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CarolinaM

Difficult times

25 posts in this topic

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http://international...logspot.com.es/

It's a shame what happens. Hope politicians will ammend this situation but anyway we'll keep on fighting. Audience really want this company, nothing can compare... We never have had in Spain anything similar and can not permit they disapear.

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Indeed sad. Yet, considering that Spain has practically "zero" tradition of classical ballet as a performing art (though they have rich traditions in folk and modern, plus some recent successes in classical ballet training), this is not a huge surprise. Didn't the main national opera/ballet theater -- Teatro Real in Madrid -- recently begin a national classical ballet troupe, with Royal patronage? Perhaps the eventual route for Corella and his top dancers in Barcelona would be to incorporate to the national ballet company, to help build the national audience for classical ballet through a more solid financial base? Begin centrally...then spread regionally.

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No, Spain has always had very good teachers and very good dancers, many of them are principals in the best companies and it has also had some companies, the most important one was the National Ballet that when Duato was appointed as artistic director turned to a contemporary one. Now they wanted it to be again a classical company and they hired José Carlos Martínez (former star at the Paris Opera Ballet) to do so, but for the time being no classics but Kyllian, Ek and other contemporary pieces.

Teatro Real (Madrid) and el Gran Teatre del Liceu (Barcelona) are the most important opera theatres in Spain but none of them has a ballet company, neither the Royal Family do patronage, maybe the Queen would like to do but as for the rest of the family…. well I better shut my mouth about this family… mad.gif

In Madrid there is the Ballet de la Comunidad de Madrid of Víctor Ullate and in Barcelona there is the Ballet David Campos but none of them are able to stage Classics as Corella’s do. Ullate is more neoclassical and Campos with his small troupe makes his own versions of the classics.

Corella has brought what we were asking for by years but now neither politicians nor the Spanish dance world brings any support to them, only the audience who always pack the theaters where they are performing, i.e. El Gran Teatre del Liceu with Swan Lake, each day with lots of people queuing looking for a ticket.

But next season Corella’s Barcelona Ballet is not on the ballet program of the Liceu and it’s not because of the crisis as they are bringing very expensive companies as for instance the ABT with D.Q. Incredible but true. Outrageous!

And sad yes, so sad…..

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Oh, this is very disturbing! I wish them well!

How awful to be depedent on people who are unreliable and dragging their feet, as Corella said. :o

-d-

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Thanks, Carolina. I meant that the main national 'ballet' seems to morph into 'modern.' I still believe that, when trying to build (or rebuild) an audience for a particular art, its best to begin with one clear leader. Splinter groups trying to 'do their own thing' won't have as much impact as one grand company.

What Corella's troupe should NOT be -- would not be serving Spain well -- is to gain a reputaion as the unofficial "Disgruntled ex-ABT Dancers Stage."

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Could something like Kickstart help or is that only for small ventures?

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Is there anything 'disgruntled' about the company currently? Doesn't seem anywhere within Corella's personality... Why do you say that?

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Amy, a lot was made in the ballet community (blogs and such) about Sarah Lane having to guest in Corella's troupe to finally get her chance as Odette/Odile in SL. A lot of other great dancers generally percieved as 'underutilized' or 'not promoted' in ABT seem to have migrated to Spain. I did not realize this until recently. At least among some ABT fans, that is the perception.(I'm just a reader and observer!)

It's currently being discussed in the Semionova thread...folks mentioning Corella having 'poached' ABT dancers and such. http://balletalert.i...bt/page__st__15

What is Kickstart? I'm all for Corella -- or any serious ballet troupe in Spain -- obtaining a kickstart of any sort!!! Through the years, Spain has been the Chicago or the L.A. of Europe -- has a great audience for visiting classical companies but unable to sustain a major home-grown classical troupe. smile.png [Certainly still the case in L.A., although Chicago has hopefully finally found a permanent classical troupe to love in the Joffrey.]

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Economists have another term for "kickstart" -- "stimulus package." But who in Spain nowadays has the cash (or the confidence) to fund classical ballet? The Spanish economy remains in deep recession; the banks -- often a reliable source of "private" funding in Europe -- are begging for money from a central government which has none to give. The regional governments have even less.

It's sad that Spain at this time does not have the financial resources, let alone the will, to support one of its greatest performing artists. I assume that many of Spain's classically trained dancers are in a similar boat.

I was thinking, when I read CarolinaM's initial post, about Garcia Lorca's La Barraca, the small, brilliant touring theater company of the 1930s, which brought classical drama, imaginatively and inexpensively reconceived, to so many small towns and cities. Lorca, like Corella, was an artist with a national reputation and a strong sense of mission. He had the advantage, of course, even in the dark days of the Great Depression, of a central government willing to fund his experiment. Corella is not so fortunate. But there might be altruistic individuals and philantropic groups in Spain or the larger EU willing to support a scaled down classical company that reaches out to areas not served by the Teatro Real, the Liceu, and similar venues.

Another possible model is the the Ballets Russes, especially during its exile from Europe during World War Two, which kept performing on a shoe-string, somehow finding the money -- from ticket sales, individual patrons, and a variety of other sources -- to keep the show on the road. They kept moving and they kept the art alive. Maybe their history might give Corella and his more commited dancers a few ideas, while we all wait for the economy to improve.

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As the saying goes, people need not just bread but roses too...Still, as Bart indicates, this can't be an easy moment to get money (even "promised" money) from any government entity in Spain...I feel badly for Corella because he has made sacrifices to his own career as a dancer to create a quality classical company and, of course, I feel for all the dancers w. the company. I would love to see the Barcelona Ballet succeed and I think classical ballet can use all the support it can get! (I was writing this when Bart's post appeared...interesting suggestions.)

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What is Kickstart, Amy? I’m sorry I do not know what’s this… of course, any help or any idea would be very welcome.

No, Natalia, I do not think that in Spain Corella’s troupe is seen this way “unofficial Disgruntled ex-ABT Dancers Stage”. In fact there is no other ABT or ex ABT dancer in the troupe. Well Herman Cornejo danced at the beginning but he is not anymore. There are many Spanish dancers but they come from the English National Ballet, Zurich Ballet, etc. or it’s their first company as professional dancers.

Yes, Sarah Lane was given the chance to dance her first full SL thanks to Corella and people in Barcelona liked it very much but tickets were already sold out before knowing who would be performing the main role at the premiere. BB is very loved by Catalan ballet audience as is Ángel Corella.

Regarding funds, yes, Spain has many problems but there are funds for some dance “experiments” that make me feel truly ashamed when I see them and I know that this is what our politicians permit it represents Catalonia’s taste of dance.

I think that also many locals do not want Corella’s troupe because they have fair. They are afraid audience can compare and for sure they would lose, so they are pushing politicians to not give support to them.

No, it will not be easy… but it’s clear they will fight. As you Bart say ticket sales, individual patrons, sponsorship and of course keeping on asking for the promised aids…

Me too Drew I feel badly for Corella because, brave and generous, he has made many sacrifices to his own career as a dancer to create a quality classical company in his own country and all this has not been rewarded as he and his outstanding dancers deserve.

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Thanks for the clarification, Natalia... I was thinking of the company's performances in NYC and couldn't figure out what you meant... I get it now.

If Kickstart were international, there might be backers enough from outside Spain. I have no experience of it except that small dance company projects from it sometimes get sent my way. Ballet Next is the most recent to come past, with a modest goal... They've raised some but not as much as one would like... Maybe there is someone waiting until the last minute to swoop in with the balance.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1229228855/sponsor-new-choreography-from-leading-dance-artist. But Corella's company has a much high profile wih more at stake?... Maybe they would do much better?

I've misnamed it... It's apparently called "kickstarter.com" and has raused millions for some lucky projects.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kickstarter

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If he wants to save his company, he's going to have to find funding sources outside of Spanish national and local government. In a week which saw the Spanish government pour $24 billion into one of Spain's biggest banks to keep it from collapsing, I don't think the plight of a fledgling ballet company is high on the governments' priority lists. Sorry -- I know that statement will land hard with the 'Art for Art's Sake' contingent on this board but that's the reality of the situation.

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Momoko Hirata has returned to Birmingham Royal Ballet.

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Aaron Robison is now a soloist with Houston Ballet. :(

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I found this interview from last summer (en espanol) it's about 25 minutes long. Don't have time to translate right now (maybe someone else can take a shot at it?)

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Has the Barcelona Ballet folded - the website is extremely out of date?

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Has the Barcelona Ballet folded - the website is extremely out of date?

Their facebook page still seems to be alive, and they've posted a spring intensive schedule: https://www.facebook.com/barcelona.ballet

Also from March 31 on their facebook page:

Barcelona Ballet

March 31

OPEN AUDITION FOR PROFESSIONAL FEMALE DANCERS NEXT TUESDAY 9th OF APRIL AT 11:00am IN THE STUDIOS OF BARCELONA BALLET, SITUATED AT C/CONSELL DE CENT 467-469, FOR TOUR TO ARGENTINA. DANCERS MUST BE AVAILABLE FROM THE 27TH OF MARCH TO THE 10TH OF JUNE. PLACES ARE LIMITED, SO IT IS NECESSARY TO CONFIRM YOUR ATTENDANCE VIA MAIL AT produccion@angelcorella.org

Here's an article from the beginning of April, translate from Catalan in Google's inimitable style

http://www.lavanguardia.com/participacion/cartas/20130408/54372123025/el-liceu-sense-corella.html

Once again the news of the departure of Ballet Corella and his Barcelona. We again allowed? Since we escaped five years ago and now is when we need it, we will fall into the same error? How can we be both donkeys? We have a golden opportunity to level cultural and economic value and we do not know.

The Liceu seeking funding in the U.S. and do not know how to get help if you associate the name of Corella Ballet Barcelona at the Gran Teatre. Besides giving it an identity that has not, make sure the claim is Corella to get sponsorship. I do not understand this lack of vision, probably why we were such bad things. We are managed by incompetent, especially in the cultural field, I feel I have to say.

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Thanks Katherine.

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Thanks, Katerine and Janet!!!

This is not an article in La Vanguardia, but a letter sent by a ballet lover... one of many that are being published these days on the news. You can also see the comments below. In all the letters there are also many comments. We are so many that loved this Company!!

It is really incredible that the ones who manage Culture, no matter where but specially at the liceu, do not realize what they are loosing with Ángel Corella away, both economically and also artistically... A pity and a shame... What a country!!! :-(

I hope I'm allowed to post a link in English for you to know a bit more about http://criticasballetymas.blogspot.com.es/2013/03/barcelona-liceu-opera-house-us.html

And yes the Barcelona Ballet will be touring in Argentina beginning of June (now Ángel is dancing at the Paris Opera House the Dance of the Hours of La Gioconda). He is also scheduled in Peralada Summer Festival, for a solo and with Kazuko Omori in a pdd.

The future of the Company? Very unsure I’m afraid…..

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This is a wonderful open letter!

I think it is really bizarre that the Liceu is so against hosting a beautiful, acclaimed ballet company that sells out performances at Liceu. Most opera houses around the world are enormously proud of their ballet companies. I know some managers are very pro-opera or pro-philharmonic-orchestra. But even so, allowing 2-3 weeks to stage The Nutcracker at Christmas time is an extremely reasonable way to start out.

It's just bizarre that the managers would choose Prague's Nut over their own beautiful company's production. I mean no offense to Prague. But the scenario would be similar to San Francisco's War Memorial Opera House declining San Francisco Ballet in favor of the Perm Ballet's production.

Sadly, I think this sounds very political - and whoever hires / fires the management at Liceu needs to change. Those types of politics could take years to work through. In the meantime, the finances of Ballet Barcelona require immediate action / performance opportunities.

If I win the lottery, I will definitely write them a check!

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This is a wonderful open letter!

I think it is really bizarre that the Liceu is so against hosting a beautiful, acclaimed ballet company that sells out performances at Liceu. Most opera houses around the world are enormously proud of their ballet companies. I know some managers are very pro-opera or pro-philharmonic-orchestra. But even so, allowing 2-3 weeks to stage The Nutcracker at Christmas time is an extremely reasonable way to start out.

It's just bizarre that the managers would choose Prague's Nut over their own beautiful company's production. I mean no offense to Prague. But the scenario would be similar to San Francisco's War Memorial Opera House declining San Francisco Ballet in favor of the Perm Ballet's production.

Sadly, I think this sounds very political - and whoever hires / fires the management at Liceu needs to change. Those types of politics could take years to work through. In the meantime, the finances of Ballet Barcelona require immediate action / performance opportunities.

If I win the lottery, I will definitely write them a check!

Yes it is really political, they do not like classical ballet, they only look after contemporary dance, they do not understand art, they have no criteria, neither any sense of opportunity...

I'm crossing fingers for you to win the lottery!!! Thank you!!!

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The April 2015 issue of Dance Europe has an interview with Aaron Robinson (formerly with Corella/Barcelona ballet; now with Houston Ballet) and he talks about the last days of the Corella/Barcelona Ballet:

"What happened was, each year the funding was getting less and less. We moved from Segovia to Barcelona, because he [Angel Corella] was promised by the Catalonian government that they were going to fund the company, but nothing came of it. At a bad time, it was probably the last thing on their list!"

"I genuinely was happy with Angel, my family was living in Barcelona, I had got my apartment set up, I was living with my girlfriend at the time [Momoko Hirata of Birmingham Royal Ballet] there, it all seemed perfect. But after about six months Angel said he would have to change the contract to pay-per-show, and for me that's just a big no-no."

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This was such an unfortunate situation for all. I'm sure everybody is delighted that Corella landed in the US, directing the Pennsylvania Ballet. (I'm determined to find a way to see his new Don Q for them next spring!) And it sounds like several American ballet companies benefitted from the dancers who had to disperse.

The Colorado Ballet got two wonderful dancers, Tracy Jones and Francisco Estevez (who also happen to be married). Both have a delightful stage presence and have been tearing through the rep here, with more to come this fall. Estevez was just promoted to soloist and, from the promotional photos just posted, it looks like he'll do James in La Sylphide. Tracy was a real treat last year in Fancy Free, Concerto Barocco, and Midsummer Night's Dream.

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