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Next Artistic Director for ABT


miliosr

Next Artistic Director for ABT  

69 members have voted

  1. 1. Who Should Be the Next Artistic Director of ABT?

    • Ardani Management
      1
    • Ballet Alert Message Board Posters Collective
      0
    • Mikhail Baryshnikov
      2
    • Julio Bocca
      6
    • John Gardner and Amanda McKerrow
      4
    • Susan Jaffe
      3
    • Gelsey Kirkland
      2
    • Alexei Ratmansky
      17
    • Ethan Steifel
      26
    • Other - Please Specify
      8


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Given the reports of boos directed Kevin McKenzie's way this week, I thought it would be a good time to update our member's poll from one year ago regarding the next artistic director of ABT.

The strongest finishers from last year's poll made it into this year's poll while weak finishers (Victor Barbee, Jose Manuel Carreno, Laurent Hilaire) dropped off. Angel Corella was a strong finisher last year but, as he's now running the Pennsylvania Ballet, I've left him off this year's poll. Johan Kobborg was also a strong finisher but he let it be known he wasn't interested.

I've added Baryshnikov for no other reason than the Bourbons hung on for 26 years until the Restoration. This being the 26th anniversary of Baryshnikov's resignation, you never know if there will be a similar restoration. wink1.gif

And, yes, some of the choices are just me being a wiseguy.

You have one vote -- vote your conscience!

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I'm not holding my breath. Has there been any sort of a peep at all (of the sort that can be mentioned here on BA, that is) from the board or from individual members that they're unhappy with KM's performance?

From what I understand, KM attends all board meetings--which, again from what I understand, is unusual for an AD.

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I voted for Ratmansky because I think he fits really well with ABT's identity as a company that focuses mainly on story ballets. I think the company could really use someone with his level of taste and sophistication -- as well as obvious reverence for the classics. And he really has brought out the best in ABT's dancers, while also valuing homegrown talent.

That said, I have no idea how any of these people would do from a development standpoint. The AD is basically the fundraiser-in-chief, so whoever ABT eventually chooses will have to have a knack for cultivating donors.

When does McKenzie's contract expire? I feel as if this information was reported on these boards at one point.

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That said, I have no idea how any of these people would do from a development standpoint. The AD is basically the fundraiser-in-chief, so whoever ABT eventually chooses will have to have a knack for cultivating donors.

Are there any examples of major U.S. ballet companies where the AD position is more solely artistic and a general manager-type position exists to handle development, etc?

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I voted for Ratmansky because I think he fits really well with ABT's identity as a company that focuses mainly on story ballets. I think the company could really use someone with his level of taste and sophistication -- as well as obvious reverence for the classics. And he really has brought out the best in ABT's dancers, while also valuing homegrown talent.

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After his Bolshoi experience I don't think Ratmansky has any interest in being an AD. I think he enjoys traveling the world choreographing. That said, my vote goes to Ethan Stiefel.

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If KM is mainly a fundraiser, what does Rachel Moore do? Isn't there a development department at ABT?

I don't think he is. He may raise funds but he is clearly involved in rehearsals.

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If KM is mainly a fundraiser, what does Rachel Moore do? Isn't there a development department at ABT?

There's the managerial / administrative side of development: deciding which grants to apply for, which foundations to pitch projects to, planning events, making sure that the organization's shiniest object -- be it a dancer, a choreographer, or whatever -- is seated at just the right table come the gala, sorting out the various patron levels and perks, making sure the "donate now" button works on the website, handling reporting / compliance, etc etc etc. That's what the Development Department and / or Executive Director oversees. Ideally the AD is schmoozing the big donors, personally articulating the company's artistic vision to the foundation big wigs, maybe calling the Mayor or someone on the City Council, etc etc etc. -- i.e., a step or two removed from all the nitty-gritty planning and administrivia and focussed on enticing donors and grantors into pulling out their checkbooks.

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I like the team prospect. I vote McKerrow & Gardner, with Susan Jaffe as second choice. (Could it be a triumvirate? Wasn't it something Iike successfully with Lucia Chase?)

What did Steifel make with Royal New Zealand?

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Laurent Hilaire, Alessandra Ferri, Deborah Bull (her cross-cultural expertise)... just about anyone interested in creating new narrative ballets and finding a balance between homegrown talent and guests ;-). I don't think it will be an easy company to turn around though. The board don't appear to have any problems with how McKenzie runs the company - probably because ADs of major cultural institutions are always puppets.

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Laurent Hilaire, Alessandra Ferri, Deborah Bull (her cross-cultural expertise)... just about anyone interested in creating new narrative ballets and finding a balance between homegrown talent and guests ;-). I don't think it will be an easy company to turn around though. The board don't appear to have any problems with how McKenzie runs the company - probably because ADs of major cultural institutions are always puppets.

I just posted under the Giselle sub-forum about this, tomorrow. I voted for Ratmansky for the reasons stated by fondoffouettes, but I do like your choice of Alessandra Ferri.

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I find it interesting that so many are choosing Stiefel. I liked him as a dancer but he has led multiple institutions, all smaller. None successfully. He's left every post quite rapidly.

I'm really unsure why anyone thinks he would be a good leader for ABT.

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Damian Woetzel or Angel Corella. I’d be over the moon with either one of them.

Both are smart and have a tremendous amount to offer. Yes, I know Angel is an AD right now, and that Damian is busy at KC and other projects, but that does not stop me from wishing and hoping!

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I would prefer that whoever succeeds Mckenzie have a history with ABT and substantial experience with nineteenth-century classics.

A succession may or may not happen anytime soon, but I also believe that whoever the next ABT director is, s/he likely will run into many of the same problems Mckenzie has run into...

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Damian Woetzel or Angel Corella. I’d be over the moon with either one of them.

Both are smart and have a tremendous amount to offer. Yes, I know Angel is an AD right now, and that Damian is busy at KC and other projects, but that does not stop me from wishing and hoping!

Angel is still, so far, unproven. Damian, while showing much expertise and smarts with his Festival has no history with ABT. I think he would be a better fit at NYCB should MArtins ever retire. I would give a nod to Helgi Thomasson. While he is sort of Balanchine oriented, he has a good sensibility about both the classics and the newer modern choreographers. He's done a wonderful job at SFB. He's also very involved with the school at SFB, which I think is key. (as is Martins at SAB). JKO seems not to have that same connection and it's current teaching standards are not all that wonderful. And getting Helgi away from SFO would be near impossible. Why would he want to be in this Lion's Den when he can be in the City By The Bay?

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I would prefer that whoever succeeds Mckenzie have a history with ABT and substantial experience with nineteenth-century classics.

A succession may or may not happen anytime soon, but I also believe that whoever the next ABT director is, s/he likely will run into many of the same problems Mckenzie has run into...

If ever there was a time for a like button--Drew's post is it for me :) I agree 100% with all of the above.

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