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Alexandra

New course to retrain artistic directors

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A friend sent me this today, as his contribution to things that might happen in the future. Some may be more amused than others :) as the point of the joke is that its originator probably does not admire either the Students or the proposed Instructors; rather than becoming incensed if one of your favorites made the list, please try to think of it as a general proposition and fill in the names of someone you don't like :( (I don't know who the originator of this is. Really. Like a good journalist, Friend would not reveal his source.)

Course Title: Retraining of Directors for Dance Companies.

Vision: Re-engineer failed ones so as not to waste the valuable experience they have garnered.

Students: Maina Gielgud, Ross Stretton, Michael Smuin.

Instructors: Bruce Marks, Ben Stevenson, Oleg Vinogradov.

This could grow, of course, and become an entire university......

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I cut one line from the original email:

"Ineligible as students: Violette Verdy, Anna Marie Holmes -- not enough mean bones in their bodies."

But through magic, of course, anything is possible :)

There would, of course, have to be an extensive Department of Public Relations which would include, among other things:

1. Re-imaging (image makeover)

2. Press relations

3. Marketing

4. Branding

5. Market positioning

6. Gladhanding

7. Spin

There would be one course in formulating the company's artistic vision and profile, but it would be an elective.

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Let me extend my original post to state that I think that Violette Verdy would make a genuine Professor of Defense against the Dark Arts, as I honestly believe that she, in her own person, is probably actual defense against real vampires!

Another actually nice person, but one who was in not the best situation for him is John Clifford, who would get a nomination for the Head of the Division on Gladhanding. He actually enjoys meeting and talking to people, but he was in LA, where all the meistersinger of the Art of the Schmooze are permanently domiciled. He was lost in that "sea of troubles".

And so with those two nominations, I humbly propose myself for the Division of Spin.

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A College of this University must be for Executive Directors as they too recycle themselves.

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Good point, mbjerk. Contemporary Executive Directors, I must say, remind me of Alias in Loring's "Billy the Kid." Get rid of one of them, another, just like him, leaps out at ya from behind the next rock!

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Finance Courses to include:

Budgeting: Artistic Fantasy versus Executive Drudgery

Non-profit Accounting: How not to post a loss (Taught by ENRON and WorldCom VPs).

Earned and Unearned Income: Does flattery get you everything?

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i might postulate the existence of an entire race of CEOs of ballet companies with a finite population, something in the nature of toreadors in the last act of Carmen, who come out of one arch, cross the stage, run around the back and come around again. Or like vampires, who are struck down only to rise again at some other unlucky company.

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I LOVE the idea of, er, retired executives from ENRON and WorldCom! Maybe Dance U.S.A. should lobby to get part of their sentences in community service :)

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Or like continously recycled plastic - maleable and practical but really just good for a few things.

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I like that, too, especially the plastic part :) (I have a friend who constantly reminds me, it's not just that Balanchine is dead, is that there is no Lincoln Kirstein.)

I think it might be a good idea if I put up a serious companion to this thread -- if you were starting a university to train artistic directors, company directors, etc, what would the curriculum be?

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