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Job posting for artistic director

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56 minutes ago, ABT Fan said:

I think Woetzel is a terrific candidate, but this is an issue of bad timing. I'd be stunned if he accepted the leadership at NYCB and left Julliard after only one year. Regardless of what type of contract he has with Julliard, say it's only for one year, would they really be cool if he left after that? (Unless his term is disastrous, which I highly doubt would be, and they chose not to renew his contract.) Or, worse, if he broke his contract?

From all of the names I can come up, which isn't as many nor as well-informed as what others have thought of, he seems to be the most qualified to lead NYCB. But, he strikes me as a very intelligent person and I can't imagine he'd want to burn bridges with Julliard. I can't think of a way for this to happen without doing so. Granted, I'm not privy to a lot of information behind the scenes (nor are most of us), but still. If the need for a successor had happened a year or two earlier, it would be a no-brainer I think.

Steifel is better suited to lead ABT someday, but I think that day is far in the future (I don't think McKenzie is going anywhere anytime soon).

Woetzel just started his contract in July.  I realize he was working in tandem with Polisi for a year, but officially just started.

https://www.juilliard.edu/school/about/office-president

Edited by its the mom

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20 minutes ago, dirac said:

I had the impression that Lopez would be interested, and her age might actually be a Good Thing - she could be expected to run the company for about 10-15 years, a respectable length of time to guide the company through a rough period. Nichols would seem to be a good choice.

Woetzel - there would be a nice irony in there somewhere  – the former maîtresse-en-titre of the old boss man and symbol of the “bad old days” returning to the company as wife of the new boss man.

Also, Lopez has demonstrated grit: she held Morphoses together for longer than one might have expected after Wheeldon abandoned it and stepped into the Miami AD position at a time of tremendous organization turmoil. 

She danced for Balanchine, she's taught, she's done arts reporting (WNBC-TV), she was ED of the George Balanchine Foundation, she was on the Barnard dance faculty, she founded one dance company and runs another, and she's on the Ford Foundation Board of Trustees. If she's interested in the job, the Board would be foolish not to give her serious consideration.  

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Woetzel was being presented as a potential successor to Peter Martins in the press way back in 2006. (Don't remember if that was one of the times when it looked as if Martin might retire.) In a NYT interview he said that his then current studies at Harvard would help him be equipped for the job and that he would be "very interested" if it were open. But of course now he's had other opportunities and successes – and obligations.

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Ethan Steifel is never mentioned in this topic, but he has all the credentials they are looking for.

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Woetzel is the fist name that pops into my head as an ideal candidtate for both the NYCB and Julliard positions.  I have no idea who else was being considered for the Julliard Presidency, but I think he will have more visibility at Julliard than at NYCB, plus given the chaos of Lincoln Center leadership over the last couple of years, positioning him at Julliard would hopefully give NYCB a second supportive voice in Center-wide negotiations and gives him a wider pool of potential contacts, inluding donors,  to use if he successfully completes a respectable length of service at Julliard.

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1 hour ago, its the mom said:

Woetzel just started his contract in July.  I realize he was working in tandem with Polisi for a year, but officially just started.

https://www.juilliard.edu/school/about/office-president

Yes. Which is why I mentioned he'd have to break his contract if it were for longer than a year.

1 hour ago, abatt said:

Ethan Steifel is never mentioned in this topic, but he has all the credentials they are looking for.

He is mentioned further up thread by a few of us.

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3 hours ago, lmspear said:

By the way what is Robert LaFosse up to these days?

 

I don't know but that is a great suggestion.

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Peter Boal would be a dream candidate. But it was his wife who was one of the early voices that toppled Martins. 

Lourdes Lopez is the one imo. 

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13 minutes ago, rkoretzky said:

Peter Boal would be a dream candidate. But it was his wife who was one of the early voices that toppled Martins. 

He's 53 years old - close to Woetzel. But the comments from his wife might be fatal. If Tomasson retires at SFB, wouldn't this be a step up?

If everything else checks out with Lopez, what an opportunity to make a mark on the ballet world. When was the last time a woman headed a major company? Lucia Chase? Tamara Rojo?

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Helgi Tomasson was born in 1942, according to Wikipedia.  Ib Andersen was born in 1954, also according to Wikipedia.

I think it's interesting that we're dismissing people in their '70's to run NYCB,  when Donald Trump was elected President at 70 and Ronald Reagan at 69.

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30 minutes ago, Helene said:

I think it's interesting that we're dismissing people in their '70's to run NYCB,  when Donald Trump was elected President at 70 and Ronald Reagan at 69.

Well, that should learn us. 😉

In all seriousness, I think it would likely be better for the company's organizational health if its new AD had at least the prospect of a long tenure in the position. Not that a 70 year old has one foot on the grave and another on a banana peel, but the risk of a forced retirement due to ill health or disability — mental or physical — is higher than it is for someone in their 50s. 

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43 minutes ago, Helene said:

Helgi Tomasson was born in 1942, according to Wikipedia.  Ib Andersen was born in 1954, also according to Wikipedia.

I think it's interesting that we're dismissing people in their '70's to run NYCB,  when Donald Trump was elected President at 70 and Ronald Reagan at 69.

I think 70 is too old to be President and there have certainly been numerous news articles citing similar opinions. 

However, a President can only be President for 8 years (though it's arguably the hardest job on the planet), while the head of NYCB (or a similar institution) would hopefully and probably be in charge much longer, making their age a bigger factor.

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Also Reagan may not be a great example, considering how that all played out.

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On the other hand, once Martins was ensconced, it took something major to get him out.  I'm not convinced that someone older, who could re-establish the connection between Balanchine and the Company and establish a healthier workplace for a 4-8-year tenure, would be such a bad thing.

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6 minutes ago, Helene said:

On the other hand, once Martins was ensconced, it took something major to get him out.  I'm not convinced that someone older, who could re-establish the connection between Balanchine and the Company and establish a healthier workplace for a 4-8-year tenure, would be such a bad thing.

I do agree with this. I can imagine a number of different models of leadership tenure that the new AD could embody.

While there's something to be said for at least the prospect of a (decades-)long, stable tenure, there could also be a benefit to choosing a seasoned leader, one personally steeped in the Balanchine legacy, who in a shorter term could serve as a sort of reset for moving the company forward into the post-post-Balanchine era.

(Also, there's an inertia involved in the staffing of a position such as this: once someone's in, if things aren't really great but on the other hand not disastrous, it can be tough to get them out.)

Edited by nanushka

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If the board does care about maintaining and invigorating Balanchine repertoire as they claim to, Boal and Lopez would be great candidates. Credentials as Balanchine dancers and artistic directors of companies that dance Balanchine excellently. No distractions or questionable episodes in their tenures.

I know Woeztel has an excellent track record as well and is very popular guy, with past and current dancers as well as with donors (important). His obligation to Julliard is obviously a hurdle if he is to move. I just don't know anything about his ambitions--if he considers leading NYCB the ultimate professional fulfillment or if he wants to go to bigger things outside the ballet world, using Julliard as a building step. 

If we are talking about people in their 70s, Thomasson doesn't elicit much passion from me, just based on what I've seen of his coaching and choreographing.  I'm curious what other people think of the quality of SFB's Balanchine repertoire. Rereading an old New Yorker profile of Suzanne Farrell lately, I thought, as Acocella seemed to suggest, Farrell would make a pretty excellent director, or ballet master at the very least. The way she coaches Balanchine ballets and teaches in class, as described in the article, leaves no doubt about her commitment to Balanchine and her intelligence in coaching dancers as unique individuals. 

If we are considering younger candidates. I know Justin Peck is quite ambitious and bidded for Pennsylvania Ballet's directorship a few years ago. Maybe the board would be willing to take a leap and give the rein to him. But judging from that documentary Ballet 422, he really is not a good communicator with non-dancers and lacks fineness when it comes to social skills expected of a director. (A nerdy, talented dance-maker is how I see him.) Speaking about overall leadership style and innovative drive, I really think Millepied, from two documentaries on his short-lived tenure at POB, would make a great director. He might have ruffled a few feathers at POB but the decisions Dupont as the director has been making suggests to me that Millepied's vision and initiatives are actually being carried out and carried on.  

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31 minutes ago, bcash said:

I know Woeztel has an excellent track record as well and is very popular guy, with past and current dancers as well as with donors (important).

Yes, it is important. The AD is the public face of the company. Obviously, being admired, trusted, and respected by the dancers and other company stakeholders is job one, but it absolutely does not hurt if the AD has the kind of charisma and cachet that inspires donors to pull out their checkbooks and their rolodexes. 

I don't know if Millepied is interested in the job or if the Board would be willing to risk it on him given the outcome of his stint at the POB, but I can imagine him (and his wife) filling the tables at the gala. I suspect his glamour quotient is rather higher than some of the other candidates.

And ... I wouldn't write Peck off on this front either now that he's had to deal with Broadway investors. But I gather from the interview linked above that he's more focussed creating than running a ballet company at the moment. 

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Given the circumstances of Martins’ departure, I’m sure the Board/search committee will want to be sure the incoming candidate won’t have dancers from former jobs coming out of the woodwork saying they were coerced into having sex in exchange for roles. This conceivably could rule out some candidates, and we are not likely to ever know why they were ruled out. 

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1 hour ago, Kathleen O'Connell said:

But I gather from the interview linked above that he's more focussed creating than running a ballet company at the moment. 

Maybe. But then, nobody ever admits they're running for president until they do, right? Could be Peck has a bigger vision, and ideas of how this position could boost his creative work as well.

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3 hours ago, nanushka said:

Also Reagan may not be a great example, considering how that all played out.

Also Trump is decisively not a good example.  However,  there could  be a 70 something person who'd do a good job as president  or artistic director.  Farrell was my first thought back in January. But given that Martins will have at least some influence on  the decision, I don't see her being hired. Andersen or Lopez, yes, but do they really want to leave their companies, especially Lopez? 

8 hours ago, lmspear said:

Woetzel is the fist name that pops into my head as an ideal candidtate for both the NYCB and Julliard positions.  I have no idea who else was being considered for the Julliard Presidency, but I think he will have more visibility at Julliard than at NYCB, plus given the chaos of Lincoln Center leadership over the last couple of years, positioning him at Julliard would hopefully give NYCB a second supportive voice in Center-wide negotiations and gives him a wider pool of potential contacts, inluding donors,  to use if he successfully completes a respectable length of service at Julliard.

I really like Woetzel too. I would be surprised if he ditched Juilliard.

bcash said:  Speaking about overall leadership style and innovative drive, I really think Millepied, from two documentaries on his short-lived tenure at POB, would make a great director. 

Please, anyone but Millepied!  

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21 minutes ago, nanushka said:

Maybe. But then, nobody ever admits they're running for president until they do, right? Could be Peck has a bigger vision, and ideas of how this position could boost his creative work as well.

If Peck turns up in a diner in Iowa, we'll know something is afoot! 😉 But of course you are right. Still, it sounds like his some of his aspirations — e.g. to do more dance-based theater and storytelling on Broadway rather than restaging Swan Lake — wouldn't mesh well with a full time AD position at a major US ballet company.

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