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English National Ballet 2012
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Author:  Cassandra [ Tue Apr 17, 2012 6:13 am ]
Post subject:  Re: English National Ballet 2012

drdance wrote:
Yet another foreign director for a company whose very name is a joke the only thing English about the compoany is the taxpayers money which pays for it.

Audiences can see better programmes from visiting companies at no cost to the taxpayer and in London the Royal Ballet has better productions.


As it is based in England, I don't see how ENB's name is a joke. Have you actually seen the company lately? The Royal Ballet also receives a subsidy from the tax payer, so what exactly is your point?

Author:  Cabrioles [ Tue Apr 17, 2012 12:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: English National Ballet 2012

We have posted a rejoinder to drdance's points on the Why Waste Wayne thread.

Author:  Cassandra [ Fri May 11, 2012 4:14 am ]
Post subject:  Re: English National Ballet 2012

Samira Saidi, a former dancer with ENB and more recently a teacher at the Elmhurst School, has been appointed as the new Director of Dance at the English National Ballet School. Ms Saidi replaces Michael Corder who resigned last year.

More details here:

http://balletnews.co.uk/english-nationa ... -of-dance/

Oddly enough ENB haven't put out a press release on this one, so I don't have any information as to who actually appointed her. It may have been the ENB Board (God help us), Wayne Eagling in a wicked parting shot, or perhaps that favourite of our beloved Chancellor and Minister of Culture, Tamara Rojo. Anyway whoever was responsible it is a curious and distinctly uninspiring choice.

To discover a little of Ms Saidi's teaching abilities I had a look at Ratemyteachers.com and even allowing for naughty children having a go at a disliked teacher the comments that she has no choreographic ability, is forgetful, impatient and indulges in favouritism don't bode well. She has an overall approval rating of just 62%.

I'm surprised that no one better could be found.

Author:  David [ Sun May 13, 2012 2:20 am ]
Post subject:  Re: English National Ballet 2012

Quote:
Oddly enough ENB haven't put out a press release on this one,

Not odd at all. While links are obviously close, The English National Ballet School is a separate organisation, with a separate board, and a separate press/marketing department who look after things themselves.

And in fact, ENBS has issued a press release - not that it said very much beyond the usual welcoming statements. There is reference to "strengthening and developing the artistic vision and excellence of the School", but that's pretty much what you would expect.
Quote:
To discover a little of Ms Saidi's teaching abilities I had a look at Ratemyteachers.com and even allowing for naughty children having a go at a disliked teacher the comments that she has no choreographic ability, is forgetful, impatient and indulges in favouritism don't bode well. She has an overall approval rating of just 62%.

I think we should be careful with such website ratings. While they may give an idea, they are hardly scientific or necessarily representative of what the whole student body thinks. It's interesting to note, though, that Saidi is far from the only teacher at Elmhurst to get a poor rating and, actually, gets far from the lowest scores. Not sure what it all says given that I reckon standards have risen enormously there over the past 2-3 years.

Incidentally (and as Cassandra notes), her title is "Dance Director", not "Artistic Director". The latter position is currently held by Wayne Eagling. The post of "Dance Director" doesn't seem to exist right now - it's certainly not listed among the staff positions. It could be a simple renaming, although it suggests some juggling of responsibilities. Whether Saidi will get involved in choreographing pieces for performances, who knows. I have to say that I hope not. I've always found her pieces at Elmhurst (and for the National Youth Ballet) pleasant enough (e.g. lots of pretty patterns), but rather lacking in interest or innovation, and not particularly challenging.

Having said that, we remember that at ENBS she will only be dealing with 16-18 year olds. I'm not sure who she taught at Elmhurst, but from memory her choreographies tended to be more for 14-16 year olds.

Of course, Saidi's new post will have considerable management responsibilties, which I assume will mean less teaching time anyway. It might be worth noting that she was a leading figure in setting up Elmhurst's Associates programme, which now has centres and classes across the country. It is, I understand, rather successful.

Author:  drdance [ Mon Jun 11, 2012 7:48 am ]
Post subject:  Re: English National Ballet 2012

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/thea ... droom.html

Author:  David [ Sat Jun 16, 2012 1:25 am ]
Post subject:  Re: English National Ballet 2012

Christiansen writes...

Quote:
there are plenty of Russian and former Soviet bloc companies only too ready to bus round Britain and perform that same list of classics to a standard not markedly inferior to ENB’s


While the first half of the sentence is certainly true, I can only assume that he doesn't go watch them too often.

He also comments that "she is taking an enormous risk". True. And starting at the top, as it were, is a bigger risk than most, but life would be terribly boring if it wasn't about risks.

Author:  Cassandra [ Mon Jun 18, 2012 5:01 am ]
Post subject:  Re: English National Ballet 2012

This morning I awoke to find I had been inundated with emails informing me that Jose Martin, who has recently left the Royal Ballet, (very recently obviously as I experienced an excrutiatingly bad performance by him as Gurn in La Sylphide last week) is to become ballet master at ENB. What abilities Mr Martin possesses as a ballet master I have no idea, but he certainly showed no outstanding abilities as a dancer.

I would love for this to be just rumour, but too many insiders are coming up with this information for it to be otherwise I'm afraid. It immediately begs the question who has been sacked to make way for him? As ethical practice went out the window at ENB when they sacked Wayne Eagling, I imagine we will see more of the same.

Many thanks to those people who emailed me over this and my apologies that the more than interesting sub text of the story some of you have informed me of can't be written here. I am sure it is true, but the rules of the board mean someone else will have to blow the whistle on this one.

Author:  Cassandra [ Wed Jul 04, 2012 3:46 am ]
Post subject:  Re: English National Ballet 2012

Nice pictures in today's Guardian of rehearsals for a performance in St Paul's Cathedral.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/stage/gallery ... t-st-pauls

Not sure about the captions though, Suite en blanc 'a lost treasure of the Ballet Russe'? I don't think so.

Author:  Francis Timlin [ Wed Jul 04, 2012 11:50 am ]
Post subject:  Re: English National Ballet 2012

Liz Hoggard reviews the performance in St. Paul's Cathedral for the Evening Standard.

Evening Standard

Clement Crisp reviews the performance for the Financial Times.

Financial Times

Author:  Cassandra [ Wed Jul 18, 2012 9:08 am ]
Post subject:  ENB Watch

I am informed that Loipe Araujo has been appointed as assistant to the director. No doubt this will free up Ms Rojo's time enabling her to continue dancing at the Royal Ballet.

Author:  Francis Timlin [ Mon Aug 06, 2012 11:42 am ]
Post subject:  Re: English National Ballet 2012

Reviews of Derek Deane's "Swan Lake" at the Coliseum.

Lyndsey Winship for the Evening Standard.

Evening Standard

Zoe Anderson for the Independent.

Independent

Sarah Frater for The Stage.

The Stage

Author:  Francis Timlin [ Wed Aug 08, 2012 10:05 am ]
Post subject:  Re: English National Ballet 2012

Clement Crisp reviews "Swan Lake" for the Financial Times.

Financial Times

Author:  Francis Timlin [ Sat Oct 06, 2012 1:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: English National Ballet 2012

Emine Saner interviews Tamara Rojo for the Guardian.

Guardian

Author:  Cassandra [ Mon Oct 08, 2012 3:47 am ]
Post subject:  Re: English National Ballet 2012

Another feature writer with limited knowledge of dance, what a shame she didn't raise the burning question of the unorthodox way in which Ms Rojo acquired her new job.

Author:  Francis Timlin [ Fri Nov 23, 2012 2:13 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: English National Ballet 2012

Margaret Willis writes a feature on Tamara Rojo for Dance Magazine.

Dance Magazine

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