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Rural Retreat 2005
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Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Thu Sep 02, 2004 3:41 am ]
Post subject:  Rural Retreat 2005

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International Ballet Directors confirmed for DanceEast’s second Rural Retreat
Ballet into the 21st Century
Hertfordshire, England: January 7 – 9, 2005

A record number of international ballet directors will meet to discuss key issues affecting their profession when DanceEast produces its second Rural Retreat in Hertfordshire from January 7-9, 2005.

This latest gathering builds on the success of DanceEast’s first Rural Retreat in 2003, which brought together ballet directors from around the globe for the first time. The setting for next year’s Retreat is Hertfordshire, in the East of England, and it brings together 27 artistic directors from North America, Europe, Australia, Scandinavia, China and Russia.

With an emphasis on sharing expertise across nations and art forms, discussions will be future-facing and include important issues such as working with dancers, developing choreographic talent, alternative organisational structures, the changing audience for ballet and effecting change.

Artistic Directors confirmed to attend the Rural Retreat in 2005 include: John Alleyne (Ballet British Columbia), Frank Andersen (Royal Danish Ballet), Reid Anderson (Stuttgart Ballet), Mark Baldwin (Rambert Dance Company), Kathryn Bennetts (Artistic Director Designate, Royal Ballet of Flanders), David Bintley (Birmingham Royal Ballet), Dinna Bjorn (Finnish National Ballet), Ted Brandsen (Dutch National Ballet), Didier Deschamps (Ballet de Lorraine, France), Espen Giljane (Norwegian National Ballet), Kevin Irving (Goteburg Ballet), Marc Jonkers (Limburg Ballet, Holland), AndrÈ Lewis (Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Canada), Ivan Liska (Bayerisches Staatsballett, Munich), Monica Mason (The Royal Ballet, Covent Garden), David McAllister (Australian Ballet), Kevin McKenzie (American Ballet Theatre), Jean-Christophe Maillot (Les Ballets de Monte Carlo), Mikko Nissinen (Boston Ballet), David Nixon (Northern Ballet Theatre), Madeleine Onne (Royal Swedish Ballet), Ashley Page (Scottish Ballet), Alexei Ratmansky (Bolshoi Ballet), Paulo Ribeiro (Gulbenkian Ballet), Zhao Ruheng (National Ballet of China), Matz Skoog (English National Ballet), Stanton Welch (Houston Ballet), Emil Wesolowski (Polish National Ballet).

The Retreat will be followed by a lunch reception on the Terrace of the House of Commons at 12noon on Monday 10th January, hosted by Chris Mole MP and Arts Council England. Afterwards there will be opportunities to discuss the Retreat with some of the participating Artistic Directors.

Conceived by DanceEast under the direction of Assis Carriero, the 2005 Rural Retreat will be facilitated by Professor Christopher Bannerman (Head of the Centre for Research into Creation in the Performing Arts (ResCen) at Middlesex University) and Jeanette Siddall, Director of Dance, Arts Council England. Guest speakers, who include Nicholas Hytner, Director of the Royal National Theatre, will lead discussions.

In January 2003, Rural Retreats: Ballet into the 21st Century was held at Snape in Suffolk and represented a remarkable act of international solidarity on the part of many of the Artistic Directors of the world’s major ballet companies. DanceEast has conceived Rural Retreats as a regular think-tank for leading artists and cultural leaders. A series of future Rural Retreats looking at other key issues facing dance and the arts in general are already being planned through 2007 and a full schedule will be announced in November, 2004.

Rural Retreats: Ballet into the 21st Century is generously supported by Arts Council England, Arts Council England East, the Jerwood Foundation, the Rudolf Nureyev Foundation UK, Freed of London, the Embassy of Sweden, Canada Council for the Arts/Conseil des Arts du Canada, the Swedish Embassy, the Royal Netherlands Embassy, the Royal Norwegian Embassy, the Polish Cultural Institute and the French Institute.

<small>[ 19 December 2004, 10:32 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Mon Nov 08, 2004 4:38 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Rural Retreat 2005

Monday, November 8 2004


DanceEast today announced further details of its 2005 Rural Retreat for international ballet directors, Ballet into the 21st Century. It also revealed plans for a further series of Retreats to benefit other areas of the dance profession, planned through to 2007.

The success of its first Rural Retreat in 2003, and the international interest the scheme has created, has put DanceEast and Britain on the map in the development of think-tanks for artistic leaders.

The next Rural Retreat will take place in Hertfordshire from 7-10 January 2005 and will bring together 27 Artistic Directors from ballet companies around the globe. For their second gathering, the Artistic Directors will focus in greater depth on issues and concerns facing the art form, in an environment of remarkable mutual understanding and support.

The 2005 Retreat will be facilitated by Sue Hoyle, Deputy Director of the Clore Leadership Programme and Prof. Christopher Bannerman, Head of the Centre for Research into Creation in
the Performing Arts (ResCen) at Middlesex University.

High-profile guest speakers from outside the world of dance, Nicholas Hytner and Gail Rebuck, will offer insights into working with creative teams and large institutions. Nicholas Hytner is Artistic Director of the Royal National Theatre and Gail Rebuck is Chief Executive of the publishing giant, the
Random House Group. Ms. Rebuck was recently named one of the 25 most outstanding female business leaders in Europe by the Financial Times.

Full list of Artistic Directors attending the 2005 Ballet Directors Rural Retreat.
Rural Retreat 2005
List of Artistic Directors

1. John Alleyne Ballet British Colombia
2. Frank Andersen Royal Danish Ballet
3. Reid Anderson Stuttgart Ballet
4. Mark Baldwin Rambert Dance Company
5. Kathryn Bennetts Royal Ballet of Flanders
6. David Bintley Birmingham Royal Ballet
7. Dinna Bjorn Finnish National Ballet
8. Ted Brandsen Dutch National Ballet
9. Didier Deschamps Ballet de Lorraine, France
10. Espen Giljane Norwegian National Ballet
11. Nanette Glushak Ballet du Capitole, Toulouse
12. Kevin Irving Goteborg Ballet
13. Marc Jonkers Linburg Ballet
14. Andre Lewis Royal Winnipeg Ballet
15. Ivan Liska Bayerisches Staatsballett, Munich
16. Monica Mason The Royal Ballet, Covent Garden
17. David McAllister Australian Ballet
18. Kevin McKenzie American Ballet Theatre
19. Mikko Nissinen Boston Ballet
20. David Nixon Northern Ballet Theatre
21. Madeleine Onne Royal Swedish Ballet
22. Ashley Page Scottish Ballet
23. Alexei Ratmansky Bolshoi Ballet
24. Paulo Ribeiro Gulbenkian Ballet
25. Zhao Ruheng National Ballet of China
26. Matz Skoog English National Ballet
27. Stanton Welch Houston Ballet
28. Emil Wesolowski Polish National Ballet

Four Retreats planned for 2006 - 2007

DanceEast has also announced a further series of Rural Retreats that will take place in 2006 and 2007. The first of these, Living Dangerously - How it is to be an artist today, will be a cross-arts Retreat that will take place at Snape in January 2006. The Retreat will bring together a cross section of artists from around the globe, representing different cultures and ways of working in the performing arts. It will look at making work in a shifting culture and economy and examine the relationship between the artist and the state.

A steering group has been set up to develop this Retreat and includes leading figures from across the arts: David Lan (Artistic Director, Young Vic), director Richard Jones, choreographers Siobhan Davies and Jonathan Burrows; Michael Morris (ArtAngel); Alistair Spalding (Artistic Director, Sadler's Wells Theatre), Jane Greenfield (Director, Dance 4); Rose Fenton (LIFT), Roanne Dods (Jerwood Charity) and Assis Carreiro (Director, DanceEast).

A further three Rural Retreats are currently in the planning stages. These include New Directions, a Retreat for Principals/Directors of professional ballet and dance schools around the globe. It became obvious at the first Artistic Directors' Retreat that many of the issues currently facing ballet companies could not be taken in isolation, but must be shared with the professional training institutions that feed the companies. The organisers believe that it is in the foundations of training that old habits can be broken and new directions for ballet can be seeded. Accordingly, the Retreat will look at a range of issues including: training, education, injuries, relationships with ballet companies, choreographic development and career planning.

A further Retreat, scheduled for 2007, is for Future Artistic Directors. This Retreat is designed for designed for those who would like one day to lead ballet/contemporary companies and is designed to be both inspirational and provocative - an opportunity to hear from the experts about the realities of the job, to share concerns and aspirations and to try to find new models of good practice for future leadership.

A final Rural Retreat, aimed to coincide with DanceEast's first year in its new DanceHouse on the regenerated Ipswich waterfront, is Fire & Ice - which will be both a Retreat and festival. It will bring together dance artists from Northern and Southern countries of the World and, in a series of public and private performances and discussions, will examine the influence of place on the creative process.

Rural Retreats are supported by Arts Council England, Arts Council England East, the Jerwood Charity, the Rudolf Nureyev Foundation UK, Freed of London, British Harlequin plc, Ballet-Dance Magazine (, and the Embassy of Sweden, Canada Council for the Arts/Conseil des Arts du Canada, the Polish Cultural Institute, the Royal Netherlands Embassy and the French Institute.

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Tue Jan 11, 2005 12:48 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Rural Retreat 2005

PRESS RELEASE - immediate
Monday, January 10, 2005


Artistic Directors of ballet companies from around the globe came together in Hertfordshire from January 7-9 for the 2nd Rural Retreat: Ballet into the 21st century. Rural Retreats has created an international peer group of Artistic Directors committed to the development and future of ballet.

Twenty-six directors drawn from across four continents attended the weekend Retreat. Collectively, they are responsible for budgets totalling over £163m, for thousands of jobs and for companies that together perform to audiences of over four million people every year in theatres every year in addition to television, video relays and extensive education and outreach programmes. All have a mission to enhance the culture of their communities and affirm the power of dance in transforming lives and in communicating across boundaries. Every company plays an important role in international exchange and cooperation.

The Artistic Directors recognised that today the art form has evolved beyond stereotypical images of ballet. They agreed that high quality training of professional dancers is essential to the future of ballet companies and the art form.

The 2nd international gathering of Artistic Directors agreed to:

- Communicate to governments, funding bodies, opinion formers and the broader community, the value, creativity and vitality of ballet and its relevance to today’s society;

- Work in partnership with other companies and organisations to campaign for increased investment in the creative process;

- Give priority to the career development and well-being of dancers.

The Artistic Directors also acknowledged the critical situation in Scandinavian
and other countries where the development of the art form is hindered by
statutory practices and structures.

This was the second Rural Retreat produced by DanceEast. Initiated in January
2003, the Directors acknowledged the unique opportunity for exchange and
valued the breadth of experience represented at the meeting and the depth of
discussion in which they were engaged. The Artistic Directors agreed to meet again
in January 2007 and will work with DanceEast on the planning of the next Retreat.


Artistic Directors who attended Rural Retreats: Ballet into the 21st century were:

John Alleyne (Ballet British Columbia, Canada
Reid Anderson (Stuttgart Ballet)
Mark Baldwin (Rambert Dance Company)
Kathryn Bennetts (Artistic Director Designate, Royal Ballet of Flanders)
David Bintley (Birmingham Royal Ballet)
Dinna Bjorn (Finnish National Ballet)
Dinko Bogdanic (Croatian National Ballet)
Ted Brandsen (Dutch National Ballet)
Didier Deschamps (Ballet de Lorraine, France)
Espen Giljane (Norwegian National Ballet)
Nanette Glushak (Ballet du Capitole, Toulouse, France)
Kevin Irving (Goteburg Ballet)
Marc Jonkers (Limburg Ballet, The Netherlands)
Jonas Kåge (Ballet West)
André Lewis (Royal Winnipeg Ballet)
Ivan Liska (Bayerisches Staatsballett, Munich)
Monica Mason (The Royal Ballet, Covent Garden)
David McAllister (Australian Ballet)
Mikko Nissinen (Boston Ballet)
David Nixon (Northern Ballet Theatre)
Madeleine Onne (Royal Swedish Ballet)
Ashley Page (Scottish Ballet)
Alexei Ratmansky (Bolshoi Ballet)
Zhao Ruheng (National Ballet of China)
Matz Skoog (English National Ballet)
Stanton Welch (Houston Ballet)

This Rural Retreat was facilitated by Professor Christopher Bannerman (Head of the Centre for Research into Creation in the Performing Arts (ResCen) at Middlesex University) and Sue Hoyle (Deputy Director of the Clore Leadership Programme) with and guest speakers Nicholas Hytner, Director of the National Theatre and Gail Rebuck (Chief Executive of Random House Group).

The Rural Retreat is produced by DanceEast and supported by Arts Council England, Arts
Council England East, The Jerwood Charity, the Rudolf Nureyev Foundation, Freed of
London, British Harlequin plc, the Canada Council for the Arts/Conseil des Arts du Canada, the Swedish Embassy, the Royal Netherlands Embassy and Institute Francais.

<small>[ 11 January 2005, 01:54 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>

Author:  salzberg [ Wed Jan 12, 2005 2:21 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Rural Retreat 2005

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(photo credit: Johan Persson)

Key to group photograph of directors who attended the retreat:


right to left:
David Bintley (Birmingham Royal Ballet), David McAllister (Australian Ballet), Matz Skoog (English National Ballet), Reid Anderson (Stuttgart Ballet), Monica Mason (The Royal Ballet, Covent Garden), Dinko Bogdanic (Croatian National Ballet), Kathryn Bennetts (Artistic Director Designate, Royal Ballet of Flanders), Alexei Ratmansky (Bolshoi Ballet), Ted Brandsen (Dutch National Ballet), Stanton Welch (Houston Ballet), John Alleyne (Ballet British Columbia), Jonas Kåge (Ballet West, USA), Madeleine Onne (Royal Swedish Ballet), Ashley Page (Scottish Ballet);

Descending stairs :

Back row : left to right:
André Lewis (Royal Winnipeg Ballet), Mikko Nissinen (Boston Ballet), Kevin Irving (Goteburg Ballet), David Nixon (Northern Ballet Theatre), Ivan Liska (Bayerisches Staatsballett, Munich);

Front row: left to right:
Marc Jonkers (Limberg Ballet, The Netherlands), Nanette Gluschak (Ballet du Capitole, Toulouse), Espen Giljane (Norwegian National Ballet), Dinna Bjorn (Finnish National Ballet), Zhao Ruheng (National Ballet of China), Didier Deschamps (Ballet de Lorraine, France), Mark Baldwin (Rambert Dance Company).

<small>[ 17 January 2005, 02:49 AM: Message edited by: salzberg ]</small>

Author:  Azlan [ Sat Jan 15, 2005 7:35 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Rural Retreat 2005

Dance Leaders Ponder Future of Ballet at U.K. Retreat

By Emily Quinn

At a conference run by the U.K. agency Dance East, artistic directors from ballet companies all over the world discussed the future of ballet, the London Guardian reports. <a href= target=_blank>more</a>

Author:  Azlan [ Sat Jan 15, 2005 7:44 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Rural Retreat 2005

World's ballet leaders call for reform

Charlotte Higgins, arts correspondent
The Guardian

A return to solid training in basic ballet skills, renewed focus on nurturing choreographers and a coaxing of audiences into accepting contemporary work are vital to the future of ballet, according to a group of leading international artistic directors. <a href=,11711,1387478,00.html?gusrc=rss target=_blank>more</a>

Author:  Lyndsey Winship [ Sun Jan 16, 2005 5:56 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Rural Retreat 2005

I went along to the reception following the Rural Retreat and the directors all spoke very positively about the event, saying that they'd got a lot more out of it than last time. More than one mentioned the 'loneliness' of being an artistic director and how useful and rewarding it was to be able to discuss the experience of running a company with fellow ADs.

Arts Minister Estelle Morris gave a short but very enthusiastic speech about the importance of nurturing dance. (Apparently much more enthusiastic than she has ever sounded in the past.) And she was eager to highlight the 'healthy living' angle in light of the governments agenda against obesity, which is all well and good but might have been slightly missing the point at this gathering of artistic souls.

Full report to follow.

Author:  Lyndsey Winship [ Tue Feb 01, 2005 3:58 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Rural Retreat 2005

Rural Retreat 2005

Twenty-six directors returned from a Rural Retreat in Hertfordshire to a reception at the House of Commons where they celebrated the success of the weekend. The Retreat was organised by DanceEast and its director Assis Carreiro, an inspiring woman who clearly has the vision and persistence to make things happen. Carreiro has proven that a regional dance agency can have a scope way beyond its parochial borders.

A wide variety of people attended the reception, from dancers Michael Nunn, Billy Trevitt and Agnes Oaks, to politicians, press and businesspeople, including unlikely supporters such as the Chief Exec of Ipswich Town Football Club (a sponsor of DanceEast).

All were in good spirits and felt it had been a very worthwhile initiative. Although rather than emerging with bold statements about the future of dance the directors spoke about how much they appreciated being able to talk to their peers about the day-to-day details of running a large ballet company.

This was the second time the Retreat had taken place which meant that those who had been directorial virgins the first time round – Mark Baldwin and Ashley Page for example – now had plenty of experience to share. And yet the old hands found it as useful as anyone. Stuttgart Ballet’s Reid Anderson called himself the granddaddy of the group but he was the first to say they should do it again. “I’ve been Artistic Director for 18 years but you never stop learning,” he said.

Mark Baldwin said he had found that the assembled directors had much in common despite the many differences in size, style and location of their companies. One of his hopes for the future was to see greater cultural diversity reflected in in the dance world. While you may see more non-white dancers on stage these days, it was notable that among the company directors there was still only one black face, John Alleyne from Ballet British Columbia

Boston Ballet’s Mikko Nissinen enthused that he had found the weekend “very rejuvenating”. Reflecting on the loneliness of the artistic director’s job he said: “Usually the artistic director has an inner dialogue, now we get to compare our notes.”

Dinna Bjorn, AD at Finnish National Ballet had come up with some keywords that symbolised the weekend’s discussions: Creativity, authenticity, trust, courage and

Ashley Page of the Scottish Ballet illuminated some of the issues they had been discussing, raising concerns over the standard of dancers currently coming out of ballet schools. He also felt that those dancers who did feed through to the companies weren’t as driven as previous generations, had shorter attention spans and expected to be spoon-fed ‘inspiration’.

Page felt he had taken away some interesting insights from one of the weekend’s guest speakers Nicholas Hytner, director of the National Theatre, who spoke about the vogue in theatre for small-scale intimate works and cinematic acting. Hytner commented that actors and playwrights had lost the desire and ability to make larger works and Page saw parallels in the way that new choreographers tend to make chamber works rather than taking advantage of the possibilities of a large company.

Page also had the usual gripes about funding, saying he wants to commission new work for Scottish Ballet as well as buying in existing pieces, but a cut in funding come April could arrest the company’s very promising development.

Rt Hon Estelle Morris MP, Minister for the Arts, addressed the guests with a very enthusiastic speech. “You’ve always known how valuable dance could be,” she said. “I sense that the world might be catching up with you.” Morris spoke about the value of the arts being able to speak across cultural boundaries and, in keeping with the government’s current anti-obesity drive, emphasised dance’s positive role in health and fitness. She did also praise dance’s value in itself, in bringing pure enjoyment. “You come out of the ballet and feel the world is a more positive place,” she said.

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