museum" argument is that technique and style can be lost, if older works are not coached and performed, especially in an art form that is passed from dancer to dancer. (Although this is not exclusive to ballet: consider the loss of painting techniques and paint mixing, how to make Fortuny pleats, or the shellac formulas from the great Italian violin makers when they cease to be part of a living art and/or their inventors take their secrets to their graves.)

sandik and I had a discussion tonight at dinner, in which I mentioned that the Ballet Arizona female corps had to work very hard to create a unified style in this season's "Les Sylphides", and sandik pointed out that the ballet was ubiquitous for a number of years, during which time the style was a given, which is no longer the case.

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sandik and I had a discussion tonight at dinner, in which I mentioned that the Ballet Arizona female corps had to work very hard to create a unified style in this season's "Les Sylphides", and sandik pointed out that the ballet was ubiquitous for a number of years, during which time the style was a given, which is no longer the case.

A little :) , but thank God for the Cuban Classical Ballet of Miami and its repertoire. Guess which is one of their next season works..."Chopiniana" :yahoo:

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Back to the topic :thumbsup: (As you can probably guess, I'm on summer break.)

I think every point raised on this thread has been interesting and well worth discussing. I also liked Kathleen's Latin analogy very much. Does anyone remember Ruby, the 15-year-old who came on in our early days to ask, oh so innocently, "Why doesn't anyone make ballets that use the steps I dance in class? If this keeps up, ballet will be like Latin. Everyone learns it, but nobody speaks it." (paraphrase)

I definitely want new work. Joan Acocella once wrote that a critic goes to the ballet with hope, like dogs to dinner.(only to find, I pessimistically add, that instead of the filet mignon they've dreamed of, or even a good hamburger, they're served the same dry pebbles or canned glunk labeled "dog food"). I agree with those who've said that ballet cannot survive without new work. (Although I'm not a fan of the "we will NOT be a museum company!" line taken by artistic directors who use that as an excuse for putting Swan Lake in 21st century Death Valley, say; I don't want to bomb all the museums in the world, either.)

Simon asked if there really was a dearth of new choreography, and that's a good question, too. There are a lot of people making ballets -- many for schools, as I found when reading Dance Teacher Now, and many making work for smaller companies, but not that many people see them. I don't know if there are lost masterpieces, but I'm sure there are discouraged choreographers. So much work in dance, as in any field, is gotten through networking, and if you're not in the loop, you don't get invited to make a ballet.

We didn't see Balanchine or Ashton's very early work. Both had the chance to experiment outside the public eye. One artistic director told me that it was so hard to take a chance on someone today, especially in a company that has 4, 5 or 6 programs a year rather than a big repertory company, because you can't risk having a huge failure as one of three ballets. You have to have a HIT with a new work. How many people can produce a HIT right out of the box?

And how many choreographers have the chance to rework an attempt that wasn't quite successful? That, you can do in an institution, and an institution can also take more risks, and slip a small ballet into a busy season.

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As Alexandra says, there's no lack of projects which allow choreographers to experiment on a small scale. I've seen a few, including a couple by people who went on the the NYCB's summer program for new choreographers. In both cases, the success of one small work generated just enough training and resources to create another small work. Then another. Then another ... or nothing.

We've all seen "another little work" -- promising, often lovely or intriguing -- that makes its statement but leads nowhere. What's lacking today is the opportunity for the choreographer to learn how to make BIG work.

By "big" I don't mean "long" necessarily. Big work, regardless of length, takes the small bits and pieces -- from what the choreographer has learned in the studio, from earlier pieces, from observing and living life -- and deepens them. Big work weaves all of this together into new combinations. It's what makes the viewer know intuitively that there's more to be discovered.

Developing choreography doesn't come cheap. Our current cultural and economic climate is not set up for nurturing artists who by definition need dancers, studio space, technical support, costumes, light, the rights to music and the musicians to play it. Leaders of companies -- and the donors who support them -- need to learn lessons from Diaghilev and Kirstein.

I was wondering: Who among the leaders of the ballet world today -- companies, ballet masters in chief, artistic directors, foundations, etc -- are doing a decent job in this? What can we learn from them?

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I was wondering: Who among the leaders of the ballet world today -- companies, ballet masters in chief, artistic directors, foundations, etc -- are doing a decent job in this? What can we learn from them?

I hate to suggest PNB right out the box because it's "my" company, and it's really all I know (well, I do sort of know a few other companies); however, I do think PNB does a good job of this.

PNB brings lesser known (but relatively safe) choreographers to the main stage in the main season. It also has a "Choreographer's Showcase" each year where company dancers apply to create a brand new piece. In the season just past, 8 pieces were done by 8 PNB dancers including the likes of Gains, Wevers, and Lowenberg (and 5 other dancers, some doing their very first piece). PNB also did a Festival mid-season for a couple of years which featured smaller companies from the west coast, but that is now defunct since it lost too much money.

Next, I know from personal experience how supportive PNB is to small local companies. I help out a small new-ish company here in Seattle known as the Seattle Dance Project that focuses on creating more modern style works for classically trained dancers (ADs = Julie Tobiason and Tim Lynch). Seattle Dance Project is made up of some 10 dancers many of whom are retired PNB dancers (including principals) and other dance professionals from the modern dance scene here. PNB gives them rehersal space; loans them marley flooring when required; contributes money (at least as individuals); gives them technical advise, and just about anything else that makes sense. Seattle Dance Project, in turn, commissions several new works per year (for example, I had the privilege to partially sponsor Heidi Verthaler (ex-PNB and Forsythe company dancer) who did a new and astonishing work called "Surfacing").

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I think there are three important things any emerging choreographer needs:

1. Patronage: not only to pay for the usual stuff (dancers, space, production), but also the stability to let the choreographer make dances consistently. They ought to be able to make and present (very important --- dances not presented to an audience don't count!) many dances so they can learn and progress.

2. Support: emotional support, encouragement, kicks in the butt. It's easy to make klunkers, but if you truly believe someone is talented, you won't let them get discouraged or give up when the going gets tough.

3. Push: making the choreographer work hard and be a little uncomfortable even. Make them work with dancers of varying abilities, with variable rehearsal time, and other constraints (some of which may not be under your control). Give them good constructive criticism (and make sure they listen), but always push to make the choreographer push their boundaries in some aspect for their next piece.

Sometimes the same person does all three things, and other times, it's 3 different people. None of this will make a great or even competent choreographer out of anyone: you still need to find someone with the raw talent to start out. My personal benchmark is seeing how they handle large-ish groups (between 12 and 20 dancers). Are their ideas for the group clear? It's easy to do something complicated and muddled, or simple and boring, but having a large group of people move around effortlessly while being interesting is hard and rare.

There are companies now with in-house choreographic development programs that present new work in smaller programs with smaller financial risk, but they aren't administered very consistently or they aren't giving them good feedback or they aren't given enough time to grow as a choreographer. I've seen choreographers do good things on school kids, too, but they have to careful not to be pigeonholed as a school choreographer. For the audience, I think many of these programs are not marketed as well as they could be as they're often not too distinguishable from a school recital or they get too pretentious.

--Andre

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