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Studio company changes


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Remy Young was also promoted to apprentice. Good luck to both of them.

Indeed, congrats to Ms. Young as well! Always exciting to see new faces come in for the met season. I'll look out for both of these young ladies in DC!

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Forgive me if this is a stupid question as I don't know as much about ABT as I do other companies, but why do they have both a studio company and apprentices? It seems that companies usually have one or the other, not both. In my opinion it seems to draw out the hiring process too long. I guess I'm of the thought that you either "have it" or you don't. It's interesting to compare this process to that of other companies, such as NYCB which has a very strong 'sink or swim' type of philosophy.

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Gisele Bethea has been all over YouTube for ages, it seems! Happy that she landed with ABT. The internet is littered with videos of "baby ballerinas" and "YAGP wonders" who burn out or underperform in the Real World, that it's truly special when we see one of them enter the work force in one of the top six or seven ballet companies. May she flourish!

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Forgive me if this is a stupid question as I don't know as much about ABT as I do other companies, but why do they have both a studio company and apprentices? It seems that companies usually have one or the other, not both. In my opinion it seems to draw out the hiring process too long. I guess I'm of the thought that you either "have it" or you don't. It's interesting to compare this process to that of other companies, such as NYCB which has a very strong 'sink or swim' type of philosophy.

NYCB is different from other companies in so many ways! But even Peter Martins has talked about how difficult the transition from school to company can be. Some dancers, especially male dancers, can greatly benefit from an extra year or two of specialized training that they won't get in a company, while also benefitting from a company-like structure/atmosphere and with many more performance opportunities than they would have at school.

Apprenticeship, IMO, has always been more of a trial run for the benefit of the company than for the individual dancer. Does this person have performance potential and can s/he hack being in a company? (Not that the dancer derives no benefit, but I think that the company gets more.)

Also, generally, studio company dancers get a salary (small it may be) and a shoe stipend, while apprentices are paid per performance.

A lot of American companies have studio companies now. They are a fairly recent phenomenon (last 15 years or so). A lot of now top ABT dancers went through the studio company including Hallberg, Stearns, Cornejo, Boylston, Seo and Copeland.

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The apprenticeship term also seems to be much shorter at ABT (~ a season) than at NYCB (~ a year). A few ABT dancers who became apprentices for Nutcracker in December 2015 have already been promoted to the corps (i.e. Hanna Bass)

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I always rather thought that the Studio Company was designed to give possible ABT dancers a safe way to learn to command the stage in prominent roles in front of large groups (and for the artistic staff to see if they have any real potential in that way).

NYCB's repertory of mixed bills allows Martins to cast younger dancers in principal roles with greater freedom than he would if NYCB's repertory were only short runs of classical warhorses. At the Mariinsky and Bolshoi there are far longer runs of the classics (whether at home or on tour), so casting a young dancer in a prominent role is less fraught.

I imagine the Studio Company is meant as a corrective.

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I always rather thought that the Studio Company was designed to give possible ABT dancers a safe way to learn to command the stage in prominent roles in front of large groups (and for the artistic staff to see if they have any real potential in that way).

NYCB's repertory of mixed bills allows Martins to cast younger dancers in principal roles with greater freedom than he would if NYCB's repertory were only short runs of classical warhorses. At the Mariinsky and Bolshoi there are far longer runs of the classics (whether at home or on tour), so casting a young dancer in a prominent role is less fraught.

I imagine the Studio Company is meant as a corrective.

I believe you are correct choriamb as I feel that the ABT Studio Company seems more of an individual entity since they do announce on their web page that they supply dancers to all companies including the Main Company:

Alumni

More than half of the dancers in ABT’s main Company started their career in ABT Studio Company, including Principal Dancers Isabella Boylston, Herman Cornejo, David Hallberg, Hee Seo and Cory Stearns and Soloists Misty Copeland, Joseph Gorak, Alexandre Hammoudi, Christine Shevchenko, Devon Teuscher and Roman Zhurbin. Dancers from ABT Studio Company have also gone on to join such notable companies as Boston Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, Houston Ballet, Staatsballet Berlin, The Washington Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, Orlando Ballet, Alberta Ballet and The Royal Ballet.

The apprenticeship, I feel, is different since that is part of the Main Company and listed on the Main Company website?! I am guessing there is still that possibility that if an apprentice doesn't meet whatever standard they need to remain, the corps contract may not be a sure thing?

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I always rather thought that the Studio Company was designed to give possible ABT dancers a safe way to learn to command the stage in prominent roles in front of large groups (and for the artistic staff to see if they have any real potential in that way).

Yes, I agree. (That is what I was inartfully trying to get at by saying apprenticeships are more beneficial for companies than young dancers.)

The apprenticeship, I feel, is different since that is part of the Main Company and listed on the Main Company website?! I am guessing there is still that possibility that if an apprentice doesn't meet whatever standard they need to remain, the corps contract may not be a sure thing?

Yes. Studio companies are separate from the main company. There's no guarantee the main company will take a studio company dancer, and no guarantee an apprentice will get a corps contract.

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ABT Studio Company has separate touring than ABT. They do short engagements in places ABT, as a Company can not fit. The stage may be too small or perhaps too hard. ABT is governed by Union Rules that the Studio Company is not. It is a good way for ABT to be in the public eye in places that could never see the Company.

As for paid by the performance for Appentices, I will check into that. Union rules may govern that as well. It would be quite difficult to live in NYC only being paid per performance.

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