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Karen Kain retiring from NBOC in January 2021

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13 hours ago, naomikage said:

Such good news!

Not sure why you think this is good news -- could you elaborate?

 

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14 hours ago, naomikage said:

Such good news!

My thoughts, too. Though I was hesitant to stick my neck out quite so jubilantly. :wink: Of course a lot will depend on her successor. Because in addition to replicating her paint-by-numbers programming, someone else may implement silly ideas. Or she could be succeeded by Guillaume Côté, who might commission ballets from himself every season. :pinch: But at least we'll be spared the non-stop parade of Kain "anniversaries" that the marketing department seems to come up with every season: 50 years with the National Ballet, KK becomes a senior citizen, 60 years since her first ballet blister... :dry:

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8 hours ago, sandik said:

Not sure why you think this is good news -- could you elaborate?

 

Volcanohunter's views are completely the same that I think. What an uninspiring, boring company is the current NBoC. She has been in the company for too long and almost every new creation is a disaster regarding quality.  The roster is also very poor. 

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10 minutes ago, naomikage said:

Volcanohunter's views are completely the same that I think. What an uninspiring, boring company is the current NBoC. She has been in the company for too long and almost every new creation is a disaster regarding quality.  The roster is also very poor. 

Here's one thing she did right: You might remember that Ratmansky's The Tempest (2013) was a co-production with NBoC, but the latter never performed it.  I thought it was a disastrous bore, even with a stellar cast. https://dancetabs.com/2013/11/american-ballet-theatre-opening-night-gala-tempest-premiere-and-others-new-york/

(Correct me if I'm wrong on this, please. I check the NBoC schedule each year because they do have a few interesting things in their rep and Toronto is a nice city to visit.)

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53 minutes ago, California said:

Here's one thing she did right: You might remember that Ratmansky's The Tempest (2013) was a co-production with NBoC, but the latter never performed it.

You are correct. The company cut its losses and performed two parts of the Shostakovich Trilogy instead. She also killed Côté's dreadful Dark Angels. Kain is nothing if not risk averse. But she's overseen some home-grown turkeys also.

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My general reaction is “meh.” I’m pretty checked out with respect to NBoC, and my personal thoughts/reflections on the company and its leadership problems are documented on other past threads.

I always perceived “AD Karen Kain” more as a useful figurehead than a dynamic leader, and the company programming during her tenure has been average to dismal. “Dancer Karen Kain” is a beloved figure in Canadian arts history, and the company has certainly leveraged lingering nostalgia for the golden age of ballet and Kain’s dancing career in their marketing and fundraising.

It remains to be see whether changing the AD will have a significant effect given the other leadership and influences in the company. Will they conduct a wide, deep, and creative search for an AD that can shepherd NBoC into the current/future era and its challenges in terms of shoring up an aging audience, nurturing new talent (dancers and choreographers), and dealing with the ever-present issues of shifting funding sources? Or will they choose a placeholder or crony in service of the current leadership and its priorities?

*If* NBoC does pursue that wide, deep, and creative search in a sincere effort to attract new and dynamic leadership, how many potential candidates will bite and how many will be leery of the steep challenges involved and known issues with nepotism and donor influence? I’m thinking of a recent example in my professional circle of a once-shiny but now deeply troubled business entity that has struggled for nearly a year to attract a new CEO, despite offering unusual monetary/other incentives, because under the “business as usual/everything is fine” image, the word is out in the industry that there are hidden problems in the organization and no one wants to come near it, much less be “in charge” when/if the house of cards collapses.

I’ve given my input, in terms of words and voting with my feet/dollars (I’ve not been to see any of their productions for quite a while now), and speaking only for myself, it would take a lot at this point to win me back. I guess I’m at that point of no emotion other than indifference and maybe a bit of curiosity as to how the next steps will play out. In the end, I hope that they can stage a comeback, because I retain a small bit of my idealism and want to see Canadian arts flourish.

Edited by kylara7
fixed typo

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