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Job posting for artistic director

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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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On 8/23/2018 at 7:27 PM, 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.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bm1y7jLgADH/

Yes I've noticed that as well. It's in almost all of his posts. I think many people choose to indulge him a little bit on that given his relationship with the company and the materials he's been posting. 

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11 hours ago, FPF said:

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. 

Wow, thank you for posting the job description. 

So much to think about, but two things stood out to me:

One, I appreciate that championing "diversity" in terms of the school and the company was mentioned several times throughout. 

And, in the "Position" section, it's mentioned that the AD may possibly need to "supervise and recruit one or more deputy AD's". Hmmmmmm. I think it's a brilliant idea for them to finally create a #2 position (or a team of #2's) and it would also "solve" the next succession issue, at least temporarily if an abrupt departure should befall the company again. If no one from the interim team is hired as the AD, perhaps one or all of them could take on a deputy role. Maybe this wording leaves open the possibility of keeping the entire interim team in a formal managerial capacity of some sort, with more say and responsibility in terms of hiring/casting/etc than a traditional ballet master. 

Edited by ABT Fan

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John Clifford's Instagram posts can be entertaining/informative. But sometimes, Clifford's repetitive posts about how close he was to Balanchine, how he was the heir apparent, how successful his ballets were at City Ballet, etc., etc., make me think that Clifford has cast himself as the lead in a movie only he is watching.

Ultimately, I think Clifford's most significant action (and the one for which he will be remembered) will have been to take in and promote the teenaged Damian Woetzel at Clifford's Los Angeles Ballet. (Not the same Los Angeles Ballet Colleen Neary now heads.)

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I do hope Clifford’s dancing continues to be remembered as well. The examples I’ve seen on video — especially the Symphony in C 3rd mvmt and the Valse Fantaisie were, I thought, impressive.

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I really can't imagine that Clifford is a serious contender. What about Suzanne for a few years? Might Nikolaj Hubbe be interested, although he's had some controversy in the Royal Danish Ballet. Pat Neary? I still think Lordes Lopez has it if she wants it. She's the full package - knows media, runs a company which she took over with minimal disruption (as far as I could see), worked with Balanchine but has an eye for contemporary works. If she wants to move back to NY, I'd put good money on her.

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12 hours ago, Balletwannabe said:

 

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. 

 

Any parent in a high powered job makes scheduling adjustments—and when people change jobs they may well change those adjustments. I do find women with children tend to get much more scrutiny than men with children in these situations. IF Bouder wanted and applied for the job—she may not, for many reasons—and her parenting style became part the conversation, then that would be troubling. As for it becoming a consideration by the actual hiring team—I assume that would be illegal. Fortunately one can hope and trust that would not happen. (If it did, then it would be excellent evidence of problems for women seeking leadership positions in ballet.)

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Thanks for that, Drew. Also to FPF for pointing out the disparity between male and female applicants. 

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11 hours ago, vipa said:

I still think Lordes Lopez has it if she wants it. She's the full package - knows media, runs a company which she took over with minimal disruption (as far as I could see), worked with Balanchine but has an eye for contemporary works. If she wants to move back to NY, I'd put good money on her.

I would think the job is hers for the asking. If she doesn’t want it, and Woetzel can’t take it, my money is on Stafford. 

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Hubbe is an interesting idea.   He would perhaps be less contoversial at NYCB han he was at RDB, at least artistically.  

I have not seen Ballet Arizona in person, but  to judge by the promotional material put  out over the years since Andersen took over, he has done a good job with artistic vision, drawing talented staff to a small company.  It is not the same thing as seeing the company live though.  

It a shame Tomasson has aged out, SFB seems a very well run company.

Perhaps Clifford is just mourning his lost youth.

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Much unfortunate timing here. 

Tomasson, Villela, Farrell, McBride—too late. 

Woetzel—too late for a different reason. 

Ulbricht—too early. 

Boal—I wish it were possible. 

Lopez—practically perfect in every way. 

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26 minutes ago, rkoretzky said:

Much unfortunate timing here. 

Tomasson, Villela, Farrell, McBride—too late. 

Woetzel—too late for a different reason. 

Ulbricht—too early. 

Boal—I wish it were possible. 

Lopez—practically perfect in every way. 

Why isn't Boal possible? 

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I would hope he could be. But his wife was (one of?) the first person to speak out against Martins. Regardless of anyone’s personal feelings, it could be very divisive at a time when unity is desperately needed, don’t you think? 

I’m a fan. I grieved when Peter Boal retired. There was a lot more dancing he could do. But he seized a tremendous opportunity. 

Daniel Ulbricht put together a phenomenal program this week at the Pillow. It was the best possible Robbins tribute. (Far better than the paltry lip service from spac ). I believe he could do this job. But he seems to have much more dancing left. This opportunity is too early. 

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1 hour ago, rkoretzky said:

Daniel Ulbricht put together a phenomenal program this week at the Pillow. It was the best possible Robbins tribute. (Far better than the paltry lip service from spac ). 

I totally agree!

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On 8/26/2018 at 9:54 AM, Amy Reusch said:

I have not seen Ballet Arizona in person, but  to judge by the promotional material put  out over the years since Andersen took over, he has done a good job with artistic vision, drawing talented staff to a small company.  It is not the same thing as seeing the company live though.  

 

Several Ballet Arizona company members were part of Suzanne Farrell Ballet-- I always thought a lot of their dancing.

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On 8/26/2018 at 10:59 AM, rkoretzky said:

Much unfortunate timing here. 

Tomasson, Villela, Farrell, McBride—too late. 

Woetzel—too late for a different reason. 

Ulbricht—too early. 

Boal—I wish it were possible. 

Lopez—practically perfect in every way. 

Why Woetzel too late for a different reason????

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39 minutes ago, balletforme said:

Why Woetzel too late for a different reason????

I’m only surmising this: he just started a very high profile position at Juilliard. Awkward at the least? 

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41 minutes ago, balletforme said:

Why Woetzel too late for a different reason????

He's the new President at Julliard.  That was announced back in 2017, before the turmoil at NYCB.

https://www.juilliard.edu/news/131076/juilliard-names-damian-woetzel-seventh-president

It does happen that presidents announce that a new job is a bad fit and leave after a brief appointment, but it's rare. (I'm thinking of Gordon Gee, who had been the long-time successful president at Ohio State, left for Brown University, but left Brown after barely two years).  With NYCB and Julliard both part of the Lincoln Center "family," it would be a difficult jump to make. We might wonder if he thought he'd do Julliard for maybe five years, at which time Martins would retire and it would be a smooth transition. Not now!

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A few days ago, I was reading  the thread from the beginning of the year when Martins resigned. The NY Times was quoted as suggesting that Millepied, Whelan, and Justin Peck were considered frontrunners. After seeing Whelan this weekend, I rewatched Restless Creature. One thing that struck me was when one of the other dancers mentioned that Wendy knew and was friendly to absolutely everyone (not just artistic staff0 and had really changed the culture so that the dancers were more kind and helpful to each other. In my opinion, she could be a great choice for the humane leader they are seeking. With the recent suspensions/departure, this quality may be even more important.

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On 8/20/2018 at 11:10 AM, ABT Fan said:

This exchange struck me too.

I wonder who "they" are in the "they won’t let me do it" remark by Peck. The others on the interim team? Since he is the only one still performing on the interim team, I wonder how his casting gets decided, not to mention anyone else. (A rhetorical question....)

Also interesting is the fact that Peck "hopes" to be involved with choosing the next leader and deciding on what that job description will be, as opposed to already being involved or knowing that his opinion will be sought. I wonder if the rest of the interim team is also in the dark. Shouldn't the interim team be part of that decision-making process?

This quote relates a bit to the responsibilities of the future A.D., and to Kathleen's statement:

SALSTEIN Did you ever do “Fancy Free?”

[JUSTIN] PECK I always want to do “Fancy Free.” I ask to do it, and they won’t let me do it.

Who are they? You’re on the interim team — just cast yourself. Are you applying for Peter Martins’s job?

PECK No. I’m not. [Laughs] I wouldn’t get to focus on the creative things I want to focus on if I were to do that. But I hope to be involved with who that is or what the setup is.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/17/arts/dance/a-ballet-crowd-bustin-out-all-over-carousel.html

 

I understood Peck to be saying that whoever the new AD is, depending on their skill set, there will be a reorganization from the current 4 interim directors to the new regime. Peck hopes to be included in discussions about his new role (is it just Resident Choreographer, or does he retain any of his interim director duties?).  He hopes to have some choice and say in the reorganization. I think it's appropriate for him to hope about that. It's not a done deal, and the Board would certainly be negotiating exact duties with any incoming AD. A new AD could also, presumably, have more say in the scheduling flexibility Peck has for outside projects, or when his ballets are scheduled, or (God forbid!) make it difficult for Peck to remain as Resident Choreographer.

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4 hours ago, BalanchineFan said:

understood Peck to be saying that whoever the new AD is, depending on their skill set, there will be a reorganization from the current 4 interim directors to the new regime.

I didn't see that: if that were the case, he wouldn't have to hope to be involved in the set-up: it would be a given that he'd be involved.  

If I were interviewing for real -- ie, I didn't already have the choice made -- the most important question I'd ask is the person's plan for hiring assistant AD's and how they'd distribute the responsibilities.  That doesn't guarantee a role for anyone on the interim team, or at least one they'd agree to do.

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On 8/20/2018 at 7:02 PM, bcash said:

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.  

In that same article Farrell states that she doesn't go to see new choreography, she's not interested. I thought that comment alone disqualified her. She's completely cut off, by choice, from what's happening in dance today. NYCB needs new choreography, needs someone who can tap into the pulse of what's happening now, even someone who can create (or recognize) new trends and new directions for the art form. While it's paramount to maintain the Balanchine repertory, and they need ballet masters (of any gender) to do that, the list for a potential AD includes experience (and interest in) choosing new choreographers. That same article also mentions that the Farrell ballet primarily performed Balanchine ballets, and a few Robbins ballets that she had danced.  I say bring her back as a coach, or a restager.

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From the Summer 2018 issue of Ballet Review:

Quote

 

BR: You became director because...

Wheater:  Because I got a telephone call telling me I was one of the top names on the list to apply for the new directorship.  I was in San Francisco.  It was out of the blue.

 

Peter Boal has said that Mark Zappone encouraged him to apply for the PNB job, which he did on the deadline, delivering his application in person.  I'm not trying to imply that Zappone was the surrogate for someone who couldn't do this officially, but, given how employers work, I'm certain that, like in any workplace, there are ways that companies can make it clear that people are wanted, other than that explicit phone call (which made it clear Wheater wasn't the only one).

In every company I've worked for that had "informational interviews," ie a discussion with the hiring manager and no formal application through HR yet, if the hiring manager ended it with encouragement to apply formally, that was the cue that you were going to be hired.

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