public forum
home forum magazine gallery links about faq courtesy
It is currently Thu Nov 20, 2014 3:00 pm

All times are UTC - 7 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 9 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Looking at SF Bay Area Ballet
PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2000 8:53 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Oct 22, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 17498
Location: SF Bay Area
Another offshot from Francis Timlin's fabulous thread on who makes a good Artistic Director:<BR> <A HREF="http://www.criticaldance.com/ubb/Forum4/HTML/000283.html" TARGET=_blank>http://www.criticaldance.com/ubb/Forum4/HTML/000283.html</A> <P><BR> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><B>trina</B><BR>Moderator posted July 16, 2000 09:18 AM <BR>--------------------------------------------------------------------------------<BR>I can only think of a "former" AD. Ron Guidi from Oakland Ballet. He has retired, and now runs their school, I believe. REasons I think he was good:<BR>-he was a real "teacher"-I saw him teach a master class on tour. He is a good teacher, (as an AD should be, but many are not, I think it's safe to say) and spokesperson for the art form.<P>-under his aegis, the company restaged several historically important works, including several by Nijinska and from the Diaghilev era in general. As someone who's intersted in dance history, I was intrigued by this. <P>-Oakland ballet always had a wide racial diversity and wide variety of body types amongst their dancers-all very unusual for a ballet company, and much admired by me.<P>-He struggled to keep the company going, under very difficult funding circumstances. The monies they received from the city of Oakland were severely cut within the last few years of his AD-ship.<P>-the new AD is a former dancer (woman) from Dance Theatre of Harlem. I can't remember her name right now--we had a thread about her several months ago at CD.Will be interesting to see what direction the company goes in; the company was most definitely not (in the past)a "Balanchine" clone company. And DTH does have strong Balanchine influence, so.................stay tuned.<P>IP: Logged<BR> <P><BR><B>Azlan</B><BR>Administrator posted July 16, 2000 04:55 PM <BR>--------------------------------------------------------------------------------<BR>trina, the new AD of Oakland Ballet is Karen Brown, formerly of DTH. We had a thread on this at: <A HREF="http://www.criticaldance.com/ubb/Forum4/HTML/000148.html" TARGET=_blank>http://www.criticaldance.com/ubb/Forum4/HTML/000148.html</A> <P>It will be interesting to see if Brown continues with the tradition of restaging the historically important works. Last season, I saw them dance "Les Biches," Eugene Loring's "The Tender Land," and Lew Christensen's "Jinx."<P>Here are some of the reviews:<BR> <A HREF="http://www.criticaldance.com/ubb/Forum4/HTML/000008.html" TARGET=_blank>http://www.criticaldance.com/ubb/Forum4/HTML/000008.html</A> <BR> <A HREF="http://www.criticaldance.com/ubb/Forum4/HTML/000017.html" TARGET=_blank>http://www.criticaldance.com/ubb/Forum4/HTML/000017.html</A> <P><BR>Your choice of Ronn Guidi is interesting. Yes, we can credit him with all those things you listed but Oakland Ballet today isn't quite the first-rate company that we all hope it to be. I have seen smaller regional companies with dancers that are much better. The consensus -- not mine as I have not seen them for a very long time -- is that they used to be much better.<P>IP: Logged<BR> <P><BR><B>trina</B><BR>Moderator posted July 17, 2000 11:09 AM <BR>--------------------------------------------------------------------------------<BR>Interesting Azlan--I hadn't heard that--but since you live in the Bay area, you would be more privy to varying opinions. I think Guidi was the director for quite a while--what time frame do you think was their strongest period? I saw them roughly 10 years ago on tour, and they looked pretty good-not the Bolshoi, but a good regional company.<BR>IP: Logged<BR> <P><BR><B>Francis Timlin</B><BR>Moderator posted July 17, 2000 01:03 PM <BR>--------------------------------------------------------------------------------<BR>How many weeks are the Oakland dancers under contract? I seem to recall that they were limited to only four or five months per year -- essentially, the time when SFB is put out of the War Memorial by the intricacies of scheduling an opera season and ballet season in a single space. Have they also been adversely impacted by the advent of Cleveland/San Jose in the proximate market?<BR>IP: Logged<BR> <P><BR><B>Azlan</B><BR>Administrator posted July 17, 2000 09:36 PM <BR>--------------------------------------------------------------------------------<BR>trina, I heard a former dancer with Oakland say the company was better about seven to eight years ago. However, I really don't know myself. I don't know how factual this statement is. I do know, from what I've seen, that there are better companies in the Bay Area.<BR>Francis, I remember one of the current dancers saying that they were down to 13 or 15 weeks in their contract last season. They might be gaining a couple weeks in the upcoming season.<P>Also, when Ronn Guidi left a couple seasons ago, Assistant AD and Principal Dancer Joral Schmalle took over the reins. When he left for Smuin's company during the summer, the post was vacant for an embarassingly long time. As I recall, the season brochure was published without an AD listed!<P>[This message has been edited by Azlan (edited July 18, 2000).]<P>IP: Logged<BR> <P><BR><B>trina</B><BR>Moderator posted July 18, 2000 11:40 AM <BR>--------------------------------------------------------------------------------<BR>I know someone in the recent company. Every year for the past several years, their contracts were shorter and shorter. Apparently, the city of Oakland withdrew their traditional amount of funding, claiming something like ballet is an "elitist" art form, and not appropriate for future funding. I don't know if that info. is public knowledge or not? Sad, if true.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><p>[This message has been edited by Azlan (edited July 18, 2000).]


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Looking at SF Bay Area Ballet
PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2000 9:11 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Oct 22, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 17498
Location: SF Bay Area
trina, yes, there is some ambivalence towards the arts in Oakland. However, the current mayor of Oakland, Jerry Brown (yes, *the* Jerry Brown), has targeted the arts as one of the cornerstones in the revival of this city's downtown. He even promoted one level up within the city government hierarchy the individuals responsible for the arts, such that they report directly to him, if I'm not mistaken.<P>Also, their upcoming season looks promising. Here's a preview:<P> <A HREF="http://www.criticaldance.com/ubb/Forum4/HTML/000116.html" TARGET=_blank>http://www.criticaldance.com/ubb/Forum4/HTML/000116.html</A> <p>[This message has been edited by Azlan (edited July 18, 2000).]


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Looking at SF Bay Area Ballet
PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2000 7:46 am 
Online

Joined: Tue Jan 04, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 12510
Location: Seattle, WA, USA
Any information on Oakland Ballet's budget level? (Especially in comparison to SFB's ca. $21 million?)


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Looking at SF Bay Area Ballet
PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2000 8:48 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Oct 22, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 17498
Location: SF Bay Area
Francis, I think it's around $1.5 million, but I'm not entirely sure.


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Looking at SF Bay Area Ballet
PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2000 9:54 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Nov 02, 1999 12:01 am
Posts: 2708
Location: Seattle, WA USA
Interesting that they're doing a Mary Cochran piece..gosh I feel so old. I knew her when she was going to high school at North Carolina School of the Arts. ...anyway, getting back to Oakland ballet itself. It seems like they are definetly the "poor stepchild" of bay area ballet companies. Let's see if the new artistic director can "pull one out of the bag"!!


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Looking at SF Bay Area Ballet
PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2000 10:25 am 
Offline

Joined: Fri Oct 22, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 17498
Location: SF Bay Area
Interestingly, there are quite a few ballet companies in the SF Bay Area. You have the two big ones of course: SFB and San Jose-Cleveland.<P>Then you have the smaller professional ones, like Smuin Ballets/SF, Lines Contemporary Ballet, Diablo Ballet, Oakland Ballet, and Lawrence Pech Dance Company (did I leave anyone out?).<P>Then you have a whole bunch of semi-professional ones that are affiliated with schools: Santa Clara Ballet, Western Ballet, Pacific Ballet Theater, Berkeley Ballet Theater, etc. etc.


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Looking at SF Bay Area Ballet
PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2000 10:59 am 
Online

Joined: Tue Jan 04, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 12510
Location: Seattle, WA, USA
I'd say that it's very difficult to obtain much consistency or coherence with a company on a 13-15 week contract in any event. And the overall budget level is painfully small for a high-cost location such as the Bay Area. It's almost a miracle of will over circumstance that they have managed to survive the many negatives that have come their way. I have always regarded them as a unique company, performing an underrepresented repertoire, and offering career-opening opportunities and experience to many performers who would not otherwise be able to obtain professional experience. I think Ms. Brown is an excellent choice for AD. Hopefully, she will be able to reposition the company's mission statement to address the "elitist" biases of those in control of some of the local arts funding, and refocus the vision on the obvious community benefits of such a company.


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Looking at SF Bay Area Ballet
PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2000 10:52 am 
Offline

Joined: Fri Oct 22, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 17498
Location: SF Bay Area
I've just been told that Oakland Ballet's contract is for 17 weeks this coming season.


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Looking at SF Bay Area Ballet
PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2001 8:24 am 
Offline

Joined: Fri Oct 22, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 17498
Location: SF Bay Area
And here is a story about lowered expectations for the SF Bay Area. Note however that Anita Amirrezvani's article covers only the three biggest ballet companies (she calls them "major") in the area. As I've mentioned above, there are several chamber-sized ballet companies here that are of much higher quality or with more entertainment value than Oakland Ballet (seasonal contract) and Ballet San Jose:<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><B>Lower expectations for Bay Area ballet<BR>MAJOR COMPANIES PLANNING LESS AMBITIOUS SEASONS</B><P>ANITA AMIRREZVANI, San Jose Mercury News <P>Just as businesses go through cycles, so do ballet companies. The Bay Area's three major classical companies -- Ballet San Jose Silicon Valley, the Oakland Ballet and San Francisco Ballet -- have recently announced seasons that are less ambitious than in past years, although there's still plenty of good work to see.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><B>The link is now broken</B><p>[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited May 28, 2002).]


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 9 posts ] 

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