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Maina Gielgud Resigns

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I think, in this case, it's likely to mean aesthetic vision. (Gielgud, in the article, says, in effect, she didn't think he had one.) But it could also be a clash over who had the right to do what, and what the understandings were on both sides when Gielgud was hired. If it is the case, as is widely assumed (and these assumptions are what underlie what's been written, both in this instance and in the articles when Gielgud joined the company) that Gielgud was to be a co-artistic director while Welch would be primarily occupied with choreography, then those hybrid directorships seldom work. The person with the title is the one who chooses the repertory and the dancers -- casting seems to have been a major issue here, with Gielgud stating that she didn't get the dancers she wanted for her production of "Giselle." And she's right. That usually is the choreographer/stager's prerogative. Welch obviously has a side to this, and he's being diplomatic about expressing it. It sounds like a clash of taste as well as vision.

What's interesting (to me, from afar) about Houston is that the company had a very loyal audience -- a passionately loyal audience -- that liked what it was being served. They liked Stevenson, they trusted his vision, and they liked his ballets and the dancers he chose and developed. Now they're getting something very different -- but here, there was no diminution in audience, no crying need for something new!!! new!!! new!!! The repertory has been changed completely (as Stevenson's ballets are no longer part of it). Gielgud was a link to the Stevenson era -- they shared an aesthetic, generally. It's understandable that Welch wants to do with the company what he wants, but it will be interesting to see how the audience reacts. Will it merely drive the old audience away? Or will it also bring in a new one?

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Thanks, Alexandra, for that explanation. I can imagine all the politicking and infighting that must have gone on a the Imperial Ballet, without which Petipa's work would not have emerged precisely as they did, or at Paris -- or any large company for that matter. Mme. Hermine's links to South Florida today tell a remarkably similar story -- though this one relates to conflicts that developed after a merger of two companies.

Brett Bourke for the Miami Herald on changes at Ballet Gamonet:


Citing creative differences, co-artistic directors David Palmer and Yanis Pikieris are leaving Ballet Gamonet Maximum Dance. The artistic director in chief, Jimmy Gamonet De Los Heros, is left to run the show by himself.

''There is no room for us to direct,'' Pikieris said. ``It has become clear that it's Jimmy's company. Jimmy has the say.''

A related story by Guillermo Perez for SouthFlorida.Com:


After the fleeting promise of doubled resources, the recently merged Ballet Gamonet Maximum Dance has suffered a split. David Palmer and Yanis Pikieris, for eight years creative heads of Maximum Dance Company, have resigned from the new organization, effective Nov. 7.

I set up a separate thread on the Miami City Ballet forum for those who wish to contribute their thoughts about this.

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Good points, Bart -- sometimes it's simply about personal power: who gets the corner office, who gets to do the fundraisers, who gets THE CREDIT for all the glorious things that the company is doing? And sometimes it is about artistic vision: "I cannot stand the idea of your putrid revision of "Swan Lake" -- no offense :blush: " versus "If I see one more 'traditional' production of a classic I'll scream." Mergers are hard. It's usually because neither organization can make it on its own, and the merger sounds great, until people start dealing with details. I'm not writing anything people couldn't figure out on their own, I know :)

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.... It's understandable that Welch wants to do with the company what he wants, but it will be interesting to see how the audience reacts.  Will it merely drive the old audience away?  Or will it also bring in a new one?

From what I understand, season subscription has increased tremendously after Welsh took over. I only saw Ms. G's Giselle, and enjoyed it a great deal, especially the 2nd Act. I take that back..there was a small Balanchine piece as well.

I would have liked to experience her other visions.


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