Jump to content
This Site Uses Cookies. If You Want to Disable Cookies, Please See Your Browser Documentation. ×

Where is Brooklyn Mack?

Recommended Posts

9 minutes ago, YouOverThere said:


There's not a lot it in, IMHO. Basically they say that the WB is moving in the direction that the DC area is moving.

Yup. That says nothing. And this rising arts and cultural class idea is something we're seeing in many mind-sized cities around the country willing to invest a bit in some forward-thinking planning to attract new, younger residents to downtowns. 

If TWB can't find a niche and differentiate itself, the future doesn't bode well. As for its school, there are plenty of find ballet studios and academies throughout the DC metro area. The main attraction parents have to the School of The Washington Ballet is to see their little ones dance in the lavish "Nutcracker" at the Warner Theatre.


Link to comment
4 hours ago, dirac said:


The Tudor idea is an interesting one, but is there a Washington audience for a Tudor-based company? and is the Tudor rep varied and large enough to serve as a company calling card as the Ashton rep does for Sarasota?  

I mentioned Tudor originally up-thread and now kind of regret having done so. As I tried to (but did not) make clear the first time I mentioned Tudor, I was not really trying to advocate for his work at Washington Ballet, a company I last saw when Mary Day was still directing it (!), but trying to give an example—among what might be several possible examples—of how one could imagine ways of  building repertory with “big league” aspirations and legitimacy (which, for all I know, Webre deserved too) that is still not identical to every other company out there including, if not especially companies seen in D.C. on a regular basis. 

In fact, I personally would like to see a company outside New York Theatre Ballet take up Tudor the way Sarasota has taken up Ashton—acknowledging it is a smaller oeuvre—but that’s not exactly the issue I meant to underline. And I am one fan and don’t live in D.C.  I was more concerned with whether building a major classical ballet company and cultivating an at least partially distinctive profile are mutually exclusive.  Kent expressed herself (perhaps inadvertently) as if she thinks they are. But are they?

Boston Ballet’s European-inflected aesthetic is not exactly mine, but reading about them I do sort of feel I have a sense of what they are after and it is not just ABT or NYCB “north” though the companies also share some overlapping repertory. (Boston also is free of annual head-to-head competition with those and other world class companies.) One can also imagine, say, a company whose director was interested in visual arts and who tried combining revivals of works like Parade, Orpheus, or Rainforest with new commissions of choreographer collaborations with contemporary artists, plus standard repertory...or perhaps that’s a bad idea for one of a hundred reasons—there are other ideas one can imagine or, rather, that a great ballet professional might imagine. But even if I’m not the person with the professional skills, the visionary formula, or the line-up of wealthy donors, it seems to me it might be done even in D.C. (And Kent herself may still find a way to greater success.)

Edited by Drew
Link to comment

The question is whether, when the Board decided to take the company in a new direction, did they have any data to support the change, and, if so, did they have a plan to fund the loss of their old audience while building towards the new one?  That is a legitimate path, if they have the money for a mid-to long- term strategy to make change for long-term benefit, at which point, what Kaufman describes wouldn't be a concern to them, but not so much, if they were running on feeling and the hope that everything would fall into place at once.  

Link to comment

I think the “cultural Renaissance” of Washington has peaked.  

When the Obamas came to the city they brought a renewed energy.   DC seemed almost hip. The Obamas went out and supported the restaurants and entertainment.   This administration only dines at the Trump Hotel.  A new administration changes the dynamic of the city, and this one does not support the arts. 

Link to comment

I’ve been a lurker for a while, but my response to this WaPo article is different than many. I’ve read previous articles with negative insinuations by Peggy McGlone about other institutions where I have some knowledge of the situation on the ground, so I would not take everything in the article at face value.

I, for one, was never interested in the showmanship of the TWB during the Webre years, but am delighted with the new direction of the company under Kent. I have been very pleased to see Kent improve the quality of the dancing and perform ballet repertoire, such as The Dream, Lilac Garden, or Cranko’s Romeo and Juliet, here.

I also don’t think that Kent’s salary or provided housing seems that out of line relative to the heads of other arts institutions. I remember coming across Webre’s salary somewhere and thinking he was woefully underpaid. And there are some other arts institutions that offer housing as a perk for leaders. It makes sense that TWB had to offer Kent an attractive package to entice her to leave New York for DC. (And it’s not as if renting out the house she and her family are living in would have provided that much annual income for TWB.)

As for the audiences, I hadn’t noticed the theatre being really empty until the program opening the season a couple of weeks ago. Given that the company was mostly repeating works from the previous season and didn’t advertise the guest stars until the last minute, I wasn’t surprised that that particular program didn’t sell well. But I assumed that Kent programmed it to give the dancers a breather.

I agree with other posters that TWB developing a particular niche for itself like Sarasota Ballet could be worthwhile, but I’m not ready to say that TWB is doomed just because of one negative article and the loss of a well-liked dancer. For now, I praise Kent for the successes the company has had over the last couple of years and forgive a few stumbles out of the gate while she finds her footing and carries out her vision for the company. Granted, I’m only one audience member, and it will remain to be seen if TWB can thrive financially in the full cultural scene of DC.

Link to comment
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Create New...