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Keeping Up With...News about PNB Veterans


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#61 sandik

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Posted 29 June 2013 - 10:31 AM

In case you missed the notice in the links section, Patricia Barker had her contract at Grand Rapids Ballet renewed, for a three-year run.  In some ways, she seems to be following the pathway that Russell and Stowell did when they first came to Seattle, using their connections to the larger dance world to bring works to their company.



#62 Helene

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Posted 29 June 2013 - 10:41 AM

When Barker was one of the big group of semi-finalists for the AD job at PNB, she was at a distinct disadvantage not having arts managerial experience, unlike her long-time partner Benjamin Houk, who was one of the finalists. Since then, she's been doing a lot of right things to get that experience, and it's been a blessing in disguise that she's been able to find her way and do it outside the scrutiny of the community where she was an established star and without having to transition from peer to boss in the same company.

Guillaume Cote spoke about a similar dynamic in a recent interview in the "Globe and Mail."

But why were you afraid?

I was afraid of it because I didnt really want to start at the bottom of something again. And thats very hard because you work yourself up as a dancer and to get to a level of excellence, one could say, and then suddenly when you start as a choreographer, because you are at that level as a dancer, people expect you to be somewhere as good as a choreographer.

http://www.theglobea...49857/?page=all

It's hard to do that as a choreographer, but even if it doesn't work out, even for Jerome Robbins, it was a limited-duration project, whereas being the AD means having people's careers and livelihoods in your hands.

#63 Jayne

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Posted 29 June 2013 - 11:33 AM

It will be interesting to see if there is a domino effect if Peter Martins retires from NYCB.  I anticipate the board will look for an AD with experience at a regional company, who danced for NYCB, has good connections, some fundraising experience and youth on his/her side.  (hmmmmm, who could that be?).  

 

That regional company will then look for an AD with a similar checklist, but at a lower level.  (hmmmmm, who could that be?)



#64 Helene

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Posted 29 June 2013 - 11:45 AM

If they are looking for youth, there are several obvious contenders:  Peter Boal and Damian Woetzel come to mind first, and Millepied might very well be in the mix after POB.  Helgi Tomasson is four years older than Martins, and they both may retire close to each other, which adds a wrench into it.  McKenzie is under 60, and Ratmansky most likely has the inside track on ABT, if he wants it, but if I were the NYCB board, I'd be putting out feelers to Ratmansky, too.
 
During the last program's Q&A, audience members congratulated Boal on his new contract extension, and in one of the Q&A's, someone mentioned that he'd been made an offer by another company, which he confirmed without adding detail, although he had mentioned the six-year contract would get his kids through college, and changed the subject.  That caught everyone's attention.
 
There's a big drop in budgets between the largest and the medium/medium-large sized companies, and I think that anywhere outside NYCB, ABT, and maybe SFB and Houston, AD's are forced to run lean and mean.  As a result, AD of PNB is a prized position, and, inevitably when Boal is poached away, there will be a domino effect, assuming board priorities remain the same and, for example, a choreographer with no management experience isn't chosen.

#65 sandik

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Posted 29 June 2013 - 11:55 AM

There's been speculation in the dance world for ages, but it's crept into the popular press as well, even into the Stranger earlier this spring (which doesn't really consider the ballet a main part of its arts beat).

 

I agree about the arc of Barker's career.  I remember when she stepped into the competition for the AD position at PNB, and thinking she really needed administrative experience first.  It's great that she's found a good place to learn those skills.



#66 California

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Posted 29 June 2013 - 01:00 PM

Nobody has mentioned Ethan Stiefel, who performed with both ABT and NYCB. If he does a good job at New Zealand in the next year or two, might he be on a short list for companies like SFB or PNB?  ABT seems a bit of a leap, assuming Ratmansky declines, but perhaps not.



#67 sandik

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Posted 29 June 2013 - 01:15 PM

The NZ company is a great opportunity for him.  They've had a connection to Britain, for obvious reasons, and to the Danish company as well, but not so much to the US.  I'm hoping to see a livelier relationship now that he's there.

 

I know we've discussed these upcoming changes in various parts of the website over the last couple of years, but perhaps it's time to open up a discussion again.

 

There are all kinds of factors that would influence these choices.  Pedigree (where you used to dance) is certainly one, but off the top of my head there's also general administrative experience, choreographer/not choreographer, access to repertory, company tradition, national employment regulations...  What am I missing?



#68 Helene

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Posted 29 June 2013 - 04:25 PM

From Stephen Manes' "Where Snowflakes Dance and Swear" (p.708),
 

 

[Bruce] Wells thinks Boal was the best choice for the job, but "this place wasn't going to hire and openly gay artistic director.  No way."  When his former student and Boal's old friend Jeff Edwards came to audition for the job, Wells invited him to visit and told him "You're not going to get it, you know." He didn't want to hear that.  I said, "This place isn't ready for you.  It's just not going to happen."  He said, "That's your generation."  And I said that the problem is that my generation's the one that's going to make the decision...Straight, wealthy men want their picture taken with a straight man with a wife and kids.  They don't want to be standing next to a homosexual."  They don't.  Believe me, I've lived it.  It's the reason I'm not with Boston Ballet today.

 

 

I think that being a married white guy is a generally unspoken plus and may still be a job qualification for some boards.  I would be "Call the ambulance" surprised if a gay man were hired to succeed Peter Martins, unless he's in the job until he's in his late '80's.

 

What's interesting about ballet is that while boards are made of people who know each other from Harvard, Yale, and Wharton or are "Coogs," who are neighbors in Darien or The Highlands, and who can call Trey to get their kid a job, ballet dancers have different networks.



#69 Jayne

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Posted 29 June 2013 - 07:28 PM

The "married" part is rather like choosing the preacher for your church (the implication that you get a plus-one for free full time labor for ministry)  I suppose that rather applies to OBT which just hired an AD with a choreographer partner with an international reputation.

 

Mr Wells' opinion may indeed be valid for his generation and for the PNB board at the time of Mr Boal's hiring.  However, I can think of midsized companies in Chicago/NY, Utah and Oregon that all have AD's who have been open with the press about who they are dating / married to.  

 

While Russia seems to be turning more phobic, the western world seems to be going in the progressive direction.  I will be at Seattle's Gay Pride parade tomorrow to support my friends.  I just wish Lady Gaga had been here to sing the national anthem instead of NYC!  



#70 Helene

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 12:17 AM

Those are smallish companies. 



#71 Jayne

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 12:25 AM

 

There are all kinds of factors that would influence these choices.  Pedigree (where you used to dance) is certainly one, but off the top of my head there's also general administrative experience, choreographer/not choreographer, access to repertory, company tradition, national employment regulations...  What am I missing?

 

Fundraising (with a capital "F")



#72 sandik

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 11:13 AM

Probably in all caps (though I won't do that here since it looks so shouty)



#73 Helene

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 06:59 PM

I think it's written in the job description as, "A proven track record in Fundrai$$$$$$$ing is a must."

#74 sandik

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 08:11 PM

Fundrai$$$$$$$ing

That looks like an image from a Warner Brother's cartoon, only the dollar signs would be rotating over the head of the hapless director.



#75 Helene

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 08:46 PM

PNB retweeted a heads up about Louise Nadeau and Evergreen City Ballet, whose AD is Kevin Kaiser.  According to the Evergreen City Ballet website, Nadeau, who has taught at the school for a couple of years, will become School Principal

 

 

Press Release:

 

July 11, 2013

 

Beginning September 2013 Louise Nadeau, former principal dancer with Pacific Northwest Ballet, is joining Evergreen City Ballet as School Principal.  Kevin Kaiser, Artistic/Executive Director said, “We have been thrilled to have Louise as a teacher for the past two years and know she will be a wonderful addition to our administrative staff”.  

 

For more than two decades Louise was one of the Northwest most beloved ballerinas.    Peter Boal, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Artistic Director said, “There are very few ballerinas like her.  She makes you go beyond herself to see the entire work. That is transporting. Lyric ballerinas like Louise don’t grow on trees”.

 

Kevin Kaiser, Evergreen City Ballet Artistic / Executive Director and former PNB dancer is excited to welcome Ms. Nadeau, “We are beyond pleased to have Louise join us as school principal.  She is a gifted teacher who truly understands that everyone who has a passion to dance should be given the opportunity.   We are looking forward to her bringing her breadth of knowledge and incredible experience to our students.”

 




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