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Job posting for artistic director


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12 hours ago, Kathleen O'Connell said:

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.

I've seen two separate interviews with Justin Peck in which he directly states he's not interested in becoming AD because he prefers to continue his creative work in choreography.  He said this in an interview he did with CBS Sunday Morning several months ago, and he said it again in the recent NY Times article regarding the Broadway revival of Carousel.  Unless he's playing hard to get, I take him at his word that he is not interested in the job.

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55 minutes ago, abatt said:

I've seen two separate interviews with Justin Peck in which he directly states he's not interested in becoming AD because he prefers to continue his creative work in choreography.  He said this in an interview he did with CBS Sunday Morning several months ago, and he said it again in the recent NY Times article regarding the Broadway revival of Carousel.  Unless he's playing hard to get, I take him at his word that he is not interested in the job.

His stint on the interim team might have given him some insight into how much of a time-sink running the place might actually turn out to be. 

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11 minutes ago, Kathleen O'Connell said:

His stint on the interim team might have given him some insight into how much of a time-sink running the place might actually turn out to be. 

I think he's toying with us - and probably enjoying it! Yesterday he posted on his Instagram a photo with Baryshnikov at Baryshnikov's Dominican Republic estate with the caption "Be like Mike!" Both are wearing blue-and-white pants. Seems likely, though, that they discussed the rigors of running a major company. (It's on those revolving  image things, so I don't see a way to give you the link. Peck is worth following, though, if you aren't already.)

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On ‎8‎/‎20‎/‎2018 at 12:05 PM, lmspear said:

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

Funny you should mention him. The summer 2018 issue of Ballet Review has a long (9 pages) interview with him. It's only available in the print edition, though.

The interview is very wide-ranging. Among many topics, La Fosse talks about giving up on choreography because he didn't think he was good enough.

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I appreciate the historical pics and videos John Clifford posts, but his self-promotion is getting to be a bit much. A recent post mentioned how his age shouldn’t preclude him from leading a company. Another encouraged people to email the firm that’s handling the NYCB AD search. And then there’s this most recent post.

 

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On 8/20/2018 at 1:05 PM, lmspear said:

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

 

He restaged the Robbins choreography for the current (8/3-9/1) Barrington Stage production of West Side Story.

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Some late-night thoughts on the AD position and this thread:

What about Daniel Ulbricht? In addition to being a principal dancer with the NYCB, he's been the artistic director of the NYS Summer School for the Arts School of Ballet for several years, is the artistic advisor for the Manhattan Youth Ballet, has run his Daniel Ulbricht and Friends/Stars of American Ballet company (at Jacob's Pillow this week) for the past 10 years, and has been co-founder, co-producer and artistic director for Dance Against Cancer. 

If this is really Woetzel's dream job, he should apply and see what happens, especially as the search committee is likely to try to maintain secrecy until very late in the process. 

I think that Stiefel having left NYCB for ABT because he was more interested in their rep is problematic for this position. 

Boal and Lopez are both potentially good choices. I also think Wendy Whelan might be good. 

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52 minutes ago, FPF said:

If Ballet Master in Chief is grandiose, is Editor in Chief? 

Not anymore, but perhaps when it was first branded, and, probably, dependent on the circumstances of its creation:  Was the first person to be given the title "promoted" into that title?  Was the Editor so much more established and superior in their field than the first person given the title?  

 

 

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3 hours ago, FPF said:

 

I think that Stiefel having left NYCB for ABT because he was more interested in their rep is problematic for this position. 

 

I have been puzzled at seeing Stiefel's name mentioned for just this reason. Especially since he left quite early in his career--

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• Demonstrated artistic leadership success as a programmer and/or company leader for an organization known for quality and excellence;

I find this wording interesting. It appears to me to be well-crafted to include potential candidates who have not run a company.  

To me this position statement has Damien Woetzel or Lourdes Lopez written all over it. 

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8 hours ago, FPF said:

What about Daniel Ulbricht? In addition to being a principal dancer with the NYCB, he's been ... ETC

For that matter, what about Ashley Bouder? She's also been pursuing her own projects, presenting, programming, and commissioning, and clearly has ambitions along these lines, as well as her own artistic vision which may appeal to the board as being the way of the future (e.g., more inclusion of women and people of color). 

I also don't hear much discussion of another obvious candidate, Jonathan Stafford. What do people think of him as a candidate?

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2 hours ago, cobweb said:

For that matter, what about Ashley Bouder? She's also been pursuing her own projects, presenting, programming, and commissioning, and clearly has ambitions along these lines, as well as her own artistic vision which may appeal to the board as being the way of the future (e.g., more inclusion of women and people of color). 

I also don't hear much discussion of another obvious candidate, Jonathan Stafford. What do people think of him as a candidate?

I think as the head of the interim team, Stafford has got to be considered a candidate, and may even have the inside edge, as he is already doing much of the job. 

Having never seen the Ashley Bouder Project myself, my impression has been that although people like the idea behind it, the choreography hasn't received very positive reviews. And as an audience member, I  hope she keeps dancing for a while more (I also enjoy Ulbricht's dancing, but my sense is that he is not used nearly as much).  I agree that she could be a good/interesting choice, but the Board may not appreciate her outspokenness, both with respect to Martins as well as politically.

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2 hours ago, cobweb said:

I also don't hear much discussion of another obvious candidate, Jonathan Stafford. What do people think of him as a candidate?

Given his current position as leader of the interim team, he would have to be considered a strong candidate as he is actually doing much of the job already. I think that the question mark for him would be his vision as an artistic director. The last season was already programmed by Martins (I'm not sure about the upcoming season).

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Thinking about the esthetic direction the company might go in – programming rather than administrative responsibilities:

There's a program in the Spring 2019 program called, "Balanchine Meets Peck," consisting of New Peck/Stevens, Symphony in Three Movements, and The Times are Racing, which of course links Justin Peck directly to Balanchine.

Peck – and Alexei Ratmansky – seem to me to have been creating a way for City Ballet to move around the staid neoclassicism of the post Balanchine years.  And Balanchine's Symphony in Three Movements and Kammermusik No. 2 (and Robbins' Dances at a Gathering and Glass Pieces) seem to be the ballets that they're working directly from. The revival of Danses Concertantes – triangular geometries and brilliant costumes – also may have been an influence, or at least a confirmation, of that direction.

Damian Woetzel, with his eclectic choices, might change this compass point a bit and bring in more of a downtown feel to the company, while Peter Boal's choices might be closer to Martins' and Lourdes Lopez's might be in between. 

(Also that Woetzel and Boal took classes from Stanley Williams might give them another take on Balanchine than Peck would have.)

Disclaimer: I haven't seen the company live since 2006 and since then only from the (generous) video clips at NYCB website and elsewhere, so my construct is a highly speculative one (like Kafka's idea of Manhattan in Amerika).

Edited by Quiggin
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13 minutes ago, Quiggin said:

while Peter Boal's choices might be closer to Martins' and Lourdes Lopez's might be in between. 

Peter Boal is much more European- and contemporary dance-focused.  I would put his aesthetics on the outside of Lopez' on the continuum from Martins.

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3 hours ago, FPF said:

 The last season was already programmed by Martins (I'm not sure about the upcoming season).

To answer my own question, the interim team does seem to have done the programming for the upcoming season, including commissioning 2 of the 6 new works by (Kyle Abraham and Emma Partner): https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/16/arts/dance/new-york-city-ballet-new-season.html.

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21 hours ago, fondoffouettes said:

I appreciate the historical pics and videos John Clifford posts, but his self-promotion is getting to be a bit much. A recent post mentioned how his age shouldn’t preclude him from leading a company. Another encouraged people to email the firm that’s handling the NYCB AD search. And then there’s this most recent post.

Ugh. ME ME ME ME ME isn't exactly the vibe I'd be looking for under the circumstances. Glad you had a career of note dancing for Balanchine and Robbins 50 years ago! Hooray for you! But what's your vision for the company now and for the next decade?

Also, send in your own damn resumé; don't apply for the job on public-facing social media.

Sigh. Apologies for being cross, but Clifford's posts are just rubbing me the wrong way, especially given the lovely modesty of the interim team. 

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1 hour ago, Kathleen O'Connell said:

Sigh. Apologies for being cross, but Clifford's posts are just rubbing me the wrong way...

I couldn't agree more. And they just keep coming. They make me want to cringe a bit.

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28 minutes ago, nanushka said:

I couldn't agree more. And they just keep coming. They make me want to cringe a bit.

Clifford is not a contender. He can apply if he wishes but I can't believe he will be hired. L Lopez is the strongest contender (if she wants the job) IMO. I haven't heard Judy Fugate mentioned much. I believe she's been running her own company for a while, and I truly believe the board would love to hire a woman. I don't think they will hire any current company members who have dancer years left in them. Also, we don't know who has applied. Is Ib Anderson a contender? There are not many major companies in the world, and a connection to Balanchine eliminates a lot of AD's. I'd love to know who is applying!!

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46 minutes ago, vipa said:

L Lopez is the strongest contender (if she wants the job) IMO. I haven't heard Judy Fugate mentioned much. I believe she's been running her own company for a while, and I truly believe the board would love to hire a woman. I don't think they will hire any current company members who have dancer years left in them. Also, we don't know who has applied. Is Ib Anderson a contender? There are not many major companies in the world, and a connection to Balanchine eliminates a lot of AD's. I'd love to know who is applying!!

Andersen definitely ticks the boxes of having successfully led both a school and a company.

By the way, the full ad is linked to here: https://www.phillipsoppenheim.com/po/arts-media-culture/new-york-city-ballet-and-the-school-of-american-ballet/artistic-director-new-york-ny/53/, and it is much longer than the excerpts in the NY Times article. The various qualities that we all have been discussing are part of a much longer list of ideal qualities, and should probably not all be looked at as absolute requirements. Which of these the search committee will consider the most important may also evolve when they are actually reviewing applications. Studies have shown that women generally will not apply for jobs unless they meet every single qualification, whereas men will apply if they meet only a fraction. If they are serious about considering women, I would expect Phillips Oppenheim to reach out to encourage potential candidates, especially women, to apply. 

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20 hours ago, FPF said:

I think as the head of the interim team, Stafford has got to be considered a candidate, and may even have the inside edge, as he is already doing much of the job. 

Having never seen the Ashley Bouder Project myself, my impression has been that although people like the idea behind it, the choreography hasn't received very positive reviews. And as an audience member, I  hope she keeps dancing for a while more (I also enjoy Ulbricht's dancing, but my sense is that he is not used nearly as much).  I agree that she could be a good/interesting choice, but the Board may not appreciate her outspokenness, both with respect to Martins as well as politically.

I believe Stafford would be a great choice, someone above reproach, or so it would seem. With Bouder’s controversial political posts, especially the latest Instagram, I would hate to see her at the helm and cause even more controversy for the company.

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I don't think they would want to lose any of their top dancers.  Lovette/Peck/Bouder all have leadership skills but have years of dancing left.

Also no offense to Bouders parenting style, but I think she would have to drastically change her schedule if she were AD. She seems to have her daughter with her a lot and I don't see how that would work as AD. 

I still love the idea of Whelan.  

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