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Report: Damian Woetzel to retire in middle of 2008


Dale

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(Thanks to all who posted this link) The New York Times has a feature on Damian Woetzel in which he says he plans on retiring in the middle of 2008.

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/31/arts/dan...&pagewanted=all

He had long said he plans to leave dance when he is around 40. (That birthday will come this May 17.) But now he’s narrowed it down: he plans to dance this year then retire, he says, by the middle of 2008. As City Ballet’s senior male principal, he will have completed 23 years at the company, dancing more than 75 principal roles.
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He always seemed like a multi-dimensional, intelligent, and very agreeable person, qualities which he embodies equally well as a dancer..

The following struck me as a newsworthy statement:

Mr. Woetzel has been seen as a potential successor to Peter Martins, who has led City Ballet since 1983, first with Jerome Robbins and, since 1990, alone. “It obviously would be a great honor someday,” he said, “but I’m an employee, and it’s not open. Am I equipped for it? Yes. Does going to Harvard make me more equipped? Definitely. Is that why I went to Harvard? No.” If the job were open, he later wrote in an e-mail message, he would be “very interested.”
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The following struck me as a newsworthy statement:
Mr. Woetzel has been seen as a potential successor to Peter Martins, who has led City Ballet since 1983, first with Jerome Robbins and, since 1990, alone. “It obviously would be a great honor someday,” he said, “but I’m an employee, and it’s not open. Am I equipped for it? Yes. Does going to Harvard make me more equipped? Definitely. Is that why I went to Harvard? No.” If the job were open, he later wrote in an e-mail message, he would be “very interested.”

Oh, please, please, please :blink:

I will be very sorry to see him leave the stage, but seeing him in the BMinC's chair would definitely compensate.

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It's interesting how lives can parallel. I too left a professional dance career and got two masters degrees in nonprofit management in Boston. (I turned down the Ivy Leagues though for the chance to double major at less expense.) Rachel Moore is another person with a similar career track--and look where she is now. Will Damian follow at NYCB? Yes, it was an interesting article, but also a very recognizable scenario to me. Also, if he is the new director at Vail, does that explain the other BT question/thread about Christopher Wheeldon (and a possible company of his) coming there too? I saw his BB gala performance Oct.25th.

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Admission to Harvard implies many qualities, one of which is the ability to select words carefully -- and read (and speak) between the lines. Am I alone in thinking that Woetzel's statement amounts, despite the disclaimers, to advertising that he is available for his boss's job before his boss has expressed any desire to go? :blink:

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There are some Ivy Leaguers who do not have the ability to choose words with skill. You may be misoverestimating Damian. I don't think you are, though. After all, didn't he graduate high school at 15?

I don't know if he's exactly put himself in the running, but he doesn't want to sound like he's not, never was, never will be interested in succeeding PM. Not ruling anything out, not ruling anything in.

It's nice to have so many options.

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Admission to Harvard implies many qualities, one of which is the ability to select words carefully -- and read (and speak) between the lines. Am I alone in thinking that Woetzel's statement amounts, despite the disclaimers, to advertising that he is available for his boss's job before his boss has expressed any desire to go? :blink:

I'm afraid it sounds that way to me, too. And you don't have to go to Harvard to know that at the very least such remarks are not the height of tact. There are many ways of communicating interest in a position that don't involve The New York Times. :)

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It obviously would be a great honor someday,” he said, “but I’m an employee, and it’s not open.

Stop right there, Damian! that's all you needed to say. :mellow:

"Am I equipped for it? Yes. Does going to Harvard make me more equipped? Definitely. Is that why I went to Harvard? No.” If the job were open, he later wrote in an e-mail message, he would be “very interested.”

:blink:

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It seems that the question about the future job had to be asked by the reporter. How could they not? If the question wasn't posed they would not have been doing their job.

Having said that, I don't think the parties need to discuss or negotiate a future post through the press. If NYCB wants to offer the post to Damian, they know where to find him and plenty about his qualifications. The fact that he is studying biz at Harvard only shows he is serious about a career after he leaves the stage. Good on him!

Vetting him is another matter and the powers that be at NYCB will do their diligence... so to speak.

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In my day it was diifficult for a dancer to have a career in ballet and then go on to a university later in life. I am thrilled to see dancers such as Damian Woetzel and Rachel Moore changing this trend.

If New York City Ballet wants to hire Woetzel as a successor to Peter Martins someday, that is their decision. It appears they would get themselves an excellent administrator in Woetzel. If they don't choose him, he will probably do quite well professionally elsewhere. I don't think he has much to worry about in his future. I see nothing wrong with Woetzel keeping his options open. I felt he did it well in a political way. Fitting for a student of JFK School of Government.

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Harvard hotshot Damian Woetzel says he's interested. Christopher Wheeldon says he's not (NY Times, January 4) but he wants to run his own company. Peter Boal says nothing, but already is running a major company. Helgi Tomasson runs the oldest ballet company in America. Nilas Martins has a pickup group that dances in Central Park. And then there's Suzanne Farrell.

Question: Do we need a forum on who should succeed Peter Martins?

I think it's a good idea, because I believe the discussion should not just be left to the "powers that be at NYCB." The public has an interest in this, no?

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