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Justin Peck named resident choreographerJustin Peck named resident choreographer


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#1 Amour

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Posted 09 July 2014 - 04:07 PM

NYCB has just announced that Justin Peck will be named it's resident choreographer. His 3 year contract will require him to create 2 ballets a year for NYCB. Unlike the deal offered to Ratmansky, it will not prevent him from creating works for other companies. Peck, who is a soloist, has said he will also continue to perform.

http://www.nytimes.c....html?ref=dance

#2 DanielBenton

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Posted 09 July 2014 - 04:48 PM

bravo Justin!    Parenthetically, how short-sighted of NYCB to make an offer with such restrictions to Ratmansky.  What a bad idea that was.



#3 abatt

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Posted 09 July 2014 - 04:59 PM

Was it that NYCB forbid Ratmansky to work for anyone else?  I thought the issue with Ratmansky was that he was already so overbooked with commissions for years into the future that he could not create the number of works per season that NYCB wanted or be present in New York City for the number of weeks that NYCB demanded.



#4 sandik

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Posted 09 July 2014 - 06:37 PM

Was it that NYCB forbid Ratmansky to work for anyone else?  I thought the issue with Ratmansky was that he was already so overbooked with commissions for years into the future that he could not create the number of works per season that NYCB wanted or be present in New York City for the number of weeks that NYCB demanded.

 

In a situation like that, there needs to be compromise on both sides.



#5 DanielBenton

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Posted 09 July 2014 - 06:40 PM

Amour, do you have a source for the details of the NYCB offer to Ratmansky? Thanks



#6 California

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 02:53 AM

Amour, do you have a source for the details of the NYCB offer to Ratmansky? Thanks

According to the NY Times, the negotiations ended because Ratmansky had so many commitments to other companies: 

 

http://www.nytimes.c...3ball.html?_r=0

 

This story has a little more detail: 

 

http://www.nytimes.c...rts&oref=slogin



#7 Amy Reusch

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 03:31 AM

I would like to see a choreographer immersed in the company they are resident in... at least for half the year... Teaching company class regularly, cultivating muse relationships with the artists who bring the ideas to life... Not hampered by administrative or fundraising... But developing a style. This constant flitting here and there from company to company seems like a recipe for superficial. Having a choreographer in longterm residence surely shaped the major companies... What effect did Petipa, Balanchine, Ashton, Tudor, Kylian, Grigorivitch... even Nureyev....have on the companies they choreographed on? This is a very partial list. Was Fokine's output after Diaghilev significant?

Very likely I am ignorant, but one gets the sense that today's big names in ballet choreography are spread too thin. Morphoses didn't work out for Wheeldon, but perhaps it was because he was so involved in the effort of keeping the company alive? Same with Trey McIntyre? How much talent have we lost to the drain of courting funding?

Thank heaven we have some big names again... Now lets build the company relationships...

#8 Kathleen O'Connell

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 06:23 AM

Thanks for the links re Ratmansky's negotiations with NYCB and ABT, California. 

 

Looking at what ABT pays Ratmansky ($160,000 in 2009, rising to $228,000 in 2012), and, based on the article California linked to, what ABT asked him to deliver (20 weeks, one new or re-tooled ballet per year, and "collabora[tion] on artistic questions, including future programming"), I suspect that NYCB found the price tag too high for what they were looking for -- a choreographer primarily focussed on creating a steady stream of new works for the company's dancers. One new ballet per year wouldn't have sufficed, and you can buy a lot of choreography for $200,000. And call me crazy, but I don't think Peter Martins was interested in collaboration on artistic questions, and certainly not interested in paying for it. Martins has welcomed the contributions of other choreographers almost to a fault, but he's nonetheless made it clear that he's the AD and it's his company. 

 

Peck, it appears, will make NYCB his priority:

 

Although Mr. Peck will be able to create ballets for other companies — he has premieres for Pacific Northwest Ballet in November and Miami City Ballet in March — he said that his priority will be City Ballet, where he has new works planned for the coming fall and spring seasons.

 

“A position like this gives you room for experiment,” he said. “If I bounce around from commission to commission, a lot of times there is an expectation for the choreographer to produce what they are known for, or a hit. Without that pressure, I can focus on creative growth and have the chance to develop long-term relationships with my collaborators, most importantly the dancers.”



#9 DanielBenton

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 06:28 AM

Very well said, Kathleen O'Connell.  I think NYCB missed an opportunity to become artistically less insular, by their own choice 



#10 abatt

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 06:37 AM

I feel that Peck's ballets are all pretty similar. I hope he takes this opportunity to branch out and create something that is completely different from what he has done before.  One thing about Wheeldon is that his ballets cover a range of styles - some neoclassical leotard ballets, some dramatic ballets, some classical ballets.  Peck seems stuck in one gear, as though he wants to keep repeating the same forumulas and motifs that worked for him in Year of the Rabbit which is regarded as his best ballet. I also wish he could trust in the fact that every single second of the ballet does not need to be brimming with movement.  Sometimes less is more, and heaping on more and more is just too busy.



#11 California

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 06:40 AM

Kathleen: Your explanations make excellent sense. I was sure I had read reports that NYCB also wanted an exclusive arrangement with Ratmansky, which he refused, but couldn't find a reference for that just now. He seems to be enjoying life with his travels and work with different companies and I doubt he would have been happy in the shadow of Martins.

 

Let me add: the non-exclusive arrangement with Peck makes sense to me. He is young and inexperienced. Working with dancers at different companies should help him grow, as well as building his reputation beyond NYC. Very different situation with an established choreographer like Ratmansky.


Edited by California, 10 July 2014 - 06:43 AM.


#12 Drew

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 02:49 PM

Kathleen: Your explanations make excellent sense. I was sure I had read reports that NYCB also wanted an exclusive arrangement with Ratmansky, which he refused, but couldn't find a reference for that just now. He seems to be enjoying life with his travels and work with different companies and I doubt he would have been happy in the shadow of Martins.

 

Let me add: the non-exclusive arrangement with Peck makes sense to me. He is young and inexperienced. Working with dancers at different companies should help him grow, as well as building his reputation beyond NYC. Very different situation with an established choreographer like Ratmansky.

It was interesting to me that Peck did talk about the value of working closely with one company--and that he felt that gave him more freedom to experiment and develop, not less, since he woudn't be (or feel) required to make a "Peck" ballet each time.

 

I don't think NYCB ended up as much the loser as I, at least, feared regarding Ratmansky when they "lost" him if only because he continues to create for them and to create rather splendidly though not as as frequently as he would have as in-house choreographer. Also, I strongly suspect NYCB wanted regular premiers of new work from him, not just restagings/retoolings which, according to the articles quoted above, his ABT contract includes as part of his creative obligation. From NYCB's perspective, that's not an extraordinary concern.

 

I have yet to see anything by Peck but hope to do so soon...at any rate it has garnered real critical interest, so it's good that they are giving him real opportunities. There is no way to do that for a young choreographer without risk. Or indeed even with an established choreographer.



#13 sandik

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 04:18 PM

It was interesting to me that Peck did talk about the value of working closely with one company--and that he felt that gave him more freedom to experiment and develop, not less, since he woudn't be (or feel) required to make a "Peck" ballet each time.


That struck me as well. At this point in his development, as he tries to figure out what kind of choreographer he actually is, working in a company structure might be the best choice. Not only can he continue to develop his movement style with a consistent group of people (rather than having to learn each cast fresh) he can, if he challenges himself, make a variety of stuff (openers, closers, big ensembles, small casts). It can be an excellent learning situation
 

Also, I strongly suspect NYCB wanted regular premiers of new work from him, not just restagings/retoolings which, according to the articles quoted above, his ABT contract includes as part of his creative obligation. From NYCB's perspective, that's not an extraordinary concern.


Ratmansky has proved that he's got a deep, ongoing interest in restaging/refining works from the classic repertory -- a great fit for ABT, but more of a sideline for NYCB.



#14 vipa

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 05:42 PM

In all of this discussion we have to remember that Peck is a young man who is still performing.  Ratmansky has had a career's worth of dancing plus working as a choreographer with a lot of companies. 



#15 Drew

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 09:05 PM

In all of this discussion we have to remember that Peck is a young man who is still performing.  Ratmansky has had a career's worth of dancing plus working as a choreographer with a lot of companies. 

 

Oh yes...

 

If Peck develops as hoped, then I think this is all rather win-win for ballet in NY (at the ABT/NYCB nexus so to speak having these two choreographers -- at different stages of their careers -- working regularly) and whatever happens, it does seem, from the outside looking in, admirable for the company to give Peck a substantial opportunity...




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