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City Ballet 2016-2017 Season

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14 minutes ago, Helene said:

Martins could have said that he got a call from the Board, or that Lincoln Kirstein told him to go to Gottlieb for help, because he was going to be the head of the company, although it wouldn't have been as snappy.

Gottlieb believed that Balanchine meant that Martins was supposed to take over the Company.  Gottlieb doesn't say when this conversation took place, though: we only know that Balanchine was still watching from the wings, and not his usual side, which meant, at latest, Spring 1982, since Balanchine was hospitalized that Fall, and it sounds like NYST, not Saratoga.  Balanchine was reported to be quite lucid, at least when he was first hospitalized, and there were enough regular visitors, that it would have been easy for him to object to Martins as a successor.  And it could have been played as, "Thank you so much, Peter Martins, for all of your work as interim director in holding the place together, and our new Ballet Master is [xyz]."

I think they made a very wrong bet on the very wrong horse, but I'm not sure of the older generation, who the company would have rallied around, given the rivalries.   I don't know if McBride was interested, but she's about the only one besides maybe Verdy (who seemed to hate administration) who was as close to universally liked as anyone.

Good points Helene. The dancers, IMO, wouldn't have rallied around Suzanne or Karin. 

Here we are again with no clear plan of succession even though Peter Martins is 71. The situation leading up to his resignation was unexpected (at least by most) but still, you would think some thought would have been given to his retirement.

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I was wondering when casting was going to come out for the winter season. My first ticket is for Jan. 24. I know it is early for casting to be announced but I wonder if it had already been done by Martins, and if not who would do it. I know many roles will go to  dancers who'd done them before, but I wonder if there will be surprises.

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I wouldn't have interpreted Balanchine's words to Gottlieb any other way -- there was no need to point out that Martins needed to partner Farrell, because they were pretty much tied at the hip -- but Balanchine:

1. Was never one to give overly clear instructions except when saying "no", ie, no, you can't come back or, no, you don't own Fascinatin' Rhythm, although not by any means exclusively, since he could also deflect, like in Gottlieb's "Liebeslieder Walzer" story.

2. Seemed to have told all the girls that they were his successor

3. Was the master of plausible deniability

On the other hand, people kept asking him to make plans for his own death, and I might give misleading and perverse answers if other people were asking me to do the same, as opposed to being self-motivated to do so.  Kind of like the old rich guys of literature who kept changing their will.

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28 minutes ago, Helene said:

Martins could have said that he got a call from the Board, or that Lincoln Kirstein told him to go to Gottlieb for help, because he was going to be the head of the company, although it wouldn't have been as snappy.

Gottlieb believed that Balanchine meant that Martins was supposed to take over the Company.  Gottlieb doesn't say when this conversation took place, though: we only know that Balanchine was still watching from the wings, and not his usual side, which meant, at latest, Spring 1982, since Balanchine was hospitalized that Fall, and it sounds like NYST, not Saratoga.  Balanchine was reported to be quite lucid, at least when he was first hospitalized, and there were enough regular visitors, that it would have been easy for him to object to Martins as a successor.  And it could have been played as, "Thank you so much, Peter Martins, for all of your work as interim director in holding the place together, and our new Ballet Master is [xyz]."

I think they made a very wrong bet on the very wrong horse, but I'm not sure of the older generation, who the company would have rallied around, given the rivalries.   I don't know if McBride was interested, but she's about the only one besides maybe Verdy (who seemed to hate administration) who was as close to universally liked as anyone.

I don't doubt that Gottlieb thought that, and still does.

Had Martins said any of those things, they would have been essentially equivalent to what he did in fact say, and equally self-serving.

Remember, Balanchine often referred to his ballets as 'butterflies'--and never once evinced enough interest about his successor to name one clearly and publicly. I see a certain Russian fatalism (often mentioned in Solomon Volkov's book of conversations with Balanchine) here.  We hardly know that Balanchine's hospital visitors ever discussed the succession at all; Farrell, at least, has said more than once that he did not like to discuss it.

McBride was certainly the only person beside Verdy whom everyone in the company loved. I think Clifford, for example, was out of the question because he had many enemies in the company.  However, I do not think that given the sexism of 1983 a woman would ever have been named as artistic director of NYCB at that time. Verdy did become the Opera director in 1977 (for three years) but that was France.

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11 hours ago, vipa said:

I was wondering when casting was going to come out for the winter season. My first ticket is for Jan. 24. I know it is early for casting to be announced but I wonder if it had already been done by Martins, and if not who would do it. I know many roles will go to  dancers who'd done them before, but I wonder if there will be surprises.

Me too. I hope the moderators will open a new thread under the NYCB heading for the Winter Season which starts in three weeks. It’s time to move forward to the extent we can. I just went over all my tickets for the rest of the 2017-2018 season. (I don’t see one for even the Fall season that just passed, so maybe I am not looking in the right place.)

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