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Roster Changes


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#91 kfw

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Posted 07 April 2014 - 05:20 PM

McKenzie's job isn't to be a cheerleader or morale booster.  His job is to keep the money coming in from donors and from ticket purchases.

 

If he's Artistic Director, a major part of his job is to develop artists and that includes encouraging and rewarding them. And that will sell tickets.



#92 angelica

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Posted 07 April 2014 - 05:48 PM

 

McKenzie's job isn't to be a cheerleader or morale booster.  His job is to keep the money coming in from donors and from ticket purchases.

 

If he's Artistic Director, a major part of his job is to develop artists and that includes encouraging and rewarding them. And that will sell tickets.

 

 

Yes! Yes! Yes! It's the Board of Trustees that's supposed to bring in the money. And the Executive Director.



#93 Helene

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Posted 07 April 2014 - 05:54 PM


McKenzie's job isn't to be a cheerleader or morale booster.  His job is to keep the money coming in from donors and from ticket purchases.  If inviting guest artists to sell out the 3,000 seat Met auditorium is part of keeping the company in the black instead of in the red, so be it.

He's a manager of a business, even if it is a 501-c-3 organization, and working conditions for the employees and workplace morale are his responsibility.

 

ABT's mission statement is not "keep the money coming in from donors and from ticket purchases.  In fact, it is:

 

ABT is America's preeminent ballet company. Through a collaboration of dedicated, passionate individuals, ABT is able to present the finest in classical and contemporary dance to audiences in New York City, around the country and the world! As we continue our annual fall and spring season in NYC, we will also bring world-class dance to communities from Austin to Chicago, Cleveland and Los Angeles.

 

 

and until ABT is putting on only ballets with eight or more star dancers and "Greatest Hit Pas de Deux" programs, there are scores of dancers and many more backstage whose dedication and passion it's his job to keep stoked.  A for-profit organization can come up with any mission statement it wants, and if it doesn't fulfill it, that's between the board of directors and management.  501-c-3 status depends on fulfilling the organization's mission.



#94 spinning2night

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Posted 09 April 2014 - 07:22 AM

If employers see weaknesses in their employees and are interested in growing those employees, they pull the employees aside and get them coaching.  They can't make the coaching stick, but they can make it available.

 

If employers see weaknesses in employees and think they can just buy another one, then not much happens.

 

 

Exactly. I feel like there hasn't been an investment in ABT's dancers to help them develop and correct issues that can be fixed. Rather the time and energy has been spent on pushing dancers who aren't ready and specifically forcing them into the mold of what KM wants of company principals. While this approach could pay off, I don't buy it mainly because you stunt the dancers personal artistic growth. Where and HOW does a dancer learn to nuance their performances and interpretations is they are so caught up in learning and preparing so many new roles every season just to try and reach the standards that the former/current stars of ABT have achieved? There's no time for that and that's what I believe is making some of these recent promotions head-scratching. We don't get to see the work that gets put in during studio time, we only see the finished product, and often they seem bland and boring b/c the dancers themselves haven't had time to grow artistically...it's all about making it through the ballet from a technical perspective.

 

Which leads me to believe that KM isn't concerned with developing true home-grown stars but rather a core set of principals that can "get the company through" their regular performances, tours, and grandeur and extent of the Met season...he knows he can attract the big names and flashier stars for a few performances so that ABT gets a handful of note-worthy performances every year. Thus, he's spending time on having a group of "steady eddy" principals rather than developing true American stars within the company who might be pulled away from ABT during the non-Met season. The ABT roster of principals for the first decade of the 2000s was full of stars in their own right who could be/and were often invited to other engagements nationally and world-wide...it seems that KM's tactic recently is to be selfish with his new principals and keep them at home. (which of course makes for a roster of principals i'm personally not excited to watch perform because they can seem so cookie-cutter at times)

 

Re: Stella - I don't buy that there are any lingering health issues, I've seen her pre and post injury. Every time her performances have stood out. And while it isn't always the smoothest, she avoids visible mistakes and dances with intent from the heart. And her engagement with RNZB proves that physically she's up to the task. So unless it was a personal choice on her end (i.e. doesn't want to be tied down to one company, over-committed at the risk of re-injury, etc), I don't understand how the offer's never come around again...it's been almost 7 years now, right? I can live with no promotion, but I'm not sure I can deal with never seeing her do principal roles with ABT...the things I'd do for her to have at least ONE Giselle...(and my mind just went to the really sad place -- Stella debut in Giselle was supposed to be opposite Hallberg...and that was in he early, "not yet a star" years...oh the potential of that partnership we'll never see)



#95 abatt

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Posted 09 April 2014 - 07:51 AM

It's very, very difficult to create an "international star."  Most people are steady eddys, and that's nothing to be ashamed of. It's true that some of the places that ABT tours are starved for ballet, so they will buy tickets to see the steady eddy casts, whereas in NYC the steady eddys might not sell quite as well because there are so mamy cultural events to choose from.  Greatness is a rare treasure. It is unreasonable to expect every performance over an 8 week MET season to be a memorable treasure.  It's not  realistic .  

 

The only "home grown" international star from the present roster at ABT is David Hallberg, and he was partially trained at POB. Perhaps I would add Gomes to the list, but I'm not sure.Maybe in her youth, Kent was an international star, but now not so much.   While I like Gillian Murphy very much, guesting with the RNZB does not constitute international star status.

 

 

Edit to add:  There are many performances that we, as very passionate fans, would regard as mediocre, but the general public would regard as wonderful. There have been a number of times when I went with a friend  who attends once a year to ABT or NYCB based on her schedule (not on casting), and my friend was thrilled with a performance that I regarded as so-so.



#96 vrsfanatic

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Posted 10 April 2014 - 03:39 AM

Just a question or perhaps an observance abatt. Unfortunately the American "system" of training for students has become spending little more than 4 years in one school before moving on to the next bigger/better opportunity. Halberg and Gomes spent 10 months each at POB, as advanced ballet student. While the experience added much to their intellectual and physical development, why should this additional training not classify them as American trained or "home grown" ? As for being international stars, we all have our own viewpoint on that one.


Edited by vrsfanatic, 10 April 2014 - 03:41 AM.


#97 California

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Posted 10 April 2014 - 04:37 AM

Marcelo Gomes studied dance in his native Brazil before entering the Harid Conservatory in Florida. I'm not sure how people are defining "home grown" - whether that refers only to native-born Americans or dancers who received all of their training in the U.S., even if born elsewhere or just anybody who received substantial training in the U.S.

 

If what matters in this discussion is people who spent most or all of their career at ABT, then Marcelo counts, of course. He started in the corps and worked his way up. I'm always touched by his generosity during bows of looking back to the corps and saluting them with a grand gesture of his arms to thank them for their contribution to the performance.

 

http://www.abt.org/d...sp?Dancer_ID=26



#98 vrsfanatic

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Posted 10 April 2014 - 05:44 AM

Maybe this is a discussion to have in a new forum? What does it actually mean to be "homegrown" and does that really matter?



#99 spinning2night

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Posted 18 April 2014 - 06:32 PM

It's very, very difficult to create an "international star."  Most people are steady eddys, and that's nothing to be ashamed of. It's true that some of the places that ABT tours are starved for ballet, so they will buy tickets to see the steady eddy casts, whereas in NYC the steady eddys might not sell quite as well because there are so mamy cultural events to choose from.  Greatness is a rare treasure. It is unreasonable to expect every performance over an 8 week MET season to be a memorable treasure.  It's not  realistic .  

 

 

Abatt I agree with you in this regard, that an "international star" is a hard find and it would be silly to expect the MET season to be 8 weeks of surperb performances (granted we were spoiled in the 2000s with that roster...)

However, I also feel like he doesn't encourage artistic growth outside of the company/country. It's like he's on the defense and wants to makes sure the newest crop of principals will have ABT as their main commitment even though the dancers schedules are open for the majority of the year (since I honestly don't count Nutcracker...) While I don't blame him for wanting the ABT principals to have their home company be their top priority -- Hallberg being the tipping point probably -- it leads to some bland and IMO boring artistic choices...I guess I'm just never going to see eye-to-eye with KM so long as he keeps making cookie-cutter choices. It's what made me like ABT more than NYCB...the dancers were all different, there was excitement and intrigue at every performance based on who was dancing...

 

side note: I believe Boylston has the potential to bring something different especially since she's doing the exchanges with other companies and has the means to grow and develop artistically...but I feel like it's still a few years down the road until I'm totally on board with what she brings to the company.



#100 abatt

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Posted 18 April 2014 - 07:11 PM

Per her facebook page, Kristi Boone Stappas is retiring at the end of the Spring season



#101 spinning2night

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Posted 19 April 2014 - 09:29 AM

Sad to hear about Kristi's retirement

 

random question...

I know that Maria Riccetto is now permanently with a Bocca's company, but when she left in 2012, was the move always intended to be permanent? or was she "supposed to" return to ABT afterwards?



#102 FauxPas

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Posted 19 April 2014 - 09:32 AM

Frankly, Kristi Boone hasn't really been doing much for several seasons now.  She did a few runs of "Giselle" as Myrtha but otherwise her roles have been ones that could be done by an accomplished corps dancer.  Her retirement will open up a soloist spot for a deserving corps dancer like Gorak.



#103 ABT Fan

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Posted 19 April 2014 - 09:34 AM

I thought Ricetto's move was temporary and that she'd come back to ABT after one year. Obviously that didn't happen. I've been wondering myself if she'll come back.

#104 ABT Fan

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Posted 19 April 2014 - 09:37 AM

[quote name="FauxPas" post="335529" timestamp="1397928755"]

Frankly, Kristi Boone hasn't really been doing much for several seasons now.  She did a few runs of "Giselle" as Myrtha but otherwise her roles have been ones that could be done by an accomplished corps dancer.  Her retirement will open up a soloist spot for a deserving corps dancer like Gorak.[/quote

I agree completely. Or if her spot has to go to a female I'd vote for Shevchenko or Teuscher.

#105 Natalia

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Posted 19 April 2014 - 01:20 PM

Just back from my one ABT-Kennedy Center performance this season (Sat. matinee DON Q w/ Boylston/Simkin...see other thread on the season for my report). I just read the entire roster of ABT dancers and am shocked to no longer see Joseph Phillips' name. Does anyone know where he went? Wow.




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