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Johan Kobborg to run Romanian National Ballet

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"Danish choreographer Johan Kobborg will run the National Romanian Ballet from February 2014 after recently signing with the ballet La Sylphide in Bucharest."

Link here.

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This is a very strange turn of events, just three days after the local premiere of Manon. Alina Cojocaru and Friedemann Vogel were to dance the ballet on Sunday, but what now? Cojocaru is still listed as a permanent guest artist, but who knows for how much longer. There is an "International Dance Gala" scheduled for the end of the month, and a triple bill of In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated, In the Night and Theme and Variations is to premiere in June. What could have prompted the opera house to throw all this into doubt?

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So very sad to see this in my Facebook feed this morning. Johan has given his heart and soul to this company and especially the dancers. What a treasure to loose

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There is an "International Dance Gala" scheduled for the end of the month, and a triple bill of In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated, In the Night and Theme and Variations is to premiere in June.

Damn, that's a juicy program.

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It would seem that an interim general manager, a conductor called Tiberiu Soare has been appointed to run the opera house. It is being said that although Kobborg has been undertaking the function of the ballet's artistic director he did not sign a contract as artistic director as the post does not actually exist.It all sounds very odd to me. There is also the suggestion that Mr Soare does not think that English has any place in a Romanian national institution. It is unclear what Mr Soare's attitude is to the foreign dancers currently working in the company or whether he knows or cares about the extraordinary transformation Kobborg has made in the short time he has been with the ballet company..

It is at times like this that you realise that they do things very differently in the non English speaking world. I know that Rojo is reported as saying that she would not want to run a Spanish company because directing artistic organisations in Spain is heavily influenced by politics. Tenure has everything to do with which politicians are in power and very little to do with ability and competence. It looks as if the same may be true in Bucharest.

Kobborg is in the fortunate position of being a man with an international reputation who now has acquired an impressive track record as an "artistic director" and a transformational leader in a very short space of time. It will be very interesting to see how events unfold in Bucharest and what Kobborg does next.

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I've always thought of Cojocaru and Kobborg as a package deal as far as the Romainian Ballet was concerned. If he's no longer affiliated, I wonder what her future plans will be.

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Yes, they're a package deal.

"Dear audience to the Manon show @OperaBucharest on the 10th,I want to let you know that I have not yet been contacted by the new direction.."

https://twitter.com/DancingAlina/status/717733963545108481

"I will be be performing ONLY under the management that made this ballet happen for our audience to enjoy, with @KOBBORG as our leader!!"

https://twitter.com/DancingAlina/status/717734011049746432

She does have plenty of work elsewhere, at the English National Ballet and the Hamburg Ballet. Today she is performing The Lady of the Camellias in Munich.
https://www.staatsoper.de/en/staatsballett/productioninfo/die-kameliendame/2016-04-06-19-30.html

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There could still be considered to be an oral contract between Kobberg and the company, as surely there were material terms bargained for, agreed upon and executed, such as compensation and duty, regardless as to whether there was a formal job title. Kobberg's duties would not come under the job description of any similar person at the company. That's depending on what the civil statutes are Romania. It all is very underhanded and artistically stupid.

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this thread should really be moved out of the Royal Danish Ballet forum shouldn't it?

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I agree with Katherine that this thread is not in the most appropriate of places!

Dance Europe magazine has just posted on FB:

"Johan Kobborg and Opera National Bucharest

Great news coming from Bucharest - it transpires that a new position of artistic director of the ballet company is to be created and that Johan Kobborg will be given the power to direct the ballet company of Opera National Bucharest."

https://www.facebook.com/DanceEurope/?fref=ts

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How mysterious -- is this in response to the pushback, or was this already in the works, and they just muffed the announcments?

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Whatever was going on ... sounds like good news for Kobborg and the company.

(Though I must admit one of my first thoughts about the seeming dismissal was...'gee I wonder if this means Cojocaru might look for more dance opportunities in the U.S.?' It's the selfish gene.)

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I think that in most countries where the artistic companies (opera, dance, symphonies, theatre, museums, etc. etc.) are largely supported by tax-monies, the politics play a much larger, or at least much more visible role in deciding who has "power" to direct and run the various institutions than they do in, say, the USA.

that said, this is all quite mysterious - and the timing of the various announcements does seem somewhat odd.

I hope for the best for all concerned!

-d-

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Johan tweeted this morning that ONB received a letter requesting that the license to certain ballets be withdrawn. It seems that after some tense negotiations it will not work out after all (this is based on Alina and Johan's tweets).

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I think that in most countries where the artistic companies (opera, dance, symphonies, theatre, museums, etc. etc.) are largely supported by tax-monies, the politics play a much larger, or at least much more visible role in deciding who has "power" to direct and run the various institutions than they do in, say, the USA.

Yes, there in the USA it's the donors who decide. What is better???? Maybe you should make a difference between countries like Romania and France, Denmark, Germany etc, Diane.

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Oh this is very sad. One never knows the inner workings of institutions like this but no one can deny the amazing repertoire and energy Mr. Kobborg has brought there in his few years at the helm.

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Yes, there in the USA it's the donors who decide. What is better????.

True, that.

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Yes, there in the USA it's the donors who decide. What is better????

IMO, it is too bad that this beautiful art form has come down to this....judged by those whom not necessarily have any performing arts background! Seems all so political and unfortunate for the true artists who does this for the love of it all! :(

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I'm still a bit confused as to what happened exactly, but it's sad that Kobborg and Cojocaru will be leaving. Seems a very unfortunate situation to say the least.

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I'm really dubious that for two years Johan Kobborg was working as AD sans contract. I assume there must have been some contract about his salary, his duties, etc. Unless he was actually given a vaguely worded role like "artistic consultant" or something. So either his contract was cancelled by the new director, or this was a massive case of failing to read the fine print in a contract.

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The mess gets bigger: JK and AC are banned from entering the opera house.

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