CriticalDance Forum

Ángel Corella's new Ballet Company in Spain
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Author:  EsperanzaTM [ Fri Mar 09, 2007 7:37 am ]
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And about Ullate, He is a great ballet master, probably one of the best teachers of Ballet in Spain with Maria de Avila,
But, Ullate as choregrapher or even as company director, is quite low. We hope Corella and Tamara Rojo are gonna cover this emptyness, better together than not?

Author:  ksneds [ Fri Mar 09, 2007 9:15 am ]
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For the record, the practice of charging a small fee (certainly more than the equivalent of 10 Euros) for ballet school auditions is the norm in the US. It seems sensible as the fees cover the various costs of auditions - paperwork, paying & covering any trasnportation costs for teachers/administrators who handle the paperwork/conduct the auditions, insurance, and the cost of renting a location when on an audition tour. Otherwise the cost of the auditions would have to come out of the budget and result in less money available for scholarships etc. And I think that money is always available to help cover costs for low income students.

I think - and someone can correct me if I'm wrong - that companies/shows/venues cannot however charge for professional auditions if it's a union contract. I presume the idea would be that such rehearsals tend to be held at the company's home studio with minimal financial outlay to the company etc.

FYI, statistics I can find indicate that the net average annual earnings in France is about 20,000 Euros. So I find it hard to believe that 75% percent of the population is earning less than 18,000 Euros per year unless you are talking about after taxes. In comparison the average US household income is about 33,000 Euros, though I'm not sure if the above figures are before or after taxes.


Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Fri Mar 09, 2007 10:12 am ]
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As someone who has never attended a dance audition (and is not likely to now), but who reads the audition ads here and elsewhere, I have never heard of such a practise in the UK or the rest of Europe. Given the financial problems that many dancers face, I hope that this does not become a widespread condition.

It's not just a gamble for Angel Corella and his team. While I wish them every success, if it does go badly, it will make it harder for anyone else trying to get a Spanish ballet company going, even if it is on a more modest and achievable scale.

Author:  LMCtech [ Fri Mar 09, 2007 12:12 pm ]
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It is illegal to charge for professional company auditions in the US. I don't know about other countries. Schools can charge for their auditions and usually do to offset costs incurred. the going rate is between US$20-30.

Are they charging an audition fee for the school or the company? That wasn't clear form the post.

Author:  Francis Timlin [ Fri Mar 09, 2007 1:05 pm ]
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Auditions for professional orchestras in the U.S. now charge an average of $100 as an audition fee. Add this to the already high travel cost of getting to the audition and it becomes a major disincentive.

Author:  EsperanzaTM [ Fri Mar 09, 2007 8:45 pm ]
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LMCtech wrote:
Are they charging an audition fee for the school or the company? That wasn't clear from the post.

I 'm afraid it concerns the company, (we dont even know if that's illegal or not to charge for professional company auditions in Spain, cause is the very first time in that country !)
At the Register information : ... .php?lg=en It says very clearly It is obligatory to present in audition the confirmation of this inscription, passport and 10 Euros. Girls class pointe shoes required. Male & Female contracts for Corp the ballet & Soloist. A high level in classical tecnique is required... Madrid : 24/25/26 March and Barcelona 29/30/31 March

Author:  CarolinaM [ Tue Mar 27, 2007 6:37 am ]
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Auditions for the “Ballet de España” are being carried out. They finished at the Teatro Real, in Madrid, and are going to take place in Barcelona’s Opera House “Gran Teatre del Liceu” during this week.

More than 700 dancers from all over the world attended the first 3 day auditions made by a jury composed by relevant people of the international dance world such as Cynthia Harvey or Vladimir Vasiliev.

According to what Corella reported to Europa Press Televisión nearly all members have already been selected but the final decision will be made when Barcelona’s auditions have finished. He was very surprised because of the high level of the attendants who came from all over the world, London, Japan, Australia….

The Company will premiere at the Teatro Real, in Madrid, in September 2008 and after a performance in Barcelona it will make an international tour including Washington and Japan.


Mrs. Cynthia Harvey commented that creating such a company was an absolute need for Spain to give to the people of this country the possibility to enjoy classical dance, “why are there so many good Spanish dancers in London when they should be dancing here?” she asked.

Comments from the other jury personality Mr. Vladimir Vasiliev were on the same way 'It is rather strange that being dance such a very important issue for the people of this country, Spain doesn’t have a Classical ballet Company” he said. To him, the creation of the Angel Corella’s Classical Ballet Company is an “historical event not only for Spain but for all Europe”.

Summary of the article Published Terra Actualidad - Europa Press

If you follow this link you will find a picture of Ángel Corella with the members of the jury and the ballet teacher Mr. Eldar Aliev (at about the end of the post) shot by Jesús Vallinas during Madrid auditions.

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Tue Mar 27, 2007 8:09 am ]
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Thanks for keeping us up-to-date on developments. CarolinaM.

Author:  LMCtech [ Wed Mar 28, 2007 12:23 pm ]
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A premiere in 2008? That seems like a LONG time away.

Author:  CarolinaM [ Thu Mar 29, 2007 6:38 am ]
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If you want to see some pictures of the auditions you can go to the bottom of this topic here. There is also written information but I’m afraid it is only in Spanish. I’m not sure if an article about it all will follow in both Spanish and English.

In any case I translate what Jesús Vallinas, photograph and manager of fotoescena, said concerning the auditions after his attendance as dance photograph at the Teatro Real in Madrid:

The first shot of the topic shows Cynthia Harvey, Vladimir Vassiliev, Eldar Aliev (dance teacher of the Boston Ballet) and Ángel Corella, together with Mª Begoña Acuña representing the Foundation.

More than 700 dancers from 10 different nationalities attended the auditions, a lot of them traveling thousands of Km. to be there. Dozens of soloists and first dancers from all over the world are interested in the project…

Second and third shots: Eldar Aliev’s class is fast and demanding, dancers capacities are put to test. It is designed to see the response, according to the classic discipline, of all kind of dancers. As I could notice the level of a corps de ballet as well as the one of a soloist is easily revealed.

All attendants do the complete class and only at the end, a reduced group is selected to follow with more exercises. According to the organization, once the auditions have finished, the final selection will be announced to the participants by 15 days.

Vladimir Vassiliev replayed to one question from the media with his usual -direct and honest- character and with a deep knowledge of the subject:

"It is a shame that Spain does not have a Classical Company"

That is what he said….. and he left with no more comments.

The rest of the topic is about Jesús requesting to cultural politics and organizations to ponder about Mr. Vassiliev words.

The last shot shows Cynthia Harvey and Vladimir Vassiliev over a letter I sent to the Catalan media asking them to cover the event as the Spanish newspapers did no mention at all about it.

In Cataluña the two most important newspapers have published my letter and are covering the auditions.

Author:  CarolinaM [ Wed May 16, 2007 1:24 pm ]
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The results about the auditions are in Angel Corella web site here

They can not publish the names of the dancers as some have not told their current companies that they will leave.

Author:  ksneds [ Wed May 16, 2007 4:38 pm ]
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The breakdown by countries suggests that we are talking about 60 dancers, though since I can't read Spanish, I don't know whether these dancers have accepted/signed a contract and/or gotten work permits.

About a third are Spanish, so this isn't really a Spanish company any more than ABT is an American company. Approximately a third are from outwith the EU, so there is going to be the issue of work-permits. Not usually a huge issue with dancers, but governments can be touchy about granting too many or for 'non-proven' dancers. They're also NOT cheap - work visas in the US cost upwards of $1000 when you count in fees etc.

Good luck to all.

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Thu May 17, 2007 3:20 am ]
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About a third are Spanish, so this isn't really a Spanish company any more than ABT is an American company.

Especially in these globalised times, I would suggest that it makes sense to use the location of a company to provide a geographic description. Thus, I always think of ABT as an American company and have no difficulty thinking of Angel Corella's new company as Spanish.

Author:  ksneds [ Thu May 17, 2007 7:30 am ]
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I certainly agree. It's more that I'm surprised that only 20 of the dancers are Spanish because my impression was that the company was being heavily promoted a chance to give Spanish dancers an opportunity to dance in a classical company and to show off Spain/Spanish talent in their home country. Perhaps the general level of quality in the Spanish dancers was not as high as hoped or those with the best qualifications are employed outwith Spain, and they will be trying to hire more Spaniards in the coming years.

I would also suggest that if this company - as it now stands as a very multicultural company - wants to establish itself in the international eye, that it needs to find a competent translator and start getting press releases out in English (and possibly more languages) in a prompt manner so that the non-Spanish speaking ballet world can be as up to date on news as those who are fluent in Spanish.

We are lucky to have Carolina here, but it can really hurt a company when non-existant or poor translations make it difficult for visitors/tourists etc. to find information and/or purchase tickets. Angel Corella's (and other Spanish born dancers) popularity in NY might draw fans from there, so just as ABT & NYCB provide a lot of material in Japanese because many Japanese ballet fans visit NY, this new company might be wise to try and make the most out of such connections.

Slightly off topic, but with the new EU regulation about age-discrimination can European companies now legally include age requirements in their audition or job ads? Interesting thought...


Author:  Cassandra [ Fri May 18, 2007 3:49 am ]
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The breakdown of nationalities of dancers recruited to the company is as follows:

20 Spanish
8 British
6 Americans
4 Argentinians
3 Italians
3 Russians
2 Cubans
2 Japanese
2 Rumanians
1 Colombian
1 Canadian
1 Australian
1 Georgian
1 Pole
1 Korean.
1 Kazakh
1 Albanian
1 German
1 Irish

I think the standard will be high, as I know one of the dancers who has joined as a soloist and he has danced principal roles elsewhere. Counting in the Argentinians, Cubans and the Colombian almost half the dancers will be Spanish speakers.

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