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Kathleen O'Connell

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About Kathleen O'Connell

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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
    Member of the Audience
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    New York

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  1. Kathleen O'Connell

    Job posting for artistic director

    That would indeed make sense
  2. Kathleen O'Connell

    Job posting for artistic director

    So, I note that the "Board and Staff" section on NYCB's website is divided into three pages: Board Administrative Staff, headed by an Executive Director (Katherine E. Brown), which includes Executive Offices, Communications, Development, Marketing & Media, Education (not SAB), Volunteer Services, Operations & Company Management, Production & Design, Music Department, Costume & Wardrobe, Health & Wellness, Finance & Admin, Human Resources, IT, The George Balanchine Trust, and NYCB Moves. Artistic Staff, headed by the Interim Artistic Team, which includes Ballet Mistress (Dunleavy), Ballet Masters, Resident Choreographer, Guest Teachers, Children's Ballet Master, and Assistant Children's Ballet Master. (This is also where you'll see Balanchine and Kirstein listed as Founders and Balanchine and Robbins listed as Founding Choreographers.) Will the new AD only be in charge of the Artistic Staff, or will he or she also have responsibility for the Administrative Staff? Put another way, does (or will) the Executive Director report to the Board or to the AD? (I have no idea who the Music Director, Andrew Litton, reports to ...) ETA: I would love to see the actual job posting, but it looks as if it hasn't been made public.
  3. Kathleen O'Connell

    Job posting for artistic director

    Since the company and the school are two separate legal entities with their own Boards, officers, budgets, administrative / professional / artistic staffs, employees, etc., the new NYCB AD could certainly have a different title in his or her capacity as head of SAB. It's a whole different job at a whole different — but obviously closely related — organization. Note, however, that Peter Martins' title at SAB was "Artistic Director." I agree that on the face of it, Program Director makes more sense.
  4. Queen of Soul dead at 76. Not the news I needed today, or any day. I will always cherish this performance and that fabulous hat.
  5. Kathleen O'Connell

    Job posting for artistic director

    If I've read NYCB's IRS 990 and website correctly, Peter Martins wasn't on the NYCB Board, although he, Katherine Brown (Executive Director), and Farang Azari (CFO) were Officers, as were the Board Chair, Vice Chairs, President, Treasurer, Secretary, and Counsel. I'm on the Board of a (very) small performing arts non-profit. Our Artistic Director is not a member of our Board, although she attends Board meetings. She makes all the artistic decisions; we tell her how much money she can spend.
  6. Kathleen O'Connell

    Job posting for artistic director

    Assuming that NYCB operates in the way most major US non-profit performing arts organizations typically do, the AD reports to the entire Board*, not the Board's Chair. In addition, unlike the King, the Chair may not have much in the way of individual authority over the organization's activities. For instance, the Chair typically wouldn't be able to tell the AD to do something without the consent of the other Board members or the relevant Board Committees. And, if the Board has granted the AD the authority to do certain things at his or her own discretion — e.g., hire and fire, commission new works, negotiate with the unions — the Chair can't just step in and overrule actions he or she doesn't like. * Or, depending on the by-laws, the subset of Board members that constitutes the Executive Committee. By way of example, Edward Villella's exit from Miami City Ballet was engineered and executed more or less behind closed doors by the Board's Executive members; per the organization's by-laws only three of them needed to vote "yes" to make it happen, not the Board in its entirety. There's some debate in the non-profit community as to whether Executive Committees are a good idea or not. Given how major non-profit boards are put together in our current Gilded Age, the Chair is less all-powerful monarch than one Robber Baron trying to exert control over a bunch of other Robber Barons and their various factions, but I digress ... Anyway, I like "Artistic Director" simply because, as a title and set of responsibilities, it's more or less comparable to equivalent positions in other arts organizations and is easy for foundations, government agencies, oversight organizations, the press, and donors to grok. It's not very romantic or redolent of ballet's history, I admit. ETA: in some organizations, the AD is a member of the Board. For instance, Lourdes Lopez is a Director on MCB's Board of Trustees.
  7. Kathleen O'Connell

    Job posting for artistic director

    Artistic Director is a fine title for the person responsible for setting an American performing arts non-profit's overarching artistic vision and seeing to its execution. Yes, it sounds more corporate and (to out ears) less romantic than titles that harken back to the court theaters of Europe, but today's AD answers to the Board, not the King.
  8. Kathleen O'Connell

    Of Interest

    Thank you KarenAG for the initial alert! Lasalle's book had somehow flown under my "Woo Hoo more photographs of Balanchine at work" radar.
  9. Unfortunately, ticket service charges have become a major source of revenue for performing arts venues like City Center and SPAC. By way of example, for the fiscal year ending 6/30/16, 14% or $1.3 million of City Center's $9.3 million in Program Service Revenue — basically, what it earns from its core function as a performing arts venue — came from ticket service charges. Here's the composition of City Center's Program Service Revenue for the year ending 6/30/16: Box Office Receipts: $6.02 million Ticket Service Charges: $1.3 million Theater Rental: $988 thousand Stage I & II Theater Rental: $481 thousand Tower Rental: $414 thousand Other: $173 thousand Like all arts organization, City Center relies heavily on contributions and grants to cover its expenses. Just over half of City Center's $20.8 million in expenses came from grants and contributions. Without the ticket service fees, they'd have to raise even more. I'm not saying this is a good thing. One real problem with ticket service fees is that they're akin to a regressive tax on ticket prices. Since they tend to be a flat amount, they're a greater percentage of the total cost of the least expensive seats than they are of the most expensive. The people who can least afford them end up being hit the hardest. The fact that an online service fee is being charged when the box office is closed for a month is simply unfair.
  10. Kathleen O'Connell

    Of Interest

    You can scroll through at least some of the images contained in the book on the Eakins Press website here:https://www.eakinspress.com/book.cfm?slug=balanchine-teaching. The book itself can be purchased for $25.00, but you can also by a portfolio of 14 archival photographic prints if you happen to have a spare $2000 lying around. 😉 Be sure to scroll down to the middle third of the website to access the image gallery. At the bottom of the page there are some links to reviews of Lasalle's book, including one by Joan Acocella for The New Yorker. ETA: You can download a PDF of Ballet Review's article on the book here: http://www.balletreview.com/images/Ballet_Review_45-2_Balanchine.pdf It contains reproductions of some of the photos as well as Suki Schorer's accompanying text, although the quality of the photos is not very high.
  11. Kathleen O'Connell

    Kathryn Morgan

    Morgan really does look terrific in those photos, but I'm frankly more heartened to hear that she's had some success in managing her thyroid disease. Hashimoto's is no joke. I do hope she can begin to perform regularly again, although her prospects for a renewed NYCB career may be wedged between the rock of a surfeit of ballerina talent and the hard place of interim leadership. She was a indeed a special talent, and I'm forever grateful that I got to see this performance.
  12. Kathleen O'Connell

    NYCB 2018 Summer Season

    Here's a description of SPAC's arrangement with Live Nation, Per SPAC's audited financial statements (which you can download here) "SPAC has an agreement with a third party to receive exclusive right and license to book, co-promote, co-produce, and co-present all Touring and Professional (T&P) events at SPAC through September 2019. In consideration of a guaranteed fee paid to SPAC each year, plus a percentage based on attendance, the third party is entitled to all revenues derived from, relating to, or otherwise generated by the presentation of T&P events presented at SPAC. In addition, the third party bears all the financial risk associated with the promotion, production, and presentation of each T&P event." If I'm looking at the right lines in the financial statements, SPAC earned $1.1 million from this arrangement in 2017 and $1.45 million in 2016. I don't know what services (if any) SPAC provides to Live Nation in connection with the arrangement; I seem to recall that Live Nation is responsible for things like parking and clean-up, but I honestly don't know. SPAC's own ticket sales were $2.85 million in 2017 and $3.33 million in 2016. Box Office service fees were $296 thousand in 2017 and $350 thousand in 2016. (This should give you a clue as to why performing arts organizations insist on charging them.) SPAC also gets a bit of income from renting out the amphitheater for corporate events ($133 thousand in 2017) and from the Saratoga Jazz Festival ($60 thousand in 2017). On a related note: I'm not surprised NYCB hasn't brought Sleeping Beauty to SPAC: its current production relies on some projections that would probably be impossible to pull off in the amphitheater.
  13. Kathleen O'Connell

    NYCB 2018 Summer Season

    Although there is certainly some expense entailed in toting a set up to SPAC, setting it up, and breaking it down, I'm going to guess that the dancers, musicians, and attendant personnel are where the bulk of the expenditure lies. That being said, I'm going to guess that Saratoga got three performances of R+J because it wouldn't have been cost effective to do any fewer. I heartily agree with Olga that there are worthier productions to haul up to SPAC than Martins' R+J — Coppelia, for example, which the company also performed in NYC recently — but perhaps the people doing the programming thought R+J would have more appeal.
  14. Kathleen O'Connell

    NYCB 2018 Summer Season

    I happen to like digging around IRS 990s. SPAC is a whole new kind of 501(c)3 animal for me: it's a presenting organization that leases its premises from New York State and generates a portion of its revenue by renting out said premises to for-profit third parties. (Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall do this to some extent as well, but they dwarf SPAC in every respect.) I haven't wrapped my head around it enough yet to figure out whether it's well-run and ready for whatever the future may hold.
  15. Kathleen O'Connell

    NYCB 2018 Summer Season

    I wonder if SPAC and NYCB negotiate the repertory that will be presented as part of the fee agreement. I haven't been keeping track of what NYCB brings to SPAC each year, but it could be that SPAC wants to offer its audiences something on a grander scale than, say, NYCB Moves, and negotiates the fee and the programs accordingly. SPAC may have decided that it would rather offer one week of showcase ballets on a grand scale — i.e., with a full complement of dancers, costumes, an orchestra, etc. — than two weeks of chamber ballets. And, there isn't much in the core Balanchine canon that's of chamber ballet scale, frankly; if SPAC wants to provide its audiences with some of the best that NYCB has to offer — e.g., Midsummer Night's Dream, Serenade, Four Temperaments, Symphony in C — it's going to have to pay a fee sufficient to cover bringing along the orchestra, sets, and costumes. Of course, it might also be the case that NYCB says "It's Symphony in C and R+J it's or nothing" — I honestly don't know.
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