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American Ballet Theatre to Leave City CenterMoving to David Koch Theater


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#16 Ilya

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 03:25 AM

Quite frankly disagreeing with what the Koch brothers stand for is not what I would call being "intolerant" of his political views.



Among many things that Mr. Koch "stands for", it seems to me that the most (and perhaps the only) relevant one to this discussion board is that he stands for the prosperity of ABT and NYCB, and has been instrumental in enabling countless great performances that these companies have put on. Yet, somehow every time he makes a large donation to ballet he gets skewered on this board. I find this incomprehensible.

#17 lmspear

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 04:24 AM

I find myself wishing that he would take a lesson from Nancy Walton (Walmart) Laurie and her relationship to Cedar Lake Ballet. It's a matter of philanthropic style, not politics. There's no need for him to stick his name all over everything.

#18 aurora

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 04:28 AM

I find myself wishing that he would take a lesson from Nancy Walton (Walmart) Laurie and her relationship to Cedar Lake Ballet. It's a matter of philanthropic style, not politics. There's no need for him to stick his name all over everything.


But if he didn't stick his name on it, what would be the point??

#19 lmspear

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 04:31 AM

That's exactly it. He loves his name better than the art form.

#20 Mme. Hermine

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 05:12 AM

Among many things that Mr. Koch "stands for", it seems to me that the most (and perhaps the only) relevant one to this discussion board is that he stands for the prosperity of ABT and NYCB, and has been instrumental in enabling countless great performances that these companies have put on. Yet, somehow every time he makes a large donation to ballet he gets skewered on this board. I find this incomprehensible.


actually i disagree; i don't think he stands for ABT's and NYCB's prosperity but for the perceived benefit that a grand effort to bolster their stability does for him,i.e., the publicity.

#21 mimsyb

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 05:55 AM

Does this translate to mean he doesn't "love" NYCB? Is he not proud to have them in "his house"? What an odd statement to make.
Also, I'm hoping that in going to the "State" (Koch) Theater ABT will finally deem it OK to participate in the Atrium discount ticket booth. They don't participate while they are at the Met. NYCB has always participated and I believe it's a valid resource for those who wish to see ballet at the last minute and can't afford sky high prices. We'll see.

#22 California

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 05:55 AM

Several months ago on another thread, we had a lengthy discussion along these lines. We have a long history in the U.S. of uber-wealthy industry titans who were despicable in many ways starting foundations that we now treasure for the enormous good they do. Andrew Carnegie was vicious to his workers, but he gave us the Carnegie libraries all over the country and a foundation doing great things today. Henry Ford was a terrible anti-Semite who promoted The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, yet the Ford Foundation in modern times has done enormous good (including important support to Balanchine). Yes, many of the good things happened later after the founders were long-deceased, but not all of them. Whether these people were simply trying to buy good will for their own legacies or genuinely cared about making amends, society at large has benefitted. The Pew Charitable Trust is a well-regarded moderate force for good today, but it started as a far right-wing family foundation (not unlike the Koch family activities). Koch seems to be following in a long line of wealthy Americans who have done some despicable things to society at large but also greatly benefitted that society. We all might wish that super-wealthy people only did good things with their money, but that seems a fantasy we can't have in reality.

#23 Natalia

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 05:55 AM


Among many things that Mr. Koch "stands for", it seems to me that the most (and perhaps the only) relevant one to this discussion board is that he stands for the prosperity of ABT and NYCB, and has been instrumental in enabling countless great performances that these companies have put on. Yet, somehow every time he makes a large donation to ballet he gets skewered on this board. I find this incomprehensible.


actually i disagree; i don't think he stands for ABT's and NYCB's prosperity but for the perceived benefit that a grand effort to bolster their stability does for him,i.e., the publicity.


ITA with you, Mme. Hermine. Koch is an egomaniac...just like that other guy whose name was all over theaters 10 years ago but is now in jail (Vilar).

Koch said (quote from above article): “To have a ballet company that I love, perform in the David H. Koch Theater – which bears my name –..." Gag me. Even Vilar never talked like this.

#24 ascballerina

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 06:22 AM

Let's just say the only thing I know about David H. Koch is that he's rich. Posted Image

Publicity and egocentricity aside, he does give money to ballet companies. He does give money to the PBS show NOVA (and I know this, 'cause his name's at the beginning of every show! Oops, wasn't going to talk about visibility). Basically, he's doing the right thing, even if it's for the wrong reasons.

He'll die and be forgotten, or perhaps remembered through rose-coloured glasses, as California above pointed out, but the donations he made will help worthy endevours grow and prosper into the future, regardless of his original intent.

#25 lmspear

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 07:05 AM

Remember this point, Koch did not build this theater or establish the companies that perform there. He paid for renovations, he did not buy the building. He acts like an owner, not a contributor. You have to wonder if he personally contributed enough to close off the 4th and 5th rings. A few years down the road I can imagine him saying that he does not see the need for two large major ballet companies and somehow manipulating a merger between ABT and NYCB. (This is just a nightmare scenario. I will continue to indulge in this horrible fantasy until it's clearly far outside the realm of possibility.)

#26 ABT Fan

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 08:32 AM

"To have a ballet company that I love, perform in the David H. Koch Theater – which bears my name – that I am proud of, is a dream come true," reeks of ego and a desire to make it appear that he owns the building and everything in it. It's a horrifying contrast to funders such as Lincoln Kirstein who served the art and not the ego.


I nearly gagged when I read that. Koch doesn't own the theatre nor the ballet companies (or the other arts institutions) that perform there, no matter how large his contributions.

#27 ABT Fan

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 08:40 AM

I think in general that this is a great move for ABT. Although CC is smaller, I will miss it purely for the grand beauty that it is, especially now following their renovation.

I just hope that with moving to the Koch Theatre, ABT will still continue their fall tradition of showing only mixed repertory and not throw in any big full-length ballets since Koch will be able to handle those productions, obviously. I'm a big lover of the Swan Lake's and Giselle's, etc., but we get enough of those classics during the Met season. From what I've read here and heard elsewhere, the public (and I think the dancers too) and hungry for more mixed rep, so I hope that doesn't change.

#28 ksk04

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 08:52 AM


Among many things that Mr. Koch "stands for", it seems to me that the most (and perhaps the only) relevant one to this discussion board is that he stands for the prosperity of ABT and NYCB, and has been instrumental in enabling countless great performances that these companies have put on. Yet, somehow every time he makes a large donation to ballet he gets skewered on this board. I find this incomprehensible.


actually i disagree; i don't think he stands for ABT's and NYCB's prosperity but for the perceived benefit that a grand effort to bolster their stability does for him,i.e., the publicity.


Agreed. On top the the fact that his political policies directly affect his relations to the arts. Where the support for the National Endowment for the Arts? For smaller, regional companies? Someone else mentioned he contributes to PBS...great-his political policies want to remove funding from all of these organizations that he supposedly values. I guess for him that'd be great--companies would be ever more reliant on individuals who would have ever more control over the artistic management of these companies. Not the future I want, so forgive all of us if we are suspicious of his motivations.

#29 Amy Reusch

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 02:27 PM

I have more respect for Joe DiMaggio than either Koch brother, and since so many of us still call that road the "West Side Highway", it seems completely right to continue to call the theater the "State Theater". It also honors the memory of the history before the Koch brothers.

#30 puppytreats

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 02:58 PM

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