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cassieallison

Peter Martins Retired; Succession Discussion

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I think CassieAllison and I must have been posting at more or less the same time--I posted on the Martins sexual harrassment thread. Some discussion of the issue there -- starts on page 20 of that thread (perhaps moderators want to decide how to consolidate?). Here is beginning of that thread:

http://balletalert.invisionzone.com/topic/43192-peter-martins-sexual-harassment-allegations/

 

 

 

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Wendy would be the best choice.  She is currently teaching at Ballet Academy East. I believe she will be the successor to Peter Martins. 

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And here it is. 

Thanks Alexandra for linking the NYT article here.  I found this interesting:

"In the other camp were several current dancers who, before Mr. Martins’s resignation, said the accusations against him did not jibe with the leader they know and that the complaints were coming from dancers who had left the company.

“He has been nothing but respectful of me,” Sterling Hyltin, a longtime principal ballerina, said in a recent interview. “It’s been really upsetting to see former dancers speaking on behalf of current dancers.”"

It did not occur to her that perhaps people left the company because they didn't have the same respectful treatment from their boss?

I also think it's interesting that Martins says that he thinks the investigation "would have" cleared him -- implying that it won't now?  Or that it won't be completed?

Nonetheless, the big issue now is who will lead and how will they make the transition?

I think there are big drawbacks to each other people listed in the article.  Millepied would need to cut ties altogether with his LA Project, in my opinion.  He would be coming into the job with some serious baggage (some earned and some not) from his time in Paris, and would need to make an effort to show that this was a different situation altogether.  Peck would have to discontinue his work outside of NYCB, which, at this point in his development as a choreographer, would really stunt his process.  And Whelan is still a dancer, working on her own projects.  She'd also be in the situation where she would have to cut that part of her career out, and I'm not sure how that would parse in the long term.

 

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As much as i am a fan of Peck (as a dancer as well as choreographer), i hope he doesn't get the  job (or take it if offered). he is too young and it would eat into time he could and should spend developing his creative work. 

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I think the only logical replacement would be Jon Stafford, as he has been on the administrative side of things for a long time now and is familiar with the business aspect. 

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11 minutes ago, Fleurfairy said:

I think the only logical replacement would be Jon Stafford, as he has been on the administrative side of things for a long time now and is familiar with the business aspect. 

except he's married to a current NYCB dancer.  Honestly almost all the possibilities have issues (even if only of perception) and I think the idea of leaving the current team in place for a bit makes the most sense (obviously Stafford can't have casting responsibilities as part of that). 

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On a separate issue I just got an email from SAB announcing Martins' retirement. of interest, to me at least, was the following:

 

 

The SAB Board truly appreciates Peter’s tremendous contributions to the extraordinary success of NYCB and SAB over the past thirty years as he led our institutions to a position of international prominence and an exceptional record of artistic achievement. SAB and NYCB’s board leadership will immediately convene a committee to begin the search for Peter's successor.

 

Here at SAB, our students will continue to receive the best instruction available from our outstanding faculty.  Kay Mazzo will continue in the role that she has held for twenty years, overseeing training for every division of the School and the daily management of faculty and classes.  Faculty member and Professional Placement Manager Jon Stafford will continue to serve as SAB’s primary liaison with New York City Ballet as a function of his role guiding NYCB’s interim artistic leadership team. Their bios are included below. 

 

An independent investigation into matters raised in an anonymous letter to our Board concerning past conduct of Peter Martins at the School and Company is ongoing.  We want to reiterate that we take these matters very seriously and, also, thus far the investigation has not discovered any reason to be concerned about student safety. 

 

SAB’s priority remains maintaining an environment in which our students and employees are safe, supported, and respected.

 

 

To me, at least,  this  takes Martins' side of things pretty strongly, and I feel bad  for those people who came forward. 

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I hope the board takes it's time and does a broad search looking at all aspects of a candidates' qualifications. Numerous former NYCB dancers are now running companies - Ib Anderson, Coleen Neary, Lordes Lopez, Peter Boal, Helgi Tomasson - to name just a few. Jean-Pierre Frohlich is the artistic administrator of Moves (the NYCB mini company) They all have experience with NYCB as well what it takes to run a company. They should all be considered. The idea of finding a woman as a replacement has some appeal. It may be past time for Suzanne to be given the job (expect perhaps as an interim person) but other than Farrell, and the two women named above, there are many women to consider - Jennifer Ringer, Kyra Nichols, Darla Hoover (Associate Director of Central PA Youth Ballet and an experienced stager), I could go on.

In my long winded way, I'm saying that there are a lot of people out there to consider, with the given that they want the job. It will be a process and hopefully a careful one.
 

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Quote

The SAB Board truly appreciates Peter’s tremendous contributions to the extraordinary success of NYCB and SAB over the past thirty years as he led our institutions to a position of international prominence and an exceptional record of artistic achievement. 

"To"? That's very odd wording. Martins has maintained the prominence and artistic achievement already existent in the institutions he inherited.

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1 hour ago, E Johnson said:

On a separate issue I just got an email from SAB announcing Martins' retirement. of interest, to me at least, was the following:

"The SAB Board truly appreciates Peter’s tremendous contributions to the extraordinary success of NYCB and SAB over the past thirty years as he led our institutions to a position of international prominence and an exceptional record of artistic achievement. SAB and NYCB’s board leadership will immediately convene a committee to begin the search for Peter's successor.

 

Here at SAB, our students will continue to receive the best instruction available from our outstanding faculty.  Kay Mazzo will continue in the role that she has held for twenty years, overseeing training for every division of the School and the daily management of faculty and classes.  Faculty member and Professional Placement Manager Jon Stafford will continue to serve as SAB’s primary liaison with New York City Ballet as a function of his role guiding NYCB’s interim artistic leadership team. Their bios are included below. 

 

An independent investigation into matters raised in an anonymous letter to our Board concerning past conduct of Peter Martins at the School and Company is ongoing.  We want to reiterate that we take these matters very seriously and, also, thus far the investigation has not discovered any reason to be concerned about student safety. 

 

SAB’s priority remains maintaining an environment in which our students and employees are safe, supported, and respected. "

To me, at least,  this  takes Martins' side of things pretty strongly, and I feel bad  for those people who came forward. 

I don't see any special bias (?) Of course they are going to say nice things as the door is closing on him. Also SAB have an obvious interest in letting people know that the investigation will continue and so far it hasn't turned up anything that posed or poses a danger to students, something in which parents would be particularly interested.

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3 hours ago, kfw said:

"To"? That's very odd wording. Martins has maintained the prominence and artistic achievement already existent in the institutions he inherited.

It's pretty standard English.  Yes, the institution was already in a prominent position when Balanchine died in 1983, but it's been a long time, and the landscape is very different now than it was then.

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It's a factually incorrect statement. One cannot lead from point A to point A. 

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SAB and NYCB's statements are really very pro forma "thanks for your years of service now please leave asap" statements. I wouldn't read too much into them. 

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43 minutes ago, DC Export said:

Oh my, shameless. 

 

 

I'm gagging.

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10 hours ago, Dennis1954 said:

Wendy would be the best choice.  She is currently teaching at Ballet Academy East. I believe she will be the successor to Peter Martins. 

Debatable, to say the least. Her administrative experience seems quite limited and, well, she doesn't seem to have much instinct for when a senior dancer needs to begin considering next steps. However, going by this new WaPo piece, she doesn't seem to have any qualms.

Quote

Though she says she has not been approached about the position, “I would definitely have a conversation if anybody wanted to,” Whelan said Tuesday. “I only want what’s best for the company, really, and that’s still to be figured out, with a lot of heads.

“I’ve always seen a man in charge, because it’s traditional there. It’s a slightly sexist company in that way.”

 

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I am not the first to say some of Wendy's dancing since retiring from NYCB,and thechoreography that went with it, has been cringeworthy, or that her blaming Martins for her hip issues and for supposedly prematurely taking her out of the Sugarplum role was unwarranted, to say the least. While I greatly admired her ballet dancer career, her actions post retirement from that indicate to me she does not see herself or others realistically and that is a serious problem. 

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I really like Whelan, and I think her ability to relate to others (as somebody noted in the other thread, her way of knowing everybody's names and changing that culture according to Boal) would definitely be a strength she'd bring to the AD position. She also worked under Jerome Robbins, so she'd have that direct lineage. Of course, there are several other characteristics and skills needed to be an AD, and I am unsure how measures on those. I can't help but root for her, though.

Probably unlikely choice, but my vote is for Ethan Stiefel. He has been an AD before and has always seemed to have a lot of praise attached to his name. However, with him leaving NYCB (even after achieving principle) for ABT and staying with them through the end of his career, I wonder if that'd be looked at as him not being as devoted to Balanchine as NYCB would want (which may be fair). Anyway, not a perfect choice, but seems like he would be 1,000x better than Millepied.

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19 hours ago, Fleurfairy said:

I think the only logical replacement would be Jon Stafford, as he has been on the administrative side of things for a long time now and is familiar with the business aspect. 

I agree that he is a strong candidate but he isn't really a choreographer. .  is he? And that appears to be part of the NYCB tradition/

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15 hours ago, Olga said:

I am not the first to say some of Wendy's dancing since retiring from NYCB,and the choreography that went with it, has been cringeworthy, or that her blaming Martins for her hip issues and for supposedly prematurely taking her out of the Sugarplum role was unwarranted, to say the least. While I greatly admired her ballet dancer career, her actions post retirement from that indicate to me she does not see herself or others realistically and that is a serious problem. 

Agree.  She has good relationships with people but does not seem to have the basic requirements to do the job. 

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Damien Woetzel?  

Solid executive experience, artistic and teaching?  

Being "right next door" he might be able to learn the intricacies of the position with a transition team. 

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