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Everything posted by JumpFrog

  1. I had the good fortune to interview her years ago for a local Seattle arts bulletin and found her inspiring. How I wish I might be able to take her class as your girls have but with two artificial hips it seems unlikely. 😉
  2. Agreed on that. I believe it will be a highlight of the year for many others too.
  3. Holy smokes did I ever miss a lot while on vacation. Thank you blackcurrant for your links here. Very interesting to read. And actually kind of nice to know that we are starting to expect more from corporate policy and how it can and must protect employees. It shows just how far behind some sector are from others. Hopefully the arts catch up. I also find it very interesting vs1 reading through this thread those who appear to be in agreement that any corruption or nepotism is wrong ....but then call about finding out about "snitches". In terms of dancers leaving it definitely does not look good. But I have to agree with volcanohunter and say I just can't blame them for wanting better repertoire and a less toxic work environment.
  4. Agree about the Peck piece. I thought it was the strongest although the others might have needed just more time and or development. I think it really takes a special choreographer to know what to choreograph for what company. It cant just be good. It has to be fitting.
  5. Excellent mom2. That is very useful. Thank you!! Please keep us updated. The incompetency would be funny if it were not so sad. Thats it! It is all documented publicly already. The company going back and deleting files from the Internet because the public are now asking questions just makes things look ***worse***. Awesome work on the PDF file. Definitely save everything. As an audience we are going to have to work together to demand this change . These wrongs are unacceptable and need fixed. Karen Kain and Barry Hughson are obviously not up to the task. A repertoire based on quality, a zero tolerance policy for nepotism, and an organization without harassment (or at the least an impartial process of some kind in the event it does). These are not unreasonable requests. And we should all be questioning those who actively try to prevent them from happening.
  6. The casting for the company tour to San Francisco has been released. Evan Mckie is still missing. https://national.ballet.ca/Media-Room/News/Just-Announced/Nijinsky-Tours-to-San-Francisco
  7. Agreed. I was looking forward to this. What I would do to see them perform Opus 19: The Dreamer in Paris. Le sigh...
  8. This keeps getting deeper. Binet Sr. has now had his quotes and history under the Endowment section of the website removed entirely. He has also been removed entirely from the National Ballet School website. This means that other than the financial contributions made through his companies (Thomson Reuters, The Globe and Mail, The Woodbridge Company L.L.C.) he will now, at least personally, appear absent from both organizations. Binet Jr. remains present throughout including under the Soaring - New Productions referenced above. Obviously, like any company would, they are trying to minimize the unfortunate optics that suggest conflict of interest. It would help them to realize that most everything, once on the internet, is forever, and, that people have been keeping a careful track of this situation for a while now. Does anyone have access to a recent programme from this season at all? It would be useful to compare the printed material and compare it to the most recent and updated website information. With all the shuffling around it is probably important to keep a record. I agree mom2. Curiouser and curiouser this is getting.
  9. The rankings aren't really considered in this company. Corps doing Principal roles, Principals doing Bluebird, and some Principals doing nothing at all. Siphe November does not appear to fit the aesthetic Karen has mandated for her tenure ie. long and thin. He does not appear to have a traditionally classical line or body at all. At least in the photos online. However the company may be changing in this regard. His jump sounds exciting. volcanohunter and kbarber you have each referenced Evan McKie as "unavailable". Do you have a source for this? Can anyone verify the reason for his absence? Hopefully if he is injured he will heal quickly.
  10. Good find mom2 and i enjoyed reading your thoughts on the mixed too. It appears Karen Kain and Barry Hughson are moving Binet around in order to both keep his and his companies money while also keeping the public outcry at bay. I hadn't heard of either the Soaring Cabinet or Music Circle and Orchestra before so did some reading this afternoon. Of particular note in the Soaring Campaign link above is the promise of "New Work". This heading is seen under a photo of The Dreamers Ever Leave You () and paired with the following quote from Binet Jr.: "I grew up wanting to be a part of this National Ballet and I'm honoured to be asked to contribute. I'm grateful for the company's commitment to my development and for the opportunity this allows me to take creative risks, which is extremely valuable as an artist." -Robert Binet, Choreographic Associate Notably, included under "Soaring Achievements to Date" is the actual creation of Binet Jr.'s position, Choreographic Associate. Further, under the "Endowment" portion of the Soaring Campaign description is the following quote from Binet. Sr.: "With a strong Endowment, the National Ballet represents an organization that is both innovative and stable, and a place where new ideas can flourish because they find the right talent and support. Artistic risks are taken within an environment of financial stability, both of which ensure a bright and prosperous future." -David Binet, Chair, Board of Directors There are then a collection of quotes offered from a variety of presumably donors, each offering their own insight into how "extraordinary" everything is. However, it does not appear any of them actually serve on the Soaring Cabinet. Those who do in fact serve on the cabinet are: David W. Binet Sandra and Jim Pitblado Gail Appel Judi Conacher The Honourable Nicole Eaton (Senator) Sandra Faire Krista Kerr Genevieve McKillon Julie Medland Jessica Ray Gretchen Ross Liam Sobey Michele Symons It really raises more questions than answers. Kylara/mom2, what are your thoughts?
  11. I agree with this. I also wonder if this situation may cause all involved to begin reconsidering the process itself. Perhaps there is a better way.
  12. So getting back to the subject.. Anyone else see the mixed program? I found the following review. https://www.theglobeandmail.com/arts/theatre-and-performance/theatre-reviews/review-made-in-canada-gives-a-panoramic-view-of-the-national-ballet/article38170873/?utm_medium=Referrer:+Social+Network+/+Media&utm_campaign=Shared+Web+Article+Links Looking forward to hearing your thoughts from this afternoon mom2.
  13. So busy that a decade goes by without follow up? I doubt it.. Saw the performance last night and since no one else appears to have gone thought i will share some thoughts. The Dreamers Ever Leave You was painful. There is no way around it. It did not seem to say anything, take you anywhere, and at points I was uncertain if it would ever end. When the curtain finally came down the overwhelming sense was "thank goodness". More than anyone I felt sad for the dancers. Here are some wonderfully talented artists in the prime of their careers and doing what? Stomping their feet...trying to make the best of a situation that everyone is absolutely sick of. Had it not been for my work colleauge who attended with me I would not have noticed just how many people appear to have skipped this piece entirely. The house was not nearly full, but it was certainly more full for the second two ballets. If i choose to go again i will definitely do the same and show up late and I would recommend the same. I would not wish the experience on anybody. The Four Seasons was like this tsunami of dance that arrived at the best time. After the torture of the first piece we got to see what real, wonderful dancing/choreography can do. The audiences was invigorated and it was palpable. Hodgkinson/Cote were breathtaking and the company looked so engaged and present. The corps was not as together as they should have been and I still don't understand why each female dancer season was in a wedding dress at the end but even that aside - this was DANCING and the standing ovation was deserved entirely. Emergence I had actually already seen in Seattle so I knew that it was a very strong piece from probably one of the top couple choreographers working today. The piece is still phenominal. What stood out to me this time was the sound design. I am unsure if it is actually changed since the last time but it was so so cool this time and even if the dancers weren't as together as they were in Seattle in the unison sections I didnt mind because they commited fully. I had hoped to see James/Lunkina in the duet but it it was again Hodgkinson/Cote, who were, again sublime. Perhaps Lunkina/James is (are) injured? Also where is Evan Mckie? Overall I would say this program really showed the dancers off well. And it was also I think great for the audience because (despite Karen Kain's determination to put Binet on the "same level" as Pite/Kudelka) you just can't fake good dance. It was so crystal clear, so obvious, that the works were on a different level entirely... And I think that even the most uneducated audience can tell the difference. Perhaps that is where the company really misstepped. You can't help but wonder if they still think it was all really worth it. Looking forward to Sleeping Beauty next week. This production sounds/looks sumptuous!!
  14. That is an important point volcano, thank you. Perhaps not much consideration is taken at NBoC with regard to these things. Perhpas it just isn't relevant. I have actually been to more ballet performances then usual in the last twelve months in Toronto, London, New York, Moscow, San Francisco, Seattle. Vancouver, Melbourne, Singapore, Paris, Munich, Berlin, Copenhagen, Stuttgart, Stockholm, Oslo and even Portland, Oregon. One pre performance talk we attended that stands out was at the Australian Ballet where artistic director David McAllister spoke about how important it is for all companies to be aware of each others program choices, even generally - and especially when in close geographic quarters - as it ensures audiences always have a reason to go. If what is on offer is limited to repeats or programs that do not generate sufficient interest from the public then the whole art form suffers. Yet what an interesting point you propose - that if it didn't happen in Toronto it may as well not have happened at all. This kind of thinking would certainly explain alot. Is anyone here aware of other creations made by Pite or Forsythe since Emergence and The Second Detail? I would think particularly for PIte being Canadian and celebrated so unanimously internationally they would be eager to have her create more for the Canadian company.
  15. Out of all the wonderful William Forsythe work to choose from they choose two that have been widely seen already and one that they themselves have already done to death. The artistic choices at this company do not seem to make any sense. I can't help but wonder if Kain (through audience research?) was made to think the public no longer wants full length classical work anymore? Or if this is simply her own..unique... taste? The Being and Nothingness/The Dream program seems short. Pehaps they will do what they did last time and make a last minute turkey addition. I would LOVE to see Hawes in The Dream. I have only ever seen pictures of Sphinx but have found even they to be quite something. I would love to see more of Glen Tetley's work but (as you have discussed above) the current NBoC will likely not program this kind of thing at least under the current reign. If they had hoped to get the subscriptions back on track I doubt this is going to do it. Sigh.
  16. I concur with what you say here SandyMcKean. Although I prefer William Forsythe when he is working in a more ballet style (Artifact, In the middle) One Flat Thing grew on me after repeat viewings. The range of his creations is to me pretty spellbinding. He has made work so vastly different in style to a point I don't think many others could ever match. I am also excited for Ezra Thompson. Here is to the future!!
  17. According to Media at the National Ballet the website is correct. David Binet has been removed from the NBoC Endowment Foundation Board effective immediately.
  18. I have heard although not seen personally Nureyev choreography and the thing that stuck with me was a performer saying he felt it was almost "hard for the sake of being hard". I can't help but wonder if the prodigy type talent Nureyev had made certain technical ablilities seem more attainable than they really are for even the most accomplished of dancers and that is why his stagings are known to be "so hard".
  19. It looks like the articles are just getting started. To release them in stages is both super smart for their viewership but also gives the feeling they have more where that came from. If the ballet company have people going to the press it suggests people are really angry and probably won't stop any time soon. The lack of Kain actually directing makes sense Kylara as that would have give ample opportunity for people to get their own agendas into play relatively unnoticed and unpunished and the articles presentation of both the Binet situation and the Fischer situation side by side is particularly damning as it clarifies that it isnt all just coincidence as they hope all will believe but rather how they do business there. On the company website itself it shows all they have done since Binet Sr. resigned (and was replaced by his friend and colleague from Tory) is shift him to the Endowment Board. Do they not think that people research this? https://national.ballet.ca/Meet/Board-of-Directors Something that will shock literally no one is that the upcoming mixed program is entirely sponsored by Thomson Reuters Deputy Chairman Binet Sr. https://national.ballet.ca/Productions/2017-18-Season/Made-in-Canada The good thing with this all happening as public as it is is that it puts pressure on leaders to right wrongs sooner rather than later. So far it appears Kain and co. are confident they will get away with this okay, but with the way other places like Soulpepper/Miramax are reorganizing (and because of the same issues) it appears the ballet leadership here gravely miscalculated. If their actions since the publications started are any indication Kain probably has yet to realize what just what she has done.
  20. It seems to be a recurring issue in alot of places, the fact that many are becoming frustrated with the reviewing of ballet. I think it is hard to have to separate your own opinion from fact but isnt that their job? On the other hand it can be frustrating to read reviews where they say a whole lot of nothing. I think the question you pose pherank is really important- Is a reviewers impression generally matched by the rest of the audience? I think it is not much of the time but it of course depends on who is doing the reviewing. The entire premise of reviewing art is shifting. I think for the better because people are questioning if they really care what the reviewing says. And they are also questioning the agenda of the writer as well. In Canada for instance the young choreographer they keep trying to make happen is the son the owner of the national newspaper. It is almost farcical. Is what we read at all unbiased anymore? Great writing in this regard is dying.
  21. Thank you for your intelligent thoughts kylara7. This is a subject that I am very interested in (nerd alert, lol) and I think that the entire movement of people calling out injustice happening right now is going to be encouraging for the kind of systemic change we all agree is needed at Canada’s National Ballet. I think you bring up some excellent points. One part of this I think is interesting is that the arts (or maybe it’s non-profits I’m not sure) seem to be very late to the party on this. It seems like all other fields have internal policy to prevent fraud, corruption, nepotism, conflict of interest, etc. But it doesn’t appear they have that here. At least they don’t have it under Karen Kain. And if they do it’s not being enforced. The Binet/Fischer situation would never be allowed in any other field. So maybe the arts have allowed the inherent subjectivity of what they do to become a kind of an excuse for not having stricter rules. As in, no, sir, you may not write a check for one million dollars and get your son hired... or no - you may not run this department with your wife and then hire and promote your daughter. It’s funny to think of this in the context of a government office or science lab. It would be considered, at the very least, terribly bad taste - and at the most, actually against the law. So ultimately, the lack of any rules here was taken advantage of. I think everyone can agree that not having policies in place to protect employees from this kind of corruption is poor leadership. It reflects very badly on Karen Kain and her tenure of running the ship.
  22. 1) Are there, or should there, be rules in place, to prevent this, or any other abuse of power from happening again (a parent chairing a school board while their child attends, then transferring to the attached company when child graduates, hiring the child at that company and then securing further work for their child at another arts organization by joining their board)? 2) What policies should be in place regarding sexual harrasment between leadership and employees?
  23. Just so disappointing. This is such a shame for the company. http://frankmag.ca/2017/12/26474/
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