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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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#46 Drew

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Posted 26 May 2014 - 11:56 PM

I think the number of guest artists is the key, as well as the stature of the artists.  You bring in guests to sell tickets, and it's hard for me to believe that most of the guests ABT has for the Met season is serving that purpose.  

 

You also bring them in to represent a certain artistic standard or quality and to share that with the audience and the company. Ideally, as in ABT at its best, the company itself is at a comparable artistic level, but that doesn't mean it and its audience can't benefit from a great dancer's guest appearances. And, of course the company is not always at the same level.

 

It's the excess of the guest appearances, the drop-in, drop-out policy of many of them, that seems the problem, especially when seemingly very talented men at ABT are not being given what seem like obvious opportunities. (If they really are not up to those opportunities, then the company needs to figure out why; if they are...it needs to have more faith in them.)

 

(While some of those invited this season are unknown to me, I wouldn't want to comment on quality without seeing them. Maybe they will be something special. Maybe not. I wonder, though, if ballerinas like Murphy had an influence on the import of some of the unexpected male guest artists...if they have expressed concern about having experienced partners.)



#47 sandik

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 07:52 AM

 

I think the number of guest artists is the key, as well as the stature of the artists.  You bring in guests to sell tickets, and it's hard for me to believe that most of the guests ABT has for the Met season is serving that purpose.  

 

You also bring them in to represent a certain artistic standard or quality and to share that with the audience and the company. Ideally, as in ABT at its best, the company itself is at a comparable artistic level, but that doesn't mean it and its audience can't benefit from a great dancer's guest appearances. And, of course the company is not always at the same level.

 

 

You also bring in guests to perform specific works that are not in the repertory or the skill set of the current company -- am thinking of the lackluster reviews the company just got for their performance of Gaite Parisienne.  Who do you think they might have invited to dance the Massine that would have brought a more convincing performance quality to the work?



#48 California

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 08:57 AM

Apparently Johan Kobborg has been looking at this site. His tweet was just sent out by Dance Tabs:

 

Retweeted by DanceTabs

@KOBBORG: Think I will let Ethan bag this one. I'm happy here in Bucharest ;)) pic.twitter.com/xjLPBgx68e” :-)

 


#49 Barbara

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Posted 28 May 2014 - 04:02 AM

And Cynthia Harvey tweeted, "I didn't know the job was up for grabs!"



#50 Pique Arabesque

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Posted 28 May 2014 - 02:03 PM

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.



#51 sandik

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 07:50 AM

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?



#52 Helene

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 08:15 AM

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.



#53 mussel

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 09:32 AM

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.c...d-struggle.html and http://www.nytimes.c...et-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."

#54 RUKen

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 09:40 AM

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.)



#55 sandik

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 09:54 AM

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.



#56 Stage Right

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 10:18 AM

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

Well, Balanchine did it quite successfully!!!



#57 sandik

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 02:47 PM

 

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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