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 Post subject: New RB Artistic Director
PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2000 4:36 am 
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Although it is not official, it appears certain that there will be an announcement to-morrow that Ross Stretton, Artistic Director of the Australian Ballet will be appointed to be the successor to Anthony Dowell at the Royal Ballet. <P>Here is a photo of him<P> Image <P>The most detailed article so far has been in the Guardian newspaper and here is the URL:<BR> <A HREF="http://www.newsunlimited.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,3604,146151,00.html" TARGET=_blank>http://www.newsunlimited.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,3604,146151,00.html</A> <P>Australian Ballet is a company of 57 dancers, who performa variety of work. This season they will perform a 'Nutcracker' set in Melbourne, 'Don Q' by Nureyev after Petipa, and MacMillan's 'Manon'. For more radical work they will perform , 'In the Middle...','X' by Stanton Welch, a young Australian choreographer, 'Dark Lullaby' by Natalie Weir, 'Rites' by Stephen Page and performed with Bengarra Dance theatre featuring Aborigine dancers and a new work by James Kudelka of National Ballet of Canada.<P>Here is the Company's Vision and Mission statements, which give some clues about Stretton's approach. The company motto is 'Creativity, Energy, Passion'<P><BR> <BR>Vision Statement: <P>Caring for tradition. Daring to be different.<P><BR>Mission Statement: <P>The Australian Ballet, the nation's flagship ballet company, performs throughout Australia and regularly tours overseas. Its diverse repertoire is built on the tradition of classical ballet and the best of contemporary dance.<P>It seeks to enrich and stimulate the widest audiences, through performances which convey the tradition of classical ballet and the vitality, creativity and beauty of our country and its culture.<P>The company is responsible for shaping the future of dance through the discovery and nurturing of new choreographic, design, music and dance talent.<P>Here is the URL for Australian Ballet:<BR> <A HREF="http://www.austballet.telstra.com.au/" TARGET=_blank>http://www.austballet.telstra.com.au/</A> <P>and here is the page devoted to Ross Stretton:<BR> <A HREF="http://www.austballet.telstra.com.au/artistic_director/artistic_director.htm" TARGET=_blank>http://www.austballet.telstra.com.au/artistic_director/artistic_director.htm</A> <P><BR>It is fair to say that everyone in the UK is gob-smacked as he is a an unknown quantity here, although he is well known to Michael Kaiser as he worked as the Assistant Director at ABT. Can anyone in the US or Australia tells us more please?<P>[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited 03-13-2000).]<p>[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited 03-13-2000).]


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 Post subject: Re: New RB Artistic Director
PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2000 4:40 am 
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Thanks for your thorough account of what's going on, Stuart, it leaves me"Gob-smacked" -I like that word so I'll adopt it as a reaction to this news too. <P>An Australian myself, I have to wonder what's going to happen to the Australian Ballet if their relatively new director is departing. The company only just performed in New York, where I'm spending some time, and they looked great. Stretton primed them for the US with works by young Australian choreographers, among others, and the dancers presented themselves in peak condition. My guess is that running the Aussie Ballet is fraught with unbearable obstacles, but that's just my guess.<P>Most of us Australians (those in the dance world anyway) grow up with great respect for the Royal Ballet, so I can imagine that Stretton will do his best to lead the company through a new era. He certainly has some experience...and courage. Good luck to him.<BR>

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 Post subject: Re: New RB Artistic Director
PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2000 9:41 am 
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Jennifer said:<BR> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Good luck to him.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>Amen to that!<P>The announcement is now on the ROH web-site.<BR> <A HREF="http://www.royalballet.org/LatestNews/RossStretton.htm" TARGET=_blank>http://www.royalballet.org/LatestNews/RossStretton.htm</A> <P>Intriguingly, one of the UK critics said that the leak a day early came from very near the top of the organisation.<p>[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited 03-14-2000).]


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 Post subject: Re: New RB Artistic Director
PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2000 11:14 am 
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Ross Stretton gave a short interview on BBC Radio 4's 'Front Row' to-day, Tuesday, on the phone from Australia. The general theme was one of innovation. Some of his comments in paraphrase were:<P>- My job is to revitalise classical ballet and ensure that it has a life and moves forward.<BR>- I need to look more closely, but there seem to be gaps in the repertoire, no Duato, Kylian, Tharp (I think he said Tharp, which is puzzling as the RB has two of her works, one good, one.......)<BR>- It would be a shame not to bring them in, ballet is a moving art form, I don't want to be a museum curator.<BR>- (In answer to a question on how all 3 of the senior members of ROH staff being non-British) Being British is not the issue. I can bring a fresh eye and I've been chosen for my ability. But I acknowledge that I have to take on board a sense of Englishness.<P>A very short interview, without time to go into details, but it's interesting that he chose to talk about contemporary rep. No mention of Ashton or MacMillan, but Australian Ballet have Manon. Not really surprising when you consider that he has commissioned a joint production with a contemporary dance theatre group, Bengarra. <P>My guess (wild as always)is that, if the money is available, we are going to see a number of new international commissions. <P><p>[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited 03-14-2000).]


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 Post subject: Re: New RB Artistic Director
PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2000 12:27 am 
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The London ballet world is struck down with Stretton-itis as the big news unsurprisingly dominates the attention of the various writers. The first two here have interviewed the chap on the phone and he gives a more balanced view in line with Kaiser's previously stated 3-part vision, classical heritage, 20th C heritage and new work. Unless the BBC did some fancy editing, I still think it is interesting that Stretton chose to speak only about the new on the radio. Frankly I have no problem with that as an emphasis. <P><BR>Ismene Brown in The Telegraph<BR> <A HREF="http://www.telegraph.co.uk:80/et?ac=000148269364269&rtmo=3wxB8uuM&atmo=99999999&pg=/et/00/3/15/btisme15.html" TARGET=_blank>http://www.telegraph.co.uk:80/et?ac=000148269364269<BR>&rtmo=3wxB8uuM&atmo=99999999&pg=/et/00/3/15/btisme15.html</A> <P>Judith Mackrell in the Guardian<BR> <A HREF="http://www.newsunlimited.co.uk/arts/story/0,3604,146906,00.html" TARGET=_blank>www.newsunlimited.co.uk/arts/story/0,3604,146906,00.html</A> <P>An Aussie view of things:<BR> <A HREF="http://www.smh.com.au/news/0003/15/text/national7.html" TARGET=_blank>http://www.smh.com.au/news/0003/15/text/national7.html</A> <p>[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited 03-15-2000).]


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 Post subject: Re: New RB Artistic Director
PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2000 5:59 am 
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Stuart, once again you are keeping us right up there with the latest. Thanks. I'm curious to see who will take over from Stretton. Graeme Murphy is an obvious target, after having lead his own company through 2&1/2 decades, but maybe the Australia Ballet will look beyond local turf for a new leader as well.

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 Post subject: Re: New RB Artistic Director
PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2000 12:13 am 
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Another article about 'you-know-who'. This one, by Allen Robertson is more interesting than some as it has quotes by those who have worked with him or knew him, such as Georgina Parkinson and Deborah MacMillan. <P> <A HREF="http://www.the-times.co.uk/news/pages/tim/00/03/16/timartdan03003.html" TARGET=_blank>http://www.the-times.co.uk/news/pages/tim/00/03/16/timartdan03003.html</A> <P><BR>It's been really good to have the comments of our two Australian posters. I have some specific questions to Jennifer and grace (or anyone else): <P>- It seems clear from the current AB rep that he has devoted energy and resource to bringing in new work. How successful have these works been? What has the reception been to the Bengarra project? <P>- How good has he been at maintaining the existing rep. and taking the trouble to make revivals? ie is his attention really just forward, with a bit of lip service to the classics (both 19th and 20th Century) <P>Has the name of Matz Skoog (ex ENB dancer and currently AD of Royal NZ Ballet been mentioned in the context of a replacement for Stretton?<p>[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited 03-16-2000).]


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 Post subject: Re: New RB Artistic Director
PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2000 3:04 am 
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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>there would be HUGE resistance to bringing a non-australian into the AB directorship...at least i hope so.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>Hmm...I would always be keen to get the most suitable person for the job, which is why I am relaxed about Stretton or MacKenzie, if he'd wanted it, getting the RB role. <P>All recipients of Arts Council funding, such as the ROH, must be Equal Opps employers to qualify. The ROH must have come close to a grant suspension when they appointed Mary Allen without a proper process.<P>Is the AB an Equal Opps employer? If so, then surely overseas candidates cannot be excluded. <p>[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited 03-16-2000).]


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 Post subject: Re: New RB Artistic Director
PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2000 7:45 am 
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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>but as you say, one wants the 'most suitable person for the job', and often (dare i say usually?) THAT will be someone with the requisite deep understanding of the culture of that country (& the company).<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>It's a mix of things in my view and I would note that the man who had the biggest inpact on Western European ballet this Century was a Russian, Diaghalev and the man who created American ballet was another Russian, Balanchine. An Englishman, Eagling, has done a good job at Dutch National Ballet and the good citizens of Stuttgart still revere Cranko who did so much for them. In another field the man who has done most to further Baroque music in France is an American, William Christie. The best individual may be a local, but often these days I suspect that candidates from elsewhere will be the most suitable available. <P>Looks like this is one we are going to have to disagree about, grace - it would be a boring place if we agreed about everything.<p>[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited 03-16-2000).]


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 Post subject: Re: New RB Artistic Director
PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2000 12:40 pm 
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What a scoop, Stuart! You should win an award for this. Image<P>Now my two cents' again. What about a co-directorship at AB? Stanton Welch has many good ideas but more importantly he is very popular in the US and in Europe which would help AB get bookings internationally. However he is certainly too young to run the company. So, how about a shared partnership with someone who is a little older and with some experience running a company? There are many ADs of small American ballet companies that would fit the bill.<P>But as for the RB, it will surely go through some radical changes. Why do I suspect that a large proportion of the dancing staff at the RB will be replaced by younger dancers who are more willing to experiment?<p>[This message has been edited by Azlan (edited 03-17-2000).]


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 Post subject: Re: New RB Artistic Director
PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2000 11:52 am 
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Actually, yes, Grace, I am aware of Welch's pedigree. They love him here in the US, especially in SF, after the success of his Corroboree in the UNited We Dance festival. Everytime he's is town, an article gets written about him. Image<P>Well, you know, I don't think Meryl Tankard would be too far off as a suitable replacement if we want to keep it Australian. She's possibly the best of two worlds; an Australian by birth but educated in Europe. Now the fact that she does a lot of experimentation in modern/contemporary/whatever dance may work against her in the world of ballet.


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 Post subject: Re: New RB Artistic Director
PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2000 9:10 pm 
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Okay, I concede to you, Grace. Image


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 Post subject: Re: New RB Artistic Director
PostPosted: Sun Mar 26, 2000 7:34 am 
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Grace, why do I get the feeling that you will always win...<P>But, getting back on to the topic, is there any more news about who will succeed Stretton?<P>And isn't the director of the RB School an Australian also? What must the Brits be thinking having the Royal Opera and Ballet be run by Americans and Australians?<P>


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 Post subject: Re: New RB Artistic Director
PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2000 7:45 am 
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grace has started a new, fresh, thread on this topic at: <A HREF="http://www.criticaldance.com/ubb/Forum4/HTML/000102.html" TARGET=_blank>http://www.criticaldance.com/ubb/Forum4/HTML/000102.html</A>


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