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Ballet David Campos in Spain threatened bythe loss of promised government support


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#1 bart

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Posted 08 December 2009 - 02:57 PM

I want to thank our member CarolinaM for alerting us to a problem being faced by the relatively new Ballet David Campos in Catalonia. The company, which has been described as "the sole classical ballet company in Catalonia," may fold or drastically curtain its programs following a a withdrawal of promised aid.

The company, founded by two former dancers with the Royal Ballet of Flanders, combines ballet-based training with contemporary choreography. Reviews and photos available online suggest that Campos' approach to the classics -- versions of Sleeping Beauty and Don Quijote are in the rep -- is similar to that taken by Jean-Christophe Maillot of les Ballets de Monte Carlo.

The Company, which has its own school, has performed at the Palau de la Musica in Barcelona and has toured elsewhere in Spain. Apparently it had a contract with the city of Santa Coloma de Gramenet, not far from Barcelona itself, which would have provided a home base. Now it appears that promised government financial support, as well as the possibility of a new home, have been cancelled.

Spain produces so many marvelous classical dancers. Some have to leave the country to perform in classical companies abroad. Others are putting their hopes on a future with Angel Corella's new company, based outside Madrid. Company's like David Campos' offers a third alternative: dancing contemporary ballet, that is based on classical technique. If David Campos can't continue, that will be one less opportunity for classically trained Spanish dancers who want the to perform in their own country.

As someone whose own city has just lost its ballet company to economic bad times, I hate to see this possibly happening to another company and another set of ballet dancers.

We have several members who attend and have reported on Spanish ballet. Any thoughts or ideas? If you have any news, please make sure that it's based on something that has appeared in print in a reliable source. Thanks.

Here's the Ballet David Campos website:
http://www.balletdc....ner33ingles.htm

(Edited to Add): I just clicked to their performance of Don Quixot, performed in front of a window looking out at what appears to be the facade of a Gothic Cathedral. Nice!)

#2 mom2

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Posted 08 December 2009 - 07:26 PM

Here is the article in spanish, from the company website:

http://www.balletdc.com/manifiesto.htm

They are asking for e-mails of support, and the address to send your support (they only ask for your name) is at the bottom of the page. (I don't think this page has been translated on the website).

This is such very sad news.

I'm sure that CarolinaM and others closer to Barcelona will be able to give us some further information as time goes on; perhaps there is a plan for some sort of action?

mom2

#3 CarolinaM

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Posted 09 December 2009 - 09:36 AM

Many thanks to all of you here for your words about the difficult moments David Campos' company are facing. Yes, it is the sole company in Catalonia and one of the very few in Spain using classical technique and pointe shoes.

They are now performing at the Teatro Romea in Barcelona with tickets sold out nearly every night. They rent the Liceu (as at our “Gran Teatre” they never wanted to program them) and even with nearly no publicity the theatre was full.

They were only asking for 18.000 Euros, sooo low amount (David really does miracles!). They accomplished and even surpassed all the due requirements to get the 2009 support and now the government denies it. One has also to remember that Aleix Martínez, the winner of Prix de Lausanne 2008, came from this ballet school. Good and hard work together with creativity that is not recognized neither in Catalonia nor in Spain.

Signatures are gathered. Nearly all the dance community all over Spain seems to be supporting them. Forums, FaceBook, Dance Boards... everywhere…

I for sure will keep you posted and I thank you very much for your kind attention to this so incredible and sad news. Also thank you for any support you could give.

I also take the opportunity to point out (as it has also been mentioned by Bart) that Corella Ballet has seen how their subsidy has been decreased by a 10% from previous year while the former Spanish Culture Secretary had promised them a quite important increase. There is only room for the cinema in Spain now and dance as always is the one suffering most :(

You can see an excerpt of their latest work "Sleeping Beauty" at the end of the "manifiesto" (link included by mom2) and their Nutcracker never failed at Christmas.

#4 bart

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Posted 09 December 2009 - 09:54 AM

Reading the manifesto, it seems clear that the company has fulfilled its commitments as part of the funding agreement. Based on what we have heard, this is a successful, growing organization which has developed a loyal audience and which provides work for classically trained dancers.

I understand that things in Spain are very difficult right now, and that there must be a lot of competition for government funding. But ... any action that seriously weakens a successful performing arts organization will either (a) kill that organization or (b) require years (and much MORE money in the long run) to bring it back to health.

I start from the assumption that arts funding is fundamentally valuable to society -- not just a luxury. I hope the various agencies will think about the long term and keep their end of the bargain they made in better times.

In the meantime: What are the chances of private funding (corporations, philanthropic organizations, wealthy donors)?

#5 CarolinaM

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Posted 09 December 2009 - 11:08 AM

In the meantime: What are the chances of private funding (corporations, philanthropic organizations, wealthy donors)?

Chance for private funding are really few. Some weeks ago I interviewed Ángel Corella for a Catalan web site and this is what he told me:

…../….

CM: The Liceu has initiated a study on the patronage law, since the present one is obviously insufficient and gives little incentive for companies or individuals to make contributions (to the arts). What do you think it would have to become to provide that incentive?

AC: It would have to change completely. In the United States, the patronage law is much more favorable for any person or organization who wants to contribute to or help a charitable foundation or performing arts organization. In Spain, the patrons who want to give have to do it in a completely altruistic way. (Contributions are not tax deductible, as they are in the US.)

CM: I believe that in the US you also have an office to obtain contributions. Is this so? How does it work?

AC: We have a Foundation that has not yet been fully established, something that will happen shortly, in order to obtain American patronage – or the patronage of Spaniards in America – because the contributions can then be deducted.
…/…

the interview was published in Spanish but it was kindly translated by Karen Over for a board devoted to Ángel Corella.

In Catalonia the sole patron Corella Ballet has is TOUS a Catalan jewellery company.

So not much hope from this side. David Campos will for sure keep on fighting –he is doing it since so many years by now- but he really doesn’t deserve this continuous lack of support.

#6 CarolinaM

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Posted 13 December 2009 - 01:32 AM

The "Manifiesto" is now on line in English too and it will also be in French soon. David is gathering a lot of signatures. Many great dancers from all over the world, all the great Spanish ballet stars, and many people that has nothing to do with dance but love this art or have had the opportunity to see the company one day are joining.

Yesterday I went to the theater where their Sleeping Beauty was performed. It was at the matinee, full of children, my granddaughter, 4 years old, spent all the ballet long very concentrated and liking every moment, as we did us, because it is about a very imaginative version, adapted to the small size of the company but with great audiovisuals and high dance quality.

Also at the newspapers there are letters and comments published (available on-line) against the Ministry decision and against the cultural politics of Catalonia that only gives support to contemporary.

Really hope that they are going to be able to survive....


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