Ballet & the Sorry State of Dance
companies are, at best, a
precarious proposition. Even the largest of them seem
to live on the edge financially with little room for miscalculation.
The past six months have been particularly difficult.
Ballet seems on the verge of imploding after a couple of difficult
years. Last week the company staged
a wholesale purge of its roster, firing
nine dancers (the company awkwardly prefers to call the
moves "non-reengagement") reportedly at the behest
of incoming artistic director Maina Gielgud.
Gielgud abruptly quit even before she had officially joined
the company, and the
fingerpointing has begun. But even before recent events,
the company has been shaky:
is only part of the troubled dance picture worldwide:
Last summer the Cleveland-San Jose Ballet got an involuntary
name trim when the Cleveland
side of the operation went bust. The company reinvented
itself in Silicon Valley, but it's not at all certain
the enterpirse will take root there.
there's the venerable Martha Graham Dance Company, which
down in the fall in a
dispute over control of the company. Graham heir Ron
Protas holds claim to rights for the choreographer's work,
extensive negotiations, revival of the company looks
uncertain. Now the future of Graham's dance legacy
have been leaving the Australia Ballet "in
droves" prompting concerns that the company is
ballet world is in turmoil, and three directors of prominent
companies have recently quit. Most recently the English
National Balletís Derek Deane, left, citing "insufficient
funding and a lack of board support" for his more adventurous
Royal Winnipeg Ballet
has had three artistic directors in eight years. And,
with the recent dismissal of Andrew Wilhelm-Boyles, three
executive directors in the same period. What's happening
to one of Canada's great dance companies?
once-venerable Bolshoi Ballet has fallen
into disrepair, with its leadership (including artistic
director Alexei Fadeetchev) recently
fired by Russian president Vladimir Putin.