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Good progress reported

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Via Michael Kaiser's piece in the Huffington Post:

"Recently I went to a board meeting of the organization where the new artistic director laid out her ambitious plans for next season and for the expansion of the school, the new executive director reviewed anticipated changes to marketing and fundraising strategies, a budget was approved for the next fiscal year without much fanfare and a marketing partnership with the Miami Heat was unveiled. Oh, and Nutcracker ticket sales were $150,000 higher than last year and an upcoming gala in Palm Beach had outsold last year and ticket sales for the next two sets of performances were outselling last year as well. Special gifts of $7 million had also been received."

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The school expansion is REALLY good news. Hopefully at one point it will become a real candidate feeder for the company.

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The school expansion is REALLY good news. Hopefully at one point it will become a real candidate feeder for the company.

In that vein, the school will have a new director, Darleen Callaghan from North Carolina Dance Theatre School of Dance, starting March 1. Busy days at MCB . . .

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I like this, from Michael Kaiser's report:

[T]urnarounds can happen in just a year or two; we only need a few major gifts, an exciting artistic program, some good news to announce and a plan to build momentum.

Of course, without the remarkable dancers of Miami City Ballet, who were selected and trained by Edward, the turnaround could not have happened, and would not have been worth the effort.

But this story will have a happy ending and Miami will have a robust dance company to call its own.

Re: the school. MCB's school has become a major feeder of new young dancers into the company. It has also worked as a finishing school for several of the amazing Brazilian dancers now rising through the ranks, Rebello, Cedeiro, and Arja among them..

It's encouraging that the new director has worked with -- and been highly endorsed by -- Jean Pierre Bonnefoux and Patricia McBride, who come from the same Balanchine tradition as Villella and Lopez.

Here's the full MCB press release:

http://www.miamicity.../NewsPDF445.pdf

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The news that he was going there to help out was encouraging, considering what he's done in the past, but there are some items in Kaiser's blog post I'd be glad to understand better if anyone can explain them.

a marketing partnership with the Miami Heat was unveiled.
Is this supposed to bring sports fans into ballet performances? Does ballet look athletic when it's at its best? Or when something's going wrong? I don't get it.
Dan Hagerty, the new executive director, has worked hard, despite great cash flow pressure, to change the narrative of the organization.
What's "the narrative of the organization"? And what was it before?

And while Kaiser quotes Macaulay's final sentence, the rest of the review, detailing the repertory, was rather more mixed. (See, for instance, the parts dirac quoted in our Links forum.) The inflowing money certainly reads well, but Kaiser's final reference to "dance company" - MCD? - puts my teeth on edge.

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I suspect that they are probably encoring the Ratmansky piece (actually doing it 3 seasons in a row if you count last season's one time performance world premiere) b/c Ratmansky is the big "hot" choreographer that gets a lot of attention. They are milking his work to keep his name attached to theirs, I suspect.

I actually liked Symphonic Dances and look forward to seeing it again at the end of this month.

The only odd thing in that article is how she says the Latin American community will relate to the piece about praying for rain. I have had many Hispanic friends, and I have never gotten the impression that their background is in farming and praying for rain.

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... she says the Latin American community will relate to the piece about praying for rain. I have had many Hispanic friends, and I have never gotten the impression that their background is in farming and praying for rain.

How ridiculous...

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