Jump to content
CTballetfan

Job posting for artistic director

Recommended Posts

So, I note that the "Board and Staff" section on NYCB's website is divided into three pages:

Board

Administrative Staff, headed by an Executive Director (Katherine E. Brown), which includes Executive Offices, Communications, Development, Marketing & Media, Education (not SAB), Volunteer Services, Operations & Company Management, Production & Design, Music Department, Costume & Wardrobe, Health & Wellness, Finance & Admin, Human Resources, IT, The George Balanchine Trust, and NYCB Moves.

Artistic Staff, headed by the Interim Artistic Team, which includes Ballet Mistress (Dunleavy), Ballet Masters, Resident Choreographer, Guest Teachers, Children's Ballet Master, and Assistant Children's Ballet Master. (This is also where you'll see Balanchine and Kirstein listed as Founders and Balanchine and Robbins listed as Founding Choreographers.)

Will the new AD only be in charge of the Artistic Staff, or will he or she also have responsibility for the Administrative Staff?

Put another way, does (or will) the Executive Director report to the Board or to the AD? (I have no idea who the Music Director, Andrew Litton, reports to ...) 

ETA: I would love to see the actual job posting, but it looks as if it hasn't been made public.

 

 

 

Edited by Kathleen O'Connell

Share this post


Link to post

I might be wrong but I got the feeling that Peter Martins took on much more administrative duties than Balanchine. Balanchine when he was "Ballet Master" at NYCB was always going around the world licensing, staging, and in many cases choreographing for different companies. Eddie Bigelow and Betty Cage really took care of the administrative day-to-day duties. Balanchine was in those days rightly focused on creating a unique repertoire for NYCB, developing SAB and recruiting teachers he trusted, and casting/teaching/rehearsing. 

Share this post


Link to post

Martins has had Executive Directors or administrative equivalents while head of NYCB and a much deeper staff to manage administrative duties.  He started with Kirstein seemingly doing everything in his power to get everyone behind Martins, and Gottlieb provided some continuity in the early years. The two areas he was heavily involved in that Balanchine didn't seemed to be were board management and fundraising.  Balanchine's Board was there to support him more than an institution, and he had Kirstein running interference for him and to be sure that the Board was on board.  

Share this post


Link to post
2 hours ago, Kathleen O'Connell said:

So, I note that the "Board and Staff" section on NYCB's website is divided into three pages:

Board

Administrative Staff, headed by an Executive Director (Katherine E. Brown), which includes Executive Offices, Communications, Development, Marketing & Media, Education (not SAB), Volunteer Services, Operations & Company Management, Production & Design, Music Department, Costume & Wardrobe, Health & Wellness, Finance & Admin, Human Resources, IT, The George Balanchine Trust, and NYCB Moves.

Artistic Staff, headed by the Interim Artistic Team, which includes Ballet Mistress (Dunleavy), Ballet Masters, Resident Choreographer, Guest Teachers, Children's Ballet Master, and Assistant Children's Ballet Master. (This is also where you'll see Balanchine and Kirstein listed as Founders and Balanchine and Robbins listed as Founding Choreographers.)

Will the new AD only be in charge of the Artistic Staff, or will he or she also have responsibility for the Administrative Staff?

Put another way, does (or will) the Executive Director report to the Board or to the AD? (I have no idea who the Music Director, Andrew Litton, reports to ...) 

ETA: I would love to see the actual job posting, but it looks as if it hasn't been made public.

 

 

 

It's my understanding that the AD and ED both report to the board (at least this is how it is at other large companies). Artistic staff report to the AD and administrative staff report up to the ED.

Share this post


Link to post

It makes sense that the person to whom Finance and Accounting report has a direct reporting line into the Board.

Share this post


Link to post

From a history of Robbins and PNB in anticipation of the upcoming Robbins Festival (emphasis mine), written by PNB's archivist, Sheila Dietrich:

Quote

 

Robbins retained the title of associate artistic director [of NYCB] until approximately 1963, but in fact became more involved with musical theatre and with his own small company, Ballets: USA, from the late 1950s to the late 1960s.

Thirty years after Janet Reed danced in the premiere of Fancy Free, she became ballet mistress of Pacific Northwest Dance and founding director of the School. In those roles she provided artistic guidance for two years. She returned as guest teacher and faculty member of the School from the late 1970s into the late 1980s, when Kent Stowell and Francia Russell were artistic directors.

 

Pacific Northwest Dance was the original organization from which PNB sprang.

Share this post


Link to post
9 hours ago, Kathleen O'Connell said:

Note, however, that Peter Martins' title at SAB was "Artistic Director." 

I agree that on the face of it, Program Director makes more sense. 

 

Ha!!  Thanks!  I had missed that!  How funny!  Any insight on how the director of a school would be an artistic director?  Do you suppose it was based on deciding which artistic style the technique would train dancers for?

Edited by Amy Reusch

Share this post


Link to post
10 hours ago, Helene said:

I don't know of any current Artistic Directors of any significant small-to-large company who are impresarios and only do the first; 

Yes, I was thinking of the various Ballets Russes... and earlier.  I wonder if agents have somewhat moved into the impressario slot... 

what about the director of the Bolshoi Theater, Voadimir Urin... isthat considered an artistic or an executive position?  He is listed as General Director, but didn't he sack Filin?  That seems an artistic decision?

Share this post


Link to post

Urin is like Lissner, the head of the Paris Opera:  he's the head of the Bolshoi Theater, and the heads of the opera and ballet report into him: he's responsible for hiring and firing them, just like Lissner was responsible for firing Millepied and replacing him with Dupont as the director of the ballet.

Share this post


Link to post

They're not artistic positions: they are management positions over an artistic institution.  They are ultimately responsible for all personnel and for institutional decisions that are palatable to the people to whom they are answerable.  In Urin's case at least, this has meant weighing in on the worth of productions and the artistic direction of the institution, as well as hiring and firing of top theater personnel of all stripes, budgets, etc.  This is similar to being a CEO of a corporation: if it's an auto manufacturer, the CEO's decisions will influence the cars.  If it's a software company, the CEO's decision will influence the technological direction and offerings of the company.

Share this post


Link to post
On 8/15/2018 at 12:13 PM, Helene said:

"Artistic Director" or "Co-Artistic Director" has long been the go-to title for the role.  "Ballet Master" was Balanchine's preference: it was good enough for Petipa.  

If Martins had been the sole head of the company at succession, it would have been pretentious for him to have assumed that title.  With Robbins in the mix, and with a staff of Ballet Masters and Mistresses -- I think they still referred to Dunleavy as a "Ballet Mistress" back then -- they couldn't call them "Co-Ballet Masters."  Instead of changing the title to "Co-Artistic Director," which would have acknowledged that no one could replace Balanchine and have started with a clean slate, they settled on the awkward "Co-Ballet Master-in-Chief," which just showed that Martins, in particular*, needed the "In Chief," with its positional rather than referent authority.

*Robbins was running his own company-within-a-company artistically, and no one thought the was the overall person in charge.

"Ballet Master" was good enough for Balanchine, but apparently not for Martins. I always disliked that "in chief".  Maybe it's a good idea to retire the BM title and use Artistic Director.

Share this post


Link to post
On 8/15/2018 at 12:20 PM, ABT Fan said:

I never thought of it like that, but I'd agree that it is.

I haven't understood the recent preference of females calling themselves "actors" instead of "actresses". I guess I'd need to hear the explanations as to why. Possibly it's because "actor" means "one who acts" and in its true definition isn't gender specific, at least according to Webster: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/actor. (Though, that word has come to signify "male".) So, perhaps the female actors see the feminization of their job title as sexist. Along the lines of "I'm an actor. Period. What does my gender have to do with it?" If that's their theory, I'd completely agree with that.

Anyhow...

Personally, I prefer "Artistic Director" and, I agree that Ballet Mistress in Chief doesn't work for numerous reasons.

I too appreciate the thoughtfulness the search committee is putting into this, but also wonder how long it'll be before that person takes over. 

Actor shouldn't really be gender specific. We say poet and not poetess, even though the latter exists. Singer, not songstress.  Since English is not a language with true genders, like romance languages, it makes sense to use the  same  word to describe all people who practice the same art form.  Painter, not paintress.  Potter or ceramicist. No female sculptor I know wants to be described as a sculptress. It sounds trivializing.

Share this post


Link to post
On 8/15/2018 at 2:11 PM, Helene said:

I think it was the "In Chief" part that caught Cooper's eye.

Totally agree.  As stated earlier, Balanchine called himself Ballet Master.  The term choreographer was possibly not as commonly used as it is today.

Aurora said;  

Lady painter is certainly not a modern phrase. It is exceptionally old fashioned (Victorian era). And is often not very accurate. Rosa Bonheur was certainly female but she was no lady.

Even woman poet (etc) are not what I would consider modern usage.

If you are going to designate the gender of the artist (in whatever medium), I'd argue "Female poet" or "female artist" is more the norm.

Lady painter, woman poet  and all their sibling terms, like woman doctor, male  nurse, etc. sound so antiquated they're comical.  Almost.

Share this post


Link to post
On 8/16/2018 at 3:27 AM, Amy Reusch said:

Ballet Master in Chief with the rest of the  ballet masters in tow, reporting to a king...   

Artistic Director reporting to a Chairman of the Board plus the rest of the Board ...

Am trying to consider if it is the same....  does the singularity one one side make a difference?

Artistic Director reporting to a Chair of the Board.

Share this post


Link to post

My biggest fear is that a total outsider, such as, say, Nacho Duato, would be selected.

Prior link to NYCB or at least to the Balanchine legacy should be a pre-requisite.

Share this post


Link to post

I've said this before on a different topic but it pertains to this as well...there are some of us (new ballet lovers), plus new generations, that are just discovering the brilliance of Balanchine.  None of it is old to us, it's all new and exciting.  Please don't let it die!! Please choose someone who will keep his legacy alive!

*Hopes search committee reads ballet alert comments* 😉

Edited by Balletwannabe

Share this post


Link to post
9 hours ago, Marta said:

Actor shouldn't really be gender specific. We say poet and not poetess, even though the latter exists. Singer, not songstress.  Since English is not a language with true genders, like romance languages, it makes sense to use the  same  word to describe all people who practice the same art form.  Painter, not paintress.  Potter or ceramicist. No female sculptor I know wants to be described as a sculptress. It sounds trivializing.

I agree wholeheartedly! Although natural gender persists for some nouns — e.g., "mother" or "father" vs "parent" — grammatical gender in English has been largely eliminated except for a few pronouns. There's no need to try to apply rules for grammatical gender to nouns that don't need them, and there's certainly no need to impose natural gender on them either. 

We can reserve "heroine" for the female protagonist of a novel if we must, but I think we can safely call any woman who's been awarded a Silver Star a hero. 

Ummm ... I do have a certain fondness for "aviatrix," given that "aviator" has been sadly reduced to an adjective for eyeglass frames.  

Share this post


Link to post
30 minutes ago, Kathleen O'Connell said:

Although natural gender persists for some nouns — e.g., "mother" or "father" vs "parent" ... 

It will be interesting to see how usage of those continues to adapt in the decades ahead — "husband" and "wife" vs. "spouse" being another example — with further developments in social understandings of gender and sexuality and with the (likely) further normalization of non-normative family structures. For example, some gay couples purposefully choose to use the gender-specific terms, while others choose the gender-neutral ones; and, increasingly, some straight couples are going the gender-neutral route in their references to each other.

Share this post


Link to post
12 hours ago, Marta said:

Artistic Director reporting to a Chair of the Board.

Of course, how thoughtless of me.

Edited by Amy Reusch

Share this post


Link to post
6 hours ago, CharlieH said:

My biggest fear is that a total outsider, such as, say, Nacho Duato, would be selected.

Prior link to NYCB or at least to the Balanchine legacy should be a pre-requisite.

That would mean that Ethan Steifel could be a legitimate possibility.

Share this post


Link to post
7 minutes ago, lmspear said:

That would mean that Ethan Steifel could be a legitimate possibility.

🤣 :toot:

Share this post


Link to post

I think Steifel danced in City Ballet for a while, but point taken.

Share this post


Link to post
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...