CriticalDance Forum

Ted Brandsen
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Author:  Francis Timlin [ Fri Mar 31, 2000 8:12 am ]
Post subject:  Ted Brandsen

Grace, is Ted Brandsen still the AD in Perth? Any comments on his record there? Would he make a good candidate for AD at AB? I recall seeing a work of his at Ballet West (in Salt Lake) a couple of years ago; Bach Moves was the title, I believe....

Author:  grace [ Fri Mar 31, 2000 2:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Ted Brandsen

oh dear, francis...what a topic!!! Image<P>what a time to ASK!<P>YES, ted is artistic director of west australian ballet. he is a LOVELY man, very enthusiastic, personable, open and friendly (not to mention attractive...) Image<P>he MUST be good at his job - which is a big ask of someone so relatively young, and new to this country and the company. (don't ask me his age, but i think he is someone who will always LOOK under 30!) <P>inevitably, he would not have known about the context he was coming into here, so far across the world from his previous haunts (which is NOT meant to mean anything ominous, just that EVERY place is different, and there is a lot to learn ANYWHERE, no matter how much you know about any job by its narrower definition).<P>the company looks very good under his directorship (although it DID before, too!). but at least standards have not slipped - put it that way. he appears to be most ably assisted by judy maelor-thomas, a benesh notator (and ex-dancer who trained on the RBS TTC) who came with ted from dutch national ballet. she is his associate director here, and obviously a valuable, knowledgeable and dedicated one.<P>his programming, to me, shows up the tightness of the company's funds at present- which is NOT HIS fault - just an observation. certainly he is doing MORE THAN a creditable job with a difficult financial situation - which must be common to ballet companies the world over at the moment, especially small ones (WA Ballet has 17 dancers). <P>he is also a very competent choreographer, who has provided audience enjoyment and impressed some reviewers, so in those terms his record here IS good, yes. <P>i particularly enjoyed his 'carmen' last year, but have found other works (including 'bach moves') less interesting - although VERY well-crafted, i hasten to add. so he obviously has talent, there.<P>re the AB: I for one certainly hope THIS position will go to an australian (and also, since you asked, to someone with more experience).<P>you may like to see the company's website <A HREF="" TARGET=_blank></A> for further information.<P><p>[This message has been edited by grace (edited April 11, 2000).]

Author:  Francis Timlin [ Fri Mar 31, 2000 4:19 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Ted Brandsen

Do give us more background on the present context. You imply money troubles; personnel troubles as well? Board troubles? Management troubles? The WAB website is vastly superior to either the AB or QB sites, although it seems a bit out of date insofar as performances are concerned.

Author:  grace [ Sat Apr 01, 2000 5:13 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Ted Brandsen

yes francis, their website IS quite good. although i DO like the photos on the AB website, and i wish WAB had more photos. they (WAB) are planning a major overhaul of the site, too, with interactive features and so on, so i think it will be a site worth looking back at during the year...<P>sorry i didn't get back to you sooner; my ISP mistakenly disconnected me - boy has it been FRUSTRATING over the last 24 hours to have no internet access! i'm an internet junkie, i confess...<P>i don't know (or expect) that there are any board, management or personnel troubles, but i will happily be more informative when i've had time to think about it.<P>my initial reaction above, had to do with the fact that i am probably ted brandsen's LEAST FAVOURITE PERSON IN THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD, at the moment...even tho' i quite like the guy.<P>intriguingly, i have to GO, now...someone's at the door! (how convenient!) Image

Author:  grace [ Sun Apr 02, 2000 4:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Ted Brandsen

by the way, francis, where do i know your name from? <P>are you a published author? or a critic perhaps? or have you written some intelligent letters to the dancing times? <P>all of the above?<P> none of the above? Image

Author:  Francis Timlin [ Mon Apr 03, 2000 10:20 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Ted Brandsen

Sorry to let days go by between responses; however, I have been sitting in a studio all weekend and am only now reading the weekend's posts. Thanks for the insight on WAB (and for the footnotes on Jack Reid in another thread). I welcome the opportunity to hear more about things in Australia, and about WAB in particular, since Australian discussions tend to be so dominated by the revolving door at the top of the AB. <P>I have written pieces on arts funding, management, reviews, letters and occasional postings on a variety of newsgroups and bulletin boards; the company I have followed for 20+ years is Pacific Northwest Ballet in Seattle.

Author:  grace [ Mon Apr 03, 2000 3:11 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Ted Brandsen

that's OK francis...what do you do in the studio? (sorry about my ignorance). <P>does this mean that where i know your name from is probably those other boards? or do you have published writing as well? (if so, any particular main a magazine, or whatever)?<P>i like your phrase about the revolving door!

Author:  Francis Timlin [ Mon Apr 03, 2000 3:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Ted Brandsen

Sitting in Studio C at PNB observing Melissa Hayden coaching PNB dancers in sections of Agon, Episodes and Div. #15 for the Balanchine Foundation's archival video footage. (But this is very far off the Ted Brandsen topic, so I was not going to mention it....)<P>You probably know me from my occasional contributions to those other boards.

Author:  grace [ Mon Apr 03, 2000 6:12 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Ted Brandsen

WOW! (PNB/hayden/etc) Image<P>OK, here goes...<P>western australia is a long way from anywhere - which is one of the things that makes for our fabulous lifestyle - but it also means that we are a small population, which means for dance an even smaller population, which means not much arts coverage in the media...<P>as a result, the one and only national australian dance magazine, has one principal contributor from the west coast of australia, and that's me. therefore i write ALL of the WA Ballet Company's reviews for the national dance magazine.<P>fortunately there are a couple of other writers for daily newspapers who also review them, but in terms of the dance community, i am the representative voice, more or less by default. obviously this brings quite a measure of responsibility with it...which i have ALWAYS been aware of.<P>being a person of strong principles, occasionally i find myself having to say something which it would be 'easier' to leave unsaid. one such occasion arose recently, where i felt it necessary to make a significant criticism of brandsen's judgement in one specific area - but it had fairly personal implications, so i understand his defensive reaction completely.<P>naturally and quite reasonably, brandsen has responded with a Letter to the Editor (longer than my original review, by the way...) arguing some of my points. i have responded with a brief statement, and this exchange will air in the april/may issue of dance australia which goes on sale next week.<P>so you will see now why i was aghast and a bit amazed that you should pick ME to ask about TED, at this point in time...<P>i expect we will mend our nodding-acquaintance-level of relationship - artistic directors and critics usually do, or at least, with me they have in the past.<P>but for the meantime, my respect for his good qualities remains, whatever differences of opinion we may have over individual topics.<P>and the company is of a very respectable standard for its size. as mentioned above, i think the only thing holding it back is the lack of money which is such a pressure on dance companies everywhere at present.<BR><p>[This message has been edited by grace (edited 04-03-2000).]

Author:  Francis Timlin [ Tue Apr 04, 2000 11:12 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Ted Brandsen

Now, I'll just have to pick up a copy of Dance Australia (assuming I can *find* one hereabouts) to follow up. Ironically, I once was a subscriber, but allowed it to lapse somehow. Finding specialized publications, even in "big box" bookstores, has become a heightened challenge. I also well recognize the challenge of saying anything at all, no matter how innocuous, in small, relatively isolated arts markets, where every nuance is analyzed and ascribed a pejorative meaning and taken very personally, indeed....Not fun! Best wishes for an amicable outcome.

Author:  Azlan [ Tue Apr 04, 2000 8:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Ted Brandsen

Francis, a bit of digression is okay... Speaking of PNB, I saw in the flesh for the first time PNB ADs Kent Stowell and Francia Russell. They were in SF, taking in Christopher Stowell's first choreographic work for SFB.

Author:  grace [ Wed Apr 05, 2000 3:49 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Ted Brandsen

Francis, the editor of Dance Australia, who has been following this exchange with some interest, offers you her email, in order to renew your subscription!<P>it's, and it's essential to put DANCE as your subject (because the address also services other Yaffa publications besides the dance one). Image

Author:  Azlan [ Thu Apr 06, 2000 10:47 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Ted Brandsen

grace, I think I can safely say that the editor of Dance Australia is not the only editor, writer or critic following our exchanges with interest...<BR>

Author:  grace [ Thu Apr 06, 2000 2:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Ted Brandsen

sure azlan - but are they ALL quite so quick to see the opportunity to sell a subscription?! (no offence, karen! Image )

Author:  Azlan [ Thu Apr 06, 2000 4:35 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Ted Brandsen

Maybe they're not hurting as much as Dance Australia?

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