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Helene

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About Helene

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  • Birthday January 1

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

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  1. Helene

    Job posting for artistic director

    They're not artistic positions: they are management positions over an artistic institution. They are ultimately responsible for all personnel and for institutional decisions that are palatable to the people to whom they are answerable. In Urin's case at least, this has meant weighing in on the worth of productions and the artistic direction of the institution, as well as hiring and firing of top theater personnel of all stripes, budgets, etc. This is similar to being a CEO of a corporation: if it's an auto manufacturer, the CEO's decisions will influence the cars. If it's a software company, the CEO's decision will influence the technological direction and offerings of the company.
  2. Helene

    Job posting for artistic director

    Urin is like Lissner, the head of the Paris Opera: he's the head of the Bolshoi Theater, and the heads of the opera and ballet report into him: he's responsible for hiring and firing them, just like Lissner was responsible for firing Millepied and replacing him with Dupont as the director of the ballet.
  3. Helene

    Job posting for artistic director

    From a history of Robbins and PNB in anticipation of the upcoming Robbins Festival (emphasis mine), written by PNB's archivist, Sheila Dietrich: Pacific Northwest Dance was the original organization from which PNB sprang.
  4. Helene

    Job posting for artistic director

    It makes sense that the person to whom Finance and Accounting report has a direct reporting line into the Board.
  5. Helene

    Job posting for artistic director

    Martins has had Executive Directors or administrative equivalents while head of NYCB and a much deeper staff to manage administrative duties. He started with Kirstein seemingly doing everything in his power to get everyone behind Martins, and Gottlieb provided some continuity in the early years. The two areas he was heavily involved in that Balanchine didn't seemed to be were board management and fundraising. Balanchine's Board was there to support him more than an institution, and he had Kirstein running interference for him and to be sure that the Board was on board.
  6. Helene

    Job posting for artistic director

    Balanchine's title was never Artistic Director, nor was Martins' or Robbins', but all oversaw artistic choices, and Robbins was instrumental in managing "his" Ballet Masters and getting "his" dancers promoted. Balanchine wasn't exclusively responsible for programming, particularly as NYCB grew. Betty Cage was the primary driver until she, exhausted (Gottlieb's description) ceded that to Robert Gottlieb. Robbins announced when he was making work, and it was slotted in. Balanchine looked at the gaps and created or changed a lot of ballets out of specific need, especially when the company switched to the much larger stage in Lincoln Center. I don't know of any current Artistic Directors of any significant small-to-large company who are impresarios and only do the first; in general, the smaller the company, the more that kind of specialization is too expensive, and many of them are built around a choreographer, or having the AD be a built-in choreographer. Not all Ballet Masters choreograph: many are responsible for keeping the rep in shape, teaching rep created by outside choreographers, coaching, and, sometimes, teaching company class. There is now only one Ballet Master in charge of a major company: Nikolaj Hubbe. The rest are, in their home languages, directors: Artistic Directors, to distinguish them from Executive (administrative directors), Director of the Ballet to distinguish them from the overall director of an institution to whom they report, like Dupont at Paris Opera Ballet who reports to Lissner Ballet Director, Ballet Director, or just plain Director.
  7. Helene

    Job posting for artistic director

    They did that in Balanchine's time as well, especially when there were last-minute substitutions. Joseph Mazo describes this in "Dance as a Contact Sport," which was written in the early '70's, and many dancers have described teaching and being taught over the decades. Although I'm not sure if/how this worked with the Robbins rep while he was alive.
  8. Helene

    Job posting for artistic director

    Looking at some European websites, Aurelie Dupont is "Directrice de la danse." Nikolaj Hubbe is "Balletmester" in Danish; in official website's English version, he is "The Artistic Director," which is interesting in itself. Kevin O'Hare is "Director." Ted Brandsen is "Directeur en choreograaf: and Rachel Beaujean is "Artistiek adjunct directeur." Aaron Watkin is "Ballettdirektor." Johannes Öhman is "Intendant," which is a very typical title in Germany for the head of the opera. Zelensky is "Ballettdirektor." Frederic Olivieri is " IL DIRETTORE." Najarro is "Director del Ballet."
  9. Helene

    Border States and Outreach

    Does anyone know if any of the companies in Philadelphia serve the adjacent NJ area with community outreach programs?
  10. Helene

    Job posting for artistic director

    I've always thought the title was ill-advised and silly -- for both Martins and Robbins -- but, although being in Seattle, and it hasn't been on my constant radar, and I'm glad they're retiring it.
  11. Helene

    Job posting for artistic director

    I think it was the "In Chief" part that caught Cooper's eye.
  12. I had never thought before about how artistic institutions at the border of a different state(s) provided outreach to communities in the other state(s), but I received this email from Oregon Ballet Theatre -- Portland is close to the Washington State border (emphasis mine): Does anyone know of other ballet companies that do the same?
  13. Helene

    Job posting for artistic director

    When Christopher Stowell's current job description (Associate Artistic Director) was posted by National Ballet of Canada, I remember thinking, "They took Christopher Stowell's resume and removed his name." I have to wonder if the five-page wish list is someone's resume with their name removed, but I suspect it might be three people's resumes with their names removed. I don't think it is, when, in the prevailing narratives, the male form has meant almost exclusively positives, and the female version is, at best, a diminutive of the male version, and, on the other side of the spectrum, refers to a moral negative, unless you go to the B&D subversive. They couldn't open up the application process without having a job description, and they were very clear they were going to be quite deliberate and that this was going to take months.
  14. Helene

    Job posting for artistic director

    "Artistic Director" or "Co-Artistic Director" has long been the go-to title for the role. "Ballet Master" was Balanchine's preference: it was good enough for Petipa. If Martins had been the sole head of the company at succession, it would have been pretentious for him to have assumed that title. With Robbins in the mix, and with a staff of Ballet Masters and Mistresses -- I think they still referred to Dunleavy as a "Ballet Mistress" back then -- they couldn't call them "Co-Ballet Masters." Instead of changing the title to "Co-Artistic Director," which would have acknowledged that no one could replace Balanchine and have started with a clean slate, they settled on the awkward "Co-Ballet Master-in-Chief," which just showed that Martins, in particular*, needed the "In Chief," with its positional rather than referent authority. *Robbins was running his own company-within-a-company artistically, and no one thought the was the overall person in charge.
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