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Next Artistic Director for ABT


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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Yes, that's right. Obraztsova danced in the third movement of Symphony in C two different nights. Those are the only times I have seen her live. I had a companion who loved her in it, but I did not think she was well-suited to the choreography and she seemed to dance behind the music at times (especially the first night). But I do not doubt--based on video, reports/reviews and even just how she looked on stage in Symphony in C--that in the right repertory, I would very much enjoy and admire her dancing. I can picture her in the Ratmansky Sleeping Beauty and hope to see her dance whatever repertory in the future whether with the Bolshoi, the Royal, or ABT.

Obraztsova was beyond exquisite in R&J last Thursday night. And it all seemed effortless, as if it were completely natural for her to move that way. I believe I posted about that performance on the R&J thread. Cornejo danced above and beyond himself, showing more emotion than I've ever seen from him. I was sure that right after the performance they were going to hightail it down to City Hall for a marriage license!

However, I agree that she seemed out of place in Symphony in C.

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ABT as the world's best is a minority opinion. It has declined over the last decade as iconic performers have retired and/or left.

If McKenzie was successful at the beginning of his directorship, that doesn't, by definition, mean he is successful now with the challenges the company faces.

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KM took over the company practically on its deathbed and revived it. It's arguably the world's best. He's the Red Auerbach/John Wooden/Vince Lombardi of ballet. Appreciate what we have, huh?

It is over twenty years later, and the company now has a skeleton crew of dancers. Many talented principals, soloists and corps dancers have either retired or just left in the last few years.

Sorry, but ABT is just not the company that it once was with regard to in house talent anymore. I can’t believe that I am alone in being totally disgusted. And while guest stars (when they actually show up) are thrilling to see once in a while, they should only be in a fraction of the performances, not the majority. As a result, I have attended fewer performances this year. So while this may not be affecting someone like you, it has significantly affected my attendance this season. Also, ABT's bait and switch tactics, some of which did not leave me enough time to trade in my tickets, was dishonest. As soon as ABT knows a dancer is out, it should be listed as TBA if the replacement has not yet been assigned.

I expect my attendance will continue to be down if things do not change. In my opinion, ABT needs to re-build their company roster (at all levels) with extraordinary in house talent equal to what it was only just a few years ago.

I would be very sad to see this 75 year old company (which I have always loved) continue in its present state of decline.

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Sorry, but ABT is just not the company that it once was with regard to in house talent anymore. I can’t believe that I am alone in being totally disgusted.

You're not alone. I too am disgusted for all of the reasons you stated (and I'm certain, given other's comments on this board, that there are more of us).

I'm absolutely dreading the next few weeks when we'll see the latest crop of departures and promotions (or lack thereof).

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I used to have trouble selecting which performances to see, because there were so many great dancers to choose from. Now when I review the schedule,my task is a lot easier. Very few people left on the roster that I'm thrilled about seeing. However, it's getting harder to avoid the performers I have no interest in by virtue of the casting changes. Since KM also presided over a great period at ABT, I tend to believe that budgetary/financial issues are to blame for the way things are managed now, and that his hands may be tied to a large extent by these issues.

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I used to have trouble selecting which performances to see, because there were so many great dancers to choose from. Now when I review the schedule,my task is a lot easier. Very few people left on the roster that I'm thrilled about seeing. However, it's getting harder to avoid the performers I have no interest in by virtue of the casting changes.

I feel exactly the same way.

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I did the stats in the original Copeland thread at the beginning of May, before Hee Seo got a bunch of new assignments and, I believe this was before Abrera got her Giselle. At that point, 12% of all Principal roles in full-lengths and 11% of Principal roles including mixed bills were assigned to guests. Nearly 90% of Principal roles were assigned to dancers on the ABT roster.

http://balletalert.invisionzone.com/index.php?/topic/39465-misty-copeland/page-47#entry353576

Bobstone17's location is LA. If that is where Bobstone17 has been seeing the Company, LA gets a different experience with casting, which is dominated by the ABT roster. Guests don't go to LA. "Nutcracker" will no longer be seen in NYC, and the dancers for whom members have been craving promotions -- not everyone for all -- were cast prominently. "Sleeping Beauty" was important enough for Vishneva to have made the trip.

Perhaps the Company looks different in another city, where rehearsal time has been concentrated on limited rep, and to fresh eyes.

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Bobstone17's location is LA. If that is where Bobstone17 has been seeing the Company, LA gets a different experience with casting, which is dominated by the ABT roster. Guests don't go to LA. "Nutcracker will no longer be seen in NYC, and the dancers for whom members have been craving promotions -- not everyone for all -- were cast prominently. "Sleeping Beauty" was important enough for Vishneva to have made the trip.

Perhaps the Company looks different in another city, where rehearsal time has been concentrated on limited rep, and to fresh eyes.

You make an excellent point. And of course the West Coast does not have an eight week season with so many ballets and roles to fill.

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And of course, a crucial element, apart from the proportion of ABT roster-members being cast, is who is on that ABT roster, and at what level. For example, I'm not especially happy with the current ABT Principal roster, both men and women, so I won't go rushing out to buy tickets for dancers whom I've seen enough times to know that the experience won't be worth my time and energy. I, like many on this board, am very unhappy with the current state of ABT. And if Copeland and Kochetkova are added to that Principal roster, I will be more unhappy still.

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My stats were based on Principal casting, and the importance should be somewhat equal.

Yes, if you don't like ABT Principals, who were cast in 68% of the rep before substitutions, then you're not going to be happy with ABT, especially if a small percentage of those Principals that you do like are replaced by dancers that you don't. 17-18% were filled by Soloists, again before substitutions.

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Sorry, but ABT is just not the company that it once was with regard to in house talent anymore. I can’t believe that I am alone in being totally disgusted. And while guest stars (when they actually show up) are thrilling to see once in a while, they should only be in a fraction of the performances, not the majority. As a result, I have attended fewer performances this year. So while this may not be affecting someone like you, it has significantly affected my attendance this season. Also, ABT's bait and switch tactics, some of which did not leave me enough time to trade in my tickets, was dishonest. As soon as ABT knows a dancer is out, it should be listed as TBA if the replacement has not yet been assigned.

I expect my attendance will continue to be down if things do not change. In my opinion, ABT needs to re-build their company roster (at all levels) with extraordinary in house talent equal to what it was only just a few years ago.

I would be very sad to see this 75 year old company (which I have always loved) continue in its present state of decline.

You are not alone. I feel exactly the same way, disgusted........many of my balletomane friends feel the same as well. I have been going to ABT shows for over 15 years, 3-4 times a week, many of my friends have been attending even longer than that. This season, I have barely seen them there, and I have attended very few times myself. It has gotten to the point that I even left for a 2 week vacation during the season, something I never did before.

I remember having such a hard time deciding which performance I would use to "rest", sometimes I would even see the entire run.....This has turned 180 degrees...... now, I find myself looking for a show that I would like to see. This got even worst after the 3 retirements of this year.

When I think about the previous roster of dancers, especially the females, Ferri, Nina A, Irina D, A. Mackerrow, Julie K and so many more.... and see that my choices now are Misty C, Seo 3 x week, and Boylston I can barely believe my eyes.....Personally, I dont remember the company been in such decline in a long long time......I go to ABT to see quality, excitement, world-class dancing...with all due respect, these new promoted ballerinas (to my disbelieve, I am assuming Misty C will soon be a principal) dont come even close to that, now abt looks like a regional, small company, .......except when they have a mega-star like Osipova, Vishneva, Obratzova or Cojocaru dancing......To top it off, Part and Murphy, which are the only remains from the golden era of the company, are actually barely dancing, especially Part (Murphy given a Juliet in a matinee, and still banned from Giselle, etc)....Everything is like upside down to me......

I personally have decided that I will not pay a ticket to see poor dancing, or to see a show that instead of bringing excitement and joy, it only brings disgust and sadness to me,....which is the feeling I have gotten when seeing the new "primas" of the company.....I love ballet and this is quite sad to me, but i rather see nothing and keep the memories of the great times alive ..............

I love seeing in-house dancers being nurture, growing, but not at the cost of declining the quality to point that we are now.....My only hopes for a change are these three names: Joe Gorak, Skylar Brandt (impressive in everything I have seen her dance) and C. Trenary..............

I am also hoping that Semionova returns, losing her will be tragic, and maybe having Smirnova and/or Obratzova, or Nunez back and dancing more..........in the meantime, i will either go more to nycb or basically will continue to save money for more vacation time..........

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Or, Classic Ballet, you can combine vacation and ballet. Perhaps a trip to Washington to see the Mariinsky's Raymonda. We don't yet know any casting, but at least we know it won't be Hee Seo.

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Without taking a plane, from NYC you can easily visit Washington DC, Boston, and Philadephia and go to the ballet there. I've done arts-specific vacations, and on work travel I tried to squeeze in performances -- ballet, opera, theater -- whenever I can.

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Or, Classic Ballet, you can combine vacation and ballet. Perhaps a trip to Washington to see the Mariinsky's Raymonda. We don't yet know any casting, but at least we know it won't be Hee Seo.

yay ! thats a great idea, thanks !!! ......I havent seen Raymonda in a long time.......I was very disappointed with the RB program, so that wasnt a choice for me either this time, this is just a personal taste, but I would have loved to see them in the classics....still remember the gorgeousssss Giselle of POB a few years ago.....

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Or, Classic Ballet, you can combine vacation and ballet. Perhaps a trip to Washington to see the Mariinsky's Raymonda. We don't yet know any casting, but at least we know it won't be Hee Seo.

Without taking a plane, from NYC you can easily visit Washington DC, Boston, and Philadephia and go to the ballet there. I've done arts-specific vacations, and on work travel I tried to squeeze in performances -- ballet, opera, theater -- whenever I can.

Yes, you are both so right! We just took Amtrak to DC just to see the Royal Ballet’s Don Q!

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I've done arts-specific vacations

The only kind I take. smile.png Based on what I've just seen, I would also put in a vote for the National Ballet of Canada in Toronto. The train ride is quite long, but the plane ride is short. The Porter flight from Newark to the Billy Bishop Airport is very convenient--and even Pearson International Airport is marginally less horrible now that a train connects it to Toronto's city center--and the current exchange rate is very advantageous to American travelers.

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The only kind I take. :) Based on what I've just seen, I would also put in a vote for the National Ballet of Canada in Toronto. The train ride is quite long, but the plane ride is short. The Porter flight from Newark to the Billy Bishop Airport is very convenient--and even Pearson International Airport is marginally less horrible now that a train connects it to Toronto's city center--and the current exchange rate is very advantageous to American travelers.

Off topic, but I plan on making the trip to Toronto this fall to see Ratmansky's R&J.

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I loved ABT in the days of Baryshnikov, Bocca, Kirkland, Harvey, and on and on. The stars were beyond wonderful, and the Corps was pretty ragged. I gritted my teeth at Bayadere and Swan Lake and wished someone got the women to look in synch.

Today my old favorites are gone, as are McKerrow, Corella, and now the three ballerinas. And the corps is breathtaking. I saw three Beautys in LA and was blown away by all the talent--the fairies, Florine, Bluebird, Puss in Boots--all of them. Years from now we'll be bemoaning the retirement of the big stars: Brandt, Trenary, Simkin, Whiteside, Abrera, and members of the corps whose names I don't yet know.

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I've heard this before, and it sounds more like a crazy rumor. Being offered $1 million to run ABT is ludicrous (whether that's an annual salary or a combo of salary and signing bonus to lure him away from Argentina). ABT doesn't have that kind of cash. McKenzie makes less than 300K and even across the plaza, Peter Martins makes less than 700K and NYCB has a LOT more money than ABT.

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I've heard this before, and it sounds more like a crazy rumor. Being offered $1 million to run ABT is ludicrous (whether that's an annual salary or a combo of salary and signing bonus to lure him away from Argentina). ABT doesn't have that kind of cash. McKenzie makes less than 300K and even across the plaza, Peter Martins makes less than 700K and NYCB has a LOT more money than ABT.

Per the relevant IRS 990s, Peter Martins made more than $700 K during NYCB & SAB's 2014 fiscal year. (For NYCB, that's the year ending 6/30/14.) Here's the breakdown:

Base Compensation, NYCB AD = $733,333

Non-taxable benefits, NYCB AD = $39,352

Royalties / Choreographic fees, NYCB = $10,125

Base Compensation, SAB Director / AD = $114,704

Non-taxable benefits, SAB Director / AD = $5,735

Total = $903,249.

It's not exactly an apple-to-apples comparison if you throw in choreographic fees and SAB, but the NYCB AD chunk is in excess of $700K, even before benefits.

That being said, $1 million to run ABT is insane. Heck, there are college football coaches who don't make that much. :wink:

ETA: For the record, I'd like to think that the AD of a major arts organization isn't in it for the bucks.

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Per the relevant IRS 990s, Peter Martins made more than $700 K during NYCB & SAB's 2014 fiscal year. (For NYCB, that's the year ending 6/30/14.) Here's the breakdown:

Base Compensation, NYCB AD = $733,333

Non-taxable benefits, NYCB AD = $39,352

Royalties / Choreographic fees, NYCB = $10,125

Base Compensation, SAB Director / AD = $114,704

Non-taxable benefits, SAB Director / AD = $5,735

Total = $903,249.

It's not exactly an apple-to-apples comparison if you throw in choreographic fees and SAB, but the NYCB AD chunk is in excess of $700K, even before benefits.

That being said, $1 million to run ABT is insane. Heck, there are college football coaches who don't make that much. :wink:

ETA: For the record, I'd like to think that the AD of a major arts organization isn't in it for the bucks.

So Martins makes 900K. Wow. Seriously, wow. But, as we both said, you still can't compare the two companies in terms of money, and I can't believe anyone could garner that much at ABT. I'd say that's impossible.

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