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2013 / 2014 Season


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I just received an email newsletter from OBT announcing their next season. Here is the weblink:


  • a world premier by Interim AD Anne Mueller and former AD Christopher Stowell
  • Revival of Bolero (Nicolo Fonte)
  • Revival of The Lost Dance (Matjash Mrozewski)
  • Revival of Midsummer Night's Dream (Christopher Stowell)
  • Le Corsaire ppd
  • Almost Mozart (James Kudelka)
  • Liturgy (Christopher Wheeldon)
  • Adin (Christopher Stowell / Rachmaninoff)
  • In the Works - similar to PNB's educational series
  • Return of Balanchine's Nutcracker

Sounds like an exciting program!

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I'm pleased to see that they're doing Stowell's Midsummer -- I haven't seen it yet. The Kudelka Mozart work is well worth a visit -- it's really interesting.

I'm wondering, though, with the slimmed down roster, how they'll manage the Balanchine Nut.

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New Article from Portland Monthly, a Q&A with the new AD and current board vice-chair:


This will confirm speculation that OBT won't be able to do some of the big story ballets (at least right away):

Talk about moving forward within the budget constraints. How will it affect things like the company’s ability to do big story ballets?
There’s no doubt about it that next year going to be lean. We’ve cut to the bone, which I think is a good advantage for me coming in because we’re going to be able to grow organically. But at the same time, we’ll never lose sight of the fact that part of our obligation is to delight and entertain the audience, so we’re going to be telling stories. We’re not going to be able to put on Sleeping Beauty next year, but it is in our future and we’re going to get there.

More information on staffing changes (lucky SFB!)

What about the size of the company? Will you be shrinking it?
At the end of this year there were four dancers who elected to leave, and two are retiring. I believe that had a lot to do with uncertainty—they had to decide in January or February whether to stay on, and sadly they’re leaving. The decision was made to not replace them for now. The company has shrunk in size; we’re down from 25 or 26 to 20.

Lucas Threefoot is going to Ballet de Monte Carlo. He’ll be very successful, but he’s a hometown boy, so he might come back. Grace Shibley and Julia Rowe are going to the San Francisco Ballet. And Javier [ubell] is going to Staat Ballet Munchen.

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I'm sorry to see those dancers leave, in part because I've enjoyed their work, and in part because they've been integral to the identity of the company and it sounds like the new artistic director is trying to keep a certain continuity going.

Some of the best work I've seen from OBT has been in small cast, mixed rep programs. I love Sleeping Beauty, but I don't think it's a real hardship to spend the year doing mostly mixed rep. Why does he imply that you can only tell a story in a three-act ballet, for goodness' sake!

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Too bad about ALMOST MOZART, which was very odd/not well received at the Kennedy Center. I would dearly love to see those talented dancers -- especially Alison Roper -- in more felicitous ballets.

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I liked Almost Mozart a great deal when it was premiered -- Kudelka did some very exciting things with ballet technique in the work. Contemporary choreographers often use the amplitude and power of ballet dancers without really engaging their inherited vocabulary -- I felt Kudelka understood that world and was trying to expand it, rather than just tagging along. Yes, it is far from a conventional work, which might have made it a questionable choice for a showcase like Ballet Across America, but it was a very good addition to their repertory.

Alison Roper is indeed a beautiful dancer -- it's been a pleasure to watch her development.

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Given the sudden hire, I would not be surprised if there are sudden changes to the rep for the 2013 / 2014 season. So Natalia's sentiments may come to pass. I am looking forward to the opportunity to see more of Mr. Fonte's work!

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I saw an update on the 2013/2014 schedule - looks like part of my prediction is coming true:


October: Nacho Duato's work "Por Vos Muero" to be paired with MidSummer Night's Dream

April: Helen Pickett of Atlanta Ballet will stage "Petal" with Nacho Duato's "Cor Perdut"

Artur Sulvanov will come out of retirement to dance Nicolo Fonte's "Bolero"

Kudelka's "Almost Mozart" stays in the program (alas, Natalia!)

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