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Home > DANCE

SEPTEMBER 2001

Thursday September 27

ATTACKING THE CRITIC: Houston Ballet didn't like a story about the company in the alternative weekly Houston Press. So the company has withheld review tickets from he publication's critic and refuse to talk to reporters. Houston Press 09/26/01 [second item]

  • WHAT HOLDS HOUSTON BALLET BACK? "Ben Stevenson is the longest-serving head of a major American ballet company." He's built the company into a respected institution. So why is it that "every five years or so, it seems he might be out of a job"? Houston Press 09/01

SUZANNE FARRELL - FROM DANCER TO ARTISTIC DIRECTOR: "The greatest ballerina this country has produced is moving into a new sphere as a leader. The woman who for nearly 30 years did what she was told is now calling the shots. For dance lovers, her arrival here as artistic director of the Suzanne Farrell Ballet - an entity conceived and wholly funded by the Kennedy Center - is as momentous as basketball great Michael Jordan moving in to run the Wizards." Washington Post 09/26/01

IN SEARCH OF SUPPORT: Alberta Ballet faces a life-threatening deficit. The company's "financial problems reflect an inability to match expansionary artistic ambitions with the realities of its fundraising prospects. Calgary is a rich city in a rich province. On a per capita basis, its citizens support charitable causes as generously as does any other Canadian city, but they are notoriously niggardly when it comes to supporting Calgary's struggling non-profit arts groups." National Post 09/26/01

Wednesday September 26

ROOM FOR POP CULTURE IN THE HIGH ARTS: The Scottish Arts Minister has attacked what he calls elitism in the arts, saying, "I think there is, in certain quarters, intense snobbery that still prevails. People get hung up on classical ballet - the whole point of the business plan is to have dance in the widest sense." The Herald (UK) 09/25/01

  • Previously: CLASSICS BEFORE MODERN: Scottish National Ballet recently got rid of its artistic director and announced it was abandoning classical ballet to reinvent as a modern company. Now top dancers with the company may strike in protest of the plan. The Scotsman 09/23/01

Tuesday September 25

DISCARDING A STAR: For the past 11 years, Irek Mukhamedovhas was the Royal Ballet's biggest star. But 'there was no regretful but grateful meeting between star and boss to declare time on a lustrous career, let alone an announcement." The dancer even had to organize his own public farewell. The Telegraph (UK) 09/25/01

Monday September 24

CLASSICS BEFORE MODERN: Scottish National Ballet recently got rid of its artistic director and announced it was abandoning classical ballet to reinvent as a modern company. Now top dancers with the company may strike in protest of the plan. The Scotsman 09/23/01

  • MAD PLANS: Dancers also object to a board proposal to sell their historic headquarters. The 36-strong troupe is "also demanding the removal of the current Scottish Ballet board and the scrapping of the restructuring plans, which they describe as 'madness'." The Sunday Times (UK) 09/23/01

Tuesday September 18

NORTHERN PLUCK: The UK's Northern Ballet has had a string of bad luck. "During the past three years the Leeds-based touring company has had to cope with the death of its long-time artistic director Christopher Gable, the departure of his replacement, and arson. How did it survive such a string of soap opera adversities?" The Times (UK) 09/18/01

Monday September 17

NOT DANCE ON THE CHEAP: Is Scottish National Ballet abandoning classical dance in favor of going modern because it wants to do dance on the cheap? Not at all, says the company's board chairman. Our commitment to quality remains. Scotland on Sunday 09/16/01

Sunday September 16

DANCING IN THE LIGHT: Is dance ready to sell out in return for larger audiences? "Contemporary gallery and museum art glows with attention and lucre while modern dance, surviving on a diet of instant noodles and staticky sound systems, is as pale and wan as ever. Now that they're willing, why don't choreographers get to be must-see sensations with big, hip followings? Why do you have to be a 'dance lover' to love downtown modern dance?" The New York Times 09/16/01 (one-time registration required for access)

Wednesday September 12

A HOME OF THEIR OWN: Mark Morris's new dance home opens. "The Morris Dance Center perhaps the most lavish dance center in New York, created at a cost of $6.2 million has become something of a symbol. For Mr. Morris and his dancers, it is a place to call home. For other dance companies, it is a place to envy, a place where dancers have their own cubicles, their own physical therapists, their own mailboxes." The New York Times 09/12/01 (one-time registration required for access)

Monday September 10

A BARBIE BALLET: Barbie is sponsoring the English National Ballet's production of Nutcracker this year. "Mattel said the 85,000 sponsorship deal, due to be officially announced on Tuesday, was designed to encourage young girls to become more interested in ballet." BBC 09/10/01

Sunday September 9

THE DIFFICULTY OF DANCE: Why is ballet such a difficult art to warm up to? "The problem is that we are most comfortable with art that achieves its effects verbally. It's no coincidence that the mass art forms are literature, cinema, pop, television and theatre. Even with a Beethoven or Mozart symphony, it's comforting to have a programme or sleeve note revealing what the piece is "about". With dance I always felt as if the audience had to provide mental subtitles for a silent movie. Some choreographers compensate with the use of mime, but this further repelled me, mime being the only art form lower on my list than ballet." The Guardian (UK) 09/08/01

Friday September 7

YES, MIKKO IN BOSTON: The new artistic director of Boston Ballet is 39-year-old Finnish dancer and choreographer Mikko Nissinen. He seems to be "a born impresario, whose dream of leading a major troupe could give Boston's stumbling dance company the energy and elan it needs. Nissinen... will commute between Boston and Calgary until his contract with the Alberta Ballet runs out next June." Boston Globe 09/07/01

  • MIKO'S BIG PLANS: He thinks the Ballet should be a leader among dance companies in the United States, performing repertory that cannot be seen elsewhere. He wants the Ballet to tour internationally, and he would like its school to become an example for others across the country. He also intends to cultivate choreographers from within the company. Boston Herald 09/07/01
  • STORMY PAST: Nissinen, 39, has had a stormy tenure with Alberta Ballet. "His appointment makes him the youngest artistic director of any American or Canadian troupe of comparable size." National Post 09/07/01
  • Previously: MIKKO IN BOSTON? Is Finnish choreographer Mikko Nissinen about to become artistic director of Boston Ballet? Last week Nissinen quit as head of Alberta Ballet, and he's widely assumed to be Boston bound. Boston will admit only that Nissinen's been interviewed along with "several other candidates." Boston Globe 08/24/01

Tuesday September 4

A MAN'S WORLD: From the outside, the dance world looks overwhelming female. But according to a new study of 25 dance theaters and festivals in New York last season, 147 male choreographers were produced and only 85 female choreographers. Of publications writing about dance - including The New York Times and The Village Voice - and the fund- raising letters of two major producing organizations last fall, while 70 men were written about, only 25 women were. The New York Times 09/04/01 (one-time registration required for access)

Sunday September 2

DROPPING BALLET FOR MODERN: So Scottish National Ballet has killed off its classical ballet and plans to reinvent as a modern company. Why? "Money is suspected to be the motive. No-frills contemporary dance, with its smaller forces and taped music, costs less to do than ballet, with its spectacle, corps de ballet and orchestra. Plus, I fancy, there is a vague feeling that Scotland is a culturally go-ahead place (as the Edinburgh Festival annually reinforcess) and certain influential people chafe against ballet's old-fashioned values and senior audiences." The Telegraph (UK) 09/01/01

MONEY FOR NEW DANCE: New York's Joyce Theatre announces a new $1 million program to commission new dance works. The New York Times 09/01/01 (one-time registration required for access)

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