public forum
home forum magazine gallery links about faq courtesy
It is currently Wed Jul 30, 2014 5:08 am

All times are UTC - 7 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 80 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Ballett Frankfurt Crisis
PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2002 5:16 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 19975
Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
We have heard from a dance correspondent in Frankfurt who has been in touch with the Company. There is a crisis, but the Company have asked that <B>we do not post</B> the e-mail that was circulated and appeared on criticaldance in two places. <P>My understanding is that against the background of an arts funding crisis in Frankfurt, various discussions are taking place that include the future of Ballett Frankfurt and TAT, an avant-garde performance venue in Frankfurt, which also has William Forsythe as Director. <P>If, like me, you believe that Forsythe and Ballett Frankfurt are producing some of the most exciting and innovative dance to be seen currently anywhere in the world, then do send an e-mail to support the Company to <P>celestine.hennermann@stadt-frankfurt.de<P>or faxed to +49 69 212 37 177. <P>I give below some points that you might like to consider for such a letter, but do mix and match with your own thoughts to produce a distinctive letter.<P>To Frau Petra Roth,<BR>Mayor of the City of Frankfurt<P>- Over the past 15 years, Ballett Frankfurt has produced innovative work of the highest quality. While the leading ballet companies around the world perform some of the simpler pieces by William Forsythe, the repertoire of Ballett Frankfurt is unique.<P>- The dancers that Forsythe has brought together are judged by many to form one of the finest ensembles performing worldwide.<P>- The visits of the company to the [UK/US/France] are seen as one of the high spots in the dance year.<P>- The improvisatory dance creation methodologies, which Forsythe has developed in Frankfurt, are now applied by leading choreographers around the world and are taught in major dance schools, using his software package, ‘Improvisation Technologies’. <P>- Ballett Frankfurt is recognised as a centre of dance excellence worldwide and, by association, has greatly enhanced the reputation of Frankfurt in the arts sector.<P>- I sincerely hope that this outstanding company will continue to be whole-heartedly supported by Frankfurt for the benefit of the City, Germany and the world.<P><B>Other websites and media feel free to copy any part of this</B><P>********************************<P><B>Later</B>: For those coming to this new and wanting a quick overview, there is an excellent summary of the situation by <A HREF="http://www.danze.co.uk/dcforum/happening/2767.html#35" TARGET=_blank><B>Brendan McCarthy on ballet.co</B></A>.<P>Read it and <B>GET WRITING</B>.<P> <p>[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited June 02, 2002).]


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Ballett Frankfurt Crisis
PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2002 6:28 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 19975
Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
There is now a website page where you can quickly support Ballett Frankfurt in this crisis:<BR> <A HREF="http://www.sign.de/forsythe/aktion.html" TARGET=_blank>http://www.sign.de/forsythe/aktion.html</A> <P>Don't delay!<p>[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited May 29, 2002).]


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Ballett Frankfurt Crisis
PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2002 8:45 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2001 12:01 am
Posts: 1451
Location: San Francisco, CA
Thanks so much Stuart. It seems quite unbelievable to me that support would be cut for such an obviously unique and fascinating company. What can they be thinking??


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Ballett Frankfurt Crisis
PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2002 9:12 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Jun 11, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 4753
Location: Montreal, QC, Canada
I think they should consider moving the company to Montreal...


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Ballett Frankfurt Crisis
PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2002 2:18 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Jan 04, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 12111
Location: Seattle, WA, USA
Refer to the Frankfurter Allgemeine piece in the following thread:<P> <A HREF="http://www.criticaldance.com/ubb/Forum4/HTML/001306.html" TARGET=_blank>http://www.criticaldance.com/ubb/Forum4/HTML/001306.html</A> <P><BR>for further background on what appears to be happening not only in Frankfurt but all across Germany. The Frankfurt situation appears to have very little to do with art and a great deal to do with politics. It is important to remember that this is a company that has come under increasing fire in recent years for employing a great number of foreigners (Americans) on German tax dollars. With the current fiscal crisis filtering through arts groups, it is not particularly surprising that the funding for such a company would attract the scrutiny of budget cutters. I would further surmise that there is a strong political upside (from the local angle, where the votes count) to giving the heave-ho to a foreign-dominated company that perplexes (and, occasionally, affronts) the local establishment and promising to replace it with a "classical" company (with the definition of classical left to the imagination of the public) that will provide a better return on the euro for the employment of German artists.<P>[Please note: this is not to be construed as a defense, nor is it reflective of my personal opinion on the situation; rather, it is an attempt at an explication of one form of Realpolitik.]


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Ballett Frankfurt Crisis
PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2002 8:08 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon May 27, 2002 11:01 pm
Posts: 15
Location: Claremont, CA
Forsythe makes a surprise exit (Filed: 30/05/2002) <P>Frankfurt's decision to get rid of the leading avant-garde ballet choreographer will have worldwide repercussions, says Ismene Brown<P>In a shock move that will rebound around the artistic world, the leading avant-garde ballet choreographer William Forsythe has been told by the German city of Frankfurt that it intends to close down his company, the internationally renowned Ballett Frankfurt.<P><BR><A HREF="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/arts/main.jhtml?xml=/arts/2002/05/30/btfors30.xml&sSheet=/arts/2002/05/30/ixartleft.html&secureRefresh=true&_requestid=155030" TARGET=_blank><B>Click here for the Daily Telegraph article by Ismene Brown</B></A> <P>[Edited to tidy up URL]<p>[This message has been edited by Azlan (edited May 29, 2002).]


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Ballett Frankfurt Crisis
PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2002 11:07 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 19975
Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
One of our readers has submitted a translation of an article from the Hessischer Rundfunk website. For those who have fluent German, here is the <A HREF="http://www.hr-online.de/d/themen/hessen/hessen_10_einzel_jsp/key=hessen_10absaetze_75271/rootid=371/target=371/visible=,371.html" TARGET=_blank><B>link to the original article</B></A>.<P><BR><B>Forsythe Ballet apparently touch and go</B><P><BR> The financial crisis of the City of Frankfurt has caught the ballet company <BR>of choreographer William Forsythe. According to media reports from <BR>Wednesday, politicians from the governing Römerbündnisses (town hall of <BR>Frankfurt) from the Christian Democratic Union, Social Democratic Party, <BR>Green Party and the Free Democratic Party are considering not renewing <BR>Forsythe's contract, which runs out in 2004 and culture-politically setting <BR>the course for another ballet company.<P><B>Greens: Frankfurt's cultural-political reputation is at risk</B><P>The Greens in the Hessian State Parliament reacted with consternation and <BR>demanded Ministerpresident Roland Koch (CDU) to intervene. Forsythe's <BR>departure would be a "declaration of bankruptcy" for the Frankfurt cultural <BR>and educational policy criticized the politico-cultural Speakersarah Sorge in <BR>Wiesbaden; the politico-cultural reputation of Frankfurt and the region is on <BR>the line. It would be questionable, whether Frankfurt's application as <BR>European Culture Capital 2010 should be taken seriously when "artistic <BR>quality" is "revolted out" of the city.<P><B>Guest Companies as alternative?</B><P>The Frankfurter Allgemeine newspaper reported that influential circles wanted <BR>to reduce the theater budget and that, in addition, were weary of the ballet <BR>director's "aesthetic." Guest ensembles were in discussion as an alternative <BR>to the Forsythe ballet. The "Frankfurter Rundschau" wrote that in view of <BR>the financial crisis the SPD was clearly "determined" to take the path to <BR>guest engagement operations. The Social Democrats spoke of a "liberating <BR>coup" with an eye to Forsythe, whose quality supposedly dimishes more and <BR>more. The CDU was considering guest engagement operations, which could also <BR>be organized by Forsythe, but in any case must also offer classical ballet. <BR>Meanwhile, the Frankfurt Green party members clearly stand behind Forsythe. <BR>"We would be crazy if we let Frosythe go," said cultural-political Speaker <BR>Ann Anders.<P>The Frankfurt Cultural Department Head Hans-Bernhard Nordhoff (SPD) again <BR>declined any comment Wednesday with an eye to the continuing discussion. <BR>These discussions have gone on in Frankfurt for months. Resignation threats <BR>from directors due to ever newer cutback decisions by the municipal <BR>authorities have occurred regularly since fall. Also the nationally noted <BR>theater TAT (Theater am Turm) is under discussion in the undertow of the <BR>cutback pressure.<P><B>Forsythe presents himself calm</B><P>According to the FR, Forsythe, who has just recently been inundated with <BR>awards again, knew nothing of the politician's plans. He pointed out that <BR>his ballet company has the highest degree of cost coverage of all cultural <BR>entities in the city. Forsythe wants to extend his contract, but showed <BR>himself calm. "Frankfurt will have to live with its politics," he quoted to <BR>the FR.<P>The cutback pressure which has lasted for months on the city theaters, among <BR>them on forsythe's ballet and the nationally noted experimental theater, the <BR>Frankfurt Opera and the Dramatic Theater, has lead to repeated threats of <BR>resignation by the Intendant. Most recently the Tat theater landed under <BR>pressure.<P><B>International theater world appalled</B><P>The international theater world no longer understands Frankfurt am Main. <BR>Since the announcement of the plans, statements of solidarity from throughout <BR>the world have been piling up at the city's ballet company. The fact that the <BR>cultural politicians of Frankfurt obviously want to do without William <BR>Forsythe, ballet director of world renown, has set off a wave of protest from <BR>creative artists.<P><p>[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited May 30, 2002).]


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Ballett Frankfurt Crisis
PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2002 1:40 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 19975
Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
So what do people think about this, given that to my eyes it is the biggest dance bombshell to hit criticaldance since we started 2.5 years ago?<P>It has been interesting to read some of the views of ballet fans in the UK, some of whom have said things like, 'Just think of all those Frankfurt Christmases without 'The Nutcracker'. And of course there are one or two voices saying 'should have been strangled at birth'. <P>Does Forsythe matter?<BR>


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Ballett Frankfurt Crisis
PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2002 7:53 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2001 12:01 am
Posts: 2172
Location: London
I am pretty speechless personally. I cannot believe that a company, and by association, a city, is so well-known, admired and highly considered, is to lose this director and so its identity. Quite incredible. Every time I see a Forsythe work whether or not performed by the company itself, I hear people eulogising in the bar afterwards about their discovery. There are no givens or certainties in this life, that's for sure.


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Ballett Frankfurt Crisis
PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2002 8:21 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Dec 12, 1999 12:01 am
Posts: 3663
Location: The Bronx is up; the Battery's down
Well, does <I>any</I> choreographer matter?<P>The answer, of course, is "yes".<P>The fact that the city is considering dropping its affiliation with a company that has brought it wordwide acclaim and replacing it with guest artists from other cities is inexplicable; I can only conclude that German politicians are as shortsighted as their American counterparts.<P><BR>------------------<BR>Jeffrey E. Salzberg, Lighting Designer<BR>"Shang-a-lang, feel the <I>sturm und drang</I> in the air!"<BR>Online portfolio: <A HREF="http://www.jeffsalzberg.com" TARGET=_blank>http://www.jeffsalzberg.com</A> <P><BR><p>[This message has been edited by salzberg (edited May 30, 2002).]

_________________
Jeffrey E. Salzberg,
Dance Lighting Design
http://www.jeffsalzberg.com


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Ballett Frankfurt Crisis
PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2002 8:39 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 13071
Location: San Diego, California, USA
.......it's also not very long sighted.<P>It's more like blind sighted.


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Ballett Frankfurt Crisis
PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2002 8:48 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 218
I am afraid that Francis is right in that all of this has very little to do with art and all with politics and public finances.<BR>Public arts funding is being cut throughout Germany. Now it seems like Ballett Frankfurt is going to be the most famous casualty.<P>I cannot give you any numbers but traditionally the arts have been very heavily subsidised in Germany. Artistic Directors of opera houses, ballet companies, theatres,... have enjoyed immense artistic freedom. There were no outcries when new productions of whatever played to empty houses. So no need really to put on 'Nutcracker' at Christmas to ensure ticket sales. It seems that this way of financing art has become a luxuary German cities can no longer afford.<P>I guess under these circumstances with cities and communities suffering from financial problems the arts are bound to suffer too, being sidelined in favour of 'more important' things.<P>There are probably not many dance lovers among the politicians making up Frankfurt City Council and I can easily imagine how it might seem to them like a smart idea to pull the plug on what they not really percive to be a German ballet company. Assuming that the Ballett Frankfurt website is up to date the company has currently 37 dancers, 18 from overseas (USA, Canada, Australia, Japan,...), 17 from all over Europe and all of 2 Germans. To a politician it might seem like a good idea to tell potential voters: '... see, we spend your tax money on important stuff instead of investing it in jobs for foreign dancers...'<P>I doubt that the quality of Forsyth's work and his worldwide reputation were at the centre of the conideration.<P>


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Ballett Frankfurt Crisis
PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2002 9:00 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 19975
Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Thanks Odile, your German perspective is valuable. Do you think that this financial problem derives from the cost of unification?


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Ballett Frankfurt Crisis
PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2002 9:12 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 218
Yes, the cost of unification is a major factor.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Ballett Frankfurt Crisis
PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2002 9:37 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2001 12:01 am
Posts: 1451
Location: San Francisco, CA
I can see that someone might carp about the fact that so many of the dancers are not German, however, it seems so petty and unreasonable a quibble when a large part of the cultural identity and prestige of that city is tied up in the company they feel is "foreign". That's like saying that all of ABT's dancers have to be American. <P>I would also imagine that the Frankfurt Ballet can easily demonstrate that it brings tourist dollars, as well as international renown to a city that would otherwise be largely known for its banks.


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 80 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6  Next

All times are UTC - 7 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
The messages in this forum are posted by members of the general public and do not reflect the opinions or beliefs of CriticalDance or its staff.
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group