miliosr

ABT's Male Principal Problem

Promote From Within or Go On a Spending Spree?   73 members have voted

  1. 1. To solve its looming shortage of male principals, should ABT:

    • Promote from within to fill the ranks
      45
    • Go out into the free market and hire male principals from outside the company
      28

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351 posts in this topic

ABT only lists principals that dance in that particular engagement. Mariinsky did the same thing at the Met, it only listed principals that danced during the Met seaon in the programs last year.

Is that completely true, though? Murphy was listed but did she even dance??

Regardless, the point I was trying to make was that ABT is now two companies: the core company that tours and the dance collective comprised of wandering, itinerant stars who coalesce in New York every Spring and early Summer. The former is looking thin at the top, especially among the male principals. Gomes, Hallberg and Stearns are the workhorses who are holding it together but, again, if one or more of them goes down (knock on wood), the company's touring schedule is going to be in a world of hurt.

C Stearns will be replaced by R Bolle in Giselle this weekend in Virginia, reportedly due to Cory's injury( see todays Link). I hope he recovers well before the Met season .

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A lot of what happens within a company goes back to the school, if the variety and quantity of dancers is there for training a talented number of people can suceed in going successfully through the ranks of a company. As the older members change companies or retire, there would always be people to fill the empty spaces. But it raises the question are there still enough young people taking up dance.currently. Without the promotion of dance or funding for training it makes it difficult to attract the right people into the genre.and therefore many companies suffer from this shortfall.

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Pacific Northwest Ballet is more of a finishing school than SAB, in that a lot of the PD students come to Seattle at 15-17 for a few years training -- not including any PNB summer training they've had -- instead of 13-14 like at SAB, staying for 4-5 years. However, I see a huge amount of talent coming out of that program, Just watching Bruce Wells' "Snow White" last month featured a handful of dancers that should be able to have promising careers, and I think that was just one cast.

Of the Principal dancers at PNB, six of 11 rose through the ranks of apprentice/corps to Principal, and two of the others, Bold and Cruz, were hired from companies/programs into the corps and rose through it. It took Russell many years to build a school and for Russell and Stowell to build a company to attract students with such talent to the school and company, instead of hiring Principals (or Soloists, often promoted to Principal the next year) from the outside. (As late as the late '90's/early 2000's, almost all of the Principals and Soloists were hired from the outside, but the apprentices that were coming out of the school from that time have become the Principals and Soloists of today.) Among the Soloists, about half came from other companies after to join the corps, with the balance from the school, and all have been promoted from within. (I do miss the stream of dancers who came from San Francisco Ballet, though. They were like cousins.) San Francisco still hires from the outside, but, given the core rep -- on the whole, even the full-lengths are coherent -- Helgi Tomasson has chosen dancers who complement each other and don't look like well-paid mercenaries.

Between SAB, CPYB, PNBS and schools at Miami City Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Boston Ballet, and Houston Ballet, just to name a few, I don't think it's a lack of talent that is ABT's problem, especially when ABT is considered one of the top two or three companies in prestige, and they have strong contracts and full seasons, and it should be considered a good job to have, not a career killer.

ABT, with the exception of the Baryshnikov years, is a place where talent is where talent, with the bet on Stars, primarily has been bought ready-made, rather than nurtured, or, even, forget about nurturing: how about recognized in the first place? At PNB, one example, Lucien Postlewaite screamed talent from the get-go. If he had joined ABT, he probably would have been carrying baskets of grapes for years.

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At PNB, one example, Lucien Postlewaite screamed talent from the get-go. If he had joined ABT, he probably would have been carrying baskets of grapes for years.

Postlewaite screamed talent in the SAB workshop performances I saw him in, despite not being featured in one of the principal roles. (He was a side boy in "Divertimento No. 15. I still remember. He was that good. I really regret not having been able to watch that particular talent bloom.) It's hard to imagine that he'd be carrying baskets of grapes for long, even at ABT, but who knows.

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At PNB, one example, Lucien Postlewaite screamed talent from the get-go. If he had joined ABT, he probably would have been carrying baskets of grapes for years.

Postlewaite screamed talent in the SAB workshop performances I saw him in, despite not being featured in one of the principal roles. (He was a side boy in "Divertimento No. 15. I still remember. He was that good. I really regret not having been able to watch that particular talent bloom.) It's hard to imagine that he'd be carrying baskets of grapes for long, even at ABT, but who knows.

Why was he not hired by NYCB ? Was it his choice to go to PNB?

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At PNB, one example, Lucien Postlewaite screamed talent from the get-go. If he had joined ABT, he probably would have been carrying baskets of grapes for years.

Postlewaite screamed talent in the SAB workshop performances I saw him in, despite not being featured in one of the principal roles. (He was a side boy in "Divertimento No. 15. I still remember. He was that good. I really regret not having been able to watch that particular talent bloom.) It's hard to imagine that he'd be carrying baskets of grapes for long, even at ABT, but who knows.

Why was he not hired by NYCB ? Was it his choice to go to PNB?

I think this article from The Seattle P-I will answer your question.

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Lifted from the ABT 2012 Gala Thread:

Thirteen Diversions (excerpts) - Riccetto, Matthews, Seo, Davis, Abrera, Tamm, Messmer, Hammoudi

Thirteen Diversions (finale) - Riccetto, Matthews, Seo, Davis, Abrera, Tamm, Messmer, Hammoudi

This casting may be completely meaningless but . . .

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Lifted from the ABT 2012 Gala Thread:

Thirteen Diversions (excerpts) - Riccetto, Matthews, Seo, Davis, Abrera, Tamm, Messmer, Hammoudi

Thirteen Diversions (finale) - Riccetto, Matthews, Seo, Davis, Abrera, Tamm, Messmer, Hammoudi

This casting may be completely meaningless but . . .

I don't remember that so many soloists and corp members dancing on the opening night gala. maybe , it's a good omen for these dancers.

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I notice that Osipova and Vasiliev are doing Flames of Paris pdd on opening night, and Lane/Simkin are doing that pdd during ABT's Taipei visit in July. Could this mean that we can expect ABT to perform Flames during the 2013 season? I hope so. I've seen the ballet on video and thought it was wonderful.

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Lifted from the ABT 2012 Gala Thread:

Thirteen Diversions (excerpts) - Riccetto, Matthews, Seo, Davis, Abrera, Tamm, Messmer, Hammoudi

Thirteen Diversions (finale) - Riccetto, Matthews, Seo, Davis, Abrera, Tamm, Messmer, Hammoudi

This casting may be completely meaningless but . . .

I've visted ABT's website the other day and have noticed that they've given the male Soloists, and Corp Members I've never even seen dance, leading principal and soloist roles in upcoming ballet's. Seems to be they are scouting/ testing them for future promotions?

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great time to try i guess!

um, snake, i didn't know you loved ballet!!! innocent.gif

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Friedmann Vogel just jumped to the top of my wishlist, should Kevin be looking to outside the company for new male principals. He made his NY debut last night in the YAGP gala, dancing Cranko's R&J balcony pdd with Alice Amatirain.

WOW! Tall, long limbed, handsome, charismatic. Elegant line, soft landings, great elevation, fast turns, great partner. Here he is in the same pdd with Semionova:

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Friedmann Vogel just jumped to the top of my wishlist, should Kevin be looking to outside the company for new male principals. He made his NY debut last night in the YAGP gala, dancing Cranko's R&J balcony pdd with Alice Amatirain.

WOW! Tall, long limbed, handsome, charismatic. Elegant line, soft landings, great elevation, fast turns, great partner. Here he is in the same pdd with Semionova:

He is also in the new La Scala Raymonda DVD .It now available in Amazon.

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Please tell us more about Friedmann Vogel, whom I'm seeing for the first time on this video. Those renverses left me breathless. Where is he from? Where is he going? He is an exquisite dancer.

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Friedmann Vogel is a principal with Stuttgart Ballet. He has guested with ENB and I was very privileged to see him perform Des Grieux with Daria Klimentova as Manon. He was WONDERFUL (as, of course, was Daria).

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Here's a link to Vogel's Facebook page with pictures and dates.

His recent roles at Stuttgart include Moondog in Cranko's Lady and the Fool, of course the classics like Swan Lake and Cranko's Romeo, but also Béjart's Bolero and the title role in Marco Goecke's Orlando, a very modern piece after VIrginia Woolf's novel.

His name is Friedemann (not Friedmann or Friemann) - like J.S. Bach's son, which has nothing to do with fries, but literally translated means Peace-Man smile.png

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I just noticed that another talented Corps member, Thomas Forster has been added to the Opening night Gala. So glad to see more opportunities from within at this critical time! I do not know if he was originally cast for that evening or, if I am just seeing this. He will be dancing with Veronika Part.

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I don't mean to be mean, but after seeing yesterday's Guggenheim Works and Progress presentation, one can understand why ABT management would seek to bring in male dancers from outside. Then again, maybe they just didn't want to go all out for an audience of older people carrying free tote bags.

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It's a very small stage at the Guggenheim.

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I agree That stage dosen't give them much room to "go all out" like They could have. Don't get me wrong I think it would be great to bring in some men from other companies, but at the same time I am happy some current members are FINALLY getting some more opportunities yahoo.gif

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I know I am being unfair, but I saw no extension, no ballon, no elevation... even though the stage was small. Nothing seemed complete.

I felt that way about Kristy Boone, too, in the character dance, although in "The Dream", I thought she was wonderful, a standout. Hee Seo was charming, as always. I can't wait to see "Onegin."

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Corps member Sean Stewart, one of a group of corps and soloists interviewed by Gia Kourlas in the Sunday NY Times, makes a comment that fits this thread perfectly.

STEWART

I think having a couple of guest artists is great because it can add and diversify, but I think that using guests artists as a replacement for the entire company is a bad idea.

It goes back to catering to what you think audiences want instead of educating them to want something else, and I think it’s important for a company to decide what it wants to present and build an audience from there, as opposed to: Oh, this year, Russians are in.

http://www.nytimes.c....html?ref=dance

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Fortunately, I think everyone who was interviewed in the article was measured and careful in what they said and how they said it. It almost seemed like the interview was bait for these dancers to say something completely inflamatory about ABT's management and its guest artist policy.

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I rather like "measured and careful" when it is also, as with Mr. Stewart, thoughtful, balanced, and clear about the option the speaker favors.

Given the circumstances, these dancers are an impressive group. I'd love to be able to hear more from each of them.

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