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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
    Ballet Student
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    North Carolina

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  1. The MET summer season is already shortening to 5 weeks, given the Met Opera's new schedule. This could allow them to deemphasize the big story ballets needed to fill the Met and beef up other seasons (like their Fall Season and maybe introduce other options) that would allow for works not conducive to the Met stage. Also- totally totally out there, but what if the Met Opera and ABT merged? Combined they'd have synergies (particularly introduce new donors, etc.). The Met could send on ABT on tour, much easier than the opera. They could also add ballets into the rotation, during a regular Met Season. If they were going to pivot into the digital space, having both ballet and opera options would broaden their appeal too. Their MET HD app could include on-demand and live ballet performances, as a "value add". Also, dance education (similar to how English National Ballet started their fitness/dance training app), could also introduce new revenue. I know this would almost certainly never happen, but both organizations would gain from strengths of the other organization (but saying this without knowing the hard financial implications..)
  2. I 2nd the Sasha/Stella combo being a great pick. They have the right balance of appreciation for ABT/ballet's traditions with the ability to be forward thinking. Max/Irina would be a good combo too, but my guess is they'd double down on the current model and might struggle with being more forward thinking.
  3. I hope neither are considered. In my opinion, ABT needs someone to bring their business model into the times. Julie and Angel seem to be largely sticking to the ABT model in their respective companies (not showing much innovation outside of it) and neither has demonstrated proficiency in the digital space. What about Nina Ananiashvili? Maybe Vishneva?
  4. I think this is the right choice. Ballet is at an inflection point where the next generation of leaders need to really understand the web and young audiences. I just hope the board doesn't hire a Kevin 2.0 (nothing against him, just time for a new perspective). I think the ABT model needs some revitalization (even before COVID), so a new set of eyes can really take it to great places. Luckily Kevin has built a company with tremendous talent and an international reputation that will really help the new director. I know this is a bit "out there"- but, if I was on the search committee, I'd be going after Tamara Rojo. She knows the classics very well, is familiar with a lot of the ABT rep via her time at the Royal Ballet (Ashton, McMillian, etc.), and, in my opinion, she has revitalized English National Ballet (which has a similar model as ABT- touring, classics, new works, and "ballet as an occasion"). Beyond showing signs of developing talent well, ENB has done great things online. They're streaming performances, launched a "fitness" app for everyone from beginner to advanced level dancers, their youtube page has hundreds of thousands of views, etc.. It would also be nice to see a woman at the helm of the company.
  5. It is unfortunate this wasn't posted for longer. The choreography was so creative and engaging. This is the type of dance that I think translates well on film- so I hope to see more exploration of these types of works, at least in this "digital" era.
  6. Fortunately, Trump wasn't able to eliminate the National Endowment of the Arts during his tenure. The NYTimes is out with the story of how bipartisan support in Congress helped the NEA survive. I'm hopeful, this could lead to increased funding for the arts, on an ongoing bases, or at a minimum money to help arts organizations recover from COVID. This coupled, with Biden's plan for the arts, gives me hope! Trump Tried to End Federal Arts Funding. Instead, It Grew.
  7. "Tiny Pretty Things’ Falls for Big Ugly Ballet Stereotypes" An interesting article in the NYTimes on Tiny Pretty Things and dance on film more generally. I think it is an interesting conversation, given the necessity of "delivering" dance to audiences in the absence of being able to perform live in theaters. If the goal is to attract the masses via film, I wonder how dance will be represented. I think we'll need pure "dance" performances (like shows in theaters), but also some combination of dance based acting shows (like Tiny Pretty Things or shows that are 75% dance/25% acting) to pull more people in. I've always had a strong reaction to cartoonish/stereotypical representations of ballet culture, but maybe its necessary (to some degree) to attract eyeballs...
  8. I 100% agree- its past time for new blood at ABT. I just worry who they'd pick and if they'd want more of the same or a big shake up. Some of the previous contenders are less viable now (Marcelo is out, Ethan's leadership track record isn't great, Julie Kent seems to be struggling at Washington Ballet with managing budgets/fundraising, Angel has had lots of friction with dancers at PA Ballet). I would hope they'd pick a younger person that can bring new ideas and innovative on their current model. The current model seems be slowly dying. I think a big shake up with a person like Danill Simkin (with his social media/digital background), Tamara Rojo (she is doing well at ENB and managing COVID seemly well), or Irina/Maxim as co-directors (I think they have good taste and Irina's experience acting might bring in new ways to revitalize the ballet), would be most exciting and get me back to the theater quickly when its safe. Or, a diverse smallish/managable artistic committee that makes artistic decisions and reports to the Executive Director.
  9. Is anyone surprised that bigger streaming companies didn't pick up the NYCB's Nutcracker? Earlier this year, when NYCB mentioned finding new ways to stream the Nutcracker, I thought a Netflix or DisneyPlus would swoop in and buy the streaming rights for the month of December. It seems like such low-hanging fruit. I know Hamilton isn't the Nutcracker, but Disney paid $75 million for Hamilton's streaming rights. NYCB makes ~$15 million a year from Nutcracker ticket revenue, so maybe selling to a larger company would've generated more revenue (potentially equal or more to their normal season) and, I'd imagine, would've opened up the Nutcracker to new audiences (along with a greater marketing budget). I don't foresee people wanting to sign up for yet another streaming service and then paying an additional premium to watch. I think a better approach would've been to sell the streaming rights for a flat fee to a streaming company that would reach a much larger audience (including people that are newer to ballet). Marquee is likely only going to attract people that are already interested in ballet and the arts.
  10. I found this recording of Stella's Giselle premiere. I'll never forget that performance. If only ABT had a full recording of this performance that they could stream as a tribute.
  11. Maybe a Mcgregor or Forsythe next season? or Joffrey/Aprino? (Although not living). Wishful thinking?
  12. I’ll write more later, but I was proud of ABTs performance last night. The theater looked full and the energy level was great (very enthusiastic audience). I think deuce coupe was the most successful. Stella looked perfect. To me, she was the standout. In the Upper Room, while always a crowd pleaser, looked like it was danced at 95%. I think they looked tired and a little timid towards the end. Either way, the audience loved it.
  13. I was at the performance tonight. I’ll post more later, but I couldn’t get over how empty the theater was. I’ve never seen the Met so bare. It impacted the show, because there didn’t seem to be any energy. The dancers were “okay”, not great, but I partly blame the empty audience. I also forgot how little dancing this production has. I couldn’t help but think the empty audience was a metaphor for ABT’s declining product the past few years. Also depressing to think their season will be cut 3 weeks in 2021 (when the Met Opera extends theirs). How soon until they realize they need to do something different? Sad to think of all the star power and buzz the Met had back in the early 2000s and how much of that is gone now.
  14. I was hoping stella would get the Manon performances. I’ll take a hard pass on Copeland in Manon.
  15. I don't mean "throw acid in his face", but if his job is to develop world class talent, he isn't doing a good job. Those should be the standards the boards holds him too, in addition to other goals. Normally, when do you don't do your job or do it poorly, there are repercussions....
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