Ross Stretton resigns
Posted 26 September 2002 - 12:06 PM
Posted 26 September 2002 - 12:08 PM
The Royal Ballet is well used to pro tem arrangements. It still awaits a music director to replace Andrea Quinn. An announcement was supposed to await the arrival of the Royal Opera House's new music director, Tony Pappano. It will now, presumably, be further delayed until a ballet director is in place.
Posted 26 September 2002 - 12:51 PM
Posted 26 September 2002 - 08:18 PM
Double whammy that toppled ballet boss
On Tuesday afternoon, when the Royal Opera House board met, they believed that there was enough doubt about Stretton's professional relations with junior dancers to make him an unfit steward, despite the refusal of anyone to come forward with specific complaints.
And there was also an ultimatum from Lady MacMillan, a fellow Australian and widow of Sir Kenneth MacMillan, one of the company's two central choreographers, that she would withdraw the Royal Ballet's privileged access to the MacMillan ballets if Stretton remained, because he was proving so poor an artistic curator.
Posted 27 September 2002 - 12:20 AM
To give us the full flavour, allow me to quote Ismene's interview with the priestess herself, on March 30th of this year:
"There was also her shocking photo-shoot in French Vogue. It is not unusual to see ballerinas in fashion magazines. They make elfin, maidenly clothes-horses, their modesty in front of the camera radiating a more delicate, timeless sort of femininity. When Guillem did Vogue, she wanted to do something "free and 'appy. Natural, simple, joyful. It was the real me, non?" So she photographed herself in the nude, with not a scrap of make-up on. She was accessorised only by her undressed hair and a bashed camera.
Outrage ricocheted around the world. "I think it was the picture with the two legs apart and the camera in the middle mostly," she says, deadpan."
Taste, style, intelligence, she has everything. And she even knows how to use a camera ! "Natural, simple, joyful".
What in heaven's name is the ROH Board waiting for ?
Posted 27 September 2002 - 02:31 AM
Posted 27 September 2002 - 08:12 AM
"This whole thing has been incredibly upsetting and divisive within the company," says one insider. "People start to wonder how and why they are being judged and cast, and many just didn't know how to react. For one thing, ballerinas are not that used to having heterosexual artistic directors, and the allegations really soured people's attitudes to Ross."
The article is quite interesting, with detals of the final meeting, contract issues, and several quotes from choreographers on the obligations and problems of running a company with a history.
Posted 27 September 2002 - 09:23 AM
Somewhere, Bob Fosse is laughing.
Posted 27 September 2002 - 09:41 AM
I should add that I picked this sentence out for its content, divorced from the Royal Ballet case. There are whispers of impropriety that have been denied, and no one has spoken of them on the record, which makes them unconfirmed rumors. I'm not trying to discuss that aspect of the issue.
Another point, regarding Ismene Brown's report that Lady MacMillan intervened. What do you think of that? On the one hand, perhaps a good thing, that someone is speaking up for a body of work. On the other, how much power does she/should she have?
Posted 27 September 2002 - 10:15 AM
I also wondered about the role of Lady MacMillan in this. Under these particular circumstances, she looks like a hero; under slightly altered circumstances, however, she might look more like Ron Protas. It is a little worrisome when someone with no connection to the ballet except through marriage has this kind of clout.
Posted 27 September 2002 - 10:22 AM
I agree, too, dirac, with what you wrote about how to handle the sexual allegations. I put up my comment in the post above because I'd quoted that bit from the newspaper article not to spark discussion of whether or not IT happened and who was involved or not involved, but because the sentence about ballet master behavior could be discussed in the abstract.
Posted 27 September 2002 - 11:14 AM
God forbid an artistic director should treat the gals in his company like his own private harem. I can't help but wonder what kind of reception Balanchine's antics would receive today.
"He, he made me ... wear perfume!" she gasped, sobbing.
Posted 27 September 2002 - 11:16 AM
Posted 27 September 2002 - 12:48 PM
Posted 27 September 2002 - 04:58 PM
Whatever the reasons for his leaving (and it may be as simple as it wasn't a good fit), it is being handled poorly. Covent Garden needs a new crisis management team. And if they don't have one, they should get one.
I personally think Guillem as the head of the Royal could be just as disastrous as Stretton. Maybe there is a Director of Development somewhere who could step up to the plate.
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