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Kaysta

Angel Corella appointed AD of Pennsylvania Ballet

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'twas ever thus... the hiring of family members, friends & lovers... there are examples throughout the history of ballet...

But it's better when the family member fills an opening, than when someone is let go to make room for the family member. There are diplomatic ways of drawing on the talent resources of friends and family, and then there is what happened to Gribler, DeGregory, Hadley, Sheridan & Juska.

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If you're talking about dancers, according to the contract, the intent to rehire for this season would have been while Kaiser still was AD, which was until the end of April: the mandatory evaluations were completed by mid-February, the intent to re-hire (or not) was communicated by 1 March, the dancers communicated their intent to accept (or not) by 1 April. The physical contracts were issued by 1 May and had to be assigned by 15 June.

Also according to the contract any dancers contracted when the AD change was made is entitled to stay the following season, which would be the current one. Administration would have to go through the normal contractual firing procedures to get rid a contracted dancer during the contract. That should mean that anyone under contract at the end of April was entitled to a contract for this season at the rank when the change was made, and if taken literally, this would mean dancers who were not re-upped by the old AD. I'm not sure whether this was the intent, but it could mitigate the impact of an embittered outgoing AD on a dancer's career and give him or her a chance under a new AD.

Staff is a different story and not covered by the AGMA contract.

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Angel doesn't seem to be interested in diplomacy, based on the way things have gone down since he took over.

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Jackson is a colleague with a very breezy style, but I thought this comment, from a member of the hiring committee, was quite interesting.

"Months before this decision, I asked one of the committee members if they’d consider someone like a William Forsythe; he told me, “We would not appoint a choreographer. We don’t want to see the ballet turn into someone’s playpen.”"

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well, that's unsettling. I have no objection to their final choice, but what if Ratmansky had applied?

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I saw the program info for next season in the Links section. The programs seem so interesting and excellent I may have to hop an Amtrak to Philadelphia to see the company.

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I just saw the all-Robbins program (In G Major, Fancy Free, The Concert) at today's Sunday matinee. It's not the sort of must-see program I'd jump on an airplane for, but I was in town for a conference and scheduling worked out.

I last saw this company in the 70s and have no sense of what difference Corella's coaching is making. The rep this past year (for the most part) had already been selected, so he is working with what was left him.

A few tips for those of you thinking of taking a train to Philadelphia for future programs: They do a free pre-performance talk one hour before most performances. Today it was the conductor. But the real treat was seeing Corella teach the last 30 minutes of company class on stage while we waited for the talk. In making corrections, he himself would often strike a pose, to show correct placement and projection. Even in jeans and clunky boots, he does have such a nice presence.

He doesn't seem to miss any opportunities to connect with his new audiences and supporters. Today he came out before the curtain with a mike (now in a nice suit) to greet us and urge us to subscribe for next year. On Thursday, at the Friends open rehearsal, he was in the lobby greeting everybody. He didn't conduct the rehearsal himself, but was sitting in the audience with the Friends.

The house today looked good (maybe 80%?), but it's Mother's Day, so perhaps that has something to do with it. I had what should have been a great seat --side orchestra, on the aisle, fifth row back. I could barely see feet! The tiers are all steeply raked and would seem a better option.

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It's evident that change is to come.

"Corella is one of those responsible for the rising number of Latinos at the Pennsylvania Ballet. So, what is so special about the Hispanic dancer? 'The blood of the Spanish dancer is much hotter. The way of interpreting, the way of moving is much more visceral,' Corella said. 'The American dancer is much more technical: the way in which they count steps, of counting music... And this is one of the things I'm trying to instill in this company, that they don’t need to count, that they need to listen to the music — the technical part they already have. That what they have to do is apply all their passion, because that is how they will connect with the public.'

http://aldianews.com/articles/culture/ballet-latino-accent/38921

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That explains why his new Don Quixote next season might be worth seeing. I had been thinking...another Don Q?

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Dancers need to count. How can you do 'Agon', or any Stravinsky ballet for that matter, without counting?

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That must warm the hearts of his American dancers

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It's evident that change is to come.

"Corella is one of those responsible for the rising number of Latinos at the Pennsylvania Ballet. So, what is so special about the Hispanic dancer? 'The blood of the Spanish dancer is much hotter. The way of interpreting, the way of moving is much more visceral,' Corella said. 'The American dancer is much more technical: the way in which they count steps, of counting music... And this is one of the things I'm trying to instill in this company, that they don’t need to count, that they need to listen to the music — the technical part they already have. That what they have to do is apply all their passion, because that is how they will connect with the public.'

http://aldianews.com/articles/culture/ballet-latino-accent/38921

I understand the distinctions in training and performance styles, which we often identify as "national," but just reading Corella's comments as someone outside the dance world might, his characterization of "Spanish dancers" struck me as almost a ethnic caricature.

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Dancers need to count. How can you do 'Agon', or any Stravinsky ballet for that matter, without counting?

I know. That makes absolutely no sense and could explain why I see a lack of musicality in some of the new hires. Hope I am not stepping on toes here.

I honestly feel that we are just going to get a rehash of Corella Ballet.

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Agon (and more) is listed in their rep index, but we don't know how long it's been since they were performed or if he's planning to schedule them any time soon.

http://www.paballet.org/ --look under "company" on the far left and then "repertoire"

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He's said in public that he wants to continue the Balanchine repertory.

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Lots of companies dance Balanchine. Stylistically, it can be hit or miss.

Whether PA Ballet will be successful in this rep will depend on how he casts the ballets and how the dancers are coached.

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It's evident that change is to come.

"Corella is one of those responsible for the rising number of Latinos at the Pennsylvania Ballet. So, what is so special about the Hispanic dancer? 'The blood of the Spanish dancer is much hotter. The way of interpreting, the way of moving is much more visceral,' Corella said. 'The American dancer is much more technical: the way in which they count steps, of counting music... And this is one of the things I'm trying to instill in this company, that they don’t need to count, that they need to listen to the music — the technical part they already have. That what they have to do is apply all their passion, because that is how they will connect with the public.'

http://aldianews.com/articles/culture/ballet-latino-accent/38921

The article also mentions that Mayara Pinero has been promoted to soloist from the corps (apparently mid-season? is that unusual? she is already listed as a soloist on the website).

I've seen a few of her performances this year and have been impressed with her, but I find the timing of this promotion a bit odd. Is no one else being promoted? Why during the season and not for next season?

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I've seen a few of her performances this year and have been impressed with her, but I find the timing of this promotion a bit odd. Is no one else being promoted? Why during the season and not for next season?

How does PB usually do this? Different companies have different practices.

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Lots of companies dance Balanchine. Stylistically, it can be hit or miss.

Whether PA Ballet will be successful in this rep will depend on how he casts the ballets and how the dancers are coached.

It shouldn't be a mess, because the Balanchine Police Trust is supposed to monitor and supervise the coaching and presentation of these works.

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How does PB usually do this? Different companies have different practices.

To be honest, this is the first year that I'm obsessed enough to regularly check the website, so I'm not sure when it was updated for the previous promotions (Alexander Peters last year, and Lillian DiPiazza the year before), though both of their press releases suggested the promotions went into effect for the next year. They were also done by Kaiser, so things could be changing.

I hope that the Pinero promotion is not the only up coming promotion. There are several corps dancers who deserve to move up, most noticeably Alexandra Hughes and Lorin Mathis. I also wouldn't mind seeing Ihde and DiPiazza move up to principal.

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It shouldn't be a mess, because the Balanchine Police Trust is supposed to monitor and supervise the coaching and presentation of these works.

Considering that most of what the Bolshoi and Mariinsky Ballets have done with Balanchine, the Trust is not enforcing style too hard.

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It should be interesting Kaysta. Hughes and DiPiazza are both more Balanchine-type dancers. DiPiazza was sidelined in the beginning of the year with an injury. With the addition of Maslova and Pineiro as soloists, Arian Molina Soca as a principal guest artist, and what looks like Nicolai Gorodiskii as a soloist for next year, I don't think there will be many promotions from within. I doubt that he would put that on his instagram if it wasn't the truth.

http://ink361.com/app/users/ig-560512064/nicolaigorodiski/photos

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It should be interesting Kaysta. Hughes and DiPiazza are both more Balanchine-type dancers. DiPiazza was sidelined in the beginning of the year with an injury. With the addition of Maslova and Pineiro as soloists, Arian Molina Soca as a principal guest artist, and what looks like Nicolai Gorodiskii as a soloist for next year, I don't think there will be many promotions from within. I doubt that he would put that on his instagram if it wasn't the truth.

http://ink361.com/app/users/ig-560512064/nicolaigorodiski/photos

Good point about DiPiazza and the injury. She was stunning in Swan Lake though, the best O/O of the three I saw, so I guess I have a soft spot for her.

I didn't know about Gorodiskii coming in. I don't know much about him.

I don't mean to speculate, but I hope Corella doesn't run into issues with not promoting dancers from within and pulling in all of these folks from the outside. I really like Pinero, and I heard pretty good things about Maslova, but this concerns me.

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You can check out Gorodiskii on youtube. I was not terribly impressed with his Varna performances. I have not seen Maslova. I also think that Elizabeth Mateer is a candidate for promotion at some point. She has been beautiful with Lorin Mathis in a few things. But, with outside hires, I don't know if he will have enough contracts to be able to promote from within.

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