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Peter MartinsThe Underappreciated Martins


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#16 kfw

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 09:24 AM

What he's done would bore the bejeezus out of most artists.


A very good point.

#17 dirac

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Posted 03 June 2013 - 11:29 PM

It’s true that in an ironic way Martins has helped spread Balanchine’s work by freezing out some of the finest dancers he’d taught, coached and cast, and thereby sending them elsewhere, to be missionaries as it were. But as I sometimes think when I watch Suzanne Farrell Ballet, I wish those retired dancers, when passing on their knowledge, could have done it more often and more consistently with more of the finest dancers that came after them, the ones at NYCB.


I think the Balanchine diaspora would have occurred regardless of Martins' management style -- too many disciples, too little room, too many cooks in the kitchen, etc. And Farrell's path to successful teaching and coaching was not an entirely smooth one.

The mere fact that New York City Ballet exists at all 30 years after Mr. B.'s death is itself a tribute to this man.


I can't see the company actually dissolving, but it is certainly easy to imagine much more trouble and turnover than we've seen under Martins' regime.

#18 Helene

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Posted 04 June 2013 - 12:18 AM

I don't think there's a contradiction between the diaspora and the originators of roles being able to coach three decades of great NYCB dancers for NYCB. Martins seems to have blocked them from this. The coaching they get from many of the greats of the past is under the auspices of the Balanchine Foundation, and that's very limited.

#19 kfw

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Posted 04 June 2013 - 01:53 AM


It’s true that in an ironic way Martins has helped spread Balanchine’s work by freezing out some of the finest dancers he’d taught, coached and cast, and thereby sending them elsewhere, to be missionaries as it were. But as I sometimes think when I watch Suzanne Farrell Ballet, I wish those retired dancers, when passing on their knowledge, could have done it more often and more consistently with more of the finest dancers that came after them, the ones at NYCB.


I think the Balanchine diaspora would have occurred regardless of Martins' management style -- too many disciples, too little room, too many cooks in the kitchen, etc.


Those cliches all reference the ego of the person in charge. There are other companies - Russian ones, for example - that use coaches in a way that would seem to limit the input of the AD. No there wasn't room for everyone forever, but when dancers were refused access to originators of roles . . . I don't see how that was serving Balanchine's legacy, Martins' professed goal.

#20 Jayne

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 03:03 PM

Alastair Macauley has some criticism and restrained praise for Peter Martins' 30 year reign, including his choices for promotion to principals:

It’s baffling that several dancers — Megan Fairchild, Rebecca Krohn, Ask La Cour, Abi Stafford and Jonathan Stafford — were made principals. Useful executants, they’re not remotely authoritative. They neither own their own space nor light up the space beyond themselves. (I would add the generally bland Ana Sophia Scheller to that list but for the élan she brought to the “Embraceable You” role of “Who Cares?” on Friday.)


and praise for others:

In this season’s best performances, four highly individual ballerinas — Sterling Hyltin, Sara Mearns, Tiler Peck, and Teresa Reichlen — kept extending their range, reaching new peaks of musicality, stage artistry and individual style. Among the company’s men, Robert Fairchild has become one of the most lovable and impressive dancers in America. Among the company’s other men, the young Chase Finlay — a principal since February — is evidently still learning, but his blend of seriousness, bloom, nobility and amplitude make him continually eye-catching.

http://www.nytimes.c...30-seasons.html

Plus some praise for Mark Morris:

[font=georgia, 'times new roman', times, serif][size=4]If the choreographer Mark Morris were to present an American Music Festival — I hope one day he does — it would self-evidently be a statement of belief: He’s made many of his most imaginative works to music by Virgil Thomson, Henry Cowell, Lou Harrison and others. By contrast, Mr. Martins’s works to American music never seem driven by conviction.[/size][/font]



#21 DanielBenton

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 03:11 PM

Unfortunately, Mr. Macauley because of his general attitude of ill-will and grumpy rehearsal-master approach, is not a credible reviewer (even when he is right!). This is really sad, because many of the facts that he presents can be, in isolation, interesting.

#22 vipa

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 03:43 PM

Unfortunately, Mr. Macauley because of his general attitude of ill-will and grumpy rehearsal-master approach, is not a credible reviewer (even when he is right!). This is really sad, because many of the facts that he presents can be, in isolation, interesting.


There are certain dancers, Megan Fairchild for one who Mr. Macauley doesn't like so he doesn't miss an opportunity to find fault. In the past Daniel Ulbricht has been another (he wasn't mentioned in the article). Writing negative things about the same dancers over and over is hardly illuminating.

Mr. Macauley expressed the point of view that no one below the rank of principal was a mature dancer. I beg to differ. Georgina Pazcoguin, Lauren Lovett, Savannah Lowery, Megan LaCrone just to name a few, bring a level of high level of artistry to a wide range of ballets. I also think it too bad that he didn't have a good word to say about Andrew Veyette, who IMO had an outstanding season or De Luz who is a great dancer - both of these men are also terrific partners.


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