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Next Artistic Director for ABTPoll


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Poll: Next Artistic Director for ABT (58 member(s) have cast votes)

Who Should Be the Next Artistic Director for ABT?

  1. Victor Barbee (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  2. Julio Bocca (4 votes [6.90%])

    Percentage of vote: 6.90%

  3. Jose Manuel Carreno (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  4. Angel Corella (6 votes [10.34%])

    Percentage of vote: 10.34%

  5. John Gardner and Amanda McKerrow (8 votes [13.79%])

    Percentage of vote: 13.79%

  6. Laurent Hilaire (2 votes [3.45%])

    Percentage of vote: 3.45%

  7. Susan Jaffe (5 votes [8.62%])

    Percentage of vote: 8.62%

  8. Gelsey Kirkland (6 votes [10.34%])

    Percentage of vote: 10.34%

  9. Johan Kobborg (6 votes [10.34%])

    Percentage of vote: 10.34%

  10. Ethan Steifel (21 votes [36.21%])

    Percentage of vote: 36.21%

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#16 fondoffouettes

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Posted 09 May 2014 - 07:01 PM

Any one who could get rid of those incessant "week-long" warhorses---the dullest programming ever! Oh! for the glory days of Ballet Theatre......GWTW!!

Was there a time when the Met season had more varied programming? It's times like these when I wish ABT had online performance archives. 

 

I'd like to see ABT in more mixed rep., but I do think it's the warhorses that help to define ABT against its neighbor across the plaza. It doesn't want to go the way of City Opera, which filled no particular niche in its last few years.  

 

I think Ratmansky would be the best hope for bringing interesting pieces to ABT while still respecting the classics. I fear Steifel could be McKenzie 2.0. 



#17 soubrette_fan

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Posted 09 May 2014 - 08:31 PM

Given that he recruited Abrera for NZB's Sleeping Beauty, I am more inclined to think that Stiefel is one of the few who recognizes the value of ABT's homegrown soloists and corps dancers.

 

Very disappointing to hear about McKenzie's contract.  The fact that he does not pair Sarah Lane with Daniil Simkin more often than say, Boyleston, is beyond me.



#18 nanushka

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Posted 10 May 2014 - 04:45 AM

Hate to burst anyone's bubble, but when they celebrated KM's anniversary in 2012, he had just signed a new ten-year (yes, ten-year) renewal of his contract. Barring some financial catastrophe blamed on him, he's not going anywhere soon. And as far as considering Barbee as a new AD, that would mean we'd still be seeing Julie Kent dancing as a principal when she's...well, to put it diplomatically, as old as I am.

 

Golden Idol, do you have a source regarding the 2012 10-year contract?  I hadn't heard that before.  Thanks!



#19 mussel

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Posted 10 May 2014 - 07:38 AM

I am not aware of any reports regarding KM contract renewal, but Ratmansky contract was renewed thru 2023: http://artsbeat.blog...-10-more-years/

#20 Plisskin

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Posted 10 May 2014 - 07:52 AM

I don't know about Stiefel. I like him and think he'd be great, but I'd be afraid he'd resign after a couple of years. My vote goes to Ratmansky or Jaffe.



#21 Helene

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Posted 10 May 2014 - 08:01 AM

The only press release from ABT about a contract extension was Ratmansky's 12-year extension in 2011:

http://www.abt.org/insideabt/news.asp

 

The ABT links to press releases going back to 2002.

 

There's only one instance in Links where the words "McKenzie"  and "contract" appear in the same search result, and that was about Osipova.



#22 sandik

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Posted 10 May 2014 - 11:51 AM

I rummaged around in the NYT archives and also could not find any current information about McKenzie's contract with ABT.  I did come across an interview with him a couple years ago, where he said a number of thoughtful things about ABT when he came in as AD in 1992.



#23 Waelsung

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Posted 10 May 2014 - 05:31 PM

Can I vote for myself? :)



#24 Helene

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Posted 10 May 2014 - 05:39 PM

"Write-in" ballots are always welcome on polls :)



#25 Amy Reusch

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Posted 10 May 2014 - 05:52 PM

Has Stiefel done well by the Royal New Zealand ballet? Are they in better shape artistically and with audience support? I rather enjoyed watching their reality series the short while it was [bootleg?] available on the web... but access ended about the time Stefel took over. .. Why has he left after only three years? I would like the next director of ABT to be someone who considers it likely to be his/her life's work, not a gig. It would be great if it were someone with charisma to energize the board and the press, as well as the company members... Someone with a deep love for the classics and yet a desire to give the company's artists the chance to have new choreography made on them... And the bring up talent through the school to full bloom as stars... not just as a background to imported stars... Sure bring the world's best to dance with the company but alongside not always in front of the home cultivated talent.

#26 Helene

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Posted 10 May 2014 - 06:35 PM

In the article to which sandik linked, McKenzie describes how he was offered the AD role.  With the board of ABT looking at dissolving the company, they sold McKenzie on the job by telling him that if he failed, no one would blame him because he had no experience.

 

Without a Baryshnikov on the horizon, it is unlikely at this point in this financial climate that a major company would hire someone with no experience as an administrator and/or choreographer, unless the company were on the brink of extinction and a newcomer is its Hail Mary pass.  (At PNB, Peter Boal and Company and extensive teaching was Boal's experience portfolio just as Vail will be Woetzel's.)  Stiefel is doing what just about anyone who aspires to run a major company is doing:  getting experience in a series of positions, working with a variety of companies.  Three years with a company is not an insignificant commitment, especially one as geographically isolated as NZB.



#27 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 10 May 2014 - 07:49 PM

Tired of "week-long" warhorses...? Come over to Miami, and you will be VERY satisfied...!  ;-)

 

Edited to add: Just voted for Kirkland.  Don't know too much about ABT, so I voted out of a mysterious sympathy. (I'm voter # 2 on her, BTW...)



#28 Alexandra

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Posted 11 May 2014 - 05:16 AM

There was a comment way above that it would be hard to run a company while choreographing new work. That HAS been done -- think Balanchine, Ashton (not to mention Bournonville and Petipa, and every great modern dancer you can think of). But it does seem early to speculate.



#29 Drew

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Posted 11 May 2014 - 08:30 AM

Mckenzie is to be credited with bringing Ratmansky to ABT -- in an interview he himself (rightly in my opinion) once pointed to this as his most important accomplishment as AD. I give him kudos for acquiring the Ashton Cinderella this season too.

 

From those listed in the poll, Kirkland would be an interesting choice. I think the problems with the Sleeping Beauty she helped to stage for the company don't help her cause, nor does her tumultuous history. But her school company has been doing interesting things and garnered a lot of praise. Anyway, I voted for her somewhat sentimentally because she has always been one of my ballet divinities. But really I don't know if she is the best among those listed and, also, I think I would like to see Ratmansky succeed Mckenzie.

 

And...though this upcoming season is peculiar when it comes to casting -- and I share some people's weariness with the company's programming (at least aspects of it) -- I don't know that it's time to stick a fork in Mckenzie just yet.



#30 sandik

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Posted 11 May 2014 - 11:48 AM

There was a comment way above that it would be hard to run a company while choreographing new work. That HAS been done -- think Balanchine, Ashton (not to mention Bournonville and Petipa, and every great modern dancer you can think of). But it does seem early to speculate.

 

Very true, but as you've pointed out yourself elsewhere, it's a complex bag of tricks, running a ballet company.  If you look at the modern dance model (and in many ways Balanchine fits into this category), the company is primarily a vehicle for one person's artistic output -- it's their aesthetic, their outlet.  It exists to serve their creative work. 

 

(yes I know that Balanchine shared his theater with other choreographers, some of them much more "I" oriented than he was himself, but really -- it was Balanchine's company)

 

(and yes, this makes for a new batch of challenges when the choreographer/director dies/moves on -- we've seen this happen in the far and recent past, and we'll see plenty more in the future)

 

I don't know enough about the workings of the Danish company during Bournonville's life to say much concretely about his administration.  And Petipa was a part of an organization so Byzantine I'm not sure we can really compare it to current ballet companies.  But I know that for most of his creative life, Ashton was not the director of the Sadler's Wells/Royal Ballet, and there's certainly a chunk of discussion about his tenure as AD that implies he wasn't an especially great manager.

 

What we do get, frequently, are artistic directors who are choreographers in the same way that I'm a chef -- I make no pretense to really high-end cooking, but I get dinner on the table most nights in our house.  Many companies have director/choreographers who can fill in the blanks of the season, depending on what other works they've got programmed.  Kent Stowell at Pacific Northwest Ballet made an incredibly wide variety of works during his 30 year tenure.  Some of them were excellent whatever the criteria, most of them were works "d'occasion" that were tailored to the situation at hand, giving particular dancers the challenge they needed or filling a certain niche in the repertory.  The company could not have grown as it did without that kind of in-house talent -- he was exactly what they needed.

 

(to add an extra twist, Stowell is an excellent cook, while his son Ethan is a renown chef/restauranteur)

 

ABT has a substantial repertory -- while they will always need to make room for new work, I don't know that they need to be run by a choreographer.




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