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Clinton Luckett named assistant AD of ABT


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The release:

CLINTON LUCKETT NAMED ASSISTANT ARTISTIC DIRECTOR OF

AMERICAN BALLET THEATRE

Clinton Luckett, Ballet Master and former dancer at American Ballet Theatre, has been appointed Assistant Artistic Director of the Company. Luckett’s appointment, which becomes effective August 2016, was announced today by ABT Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie. Luckett will succeed Victor Barbee, who was first named Assistant Artistic Director of the Company in 2001 and Associate Artistic Director in 2003. Barbee will assume the role of Associate Artistic Director of

The Washington Ballet in July.

“Clinton’s deep knowledge of the ballet repertoire, calm demeanor and incredible organizational skills make him perfectly suited for the role as Assistant Artistic Director at ABT,” said McKenzie. “His range of experience as a performer, Studio Company Associate and Ballet Master at ABT will serve him well in his new position.”
Born in Louisville, Kentucky, Luckett began his dance training there and was accepted into the National Ballet School in Toronto in 1985. He joined the National Ballet of Canada in 1987 and was promoted to second soloist in 1991. In 1992, Luckett joined the corps de ballet of American Ballet Theatre where he was featured in the works of Frederick Ashton, George Balanchine, Agnes de Mille, Martha Graham, Jirí Kylián, Lar Lubovitch, Kenneth MacMillan, Mark Morris and Antony Tudor, as well as roles in all of the Company's full-length ballets. He has appeared on television in the PBS/Dance in America programs ABT Now and Le Corsaire, and in the CBC/Rombus Media productions of Glen Tetley’s Alice and La Ronde.

In 2002, Luckett was appointed Artistic Associate for Education and Training at American Ballet Theatre. In that position, he helped direct the ABT Studio Company, served as Company Teacher at ABT and was a member of the ABT New York Summer Intensive faculty. He was named Ballet Master at ABT in September 2006, while continuing to work with the Education Department as Artistic Coordinator for Special Projects (including ABTKids, Young People’s Ballet Workshop and Guggenheim Works & Process presentations) and Artistic Coordinator of the Apprentice Program. Luckett has served as a guest teacher for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and taught ballet at New York University.

With American Ballet Theatre, Luckett performs the character roles of Dacha Dweller in The Bright Stream, Escalus and Friar Laurence in Romeo and Juliet, Galifron in The Sleeping Beauty and Gonzalo in The Tempest.

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Sorry Ethan Steifel did not get the job. I've been rooting for him to get a plum job with one of the major US companies.

Is this actually a plum job? If Barbee hadn't moved to Washington Ballet, would he have been promoted to the directorship at some point?

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Really? He seems to be a bit underwhelming, to put it mildly. But perhaps he has skills Kevin needs right now. He does come to the position with a lot of knowledge and awareness of the ballets. Time will tell. What ABT really needs is someone who can coach the younger men coming up. Perhaps that's a better job for Ethan. Again, we'll see......

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Really? He seems to be a bit underwhelming, to put it mildly. But perhaps he has skills Kevin needs right now. He does come to the position with a lot of knowledge and awareness of the ballets. Time will tell. What ABT really needs is someone who can coach the younger men coming up. Perhaps that's a better job for Ethan. Again, we'll see......

I would love to see Ethan hired as a coach. Then maybe the company could do a better job of grooming its men for Principal status.

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I would love to see Ethan hired as a coach. Then maybe the company could do a better job of grooming its men for Principal status.

I think that Clinton Luckett is a "safe" pick for Mckenzie. Recently, there seems to be a little chatter about it being time for Mckenzie to give up the directorship and that the company might need some type of change/shake up. I think the partnership with Ratmansky is Kevin's attempt at doing this or appeasing this argument. Appointing Stiefel or Jose Carreno, etc., would be a threat to Kevin. It might make the board think of their potential to take over or even begin the conversation. I highly highly doubt that Luckett will ever even be considered for the AD position. I think many directors hire like this... they don't want anyone that might threaten their "hold" on the company. This only ultimately does a disservice to the company and its audience. Its so clear that ABT needs qualified and effective coaches, so its heart-breaking to see so many missed opportunities and potential coaches not being able to pass on their knowledge.

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To play devil's advocate, though, I seem to recall that Stiefel said one of the reasons he left NZ was that he didn't want to be bogged down with administration so that he could focus on choreography...and was enjoying mobility. If the Assistant AD job at ABT involves constant presence in NYC and/or a mess of paperwork, it may have been unappealing to most of the aforementioned.

Of course the great difficulty of this conversation is that none of us have a terribly clear idea of what this job entails...which never stopped me before!

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I think that Clinton Luckett is a "safe" pick for Mckenzie. Recently, there seems to be a little chatter about it being time for Mckenzie to give up the directorship and that the company might need some type of change/shake up. I think the partnership with Ratmansky is Kevin's attempt at doing this or appeasing this argument. Appointing Stiefel or Jose Carreno, etc., would be a threat to Kevin. It might make the board think of their potential to take over or even begin the conversation. I highly highly doubt that Luckett will ever even be considered for the AD position. I think many directors hire like this... they don't want anyone that might threaten their "hold" on the company. This only ultimately does a disservice to the company and its audience. Its so clear that ABT needs qualified and effective coaches, so its heart-breaking to see so many missed opportunities and potential coaches not being able to pass on their knowledge.

To play devil's advocate, though, I seem to recall that Stiefel said one of the reasons he left NZ was that he didn't want to be bogged down with administration so that he could focus on choreography...and was enjoying mobility. If the Assistant AD job at ABT involves constant presence in NYC and/or a mess of paperwork, it may have been unappealing to most of the aforementioned.

Of course the great difficulty of this conversation is that none of us have a terribly clear idea of what this job entails...which never stopped me before!

Just to add another twist to this thought, I do agree what Dancerboy 90210 mentioned, that it is possible that this was a "safe" move and for selfish reasons by McKenzie. Adding to these thoughts, I am not sure if being "bogged down with administrative work" is an issue since I am assuming that ABT has more staff for that vs NZ? My guess is this, since both Stiefel and Carreño are extremely well known and loved, and IMO more of an equal to McKenzie (since they were both principals in their careers) if not better, they can potentially be more outspoken toward the board and that may be an issue? Clinton may be less threatening for McKenzie's position and the board will continue their control!

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