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Next Artistic Director for ABT

Next Artistic Director for ABT   58 members have voted

  1. 1. Who Should Be the Next Artistic Director for ABT?

    • Victor Barbee
      0
    • Julio Bocca
      4
    • Jose Manuel Carreno
      0
    • Angel Corella
      6
    • John Gardner and Amanda McKerrow
      8
    • Laurent Hilaire
      2
    • Susan Jaffe
      5
    • Gelsey Kirkland
      6
    • Johan Kobborg
      6
    • Ethan Steifel
      21

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57 posts in this topic

Canbelto has made some interesting points re ABT's mission. That being said, I think that ABT is still a very powerful brand (I think that a lot of young dancers may even be more familiar with ABT than they are with NYCB), and it has the potential to transform into a great artistic institution.

I've always thought of ABT as America's premier "classical" company. Maybe a move to Washington, DC should be considered? The Kennedy Center could serve as a permanent, year-round home, which would strengthen the pipeline between the JKO School and ABT, The JKO School could also focus on teaching a particular 'company' style. Provide better quality coaching to corps dancers and soloists, and actually promote dancers from within the ranks. Reduce the number of international guest artists/ the frequency of their appearances, and require them to mentor the JKO students in some capacity. Restage some of the old warhorses, update the costumes, and also establish develop relationships with young choreographers who are creating quality story ballets.

Obviously, all of this is not feasible, but it could be a step in the right direction.

For better or for worse, Washington DC is not as significant a ballet town as NYC -- it's the political capital of the country, but not its cultural capital.

But the idea of having a more active mentor relationship between company members and students at the school is interesting. I know that some NYCB dancers teach at SAB, at least intermittently. Is there a similar crossover between ABT and the JKO school?

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There's no reason for DC not to become a ballet town in the tradition of Houston and Melbourne to throw money at it and/or buy things that already exist. However, I think the Kennedy Center is smarter, financially and artistically, to import lots of different world-class companies while funding the Suzanne Farrell Ballet.

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Actually in 2002, when the company found itself in financial trouble again, there's a plan for ABT to become Kennedy Center resident company but that would sacrifice the company independence: http://www.nytimes.com/2002/06/04/arts/ballet-theater-signs-of-promise-amid-struggle.html and http://www.nytimes.com/2003/11/12/arts/sponsor-spurns-ballet-theater.html

"In June 2002 Mr. Grinberg (ABT board member & Movado president at that time) tried to lead Ballet Theater into becoming the resident company at the Kennedy Center in Washington. The plan could have brought the company financial stability, but it also would have required that it give up final control over its budget. Michael M. Kaiser, the president of the Kennedy Center, has been credited with saving Ballet Theater from bankruptcy when he was its executive director in the 1990's.

Instead the board decided to remain independent and named Mr. Ranieri chairman. He had pledged $2 million to the company and vowed to help raise $30 million for the endowment over the next three years. Ballet Theater has about 50 trustees, most of whom seem to support Mr. Ranieri's leadership."

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I believe that back in the 1970's, ABT was a resident at the Kennedy Center as well as at the Met. I don't know what part of the year that the company was in DC, but their stays were significantly longer than the current visits of about a week. (Unfortunately, I cannot find any details about this on the ABT website, but I have an old ballet history book at home that is my source for this.)

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That does sound familiar -- ABT has sought partnerships throughout its history, and in some cases they've worked for a time, but lately not so much.

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I think it would have to very hard to run a company while regularly choreographing new work.

Well, Balanchine did it quite successfully!!!

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I think it would have to very hard to run a company while regularly choreographing new work.

Well, Balanchine did it quite successfully!!!

He always had some pretty spectacular help.

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