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ABT Announces Return to City Center


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#16 miliosr

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Posted 07 July 2011 - 04:29 PM

I've been thinking about this some so I went back and read an interview our very own Alexandra conducted with Ib Andersen in 1997. The key extract:

AT: I would also think people would lose their technique, if these [modern dance] works dominate a repertory.

IA: Yes. As a dancer, you feel, 'Why are you in class, if that's what you're going to do?' I mean, take an aerobics class.

I don't agree with the aerobics class jab but the point remains.

#17 vipa

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Posted 07 July 2011 - 04:57 PM


What's the ABT identity - story ballets at the Met and ballets best done by other companies at City Center?

It would appear that Kevin McKenzie's formula is as follows:

The worst of the Lucia Chase directorship (shaky productions of the classics bolstered by a floodtide of guest stars)

+

The worst of the Mikhail Baryshnikov directorship (ABT as postmodern, downtown New York dance company)

+

The worst of the Peter Martins directorship at City Ballet (new ballet after new ballet by the latest "hot" choreographer of the moment)


I'll say it if no one else will: Maybe it's time for a change at the top as the artistic director seems to be completely devoid of interesting ideas.


I'm afraid I agree with you milosr. I don't know what the problems facing McKensie are, but he seems to have no identity as an AD. I'm not really sure what he likes aside from flashy male dancers. Maybe he is a great money raiser.

#18 angelica

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Posted 07 July 2011 - 05:42 PM

Whom would you (or anyone else with an idea) suggest to take his place?

#19 vipa

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Posted 07 July 2011 - 05:58 PM

Whom would you (or anyone else with an idea) suggest to take his place?


Wickedly crazy thought - Suzanne Farrell. :FIREdevil:

#20 Jayne

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Posted 07 July 2011 - 08:58 PM

ABT is not supposed to be a clone of NYCB.

#21 miliosr

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Posted 08 July 2011 - 03:47 AM

Whom would you (or anyone else with an idea) suggest to take his place?

Ratmansky, for starters. (He may not want the hassle, however.)

If not him, then how about Bruce Sansom? (ABT doesn't have to be as stupid as the Royal was.)

If you really wanted to knock the old warhorse on its rear end, how about Sylvie Guillem?

Suzanne Farrell would be funny in a 'two middle fingers up towards Peter Martins' kind of way. Maybe she could hire Sophie Flack as Assistant AD! :wink:

#22 Amour

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Posted 08 July 2011 - 03:54 AM

Totally agree. Kevin is out of energy and ideas. No new star dancers are being cultivated, perhaps because of his reliance on international superstars. If only Ratmansky would take over (wishful thinking) but his schedule is so full that seems unlikely.

#23 abatt

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Posted 08 July 2011 - 05:56 AM

Totally agree. Kevin is out of energy and ideas. No new star dancers are being cultivated, perhaps because of his reliance on international superstars. If only Ratmansky would take over (wishful thinking) but his schedule is so full that seems unlikely.


I'm not sure how you can say no new star dancers have been cultivated from within ABT in recent years. Gomes, Hallberg and Murphy each came up through the ABT ranks in recent years. Although Herman Cornejo came in as a soloist, I regard him as having been primarily cultivated at ABT. Each of the above listed dancers is a star, in my opinion. There are also several promising soloists. This has occurred under McKenzie's tenure.

#24 nanushka

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Posted 08 July 2011 - 06:21 AM


Totally agree. Kevin is out of energy and ideas. No new star dancers are being cultivated, perhaps because of his reliance on international superstars. If only Ratmansky would take over (wishful thinking) but his schedule is so full that seems unlikely.


I'm not sure how you can say no new star dancers have been cultivated from within ABT in recent years. Gomes, Hallberg and Murphy each came up through the ABT ranks in recent years. Although Herman Cornejo came in as a soloist, I regard him as having been primarily cultivated at ABT. Each of the above listed dancers is a star, in my opinion. There are also several promising soloists. This has occurred under McKenzie's tenure.


Note that Amour wrote "No new star dancers are being cultivated," though -- an observation in line with many of the views expressed on the "ABT's Male Principal Problem" thread.

#25 angelica

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Posted 08 July 2011 - 07:46 AM

Ratmansky, for starters. (He may not want the hassle, however.)

I was thinking of Ratmansky when I asked the question. But as a choreographer overflowing with ideas, he would have to become like George Balanchine, an Artistic Director + choreographer. That would be a huge undertaking. I wonder if he would want it. The other suggestions are interesting possibilities too. Why don't I think a change will happen?

#26 nanushka

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Posted 08 July 2011 - 07:52 AM

Why don't I think a change will happen?


Because boards rarely fire the boring and uninspired?

#27 bingham

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Posted 08 July 2011 - 08:20 AM


Totally agree. Kevin is out of energy and ideas. No new star dancers are being cultivated, perhaps because of his reliance on international superstars. If only Ratmansky would take over (wishful thinking) but his schedule is so full that seems unlikely.


I'm not sure how you can say no new star dancers have been cultivated from within ABT in recent years. Gomes, Hallberg and Murphy each came up through the ABT ranks in recent years. Although Herman Cornejo came in as a soloist, I regard him as having been primarily cultivated at ABT. Each of the above listed dancers is a star, in my opinion. There are also several promising soloists. This has occurred under McKenzie's tenure.

Herman joined ABT in 1999 as a member of the corps de ballet. Paloma Herrera and Michele Wiles started as members of the Corps de Ballet .

#28 Natalia

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Posted 08 July 2011 - 08:28 AM

.... Herman joined ABT in 1999 as a member of the corps de ballet. Paloma Herrera and Michele Wiles started as members of the Corps de Ballet .


Even Irina Dvorovenko was hired as corps de ballet, despite her earlier status in Kiev.

#29 abatt

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Posted 08 July 2011 - 08:30 AM

I didn't realize Herman came in as a corps member. He and his sister were dancing with Bocca's touring troupe before they were hired at ABT.

#30 Natalia

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Posted 08 July 2011 - 08:37 AM

Not just Irina...hubby Maxim B. joined ABT as corps. Besides them & those pointed out by Bingham, Hallberg, Kent, Murphy & Stearns began as either Studio Company or Corps. Most current ABT principals began as Corps or Studio Co Members.


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