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miliosr

Ballet de Bordeaux

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miliosr   

10/15 Pneuma (Carolyn Carlson)

10/15 Petipa gala

12/15 Sleeping Beauty (Charles Jude, after Petipa)

03/16 La Reine morte (Kader Belarbi)

05/16 Giselle (Charles Jude, after Coralli and Perrot)

06/16 Le Messie (Mauricio Wainrot)

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kbarber   

A Petipa gala? Bravo!!

it's in conjunction with a Petipa colloquium:

Colloque international Marius Petipa

De Bordeaux à Saint-Pétersbourg, Marius Petipa (1818-1910) et le ballet « russe »

Grand-Théâtre 21, 22 et 23 octobre 2015

The gala includes Swan, Nut, and Don Q PDD and Raymonda Act III.

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Drew   

it's in conjunction with a Petipa colloquium:

Colloque international Marius Petipa

De Bordeaux à Saint-Pétersbourg, Marius Petipa (1818-1910) et le ballet « russe »

Grand-Théâtre 21, 22 et 23 octobre 2015

The gala includes Swan, Nut, and Don Q PDD and Raymonda Act III.

Thank you--even better!

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Well the company was to be cut short of 13 dancers (out of 39 !) due to the reduction of the city subvention

They finally found a provisional agreement with the city for 2017 which doesn't mean they can save the positions in the future

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21 minutes ago, silvermash said:

Well the company was to be cut short of 13 dancers (out of 39 !) due to the reduction of the city subvention

They finally found a provisional agreement with the city for 2017 which doesn't mean they can save the positions in the future

It's always sad to see professional dancers lose their jobs (no matter the reason), but many of the regional companies in the US do a lot with 26 dancers. They sometimes fill out crowds and corps with advanced students from area schools, but that's fine. Still, this is ominous - France has a robust Ministry of Culture (or used to...) and it's unfortunate they couldn't help out.

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Bordeaux Ballet though has many full length classical ballets to its repertoire which even with 39 dancers proves to be tricky sometimes

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The Bordeaux company is the second oldest in France and one of the few which continues to perform classical ballet including works created by twentieth century French choreographers and those like Lifar whose works  are seen as part of the French tradition ,if only because they were originally staged at the Paris Opera.

 

Reading between the lines it would seem that the financial pressures which have led to the need to cut the art's budget for the Bordeaux Opera may not be entirely unconnected with the decision to build a new football stadium. Now if course the stadium is wholly unimpeachable as it is provision for sport which is popular with a significant part of the local electors and taxpayers and it carries none of the stigma attached to the arts. Provision  made for arts is easily characterised as elitist. When it comes to anything happening in a theatre described as an opera house it is by definition elitist and it is relatively easy to  persuade those who know nothing of the companies resident in the building that one or other of them is eating up the city's budget.

 

It is interesting to note that  the opera company which must be much more expensive to run than the ballet company does not appear to have been required to accept cuts to its budget or to reduce its activities But then it would probably be a trifle embarrassing to have to cut the opera's activities when it has a man with a significant international reputation at its head and is almost certainly the artform which matters most to the local powers that be.Not only is opera important to the people that matter but classical ballet is perceived in much of Western Europe as hopelessly old fashioned when compared to contemporary dance in all its forms.

 

One of the problems at Bordeaux is that Charles Jude insists on his company performing rather a lot of classical ballet including the nineteenth century classics and classics of the French repertory rather than contemporary choreography. This, no doubt,makes his company vulnerable to cuts as his sort of repertory has no appeal for politicians because it is perceived as staid and old fashioned and they get no benefit from being associated with it. Contemporary works on the other hand can assist the politician to create an image which  associates them with the young, their interests and their exciting preferred art forms.

 

The decision to try to solve Bordeaux Opera house's budget problems by cutting the ballet's personnel is the sort of carve up that was attempted at Covent Garden when the management there had budgetary difficulties in the 1990's. They got rid of at least one senior dancer. It was even suggested that the ballet company should be disbanded during the period when the Royal Opera House was closed for redevelopment  and that it should resume on a part time basis when the house reopened.Both Anthony Dowell and Anthony Russell Roberts were so alarmed that they contemplated the company leaving the Covent Garden forever They

investigated whether the company's royal charter required it to be resident at the opera house. I think that it was about this time that Russell Roberts discovered that the ballet company had been subsidising the opera company for years not only by its North American tours which the ballet management was aware of but in ways of which it was totally unaware in particular by the way in which the costs of performances had been allocated historically between the two resident companies. 

Edited by Ashton Fan

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Helene   
5 minutes ago, Ashton Fan said:

I think that it was about this time that Russell Roberts discovered that the ballet company had been subsidising the opera company for years not only by its North American tours which the ballet management was aware of but in ways of which it was totally unaware in particular by the way in which the costs of performances had been allocated historically between the two resident companies. 

I wonder whether that would be an issue now, given how rarely the RB tours these days.

 

Is the opera a rep company, or are the singers contract employees without benefits, pensions, etc.  Often administrators look at overhead for ballet companies (salaries, benefits, payouts to retirees, etc.) and claim that the singers' costs can be much less, since they're not fixed.  Also, they'll allocate part of the orchestra costs to the ballet, as if those costs go away if they drop the ballet, since benefits are often fixed, unless they turn the orchestra into contract players.  

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I think that management and the opera company met its match in Mr Russell Roberts because he had experience in working in other opera houses.He challenged the costs that had been allocated to the ballet company and won. Today the two companies are only required to cover their own costs which they do through a combination of ticket sales, sponsorship and state funding from Arts Council England. The part played by ACE funding is diminishing but all the time it is an element in either company's funding the companies have to guarantee that a proportion of the tickets are made available to the general public which means that a proportion of the tickets are not made available to members of the Friends of Covent Garden and are held back for public booking.

 

I don't know the ins and outs of financing the Royal Ballet's international tours. Generally I think that the only requirement is that its costs are covered which means that sponsorship must play an important role in the touring.

 

When I first went to Covent Garden the opera company shared the orchestra with the ballet company although it was often difficult to believe that that was the case as the quality of the musical performances was markedly different. It had a chorus and a very fine group of comprimario singers some of whom pursued significant international careers on the Continent but were deemed unsuited to sing the roles they sang abroad on the  Royal Opera House stage because their names were not thought sufficiently exotic to justify the ticket prices.it also had some young singers starting out on their careers.During Colin Davies' directorship we saw an increasing number of indigenous singers taking leading roles this trend continued under Haitink that trend continued under the current Music Director the trend has been reversed and most of the time the comprimario singers are guests as well.

 

Today the opera company shares the orchestra. It has a chorus but can hardly be said to have its own comprimario singers as so few appear with any degree of regularity. As far as I know the chorus  have standard contracts of employment.

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miliosr   
21 hours ago, California said:

Still, this is ominous - France has a robust Ministry of Culture (or used to...) and it's unfortunate they couldn't help out.

But this isn't something new. The former etoile Jean-Guillaume Bart commented about this 10 years ago (bolded parts of his response are mine):

 

Q/ You are one of the few classical choreographers around today. Does classical dance have a future?

R/ I cannot help but wonder.

First, it may not be quite fair to style myself a "choreographer", because I haven’t been tested in any work worthy of the name. For the time being, it’s all been a trial run. It’s heavy going, in France, for a classical choreographer: there are no openings, no requests come in, and when I write to someone with a proposal, the answer comes back: " er, maybe, wait and see … ".

I’ve written to the Culture Minister, who hasn’t replied. So indeed, I am preoccupied with the fate of classical dance here. Few means are placed at our disposal, and there are no credits forthcoming from people with power in the Ministry. The Paris Opera is still a privileged isle, which can’t be done away with overnight, but here in France, other than the Ballet du Capitole at Toulouse and the Ballet de l’Opéra at Bordeaux, the rest has vanished.

What’s happening at Marseilles is just awful - Roland Petit had set up a school intended to rival the Paris Opera, and today, I wonder what’s the point in keeping it open, since the troupe to which it’s attached, is too modern by half. It makes me angry. Fine, the prophet was ever without honour in his own land, and so on, but but every time I want to put up a piece of choreography, I’ve got to leave the country. Whether there be a future for the classical dance, I do not know, but what I do know, is that we must try to save it. This art form was born in France, it is an art of beauty that is rigorous and very demanding. These values have been frittered away, as we seek whatever seems quick and easy.

 

http://www.augustevestris.fr/article79.html

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diane   

I think this is the same all over other parts of Europe, too. Often politicians who have very limited knowledge of theatre think that they are being modern and progressive by turning the ballet companies into modern-dance companies (which is basically what happens when the ensembles are drastically reduced...), and - hey! - they save money, too! 

 

-d-

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Drew   
2 hours ago, diane said:

I think this is the same all over other parts of Europe, too. Often politicians who have very limited knowledge of theatre think that they are being modern and progressive by turning the ballet companies into modern-dance companies (which is basically what happens when the ensembles are drastically reduced...), and - hey! - they save money, too! 

 

-d-

I would have thought money is the main motive in most cases? Whatever politicians may say. The cake itself and not the icing...

 

19 hours ago, miliosr said:

 

Found the video very clever and applaud what it is trying to do, but in the context of current French elections felt the teensiest bit uncomfortable with all of the appeals to French nationalism. I understand it's a sensible approach to take when you are debating about State funds (whatever your politics) so I give it a pass -- and am hoping the company wins this battle...but...

 

(And strictly speaking it's not like the French tradition of classical dance is one of uninterrupted greatness. Though again, I guess I am willing to let any company simplify history a bit to get funds.)

Edited by Drew

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diane   

Yes, money is the driver. :) However, many politicians, those who have a voice in deciding what funding goes where, will say it is because they wanttheir cities  to be seen as modern and "up to date" and having a hand in the "evolution" of dance. (and, there are enough potential "ballet directors" to take up posts doing just that... they churn out one "world premiere" after another.,.. :)  garnering much-wanted attention even beyond the provincial borders. I will stop now.)

 

-d-

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sandik   

Adding to the complexity of the situation.  Hoping that they take this step to clarify what they want from the company.

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