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ABT's Male Principal ProblemPoll


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Poll: Promote From Within or Go On a Spending Spree? (61 member(s) have cast votes)

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

  1. Promote from within to fill the ranks (36 votes [59.02%])

    Percentage of vote: 59.02%

  2. Go out into the free market and hire male principals from outside the company (25 votes [40.98%])

    Percentage of vote: 40.98%

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#196 carbro

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 09:11 PM

Because the point can't be made too many times.

I just don't know how talent can be developed and nurtured unless people can be given lots, and lots of opportunities.


It would go a long way if they went back to having longer City Center seasons, imo. ABT has many, many shorter narrative works that make for good testing ground for future full-length tryouts. They just need to actually program decent work, rather than the weird rep they've put on for the last two years and their City Center seasons would be salvaged while giving the audiences a venue to "shop" new talent/partnerships.


I don't care what the venue is, but I really believe that the dancers need more mixed-rep programs, and as a ticket-buyer, so do I.

#197 Colleen Boresta

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 02:22 PM

Unfortunately the fact of the matter is that evening length ballets sell much better than mixed rep programs. And in today's economic times ABT is going more toward more full length ballets than ever before, especially when they need to fill the Metropolitan Opera House.

#198 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 05:17 AM

... evening length ballets sell much better than mixed rep programs. .


Take note, MCB...

#199 Helene

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 08:50 AM

Option A (Ranked from very plausible to completely implausible)
1) Muntagirov -- This is a no brainer. He's young, tall and, with English National Ballet in disarray due to Wayne Eagling's resignation/ouster, ripe for the picking.


Tamara Rojo has been named director of English National Ballet. I don't know how this would impact Muntagirov's plans, with the substantial budget cuts still the company's reality:

A BBC Four documentary last year on ENB, Agony & Ecstasy, showed the stresses as the company tried to hold a balance between selling out to populism and maintaining top classical standards. Over the next two years ENB must swallow cuts in its current £6.8m annual subsidy of £700,000. Rojo, as the next director of Britain's most suffering ballet company in a deep cultural recession, has to make bricks with straw.


She should give Ib Andersen a call about making bricks with straw.

#200 miliosr

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 03:24 AM


Option A (Ranked from very plausible to completely implausible)
1) Muntagirov -- This is a no brainer. He's young, tall and, with English National Ballet in disarray due to Wayne Eagling's resignation/ouster, ripe for the picking.


Tamara Rojo has been named director of English National Ballet. I don't know how this would impact Muntagirov's plans, with the substantial budget cuts still the company's reality:

I don't know either. I have to guess, though, that Rojo's arrival as director and prima ballerina would really give pause to the other leading female dancers at the company.

#201 bingham

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 08:36 AM


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 .

#202 Nanarina

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 09:00 AM

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.

#203 Helene

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 09:50 AM

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.

#204 Kathleen O'Connell

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 01:38 PM

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.

#205 bingham

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 01:45 PM


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?

#206 Kathleen O'Connell

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 06:48 PM



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.

#207 Balletgoal

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 11:47 PM

Why not Vito Mazzeo Principal of San Francisco Ballet? Is Good , Handsome and tall.... here a link with some video and interview, i think is great....



#208 miliosr

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 12:42 PM

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 . . .

#209 bingham

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 05:33 PM

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.

#210 abatt

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 07:38 PM

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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