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Julie Kent is New AD at Washington Ballet


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I don't see any official designation on the website, but Suzanne Farrell Ballet is more or less the Kennedy Center's ballet company.

You are correct (and it is an official relationship), but it might be merely a carrot to get Suzanne Farrell to work with (or allow her name to be used by) the Kennedy Center. The Suzanne Farrell Ballet only does 1 program a year at the Kennedy Center, so it hardly is an important part.

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If she's looking to expand the company I wonder if Julie Kent would consider hiring Kathryn Morgan for the Washington Ballet. Kathryn has been busy with her Ballet in the City programs the latest of which is at the Kennedy Center March 29/30. This might be a good indicator of her current stamina and being in a smaller company than NYCB might be a good fit. However, what with her youtube presence and various other activities perhaps Ms Morgan is no longer interested in joining a company.

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The Suzanne Farrell Ballet only does 1 program a year at the Kennedy Center, so it hardly is an important part.

It's important to me :), but I take your point. But I assume the reason they only have one season a year (it's actually two programs) is because they lack money for more. So I'd think SFB would still be the Center's first priority, both because it's established there and because for all Kent's fame and D.C.-area roots, Farrell is still the bigger star. But I guess a big donor or two could make all the difference.

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It's important to me :), but I take your point. But I assume the reason they only have one season a year (it's actually two programs) is because they lack money for more. So I'd think SFB would still be the Center's first priority, both because it's established there and because for all Kent's fame and D.C.-area roots, Farrell is still the bigger star. But I guess a big donor or two could make all the difference.

The Farrell company grew out of the summer intensives that she conducts for the Kennedy Center's Education Department. This links to a history of the program: https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=http://www.kennedy-center.org/education/farrell/&ved=0ahUKEwjT1uXJrd_LAhVJFx4KHYfnDxYQFggbMAA&usg=AFQjCNGczeYqzp7u9ob3aclXJ1AfgNJO7w&sig2=QgoybagnHYjrTSCIlbKPjA

After reading her autobiography, I was left with the impression that she tries to live in the moment and take things as they come. I think the company might have had the potential to grow, but the interviews I've read and the company's performance schedule lead me to speculate that she's not interested in overseeing the marketing, development and the publicity efforts of running a thriving full time company. She wants to spend her time spreading the gospel of Mr. B at every opportunity. She circles the world staging, coaching, and teaching, not appearing at all interested in establishing an institution.

The opera company and the orchestra became constituents of the Kennedy Center long after they had been founded. The Farrell company is the first home grown classical performing arts company at the KenCen.

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It's important to me :), but I take your point. But I assume the reason they only have one season a year (it's actually two programs) is because they lack money for more. So I'd think SFB would still be the Center's first priority, both because it's established there and because for all Kent's fame and D.C.-area roots, Farrell is still the bigger star. But I guess a big donor or two could make all the difference.

I apologize for not making it clear that I was referring to the SFB not being an important part of the Kennedy Center's programming. I'm skeptical that the limiting factor on the SFB's performances is money. The Kennedy Center seems to have so much cash that they have to look for ways to spend it, so I would think that they could subsidize more performances if they wanted them.

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I have always at least wondered whether Farrell's long-term impact as a coach and teacher -- a spreader of the "gospel of Balanchine" as mentioned above (or her version) would not be greater if her company was developed to be more of a real institution, and even if that meant that a portion of her time was spent on more administrative tasks. But that isn't the route she and/or the Kennedy Center have chosen.

I'm very interested in seeing what Kent does with the Washington Ballet.

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Note sales are higher for Carmina & Theme than Hamlet-Kent is smart to bring more classics.

Are you sure that Carmina Burana is outselling Hamlet? Carmina Burana would have to average 57 percent more seats sold per show to match the total number of seats sold for Hamlet because of the greater number of performances of Hamlet.

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Orchestra_box available as of 3-28. Hamlet thru 3-Apr then Carmina/Theme

13-Apr=13%_24%

31-Mar=27%_46% 14-Apr=59 seats_15%

1-Apr=29%_49% 15-Apr=17%_13%

2-Apr=40%_51% 16-Apr=32%_35%

2-Apr=31%_23% 16-Apr=11%_6 seats

3-Apr=29%_56% 17-Apr=27%_48%

3-Apr=43%_51% 17-Apr=37%_38%

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After reading her autobiography, I was left with the impression that she tries to live in the moment and take things as they come. I think the company might have had the potential to grow, but the interviews I've read and the company's performance schedule lead me to speculate that she's not interested in overseeing the marketing, development and the publicity efforts of running a thriving full time company. She wants to spend her time spreading the gospel of Mr. B at every opportunity. She circles the world staging, coaching, and teaching, not appearing at all interested in establishing an institution.

(emphasis mine)

And I think that's really the work she needs to be doing. She was in a very special place in the his work, and has information and insights onto that repertory that no one else really has -- I imagine she could be a conventional AD for a mixed rep ensemble, but I'd rather glean as much as we can from her personal knowledge, and leave that job to someone for whom it might be their special skill.

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I apologize for not making it clear that I was referring to the SFB not being an important part of the Kennedy Center's programming. I'm skeptical that the limiting factor on the SFB's performances is money. The Kennedy Center seems to have so much cash that they have to look for ways to spend it, so I would think that they could subsidize more performances if they wanted them.

No apology necessary of course. You may be right about the Center.

Imspear, I think there is no doubt that Farrell's goal is to serve Balanchine's work. Whether or not she'd be willing to lead a full-time company as a way of doing it appears, sadly in my opinion, to be a moot point.

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Orchestra_box available as of 3-28. Hamlet thru 3-Apr then Carmina/Theme

Assuming similar sales for the first 5 performances of Hamlet (and more than 54 percent of the orchestra seats were occupied at the performances that I attended), Hamlet would outdraw CB, though there are likely to be further sales for CB before the run starts. The low sales for both Sunday matinees is a little surprising.

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Assuming similar sales for the first 5 performances of Hamlet (and more than 54 percent of the orchestra seats were occupied at the performances that I attended), Hamlet would outdraw CB, though there are likely to be further sales for CB before the run starts. The low sales for both Sunday matinees is a little surprising.

I don't know why Washington Ballet performances never make it into Kennedy Center's MyTix program -- I'd certainly love to go if I could afford to!

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I don't know why Washington Ballet performances never make it into Kennedy Center's MyTix program -- I'd certainly love to go if I could afford to!

I don't know what this is, but I'm making a big assumption that it's some kind of featured or subsidized ticking -- if so, ask the presenter. They likely would answer your question.

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I don't know what this is, but I'm making a big assumption that it's some kind of featured or subsidized ticking -- if so, ask the presenter. They likely would answer your question.

KC's 18-30 program (like NYCB's 29 for 29). It offers tickets for all the national/international ballet companies touring KC.

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I don't know what this is, but I'm making a big assumption that it's some kind of featured or subsidized ticking -- if so, ask the presenter. They likely would answer your question.

MyTix is a program at the Kennedy Center to try to get young adults interested in the performing arts by offering a limited number of highly discounted tickets to various events for people 18-30 or who are in the military. Participants are also entered into drawings for free tickets. Initial funding for the program, like just about everything else at the Kennedy Center, came from the Rubensteins. Most (if not all) of the events in the program are Kennedy Center productions.

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In passing, I've been rather wondering if Kent might add more Balanchine to the programming mix at WB.

While she danced relatively few of his works, she's said in interviews that those were among her most treasured roles...and that the first major company she admired as a child was actually NYCB.

We've assumed that Kent's programming choices will precisely reflect her dance career...yet her interests may diverge in interesting ways. (Boal at PNB is a good example in some ways.)

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A talk given (on Sep. 25) by Julie Kent and some of the people who are doing the staging for the WB's 40th anniversary program was filled with statements like "It's called the Washington BALLET, not the Washington DANCE Company" and "Mary Day started a BALLET school, not a DANCE school". This didn't exactly make it difficult to infer that Julie Kent's agenda is to improve the quality and quantity of classical ballet performances.

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