Helene

National Companies with One Home

35 posts in this topic

It's less drastic if you consider the Americas part of "American."

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It's less drastic if you consider the Americas part of "American."

Maybe....but I don't think that's what Congress had in mind. Otherwise I think they would want the other "Estados de Americas" to contribute towards ABT's subsidy.

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I'm sure Congress didn't, but what if they had asked and Castro, Lula, and the late Chavez were the ones who agreed FIREdevil.gif ?

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I'm sure Congress didn't, but what if they had asked and Castro, Lula, and the late Chavez were the ones who agreed FIREdevil.gif ?

haha! Well, they could always ask Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner speechless-smiley-003.gif But she's probably too busy trying to get the UN to give the Falkland Islands to Argentina, and trying to avoid paying bond holders.

cristina-fernandez-de-kirchner.jpg

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I'm sure many here share the frustration of National companies, whether they be ballet, opera, or symphony or theaters that get large public and private subsidies, but rarely venture out of their home cities, and when they do, it's to travel abroad, like Paris Opera Ballet, or National Ballet of Toronto Canada which occasionally does very limited tours west.

Returning briefly to this topic. The other day I spoke with a National Ballet of Canada principal who bemoaned the situation with national touring. He acknowledged it was a matter of tight finances, but as far as he was concerned, it was unacceptable that a company called "national" was not bringing ballet to the nation. He made the point passionately and emphatically, and required no prompting from me.

A portion of public subsidies really should be designated specifically for national touring.

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The Canada Council used to have a touring budget. They nixed it. The drastic reduction in NBOC touring coincided (not coincidentally!) with this development.

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I was talking with someone the other day about the 1980s, when the Canada Council, the province of Quebec and the city of Montreal all supported touring for Montreal/Quebec artists. Out here in Seattle we saw Edouard Locke, Ginette Laurin, Marie Chouinard and several others. We got very nostalgic.

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Another way to interpret "national" is that a national company represents the country on world stage, to tour and establish goodwill and reputation internationally. So the whole country benefits not from actually seeing the company at some local theatres but from international prestige.

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Sure, but we all know that the amount of international touring ballet companies do has also been drastically reduced. Once upon a time, the Met was packed every summer with one visiting ballet company after another, and those tours were funded not so much by ministries of culture as ministries of foreign affairs. But just as the Canada Council cut its touring budget, foreign ministries ceased to be interested in projecting soft power through ballet.

Contemporary dance groups from Montreal still tour Canada, and presumably their tours are much less expensive to mount. Evidently companies-presenters like Alberta Ballet also find it cheaper to import 10 Balletboyz from London than 30+ dancers from the Royal Winnipeg Ballet. Meanwhile Les Grands Ballets Canadiens imports two companies from overseas to perform big narrative ballets it can't afford to stage itself and opts for companies from Russia, Cuba, China, Ukraine or the United States rather than the National Ballet of Canada.

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the arts are much more subsidized in Quebec than in the rest of Canada.

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