What do artists do all day? Many of them spend their working hours alone, sitting at a desk or standing at an easel and wrestling with their imaginations. But others don’t have that luxury. If you run a ballet company, for instance, you do your creating in a crowded studio–and you spend most of the day acting more like a CEO than a creative artist.
I went down to Raleigh two weeks ago to pay a visit to Carolina Ballet (and hang out with Ms. Pratie Place). I was there to see Tempest Fantasy, a new ballet by Robert Weiss, the company’s artistic director set to Paul Moravec‘s Pulitzer-winning composition of the same name. In between performances, I spent a day following Weiss around. I’d expected to spend most of it watching the company rehearse. Instead, I got my nose rubbed in the exhausting realities of a choreographer’s life.
Weiss is both artistic director and chief executive officer of Carolina Ballet. Though he choreographs roughly half of the ballets danced by the company, the bulk of his time is given over to far less elevated tasks. Here’s some of what I saw him do that day:
– He paid a visit to company class, where he watched as two out-of-town dancers looking for work were put through their pli