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sandik

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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
    writer
  • City**
    Seattle
  • State (US only)**, Country (Outside US only)**
    WA

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  1. I'm looking forward to reading the rest of Fjord's report.
  2. I'm not privy to all of PNB's hiring practices, but I know that they have made changes in their audition tours to attract more dancers of color, and in this last round they've hired two dancers who I imagine would pass your test.
  3. On the Boards does an excellent job with the project, which has given really impressive exposure to companies that wouldn't always have that kind of attention.
  4. So far I've seen a lot of promotion for Marquee TV, and for the PBS streaming stuff coming out of WNYC. But I'm not sure that a majority of companies will want to surrender some of their brand to a shared platform. Hoping I'm wrong!
  5. I certainly hope so -- that's not a "quick and done" process.
  6. Thanks for this -- Emergence is a significant work for them and if Muir was involved, that's to her credit. I'm really interested in seeing where she wants to take the company in the next stage.
  7. I think that we're going to see a shift in what some companies think of as "their audience," to include people who do not attend in person, but are very interested in watching online. I imagine that NYCB has been keeping the same kind of records that PNB has -- they've had digital subscribers from all 50 states, and a few foreign countries as well. There are few things I want to take with me from the pandemic, but this kind of access is certainly one of them. Oooh, hadn't thought about the timing aspect. Around here, since we're moving back into the theater in a fairly cautious way, the autumn season has a limited in-house schedule, but you can subscribe to streaming offerings in the autumn and possibly return to live performance after Nut. I'm just hoping that after all the experiments that different organizations have been running, they take that information and really use it.
  8. I think that companies that had good quality video in their vaults before things all went sideways were in a much better position to launch streaming programs that groups that would have to start from scratch. PNB was lucky -- they made their decision early, and their performance venue (McCall Hall) had recent upgraded their recording equipment, so the company didn't have to make that investment as well. And while I don't know details, I know that many rights holders (individual artists, trusts and foundations) have been very generous with their materials -- the desire to keep dance in front of its audience has loosened some of their control.
  9. A couple of thoughts, in response to a couple of different aspects of this thread. While a big chunk of the heritage repertory does offer gender specific roles, those works are only a part of most ballet company rep these days. Alongside the works listed above from the PNB repertory that are gender-free, they've consistently staged and commissioned works with ensemble roles that could be performed by men or women. It's a challenge for ballet companies today to maintain this wide variety of styles -- one of the things that makes it possible is that both men and women are trained far more broadly than they have in the past. Between theraputic practices and other kinds of cross-training, we've got more flexible men and stronger women -- two qualities that were rarely seen in previous generations. As far as diversity goes, PNB has been working to develop dancers of color through their school, and have hired some of those graduates as they came of age. Others have gone on to work in other ensembles. And while they've only had a few black dancers on the roster, they've had a number of API dancers at different levels in the company. In recent years, they've made some real strides with gender diversity on the administrative side -- their stage managers have usually been women, their previous business manager is a woman, the head of marketing and press is a woman, and the executive director is also a woman. This during a time when one of the general accusations leveled at ballet companies in the US was a lack of women in administrative positions. They've been a little later to the party with racial diversity in administration, but that's changing as well -- Peter Boal and Ellen Walker have been working with Theresa Ruth Howard on this, and I think they're sincere in their desire to make inroads on that challenge. Because of the pandemic, I haven't had the chance to see Ashton Edwards in person -- I just know their work through video. From what I see, they seem like a skilled and dedicated young dancer -- I don't know what the next couple of years will bring, but I'm very glad I'm going to get a chance to watch them develop. This coming season is going to be a series of experiments for companies around the world -- I'm sure there will be some major changes, and I'm sure I don't know what they'll be.
  10. While it's true that a local name will generally create a sense of local identity, it doesn't necessarily imply quality. It can encourage local support, though -- perhaps that's part of this change.
  11. Congratulations to Edwards, and lucky for us here to watch this new phase unfold. It's going to be a complex year for the field in general -- between the challenges of working within changing Covid guidelines, and the ongoing discussion about gender, race, equity, and inclusion throughout the arts, we're going to see some significant developments!
  12. The Duke award and the Macarthur do the same -- it's such a smart and thoughtful way to do it!
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