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Which is America's top company?



68 members have voted

  1. 1. Which is America's top company?

    • American Ballet Theatre
    • New York City Ballet
    • Other

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In days of yore, I would tell you that the Joffrey Ballet was the best "AMerican" company!

So if you ask me now "Which is Americal's top company?", I will say NYCB. It is truly American in spirit and I am guessing that there are more American dancers in this company than ABT by far.

If you want to talk international, then I would include ABT, but it would not be #1. That's just me.

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All dance is local, especially ballet -- you have to be in the same house with ballet to really feel the power of hte art.

ABT USED to be arguably the national company because they toured widely, and it was possible for people all over hte country to see them, at least once a year, in the flesh, in 3D, across the footlights. Since the late 80s they've toured a lot less, though recently they've been making their presence felt again across the country.

New York City Ballet stayed in New York City, almost exclusively, and built up a fantastic relationship with people in reach of the theater. Mr Balanchine's ballets were being danced all over the country by the regional compmanies, so there was THAT kind of presence -- the choreography was alive and growing all over the country, but not as danced "in the way Mr Balanchine liked," by his own dancers.

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I'm not sure why this thread is acting up, but I'll keep an eye on it. It's a topic worth reviving, anyway, and thanks to Paul for doing that. :dunno:

ABT USED to be arguably the national company because they toured widely

I think also of the great success of The Turning Point, in which the fictional company was based on ABT and the movie was in essence an ABT project although dancers from other companies appeared in it.

I don't think it's possible for the U.S. to have a national ballet company in the sense that European countries can (we can't really have a national theatre company either, the place is just too big and too diverse).

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Here's Clive Barnes on NYCB.

... [T]he [2006-2007] season was notable for how well the company is dancing. The Balanchine/Robbins repertory (and when I see what has happened to the Royal Ballet's Ashston repertory my heart bleeds like that nightingale's) is constantly revolving, constantly renewed [ ...] and such clasic performances are usually pretty much a joy. City Ballet treasures its treasures, and while it does, it will always rank among the world's greatest.

Dance Now, Autumn 2007

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I just got around to voting. I didn't want to pick either ABT or NYCB -- or any other American company, for that matter -- because I couldn't accept what I thought to be the premise of the choice. then I reread the posts and found the following clarification by Alexandra:

Yes, please take Other to mean Other Option as well as Other Company, e.g.: Neither, Both, None of the Above, The mere idea of ranking companies is repugnant to me, It Depends, etc. :dunno:
So I voted "Other." "Top" for me can't be separated from the idea of "influential.," The two largest New York City based companies just don't have as much influence elsewhere in the country as many appear to think. NYCB has the Balanchine and Robbins repertoire and what is arguably the most respected school. On the other hand, it is almost invisible in the video market and rarely tours. ABT has stars who are are well known around the country, a touring schedule to a few major cities, a variety of brand name full-length ballets, and more video and even YouTube exposure. On the other hand, it does not know how to market and renew its original core reportory repertory (Tudor, etc.) and suffers from a kind of rep schizophrenia.

Maybe there were others who didn't vote because they were uncomfortable with the choices. If so, vote "Other," and tell us what's on your mind. :) This poll definitely deserves a second hearing!

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I would like to see this survey done again listing more than the New York Companies. What about San Francisco and Miami City Ballet to name just two others that should be included.
Good idea. And let's have a chance to vote for something along the lines of: "Impossible to answer this question." :wink:

I think I'm not alone on Ballet Talk in having seen only a few of the companies that are written about regularly here -- or who have not seen some of the big ones recently. Without deep viewing experience over time, I don't see how one could even make a guess.

How about: "Which American ballet company would you most like to be able to see on a regular basis?" -- or "Which American ballet company has the highest reputation?" -- or "Which American ballet company attracts the finest dancers?" Or ... something along that line?

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I think what happened is that someone voted in a four year old poll and it dredged up the subject - the question may have been more pertinent at the time; it may have been a response to a recent article concerning the issue, who knows.

Which reminds me, we should probably close some polls after a month or so.

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