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Home > DANCE

JULY 2001

Tuesday July 31

BOWING OUT GRACEFULLY: It is never easy for a dancer to retire. Unlike performers in nearly every other discipline, dancers are forced to hang up their toe shoes when their bodies give out on them, usually sometime in their late 30s. For some, being told that it's time to go is an unbearable insult, and the occasional ugly battle between dancer and dance company results. But one Canadian dance legend decided to take the quiet route to retirement this year, earning her even greater affection from colleagues and audiences alike. National Post (Canada) 07/31/01

Monday July 30

DANCE NEW ZEALAND: Gary Harris is the new artistic director of the Royal New Zealand Ballet. He says he wants to make RNZB the "ballet company of the Pacific" with a busy touring schedule, presenting a distinctly New Zealand style." New Zealand Herald 07/30/01

Sunday July 29

END OF ERA: Anthony Dowell's tenure as director of Lonond's Royal Ballet has been a mixed affair. "What makes a good director? The question has never been more of a poser than during Dowell's captaincy of the ballet, in the most turbulent years of the Royal Opera House's history. The organisation has struggled with vast debts, the closure and rebuilding of the theatre, and a serious loss of public affection." The Telegraph (UK) 07/29/01

  • OUT OF GAS: Is Anthony Dowell leaving just in time as director of London's Royal Ballet? "The ideal director, if he or she is not a creator, should be a curator, ensuring that the Royal Ballet presents the classics in the purest form. By emphasising design over direction, Dowell has taken the company out of the premier league of classical troupes. It still dances well but its productions have become secondary ones, not the definitive statements Ninette de Valois required of the Royal Ballet." The Observer (UK) 07/29/0

BYPASSING THE BAY AREA: Why don't major ballet companies come to San Francisco? "There is an impressive roster of companies that routinely bypass the Bay Area during United States tours that are anchored in appearances at Lincoln Center, the Orange County Performing Arts Center or the Kennedy Center." San Francisco Chronicle 07/29/01

Friday July 27

ELEVATOR ART: "Aerial dance is a new trend catching on in the dance world, especially in the western United States. 'One of the most exciting performances we ever did was a vertical adaptation of Romeo and Juliet out of the 23rd story of a skyscraper in Houston. We were 350 feet in the air with the Houston Symphony below us and 40,000 people watching. It was magical, and it had quite an impact on people'." USAToday 07/25/01

Thursday July 26

ABT DIRECTOR QUITS: Louis Spisto, the embattled director of the troubled American Ballet Theatre, has resigned. His tenure was marked by controversy - "rising expenses, a management style that was characterized by a number of employees as autocratic and allegations of sex and age discrimination." The New York Times 07/26/01 (one-time registration required for access)

Tuesday July 24

FAREWELL SWAN: In honor of artistic director Anthony Dowell's departure from the Royal Ballet, the company will be projecting a full-length performance of Swan Lake on a giant screen in the plaza outside Covent Garden. London Evening Standard 07/24/01

Friday July 20

LEADERSHIP VOID: Anthony Dowell was perhaps the Royal Ballet's best dancer ever. By contrast, as head of the company for the past 15 years, he's shown his limitations as an artistic director. Now he's moving on. The Independent (UK) 07/20/01

Thursday July 19

ROYAL WINNIPEG LEADER RESIGNS: The chairwoman of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet resigned from the board last week, half way through her four-year term. She said she quit "on a matter of principle" but she is believed to have been at odds with Andre Lewis, the company's artistic director. National Post 07/17/01

  • GOTTA PAY THE BILLS: Lewis defends charges that his programming is too "market driven" and that he is having problems with some of his dancers. Nonetheless two of the company's most prominent dancers have said they are leaving at the end of the season. National Post 07/18/01

Monday July 16

EXPLAINING DANCE: "Like other performing arts, dance is sharpening its marketing skills. In the meantime no dance seems to go unexplained. Are program notes or any other kind of education necessary?" The New York Times 07/16/01 (one-time registration required for access)

RUNNING BALLET: What's it take to run a successful ballet company? When Carole McPhee took over management of the English National Ballet, the company had a huge debt. She turned things around and turned the ENB into a successful touring company. After 11 years McPhee is leaving ENB and returning to Australia. The Age (Melbourne) 07/16/01

Sunday July 15

DESERT IN BLOOM: A year ago Ballet Arizona was on the brink of collapse, and only an emergency bailout allowed the company to meet its payroll. But things have turned around - "Ballet Arizona is emerging from that near-death experience with a clear artistic vision and a more stable public image. Most tellingly, the level of red ink that nearly drowned the troupe last year has receded." Arizona Republic 07/15/01

Thursday July 12

THE INNER JEROME: Choreographer Jerome Robbins was much beloved for his work. But he was legendarily awful to work with, an unpleasant man who knew how to keep a grudge...The New Republic 07/11/01

Wednesday July 11

D.C. BALLET GETS ITS MAN: Former ABT and Joffrey II dancer George Thompson has been named the next executive director of the Washington Ballet. Thompson is currently the VP/GM of the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center in Florida. He will begin work in his new post in August. Washington Post 07/11/01

Tuesday July 10

LOOKING FOR INSPIRATION: The 15-year-old Philippine Ballet Theatre is having a crisis of budget, artistic direction and dwindling audiences. Is the solution bringing in stars from outside the country? Philippine Daily Inquirer 07/08/01

Sunday July 1

SIZING UP A DIFFICULT SITUATION: "In the wake of executive director Gray Montague's sudden departure from the Pittsburgh Dance Council, the board acted swiftly to hire Paul Organisak, a Pittsburgh native and former associate director of development at the contemporary dance presenting organization. As of yesterday [Organisak] was trying to get 'a sense of where we are' by looking over the finances and strategic plan before taking over the reins July 16." Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 06/30/01

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