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Subject: "Who will run the Royal Ballet" Archived thread - Read only
 
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Conferences What's Happening Topic #464
Reading Topic #464
Bruce Madmin

17-01-00, 08:31 AM (GMT)
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"Who will run the Royal Ballet"
 
   Ismene Brown's piece is worth some debate I suspect! - here is the list (and original piece):

http://www.telegraph.co.uk:80/et?ac=000148269364269&rtmo=022NJrKq&atmo=99999999&pg=/et/00/1/17/btball1.html

http://www.telegraph.co.uk:80/et?ac=000148269364269&rtmo=aNNXeRpL&atmo=99999999&pg=/et/00/1/17/btball17.html


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  Subject     Author     Message Date     ID  
  RE: Who will run the Royal Ballet Bruce Madmin 17-01-00 1
     RE: Who will run the Royal Ballet patricia 17-01-00 2
         RE: Who will run the Royal Ballet Stuart Sweeney 17-01-00 3
             RE: Who will run the Royal Ballet patricia 17-01-00 4
                 WAIT - I want to retract one word!!! pmeja 17-01-00 5
         RE: Who will run the Royal Ballet Rosie 20-01-00 9
     RE: Who will run the Royal Ballet Lynette 17-01-00 6
         RE: Who will run the Royal Ballet pmeja 17-01-00 7
     RE: Who will run the Royal Ballet Karen 18-01-00 8
         RE: Who will run the Royal Ballet Ann 21-01-00 10
             RE: Who will run the Royal Ballet Eugene Merrett 21-01-00 11
             RE: Who will run the Royal Ballet Bruce Madmin 22-01-00 12
     RE: Who will run the Royal Ballet Bruce Madmin 22-01-00 13
         RE: Who will run the Royal Ballet Eugene Merrett 22-01-00 14
             RE: Who will run the Royal Ballet Stuart Sweeney 23-01-00 15
                 RE: Who will run the Royal Ballet patricia 23-01-00 16
                 RE: Who will run the Royal Ballet Bruce Madmin 23-01-00 17
                     RE: Who will run the Royal Ballet patricia 23-01-00 18
                         RE: Who will run the Royal Ballet Ann Williams 23-01-00 19
                             RE: Who will run the Royal Ballet Stuart Sweeney 23-01-00 20

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Bruce Madmin

17-01-00, 08:34 AM (GMT)
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1. "RE: Who will run the Royal Ballet"
In response to message #0
 
   To save folks time here is the Brown list:

Mikhail Baryshnikov
Russian-American, 51, director/dancer White Oak Dance Project since 1990. Star at Kirov Ballet, defected 1974. Superstar at American Ballet Theatre, New York City Ballet, RB, etc. Director ABT 1980-89. Allying the ultimate classical gifts with outstanding modern sensibility, he is the most influential dancer of the 20th century.

Kevin McKenzie
Artistic director of American Ballet Theatre since 1992, where he worked with Michael Kaiser, now ROH chief executive. Outstanding ABT dancer; less distinguished choreographer. He and Kaiser triumphantly rescued ABT from financial and artistic doldrums. Kaiser wants him, but he's American (45).

Seymour & Baldwin
Joint approach by former RB superstar and leading modern ballet choreographer. Canadian Seymour, 60, CBE, inspired 17 ballets, including MacMillan's Romeo and Juliet, and directed Bavarian Ballet, 1979-80. Bright spark Baldwin, 42, has made ballets for the RB, Scottish and Berlin companies.

Derek Deane
English, 46, artistic director of English National Ballet since 1993. Leading RB dancer. Turned ENB's finances round by popularising repertory. Disciplinarian who complains about British training and bodies. Questionable taste in publicity stunts.

Sylvie Guillem
French, 34, ballerina and resident RB guest artist since 1989. Trained at Paris Opera Ballet under Nureyev. Quit to set her own terms. Brilliant, individual artist, devoted to the RB, though criticises its narrow taste. Recently staged first production, but teamplaying qualities untested, and has years of performing ahead.

Ross MacGibbon
Scot, mid-40s, former RB dancer and prominent TV film-maker. Films include Nureyev Unzipped and the RB's The Judas Tree. Married to Ashton's official biographer Julie Kavanagh, and sits on ROH Board. No experience, but has inside track to offer fresh vision.


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patricia

17-01-00, 10:38 AM (GMT)
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2. "RE: Who will run the Royal Ballet"
In response to message #1
 
   oooookay. what a strange list. my first thought when i heard that the job was open was monica mason. i don't think they need someone that knows little or nothing about the company's workings. i don't think they need baryshnikov, so i disagree with ms. brown. i don't think he did such a great job with abt. it seems silly to consider someone who is primarily a filmmaker regardless of whether or not he was a dancer at one time. i think derek deane is a bad choice as well. i respect michael kaiser's judgment but agree that as kevin mckenzie is an american i don't think the royal ballet needs him either. ditto about sylvie guillem as she still has too many dancing years left. however lynn seymour, now there's an idea.....


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Stuart Sweeney

17-01-00, 12:36 PM (GMT)
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3. "RE: Who will run the Royal Ballet"
In response to message #2
 
   To clarify matters as I understand it. All Arts Council of England beneficiaries must follow an equal opportunities recruitment policy, otherwise grant funding will be terminated. Due to very special circumstances, the ROH got away with it with when thay appointed Mary Allen. Thus, assuming that Kevin McKenzie can get the necessary work permit, it is impossible to exclude him on the grounds of his nationality.

However, leaving aside legalities, I'm keen that the ROH appoints the person who best fits the job description regardless of where he or she comes from. Ismene Brown's comment in the context of McKenzie that '...Covent Garden is not a little America.', I find distastefully nationalistic as well as shortsighted. Equal Opps is good for any business.


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patricia

17-01-00, 01:14 PM (GMT)
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4. "RE: Who will run the Royal Ballet"
In response to message #3
 
   certainly, stewart. however when speaking of equal opportunity, if kevin mckenzie were an american with extensive experience with the company i would not think him to be a bad candidate for the job. however in my opinion they need someone who has both extensive experience with them and knowledge of their history and present, as well as someone with artistic qualifications that can stand on their own. and as far as i know he doesn't have either. and given a choice between an american and a brit with equal qualifications i think they should choose a brit.


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pmeja

17-01-00, 01:23 PM (GMT)
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5. "WAIT - I want to retract one word!!!"
In response to message #4
 
   oh well got that off too fast and the site wouldn't let me edit my message. I did not mean to say kevin mckenzie hasn't got either qualification. i meant to say both, or those two qualifications together. and in my opinion again there is something to be said for not wanting things to become overly homogenized so that every company looks the same everywhere, and that is one, though not all, of the reasons that i think that if it comes to a choice between a brit and a non-brit the non-brit should not get the job. understanding of course that we would be speaking in that case of two people with incredible talent and history!


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Rosie

20-01-00, 10:16 PM (GMT)
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9. "RE: Who will run the Royal Ballet"
In response to message #2
 
   Well what a brain teaser ! I'm glad that
Monica Mason has been mentioned . I had thought
of her as well. Surely there are not many others
who have for so long been immersed in the companies history and and day to day problems.
Some may shout ' new blood 'required ,but
I would err on the side of caution . Heaven
knows there's enough of the New to contend
with for a while . Dare I mention Deborah Bull ?!


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Lynette

17-01-00, 01:44 PM (GMT)
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6. "RE: Who will run the Royal Ballet"
In response to message #1
 
   There was a discussion of candidates for the AD post on Radio 3 on Sunday lunchtime, with Debra Craine & Judith Mackrell. I recall that it was said that over 40 applications have been received. When asked who they thought was most likely to get the job, both professed a reluctance to predict, but when pushed, suggested Keven MacKenzie as the most likely name. Neither of them sounded particularly in favour of the idea. I think it was Mackrell who suggested Helgi Tomasson of SFB as a interesting candidate, on the grounds that he had done a lot to turn SFB around.

Anyone else catch this on Radio 3 ?


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pmeja

17-01-00, 02:10 PM (GMT)
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7. "RE: Who will run the Royal Ballet"
In response to message #6
 
   lynette any chance that a transcript of that can be found anywhere? i did a little search and had trouble finding anything.


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Karen

18-01-00, 05:28 AM (GMT)
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8. "RE: Who will run the Royal Ballet"
In response to message #1
 
   Yes, this is indeed a very strange list. Let's see: Guillem is certainly untested as a company director and has the ability to continue to dance for many years to come. She certainly can't do both. Her time may come in the future. Baryshnikov certainly has the experience and the name - and therefore the influence - but he's not been strongly associated with British ballet in the past, and I wasn't too happy about what went on at ABT during his reign there. Kevin McKenzie also has the experience but not the "British connection" and wouldn't have the same "name recognition" that Baryshnikov has - despite supposedly being the favourite candidate of Michael Kaiser. I know both Derek Deane and Ross MacGibbon from when they were in the RBS with friends of mine. Deane put his foot in his mouth rather with his in-poor-taste statements about British ballerinas. I would think him a poor choice for Britains premiere company as a result. MacGibbon doesn't have the experience as a director, but he certainly should have an inside track as a current Board member. Seymour and Baldwin - might be an interesting combination. I'm not familiar with Baldwin at all and so can't comment. What has Seymour been doing since her stint in Munich?

I think there are other applicants out there who have remained hidden in the background, who have an appropriate "British connection" as well as experience. I think some of the people on Ismene Brown's list would prove to be total disasters as directors of the RB while others would bring problems of a political nature in their "baggage" while yet others are truly untested - and can the RB afford an "experiment"? Just, as we say in America, my 2 cents.


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Ann

21-01-00, 06:32 PM (GMT)
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10. "RE: Who will run the Royal Ballet"
In response to message #8
 
   Someboy HAS to put pressure onto Bintley. He's the only one in my view!


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Eugene Merrett

21-01-00, 10:50 PM (GMT)
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11. "RE: Who will run the Royal Ballet"
In response to message #10
 
   If Derek Deane had shown a bit more class and avoided making obnoxious comments to the media I suspect the job would be his for the taking.

He has experience with RB in the past, has a proven track record in administration and appears to have good judgement on programing etc. But there it is doubtful whether trustees would ever risk giving such a high profile job. The newspapers would be on his back all the time!


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Bruce Madmin

22-01-00, 09:03 AM (GMT)
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12. "RE: Who will run the Royal Ballet"
In response to message #10
 
   Bintley has said no. What's more he said publicly he was offered the job and turned it down. No a good way to behave. I'm sure it is a debatable point as to if anybody has been properly offered the job yet, but you don't endear yourself to prospective employers by talking openly in such a way.

He doesn't want it and I suspect nobody could summon the energy to try and talk to him again if only because there would be the lingering doubt that he would tell everybody about being asked a second time... ROH shooting themselves in the foot!

Which is all rather sad because I too believe Bintley would have done well. But it was his call and its done now.


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Bruce Madmin

22-01-00, 10:26 AM (GMT)
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13. "RE: Who will run the Royal Ballet"
In response to message #1
 
   interesting to read all the comments coming up. for what its worth here is my take on the list....

Mikhail Baryshnikov
I'm not so convinced as others seem to be. His judgement on repertoire for White Oak seems to have no regard to his fans or ballet/dance lovers in general. I think we need somebody who is more attuned with the audience.

Kevin McKenzie
Regardless of capability, three Americans at the top of ROH seems a trifle cosy. We certainly need the zing and difference of view that Kaiser has brought, but we have traditions too, and they might be lost in an excess of all American way. My chief concern would be loss of RB identity as more and more dancers fly in as guests. The viewing would be terrific but is it what we want? Is it inevitable that all becomes global anyway? McKenzie is the safest choice though.

Seymour & Baldwin
Having two do something can be a nightmare. Who does what in this set-up? How are decisions taken? Demonstrated ability to work together under pressure? Have either of them job shared before at all? Seems more an engineered approach than a natural alliance for the benefit of RB?

Derek Deane
Admire what he has achieved at ENB in putting them on a firm financial footing and taking ballet to a wider public. Agree about questionable taste at times and new work (outside of blockbusters) does not seem to feature very highly on the priority stack. Would have questions about why so many dancers decided to leave ENB last summer.

Sylvie Guillem
She has to do this job sometime! She loves the classics, she believes in dramatic dance, but has the power and respect to take people with her into modern works. But it would be criminal for her to stop dancing just yet. Man management could be tricky and she would probably need a good number two to make it all work.

Ross MacGibbon
Don't know enough about him.


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Eugene Merrett

22-01-00, 05:07 PM (GMT)
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14. "RE: Who will run the Royal Ballet"
In response to message #13
 
   Maybe Bintley did not want to be considered because he would have less artistic power running the RB then the BRB.

Because there is so much competition for other theaters, music etc in London the RB has play it far safer in its repertoire. There is less scope for new works which Bintely likes to do.

More the high profile nature of the job means more physical strain and more interfereance from the board or the government. And the press can be extremely unforgiving. With Ms Sacks around who would not become stressed out.


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Stuart Sweeney

23-01-00, 00:05 AM (GMT)
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15. "RE: Who will run the Royal Ballet"
In response to message #14
 
   Oh dear! From the discussions, it's clear that all the candidates discussed have an Achilles heel of one sort or another.

What's to be done? Dammit, there's only one thing for it. I hereby make myself available for the job. Proposed initiatives (nothing controversial)- a major Ashley Page retrospective and Viviana Durante promoted to Guest Prima Ballerina Assoluta.


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patricia

23-01-00, 11:30 AM (GMT)
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16. "RE: Who will run the Royal Ballet"
In response to message #15
 
   i second the notion, stuart! you'll be wonderful. however keep in mind that i would like the job as archivist in chief. do you think that we could fully staff the company from among ballet.co.'s ranks?


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Bruce Madmin

23-01-00, 12:44 PM (GMT)
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17. "RE: Who will run the Royal Ballet"
In response to message #15
 
   LAST EDITED ON 23-Jan-00 AT 04:47 PM (GMT)

>Oh dear! From the discussions, it's
>clear that all the candidates discussed
>have an Achilles heel of one
>sort or another.

Its a good and fair point. Somebody has to run RB!

I suppose the cheap answer is that its not necessarily the shortlist that any of us would have chosen. And who is to say it is 'the' shortlist anyway - others will still be pushing hard for the job I'm sure.

The trouble is we don't really know these people in any convensional sense and certainly not to interview for a job. All perceived drawbacks can be smoothed away with the right attitude and words. And by a similar token strong candidates can get it hoplessly wrong at times. I'm sure one or two will put on a good show however!

I'd love to see Guillem get it... and be able to carry on dancing (if not so much). But that is a very tall order and she would need strong support from somebody experienced. Not an easy thing to bring togther but worth trying hard for I think. But this is not a low risk strategy...



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patricia

23-01-00, 05:54 PM (GMT)
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18. "RE: Who will run the Royal Ballet"
In response to message #17
 
   goodpoints,bruce! but if we're fantasy-job-filling then i'd like to nominate you as p.r. man par excellence!


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Ann Williams

23-01-00, 07:30 PM (GMT)
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19. "RE: Who will run the Royal Ballet"
In response to message #18
 
  
Dammit! I wanted that PR job.....


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Stuart Sweeney

23-01-00, 08:29 PM (GMT)
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20. "RE: Who will run the Royal Ballet"
In response to message #19
 
   Sorry Ann, but I've got you down as one of the interval bell ringers. By the way, we provide ear plugs as well as the bell, which you're allowed to use off-duty.


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