NYCB after Martins?
Posted 09 July 2001 - 06:58 AM
Posted 09 July 2001 - 07:58 AM
Despite what one might think of some of his decisions, Martins has done a commendable job of shepherding and husbanding the company. I'd like to think the board would appoint a director who understands the company's roots, and who won't try to turn it upside down.
If this was a horserace, I'd put my money on Wheeldon right now. If he doesn't get the Royal Ballet instead.
[ 07-09-2001: Message edited by: Manhattnik ]
Posted 09 July 2001 - 08:41 AM
Would the board ever want to bring Farrell back?
Posted 09 July 2001 - 09:00 AM
Posted 09 July 2001 - 10:52 AM
I'd also agree with Manhattnik that Martins has shepherded the company well, generally speaking; he's kept the shape of the company. In all our talks about internationalization, NYCB hasn't come up as a bad example, and with reason. I think the structure of what Balanchine and Kirstein built is still there. I think they'd recognize it. And I think that is no small accomplishment, given the current ballet world.
So the Next Director will really matter. If that structure has settled a bit oddly and could use some adjustment here and there, it's the next one who will snap it back in place -- or push it further off. (I think if you follow the history of the Royal Ballet, you see this pattern.)
As for the repertory, personally, I'd hate for it to become an omnivore company. I want companies to maintain their identities, and NYCB is Balanchine's baby. Robbins, of course, deserves a place as well. Whether any ballets from the last 18 years will survive? Again that depends on who's next. I definitely hope the trend to doing "the classics" is gone, but I fear it isn't. I'm saddened that a whole generation of dancegoers will have that "Swan Lake" as their model, and I don't want to see City Ballet do "Merry Widow" or "Madame Butterfly," or "Le Corsaire."
The real paradox will be when the company gets a choreographer who is on Balanchine's level, or who catches the public's imagination. That's when Balanchine will begin to disappear, or, at best (given what's happened elsewhere) become the company's Festival choreographer: works carefully (or uncarefully) maintained and dragged out for special occasions. At first once a year, then every five, then..... (Disclaimer: no, that's not what I want to happen; it's a prediction.)
[ 07-09-2001: Message edited by: alexandra ]
Posted 09 July 2001 - 11:14 AM
I like Wheeldon, but I'd like to see the company run by someone who's Balanchine rooted, who didn't come from another company. Suki (who's last name I can't spell) from SAB might be a candidate.
Posted 09 July 2001 - 11:22 AM
Of course, nothing is written in stone. If the board felt that it was more important to preserve Balanchine's works than keep that tradition, they could certainly put in a conservator, someone who wasn't necessarily a choreographer but whose primary interest was to preserve as much of that choreography as possible, even at the expense of his own career. (My personal Ballet Hero is Hans Beck, a choreographer of no small talent -- he did those solos in Napoli -- who didn't choreograph but, instead, saved 17 of Bournonville's works for 35 years.)
This makes it interesting. For whom would you vote? The choreographer or the conservator? (Not suggesting a change now, to be clear, but, as Jane postulated, when the current director resigns, happily, at a ripe old age.)
Posted 09 July 2001 - 11:46 AM
Without new work I think many dancers and companies stagnate. They have to move with the times. I think Wheeldon is very gifted, though very young. In another ten years he probably could run an important company like NYCB very well. In ten years I think he would definitly learn how to preserve as well as create.
Posted 09 July 2001 - 01:44 PM
As for the choreographer/conservator question, that might be very difficult to settle, depending on the choreographer. Someone who is working at Balanchine's level is not going to be wildly interested in spending a lot of time curating someone else's stuff, however distinguished, and understandably so. Since we're talking about someone of formidable creative powers here, it is reasonable to think that he (yes, I know, I'm not using the P.C. he/she, but let's get real) will have his own ideas about style and those ideas will differ from Balanchine's in many respects. In the worst-case scenario, you might have a fundamental stylistic conflict, and in such a conflict it's probable that the works whose maker is alive and monitoring their care and feeding have a better chance of survival. At the very least, you'd have to bring someone else in to keep an eye on the Balanchine/Robbins repertory.
Having said that, I don't think we have to worry about a new Balanchine popping up any time soon. But when he does show up, I suspect he'll want to put his own stamp on a company and not spend his time genuflecting to someone else's accomplishments.
Posted 09 July 2001 - 03:24 PM
Happily, there are many people on staff about Martins age or younger who are looking after the Balanchine and Robbins repertoire. And I think the tradition of highly schooled ballet masters will continue and preserve these works. People like Sean Lavery and Rosemary Dunleavy already play important roles in the artistic administration of the company, so a new "choreographer/artistic director" would not be going it alone.
Posted 09 July 2001 - 04:02 PM
I think, though, that it may be dangerous to assume this. Yes, it's the way it's supposed to work, and I don't think there is any reason at the present time to believe it wouldn't work, but the past decade has seen such upheaval in the ballet world internationally that I don't think it's certain. Two or three different people on the board, who knows? A financial crisis we can't foresee..... There are companies that have been turned upside down and passed from director to director with traditions broken, or no chance of a tradition growing. That's why I thought it was worth spending so much time on the situation in Boston. I think we need to be aware of these things are they're happening. Otherwise, we're left in a desert saying, "when did they cut down all the trees?"
Posted 09 July 2001 - 04:09 PM
I might be getting off subject a bit here, but with NYCB being a company that develops in house choreography I just wonder if that new choreography is strong enough to sustain? Granted, a lot of new ballets are done at NYCB but very few seem to have staying power. I think NYCB would most definitely have someone looking after the Balanchine/Robbins rep. but I don't know that someone new would feel the need to tinker with the huge rep already there.
Is it necessary for NYCB to move with the times? I suppose it depends on whether you're a fan of the new or the old.
Are Wheeldon's works really "new" either?
Sorry if I got off topic, I think it's a good topic but one that is hard to answer because I don't think NYCB has figured out the direction it's going in now.
Posted 09 July 2001 - 04:13 PM
Posted 09 July 2001 - 04:31 PM
Posted 09 July 2001 - 07:55 PM
Giselle: Miranda Weese
Albrecht: Damian Woetzel
Wilfred: Jared Angle
Berthe: Deanna McBrearty
Duke of Courland: Albert Evans
Peasant Pas: Tom Gold and Janie Taylor
Myrtha: Monique Meunier
Moyna: Pascal van Kipnis
Zulma: Jennifer Tinsley
I'm sorry, I just had to....
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