CriticalDance Forum

What is a "company"?
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Author:  salzberg [ Thu Jan 04, 2007 9:25 am ]
Post subject:  What is a "company"?

From the New York Times:

Christopher Wheeldon, one of the world’s most sought-after choreographers, who recently announced an end to his residency at New York City Ballet, has formed his own company, a major event in the dance world.

...And this....

In an interview yesterday Mr. Wheeldon said performances would include a mix of his own choreography and works by others, performed by stars on loan from City Ballet and the Royal Ballet in London.

To me, a "company" is a group of dancers who work together regularly as a unit. Mr. Wheeldon's endeavor, it seems to me, is not a company; it's a choreographer hiring a bunch of dancers in order to show his work.

What does "company" mean to you?

Author:  djb [ Thu Jan 04, 2007 12:26 pm ]
Post subject: 

If the company is being formed for a predetermined number of performances, then I would call it a pick-up company. If this is to be an ongoing thing but with the roster constantly changing, I would call it an ongoing pick-up company. However, if the same dancers will be performing regularly in Wheeldon's company, I would call it a regular company. There are dancers who are members of more than one company; it's just that the companies tend to be smaller than City Ballet and the Royal Ballet. The fact that the dancers have to be "on loan" from other companies because of their contracts doesn't necessarily mean that they won't be working regularly as a unit (although it seems unlikely they'd have the time).

Author:  ksneds [ Thu Jan 04, 2007 1:04 pm ]
Post subject: 

There are certainly a number of pick-up companies which have had the same corp group of dancers, and usually perform in the off season for the major companies. Peter Boal's company comes to mind, as does the Soloists & Principals of the Royal Danish Ballet and the groups Benjamin Millepied & James Fayette have toured.

As a note, to avoid confusion, any discussion of Christopher Wheeldon's company in particular should go in this topic, where you can find a full link to the NY Times article:

Author:  salzberg [ Thu Jan 04, 2007 1:11 pm ]
Post subject: 

Most of the "companies" I work with are pick-up companies...but it's always seemed odd, and maybe a little pretentious, to call them "companies" when in many cases the only continuity from one production to the next is the choreographer/artistic director.

Author:  LMCtech [ Fri Jan 05, 2007 2:56 pm ]
Post subject: 

I totally agree. Most of the companies I work with also are pick-up companies. In San Francisco, there aren't very many "regular" companies. In fact, outside NYC I don't think there are many companies that aren't pick-up companies.

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