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About gigi

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  1. Models of artistic direction

    I'm an MBA too. Trust me - the MBAs involved with ballet companies are there because they truly love the art form and want to use their skills, energy and connections to help arts organizations succeed. There are many other (higher paying) options one would pursue otherwise... The primary focus of an MBA is development of leadership skills - how to inspire others, how to build a cohesive organization, how to create a vision and an actionable plan to achieve that vision. If you look at the great ADs and EDs over time, they have exhitibed these capabilities. I live in Boston. I feel sorry for the dancers and the administrative team. Morale is clearly low, and the dancers' employment and professional development prospects have been unstable for many years now with the numerous changes in direction. You can feel their stress from the audience. I don't think the company can be turned around overnight.
  2. Onegin?

    I saw last Friday's performance, which was absolutely lovely! Adriana Suarez as Tatiana gave a gorgeously detailed, dramatic performance, and Simon Ball was a dashing Onegin. Adriana is a refreshingly mature dancer and stage actress, and I was surprised by how charming and youthful she was as young Tatiana. Simon was so effective initially portraying Onegin as a bored callous jerk, that I had some difficulty understanding why Tatiana would ever fall for him and subsequently, was never sold on their chemistry. They had some awkward moments partnering, which is unusual for these two. Overall though, very satisfying! I also enjoyed Romi Beppu as Olga, as she was full of energy and particularly gorgeous in her Act I pas with Lensky. Best part of the whole show was the music - what a gorgeous arrangement! The orchestra seemed truly inspired. Boston has done a great job of educating audiences about this ballet. I know many non-ballet-goers who went to the show, and all of my non-dancer friends said this was the best evening of ballet they had ever seen. Bravo!
  3. Jackson

    Thanks for all the info Jeannie! It sounds like a wonderful group of performers, and it will be great to hear some first-hand accounts.
  4. Jackson

    Looks like the competition is getting underway soon. Is anyone planning to go? Any predictions?
  5. Somebody Else's Dancers?

    Constant turnover in senior management of a company, paired with the oft-condoned purge-binge style of dancer and staff employment is incredibly unproductive from the perspective of fund-raising, audience-building, relationship-maintaining (choreographers, international reputation, etc.) and morale. Unless there is a fundamental problem with a company, Boards and the public ought not tolerate such practices. Boards should instead reward gradual change implemented, where a director must prove he or she is capable of making smart decisions and "developing" and organization. All too often we see a new AD or ED slash staff and throw out strategies, just to imprint his or her own mark on the organization - and how often does such a director actually have the experience or moral authority to do this?? As of late, most newly-appointed directors are accepting a major promotion and are relatively unproven at managing a comparably-sized organization (think Ross Stretton, Mikko Nissinen). Imagine new CEO Jeff Immelt firing all of GE's talent when taking over for Jack Welch, just to show he's different and he's in charge - this would rightly be considered stupid and irresponsible. Let's hold ballet companies to the same standard of intelligent leadership. Whim is not something that should be applied to community cultural treasures. The public, which supports companies through ticket sales and government funding, but has no unified voice, deserves better. So do the dancers and employees of a company. I question the Board that hires a director who will make wholesale changes to a company's repertoire and style. Drastic change would not be necessary if careful oversight were maintained to ensure the best mix of style and leadership at all times.
  6. Kirov's Tchaikovsky Gala

    I believe the Kirov's Apollo premiered in the US only 10 years ago (1992 at the Met). And I believe Scotch was first performed in the States around 1990/1991. We're not that old yet!!
  7. Lucia Lacarra

    I have seen Lacarra in SF, New York and London. Has anyone else seen her full-length Odette/Odile? I thought her Act II pdd at City Center (1998) was lovely, but when I saw her at Sadler's Wells (1999) in the full-length piece, I was greatly distressed by the performace she gave. First of all, I agree with Parish, Lacarra's Odette was a seductress on par with Odile. Out of context (ie a pas in a gala), this didn't bother me. However, someone needs to tell her Swan Lake is not merely a graphic exhibition of capabilities of the female body. Secondly, I found it distressing that Lacarra's stamina lasted about 10 minutes (particularly after paying 50 pounds for my ticket). For the remainder of the ballet (read: another hour and a half), she was visibly out of breath, unable to control her limbs or dramatic mission. Fouettes in the third act were skipped, and some sultry poses attitude were substituted (I don't insist on fouettes, but a different alternative would have been more appropriate). Artistically, I felt her portrayal had no heart, no strength (physical or emotional) and no magic. I have seen several other ballerinas struggle with the technical aspects of this role (ie Veronika Part), but still present a invigorating dramatic interpretation of the story. Subsequent performances I have seen her in (Raymonda, L'Arlesienne) struck me as similarly vapid. I believe Lacarra's photographic beauty and her work in other short ballet (like The Cage) will always make her a leading lady. In my mind, however, she is not a ballerina. And yes, I do feel sorry for the corps she dances with...compared to her, anyone looks heavy and artless.
  8. Grant Writing

    Thank you both so much for looking into this! This site has a lot of information, and the lead will be of great help. Leigh, you mentioned Arts management - any insights on that education? I'm currently applying for MBA programs and would love to work in some Arts-specific, non-profit management coursework. Please do let me know if you have any thoughts!
  9. Grant Writing

    I'm interested in getting certified/trained in grant writing for arts organizations such as ballet companies. Could anyone here point me in the right direction (courses, resources) to get started? Thanks!