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Scottish Ballet's new direction
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Author:  laraH [ Wed Aug 15, 2001 7:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Scottish Ballet's new direction

I found this on alt.arts.ballet<P>Media Release<BR>15/08/01<P>Today, Scottish Ballet's Board and Executive announced an exciting<BR>new direction for the Company, positioning itself as a major new<BR>force in contemporary dance.<P>Scottish Ballet will redefine its position as a contemporary dance<BR>company through performance, encouragement of new choreography,<BR>development of dance training and promotion of world-class dance for<BR>audiences across Scotland, the UK and Europe.<P>The refocusing of the Company is in line with significant<BR>developments currently taking place in the Scottish dance scene: the<BR>appointment this year of the Scottish Arts Council's first Head of<BR>Dance; their objective to devise a Five Year National Dance<BR>Development Plan; the development of tertiary dance training in<BR>Glasgow, Dundee and Edinburgh and the establishment of dedicated<BR>dance facilities including new dance studios in Edinburgh. It is<BR>within this context that Scotland's National Dance Company will<BR>position itself at the forefront of these important new<BR>developments.<P>Robert North's contract as Artistic Director comes to an end in<BR>summer 2002; the Board today begins the search for a new Artistic<BR>Director leader to take the Company into its new phase from 2002.<P>As Scotland's principal producer of dance, Scottish Ballet will<BR>operate in the following areas:<P><BR>PRODUCTION<BR>A large-scale contemporary company with the ability to create<BR>innovative and accessible work in traditional and new spaces, to<BR>compete with the best in Europe.<P>A second, smaller company offering opportunities for emerging<BR>choreographers to create work with a talented group of young<BR>dancers.<P>Both companies will have at their core the rigorous discipline of<BR>training in classical dance technique.<P><BR>EDUCATION<BR>Active involvement in the training of Scottish dancers working in<BR>partnership with other providers of dance education in Scotland.<P>Expansion of Scottish Ballet's already highly successful programme<BR>of dance education activity.<P><BR>PRESENTATION<BR>Scottish Ballet will act as a presenter of primarily large-scale<BR>dance, including ballet, to complement the programmes already being<BR>created in Scotland's large-scale theatres.<P><BR>Duncan McGhie, Chairman of Scottish Ballet said:<BR>'This is an exciting and critical opportunity and the Board fully<BR>supports the executive's vision to move the Company forward. We are<BR>very grateful to Robert North for his stewardship of the Company and<BR>wish him well in his international career'.<P><BR>Christopher Barron, Chief Executive of Scottish Ballet said:<BR>'This new long-term plan will build on Scottish Ballet's history of<BR>performing challenging work. These proposals for a new contemporary<BR>company are being made at a time when dance as an art-form is<BR>developing rapidly in Scotland with the opening of new first class<BR>dance facilities, new training programmes and a substantially<BR>developed public interest'.<P><BR>Tessa Jackson, Director of The Scottish Arts Council said:<BR>'We welcome the artistic plans announced by Scottish Ballet today.<BR>SAC is keen to see the Company develop artistically and increase its<BR>audiences. We share a common concern for the future success and<BR>financial security of the Company, and Scottish Ballet has developed<BR>these plans with those in mind'.

Author:  Joanne [ Wed Aug 15, 2001 10:04 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Scottish Ballet's new direction

Thank you for that LaraH

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Thu Aug 16, 2001 1:30 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Scottish Ballet's new direction

<BR>Many thanks from me too for this lara. <P>Two articles about the Scottish Ballet Press Release. Thanks to Ann Williams on for finding these: <P><B>Scottish Ballet plunged into crisis</B><P>MARY BRENNAN and LORNA MARTIN for The Herald<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>SCOTTISH Ballet faces an uncertain future after it emerged last night that the artistic director's contract would not be renewed. It was also revealed that moves have begun to transform the organisation into a contemporary dance company.<P>The revelations raise doubts about Scotland's ability to stage a full length traditional classical ballet in the future.<P>The company, which has suffered repeated crises and stalemates since it was established in 1969, announced a major overhaul of its policies and direction, with Christopher Barron, the chief executive, saying the company was essentially being repositioned from a ballet to a contemporary dance company.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><A HREF="" TARGET=_blank><B>click for more</B></A><P><B>Ballet company's decline dates back to 1970s</B><P>by MARY BRENNAN and LORNA MARTIN in The Herald<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>WHEN Peter Darrell, Scottish Ballet's founder and choreographer, died on December 2, 1987, many said it was the start of a long Hesitation Waltz in which the company was either partnered by a funding crisis or a hiatus in artistic direction.<P>Others said the troubles started earlier, in the late 70s, when production and touring costs started to spiral upwards and core funding did not rise to match them.<P>Suddenly there was no money to invest in new productions and the Scottish Arts Council was questioning whether Scotland wanted, needed, or indeed could afford a classical ballet company.<P>It coincided with the explosion in contemporary dance and for a while it looked as if Scottish Ballet might be an incidental casualty.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><A HREF="" TARGET=_blank><B>click for more</B></A><BR>

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Thu Aug 16, 2001 2:12 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Scottish Ballet's new direction

Oh dear! Together with most others I was hoping that things were settling down at Scottish Ballet. But it looks as though further eruptions are about to be unleashed. <P>Scottish Ballet had a miserable experience in London a couple of years ago with an ill-chosen triple bill and the hope was that Robert North would revive the Company's fortunes. Some performances since then have been well received and others not. Scottish Ballet does have to find accessible work for audiences on its touring programme, which limits the inclusion of th esoteric. But they also have to satisfy the sophisticated audiences who see the cream of the World's dance companies in the Edinburgh Festival.<P>The Press release seems to be going for the 'Rambert' option. Ballet Rambert was on its knees in the mid-60s, endlessly touring 'Coppelia' in often unsuitable theatres. In general, medium sized ballet companies are increasingly difficult to make work in the UK and I guess that Scottish is the last, apart from Northern Ballet Theatre who have gone down an innovative and sometimes controversial, accessible dance theatre route. Rambert switched to the format of a ballet influenced contemporary dance company. They were able to attract and develop some of the most talented choreographers in the Artistic Director role. But on the way there were some very difficult years as they sought to build up another audience base. <P>The option envisaged for Scottish Ballet of a: <P>'A large-scale contemporary company with the ability to create<BR>innovative and accessible work in traditional and new spaces, to<BR>compete with the best in Europe.' <P>is bold, but will not be achieved overnight. Rambert is the only such company in the UK and has the benefit of a strong national and international branding. The leading companies in Europe with their generally more esoteric rep. would struggle in the UK in my view. London Contemporary Dance Theatre eventually foundered on the rocks of such a rep. <P>The transition phase for Scottish will be tricky. A number of Continental classical ballet companies have switched to contemporary ballet successfully, but again I believe that there is a greater audience for such work across the Channel. Maybe Scottish tastes are very different from those of England, but I suspect not. <P>Scottish Ballet currently have 37 dancers, a similar number I believe to Ballet Rambert pre-transition. Rambert Dance Company now have between 20 and 25 dancers at any one time, about twice the size of the next largest here. As for any dance company I wish Scottish Ballet every success as they strive to find a successful format for the future, but I think it will not be easy.

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Fri Aug 17, 2001 12:26 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Scottish Ballet's new direction

<B>Director attacks Ballet plans</B><P>James Doherty reports for The Scotsman<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>[Robert North, AD] said: "It’s about changing the company and letting the artistic direction bear no relation to what the company is, what it was, and what the previous board fought for it to be. "It’s an attempted coup - this is another board pulling a fast one and it won’t buy here. The ballet staff are going to resist it and fight it - it’s going to be ugly."<HR></BLOCKQUOTE> <P><A HREF="" TARGET=_blank><B>more....</B></A><BR>

Author:  Azlan [ Thu Aug 23, 2001 5:48 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Scottish Ballet's new direction

Ouch:<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Ballet chief told to leave country<P>JIM McLEAN Exclusive, The Herald (Glasgow)<P>THE artistic director of Scottish Ballet has been told by the Home Office he must leave the country within eight days after a mix-up over work permits, or face prison.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><a href= target=_blank>More</a>

Author:  Azlan [ Fri Aug 24, 2001 12:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Scottish Ballet's new direction

Another version from the Scotsman:<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Scottish Ballet in new strife<P>Nick Drainey and James Doherty,<P>SCOTTISH Ballet was last night taking legal advice after its artistic director was told by the Home Office to leave the country within eight days or face prison because his work permit was out of date.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><a href= target=_blank>More</a>

Author:  Azlan [ Fri Aug 24, 2001 12:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Scottish Ballet's new direction

Hmm...<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Minister backs fight to keep ballet boss in country<P>JIM McLEAN, The Herald (Glasgow)<P>ARTS minister Allan Wilson has thrown his weight behind Scottish Ballet lawyers fighting to keep American-born artistic director Robert North in the country.<BR><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><a href= target=_blank>More</a>

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Tue Aug 28, 2001 1:47 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Scottish Ballet's new direction

<B>Campaign heats up as leading light attacks ballet troupe</B><P>by James Doherty in The Scotsman<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>TROUBLED Scottish Ballet came under fire again last night as a distinguished former ballerina launched her campaign to halt the company’s proposed change in direction. <P>Mary Darke, who danced with the English National Ballet and now sits on the executive of the Royal Academy of Dance, told The Scotsman the ballet’s controversial decision to change from classical productions to a contemporary ones was misguided. <P>She said: "Scottish Ballet belongs to us. There are lots of visiting companies but it is not the same as having our own. <P>"We are proud of our nation, we have our own parliament and now we’re taking away something which is a source of national pride.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE> <P><A HREF="" TARGET=_blank><B>more...</B></A><BR>

Author:  Joanne [ Fri Aug 31, 2001 11:21 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Scottish Ballet's new direction

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR> <B>Stay of expulsion granted to ballet director </B><P>Article in the Herald<P>JIM McLEAN <BR>THE artistic director of Scottish Ballet has been given a last-minute reprieve from the Home Office in his fight to stay in the country. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><A HREF="" TARGET=_blank> <B> MORE... </B> </A><BR>

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Sat Sep 01, 2001 1:55 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Scottish Ballet's new direction

Some contrasting points of view on The Scottish Ballet crisis:<P><BR><B>Modern dance guru backs classics</B> <P>by Nick Drainey in The Scotsman<P><BR> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>A FOUNDING father of modern dance in Britain has joined a growing chorus of disapproval at Scottish Ballet’s plans to ditch classical work. <P>Robert Cohan’s call for the company to retain classical dance has been described as being similar to "a Labour MP telling people to vote Conservative", by joyous campaigners wanting to keep the status quo. <P>In an open letter to people connected to the ballet, including the board, Mr Cohan said: "I have been a creator, supporter and defender of contemporary dance all of my life and I wish I could support this so-called repositioning of Scottish Ballet. <P>"But I fear it spells the end of a national Scottish dance company and the moneys it now receives will mostly be swallowed up by Scottish Opera."<HR></BLOCKQUOTE> <P><A HREF="" TARGET=_blank><B>more...</B></A><P>*********************************************<P><BR><B>Our ballet dances but to the wrong tune</B> <P><BR>by BRIAN MONTEITH in The Edinburgh News<P><BR> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>I’VE nothing but admiration for ballet dancers - the females are graceful and romantic, and the males are superbly athletic whilst braving attacks on their sexuality. So it pains me to see the trouble Scottish Ballet is in - although I suspect too few of us care. <P>I first became interested in Scottish Ballet because I liked the music of Tchaikovsky and found that so much of his work, such as The Nutcracker and Swan Lake, was written for ballet. <P>I found their performances always good for a romantic date. The whole idea just seemed to throw girls enough for them to drop their guard and agree to go out with me. It probably surprised them they weren’t being asked to a Hammer Horror. <P>They were spellbound. The classical moves leapt way above my head, but even the Philistine that I once was could be charmed by the combination of grace and power and the emotion of the music and dance. <P>When I tried to move on to Ballet Rambert and its more contemporary dance it just didn’t work, not for me or my dates. I was left cold in more ways than one.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE> <P><A HREF="" TARGET=_blank><B>more...</B></A><P>******************************************<P><B>Wanted: rising star with big ideas</B> <P>What is to be done about dance in Scotland now that Scottish Ballet has been killed off? Do what European cities do, suggests Ismene Brown in TheTelegraph - hand control of a new company to a dynamic young choreographer<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>SCOTLAND the brave has declared that ballet is dead - north of the border at least. The joint board of Scottish Opera and Ballet has announced that from 2002 their nation's 30-year-old classical ballet company will be replaced by a new national contemporary dance outfit.<P>Why? Money is suspected to be the motive. No-frills contemporary dance, with its smaller forces and taped music, costs less to do than ballet, with its spectacle, corps de ballet and orchestra. Plus, I fancy, there is a vague feeling that Scotland is a culturally go-ahead place (as the Edinburgh Festival annually reinforcess) and certain influential people chafe against ballet's old-fashioned values and senior audiences.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><BR><A HREF="" TARGET=_blank><B>more...</B></A><P><p>[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited September 01, 2001).]

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Sun Sep 02, 2001 10:52 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Scottish Ballet's new direction

<B>Effect of change in ballet repertoire</B><P>A letter from two Scottish dance academics in The Scotsman about the Scottish Ballet situation.<P><BR> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>As those responsible for presenting dance history courses at Edinburgh University’s Centre for Continuing Education, we would like to endorse the concerns expressed by Mary Darke, who is on the executive of the Royal Academy of Dance, in the report (29 Aug-ust) about the direction of Scottish Ballet. <P>It would be a great loss to a large section of Scotland’s population, from young children through to adults, if the proposed change in Scottish Ballet’s repertoire from classical and contemporary to purely contemporary were to go ahead. <P>Our concern relates to both audiences and practitioners. Many dance companies come to Edinburgh to perform contemporary dance works, and this is to be welcomed. However, the number of visits from the Royal Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet and other major classical companies is much smaller.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE> <P>[url=]<B>more...</B>[/quote]

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Sun Sep 09, 2001 9:46 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Scottish Ballet's new direction

<B>Ballet protesters call for review</B><P>by Nick Drainey and James Reynolds in The Scotsman<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>CAMPAIGNERS against Scottish Ballet’s move to change its direction from classical to contemporary work have demanded a parliamentary review of the way the decision was reached.<P>The ballet’s outgoing artistic director, Robert North, who has been fighting the proposed changes since their announcement early last month,claims to have the support of MSPs as well as a host of figures from the arts world.<P>Yesterday, he said: “There has been a lot of pressure from friends and the public to get a parliamentary inquiry. The shift from a classical to a contemporary company has all been done without any consultation apart from between the board and the Scottish Arts Council. With an inquiry we could have a public debate.”<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><A HREF="" TARGET=_blank><B>more....</B></A>

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Tue Sep 11, 2001 10:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Scottish Ballet's new direction

<B>Treading on toes</B><P>Changes at Scottish Ballet could have serious consequences for Scotland’s contemporary dance outfit SDT, writes Kelly Apter in The Scotsman.<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>‘Loyal though our dance audience is, it can only spread itself so thin’ <P>Balancing supply and demand is a key part of any business. So when Scottish Ballet decided to shift its attention to more contemporary based work it left Scotland’s existing contemporary dance company questioning its future. Under the directorship of Janet Smith, Scottish Dance Theatre (SDT) has become a force to be reckoned with, but it would find itself a David to Scottish Ballet’s Goliath - especially with the latter’s plan to start a second, smaller outfit. And loyal though our dance audience is, it can only spread itself so thin.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><A HREF="" TARGET=_blank><B>more...</B></A><BR>

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Wed Sep 12, 2001 7:12 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Scottish Ballet's new direction

Scottish Ballet has its own bulletin board at:<BR> <A HREF="" TARGET=_blank></A> <P>It has been unavailable recently, but is back up now. However, it seems that a series of messages discussing the plans for the future of the Company have vanished. I get the impression that a majority were not in favour of the Board's proposals. <P>

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