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Was the Joffrey right?


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#16 Mel Johnson

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Posted 10 May 2001 - 09:18 PM

Good to hear that the spirit of Col. McCormack is still alive and well at the Trib. Actually, one of the factors in the Joffrey's settling in Chicago was the Trib's active solicitation, of which they made no secret, for them to come and present Nutcracker. Chicago was always a Joffrey-friendly venue as a touring company, and now has been very gracious about accepting them as a "home team". The company is a little larger than half the size it was at its largest back in Manhattan, and uses block programming, rather than repertory scheduling, but that's not unusual these days. So far, so good, in regard to how the company is doing these days, and a lot has to do with the quality of the dancer that the Joffrey has customarily attracted, and the highly capable middle management of the artistic staff, both on- and offstage.

#17 Amy Reusch

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Posted 10 May 2001 - 11:26 PM

Originally posted by Mel Johnson:
Good to hear that the spirit of Col. McCormack is still alive and well at the Trib.  Actually, one of the factors in the Joffrey's settling in Chicago was the Trib's active solicitation, of which they made no secret, for them to come and present Nutcracker


Mel, I didn't hear much about this when I was there... (I must have missed that press release?)... where did you come across it? I believe the first year the Joffrey presented their Nutcracker in the Chicago area it was done out in Rosemont (do I have the town right? it's main landmark was a watertower with a big rose on it) out by O'Hare Airport, and I think it was in competition with the Tribune's production (or at least being presented concurrently). I think it was the year after I left the area, so perhaps I've got my dates wrong and the Page production wasn't offered that year? Was the Tribune unhappy with the Page production in particular? I know it was something of a scandal when there was discussion between the Tribune & Ballet Chicago about Ballet Chicago taking over the Nutcracker production from the Ruth Page people... after which Ballet Chicago lost it's rehearsal space at Page, I believe... My source implied that Ballet Chicago had approached the Tribune in that situation, rather than the other way around. Regarding McCormick, you must be referring to his interest in making literacy easy? I can't remember hearing about any interest in dance on his part. (By the way, my grandmother, a nurse, worked several years in his household as his first wife's companion as she died of cancer)

[ 05-11-2001: Message edited by: Amy Reusch ]

#18 Mel Johnson

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Posted 11 May 2001 - 06:35 AM

Regarding the Colonel, he sometimes used the Trib like a regiment in the 1st Infantry Division, entering into a story and becoming part of it, but that was part of its raffish charm. The NY Times picked up on the changeover of philanthropies and reported it as straight news, thereby entering into the journalistic "gotcha game" that still goes around.


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