Jump to content
This Site Uses Cookies. If You Want to Disable Cookies, Please See Your Browser Documentation. ×

Hot Issues in Ballet Today

Recommended Posts

This is a follow-up to the thread on American Arts Journalism. That thread was inspired by an article by the British arts critic Norman Lebrecht (read it here), who argued that reportage and criticism of the arts in American newspapers is "uniformly respectful, uninquiring, inherently supportive [of major arts institutions]."

As examples, he cited an interview in the New York Times with outgoing Metropolitan Opera head Joseph Volpe which failed to ask whether Volpe was leaving due to age or to the fact that the box office has struggled since 9/11. He also condemned American newspapers' failure to question the appointment of the "visibly ailing" James Levine to "revitalize" the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the absence of inquiry into Lincoln Center's acrimonious, long drawn-out, and frequently altered attempts at renovating its campus.

This makes me wonder: if American newspapers were as vital at reporting and discussing arts issues as Lebrecht would like them to be, what are the ballet issues that would come up? Assume that you are the arts editor of your local paper. You have lots of critics and freelancers to call upon. The other newspapers in your area are doing the same kind of critical inquiry, so if you don't get there first, they will! What issues and ideas would you ask your writers to look into?

Some examples to start off: the situation at SPAC. Who makes the decisions on their board, especially when many board members don't show up for meetings? Why is the state auditing them, and why has it decided, after several weeks of study, to hire an outside auditor? Has SPAC done enough to promote NYCB seasons? Or, a critique of Mikko Nissinen's first year as AD of the Boston Ballet: have the changes he's made been for the better? Has his dismissal of many teachers and coaches, not to mention dancers, harmed the company and school, especially in light of Sarah Lamb's departure and the reasons she gave for it?

I'm not asking for a discussion of the issues themselves, just for suggestions as to what kind of things you'd like to see discussed.

Editing to add: although Lebrecht's criticism was aimed at American newspapers, we needn't be so restrictive in this topic. Please join in, wherever you live!

Link to comment
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...