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2016-17 season: Pennsylvania Ballet

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The 2016-17 season has just been announced: http://paballet.org/upcoming-programs

I thought it was interesting that they are doing the Stevenson Cinderella. Colorado Ballet did the Stevenson version just a couple of years ago. ABT, of course, does the Ashton version, although I understand they did Stevenson's long ago.

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Perhaps ABT was willing to sell the sets and costumes for the Stevenson production at a bargain price.

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I wondered about the cost of licensing for Stevenson vs. Ashton. I don't know who owns the sets and costumes or where Colorado Ballet rented them. It's also possible that the ABT license gives them exclusive North American rights for a certain time period.

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I expect they got the Stevenson Cinderella from Houston. That's who National Ballet of Canada rented it from back in the 90s.

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Happy to still see lots of Balanchine on there for next year. Tschai pas de deux, Tarantella, Square Dance and Western Symphony!

Will see Le Corsaire, but with ABT doing Corsaire this spring, I may be a bit pirated out.

Have only seen Ratmansky's and Ashton's Cinderella's, so I'm excited about seeing the Stevenson version. I'll watch any choreography to that beautiful haunting Prokofiev score.

All in all, a good looking year!

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Will see Le Corsaire, but with ABT doing Corsaire this spring, I may be a bit pirated out.

Arrrr!!

Have only seen Ratmansky's and Ashton's Cinderella's, so I'm excited about seeing the Stevenson version. I'll watch any choreography to that beautiful haunting Prokofiev score.

Here in Seattle we've had a production by Kent Stowell, and next year we'll see the Malliot version. I'm wondering if we should open a compare/contrast Cinderella thread next season.

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So, his contract was extended for five years without really seeing the results of his work. Lucky him.

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I remember reading that ticket sales this past year at PA Ballet have been great compared to prior years. I know New Yorkers who never before bothered to travel to Philadelphia to see the company, but for the first time made the trip this past season due to heightened interest in the rep and the dancers. I would say that his transformation of the company has had a positive effect on box office (and maybe in fundraising too), although many people got hurt in the process.

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Article on Corella just up on NYTimes website. Lots of new dancers hired and others fired or otherwise left.

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I really enjoyed his Don Q, so I'm excited to see Corsaire and what he does with the company this year.

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Wow.  Every time I start to think I can get behind Corella and his direction he makes another cringe-worthy move that makes me feel guilty for supporting this company.

 

ive had the opportunity to see Ms. Murawski dance the Fairy Godmother in Cinderella and Coffee in Nutcracker and thought she was beautiful.  Hope she finds another job quickly.

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In any other field this would be grounds to sue - job discrimination based on looks - if she had grown while on the job I could somehow accept this but he knew her height when she was hired.  He asked her to leave Europe and come as a Principal dancer.  This is a bad move for the reputation of the company.

 

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" In posts on Facebook and Instagram, Murawski said she was told Friday, backstage before performing the Arabian variation, that she was too tall to dance the roles planned for the 2017-18 season and that the company could not afford to keep her."   

 

Telling her right before she went on stage?  That is the lowest of lows.  

 

 

 

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Multiple examples of bad choices.

 

They knew who she was, and knew the direction their company was heading, and hired her, specificially.  And now they change their minds.

 

And yes, while this is the season that dancers whose contracts are not going to be renewed will get their notices, they should have realized how this kind of timing would play out, especially in a social media world. 

 

Some very bad choices made here.

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Posted (edited)

The more I've thought about this today, the more upset I've become.

 

Last year, when the 17 dancers left, I was disappointed (especially in the loss of Fadeley), but I understood that Corella was trying to make the company "his" company, with "his" dancers, and that he had every right to do so.

 

But I don't understand this move.  He brought Murawski here as a principal (all the way from Slovakia).  And then to not renew her contract after six months and chalk it up to her height?  It doesn't make sense.  And it seems cruel.

 

I increased my donation for this year, and I'm kind of regretting it right now.  I feel torn on whether to support this company, because I am thrilled with watching Baca, Pineiro, Maslova and others he has brought on, but this just seems so cut-throat.  I don't know if I should support someone who might not be a very good person (and a horrible boss).

 

 

Edited by Kaysta

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Does anyone know if other dancers were let go?  I thought he hired Sterling Baca with Sara Murawski because they would be good together.  

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9 hours ago, ballet101 said:

In any other field this would be grounds to sue - job discrimination based on looks - if she had grown while on the job I could somehow accept this but he knew her height when she was hired.  He asked her to leave Europe and come as a Principal dancer.  This is a bad move for the reputation of the company.

 

 

Very, very strange.They imported her as new blood for the company, in full knowledge of how tall she was, fercryinoutloud, and then they use that as an excuse to fire her?

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Hopefully she can capitalize on the publicity and ADs will take notice and view her tapes. 

 

Casey Herd left DNB to freelance, it is a shame he could not be brought in as a guest artist to partner her, until they could groom a less expensive corps member to take over. 

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(I didn't know Herd was freelancing -- any idea where he's been?)

 

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Posted (edited)

13 hours ago, Kaysta said:

He brought Murawski here as a principal (all the way from Slovakia).  And then to not renew her contract after six months and chalk it up to her height?  It doesn't make sense.  And it seems cruel.

 

I increased my donation for this year, and I'm kind of regretting it right now.  I feel torn on whether to support this company, because I am thrilled with watching Baca, Pineiro, Maslova and others he has brought on, but this just seems so cut-throat.  I don't know if I should support someone who might not be a very good person (and a horrible boss).

 

I hope you take the time to write to PB expressing your concerns.

 

I'm reminded of the appearance of Nikolay Tsiskaridze in the documentary "Dance of the Little Swans" - he really doesn't come off well. Not the sort of person that most of us (in the West) would want teaching or directing our children. But of course the Russians in the documentary are shown to worship him. I have to think it's more about status level than anything else - if you're a prince, then everyone thinks you're just wonderful, no matter what one's actual character might be like. Corella is being feted as just this sort of prince, but his people skills seem to leave a lot to be desired, and that does mean something to us. It would be interesting to hear from some of "his" dancers in a year or so about their experiences. We can always use a really good scandal.

Edited by pherank

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Taking on a devil's advocate role here: I read the link above and I also read another newspaper article quoting the dancer, but is there anything from the company or Corella himself that states her height is the reason why? David Gray's statement on behalf of the company does not specifically mention height, but I can't tell if the paper truncated his statement or if that was it in its entirety. 

Quote

Corella was out of the country and could not be reached, but executive director David Gray released a statement, saying: “Building a world-class ballet company is similar to building a world-class sports team. Just as there are excellent athletes whose careers are better fulfilled at one team than another, there are excellent dancers who will better fulfill their potential at different companies.

“The sooner it becomes clear to the artistic director that a change will be coming at the end of the season, the sooner the impacted dancer can begin the audition process to find the place where they can thrive.”

 

Before I form an opinion, I want to be certain that both sides to this story agree on the reason for her being asked to leave. It does seem particularly malicious to inform her right before her solo. It makes me feel there's an untold history there that goes beyond a height issue. 

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