John Rockwell: September 2008 Archives
The news today that Alexei Ratmansky, artistic director of the Bolshoi Ballet and perhaps the most admired classical ballet choreographer in the world just now, will be joining American Ballet Theatre as artist in residence came as a shock. Not that Ratmansky was leaving the Bolshoi -- we already knew that. Not that he was coming to New York (with wife and son, no less), given his warm reception here. But that Ballet Theatre had somehow poached him away from the New York City Ballet.
Just how they poached him remains unclear. Ratmansky has never worked with Ballet Theatre,which has none of his ballets in their "classics"-heavy repertory. He has done two for City Ballet, has another one scheduled and had come very close just a few months ago to replacing Christopher Wheeldon as choreographer in residence at the New York State Theater.
We don't know what the lure of Ballet Theatre was because the company insisted that the New York Times interview him only in the presence of Kevin McKenzie, its artistic director, and Rachel Moore, its executive director, and he clammed up. Seems rather controlling, like the Republicans' nervousness about Sarah Palin being out there on her own, alone with the big bad wolves of journalism.
What can be said is that this is a major loss for Peter Martins and the City Ballet, and a major coup for Ballet Theatre. Mind you, Ballet Theatre's engagement with contemporary ballet is so tenuous these days that an enormous amount of work needs to be done. starting with figuring out a better way to present itself in New York. The year here is split between eight weeks at the cavernous Metropolitan Opera House, whose costs almost preclude expermentation, and a mere three weeks at City Center. But a lot of work represennts an exciting challenge. One can project with some confidence that Ratmansky will be up to it.
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Terry Teachout on the arts in New York City
Andrew Taylor on the business of arts & culture
rock culture approximately
Laura Collins-Hughes on arts, culture and coverage
Richard Kessler on arts education
Douglas McLennan's blog
Dalouge Smith advocates for the Arts
Art from the American Outback
For immediate release: the arts are marketable
No genre is the new genre
David Jays on theatre and dance
Paul Levy measures the Angles
Judith H. Dobrzynski on Culture
John Rockwell on the arts
Jan Herman - arts, media & culture with 'tude
Apollinaire Scherr talks about dance
Tobi Tobias on dance et al...
Howard Mandel's freelance Urban Improvisation
Focus on New Orleans. Jazz and Other Sounds
Doug Ramsey on Jazz and other matters...
Jeff Weinstein's Cultural Mixology
Martha Bayles on Film...
Fresh ideas on building arts communities
Greg Sandow performs a book-in-progress
Exploring Orchestras w/ Henry Fogel
Harvey Sachs on music, and various digressions
Bruce Brubaker on all things Piano
Kyle Gann on music after the fact
Greg Sandow on the future of Classical Music
Norman Lebrecht on Shifting Sound Worlds
Jerome Weeks on Books
Scott McLemee on books, ideas & trash-culture ephemera
Wendy Rosenfield: covering drama, onstage and off
Chloe Veltman on how culture will save the world
Public Art, Public Space
Regina Hackett takes her Art To Go
John Perreault's art diary
Lee Rosenbaum's Cultural Commentary
Tyler Green's modern & contemporary art blog