CriticalDance Forum

Companies with Tall Men?
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Author:  grace [ Sat Oct 28, 2000 3:18 am ]
Post subject:  Companies with Tall Men?

hi all!<P>well, i have spent the past week doing the assessments of dance students at the local performing arts academy, where they invite in a professional panel of 'outsiders' to appraise the students technique (only). student progress, attendance, application, etcetera - all these are separately assessed by the staff who teach them, of course.<P>anyway, having viewed the graduating class ballet, pointe, variation and pas de deux assessments, i would like to offer some information to one student, who is unlikely to get work in a suitable company in australia - or indeed in ANY company in australia - due to her height.<P>now, please don't ask me what it IS! i don't know.....but she's tall, very'll just have to take my word for it.<P>this dancer is an exceptional balletic talent, but would need to try somewhere where tall female dancers CAN be considered. i have been told by someone who should know, that major american companies usually CAN arrange green cards, if they want an employee badly enough. such a scenario is NOT impossible to imagine, in this case - or i wouldn't be wasting your time!<P>so, those of you who know the US companies - if asked to name large classical companies which have tall men, accept tall females, have a good reputation, and whose dancers may reasonably be expected to benefit from working there (i.e good classes, good staff, chancs to learn and improve and progress, etc)....where would you suggest?<P>btw, this academy requires all students to study graham technique, cunningham technique, contact and other modern approaches. i did not see these assessments, but the student would be at least competent in these, to be graduating, so a ballet company which does non-traditional things is fine too...<P>my guesses so far are PNB & SFB...what do you americans think?

Author:  Basheva [ Sat Oct 28, 2000 6:10 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Companies with Tall Men?

I don't know enough to answer your questions Grace. But I do remember that Cynthia Gregory, who was Prima Ballerina, ABT, was quite tall - over 6' on pointe and she had quite a hard time finding partners. The only one really suitable, in my humble opinion, was Patrick Bissel, and he had other problems. <P>Maybe Houston? Them thar Texans are tall folks.

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Sat Oct 28, 2000 8:06 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Companies with Tall Men?

When Francis is back i'm sure he'll tell us about all the tall girls at PNB and the very tall guys they look out for to partner them.

Author:  Francis Timlin [ Mon Oct 30, 2000 11:42 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Companies with Tall Men?

Right you are, Stuart. I would definitely encourage correspondence and discussion with PNB. (The student might also enjoy the piece on Arianna Lallone -- 5'11" -- in the recent edition of ArtsPatron that I cited a couple of weeks ago.) We have one 6'5" man, and several others nearly as tall.

Author:  Francis Timlin [ Mon Oct 30, 2000 4:29 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Companies with Tall Men?

I would also not overlook Ballet West in Salt Lake. I understand that the new AD, Jonas KOge, has made a conscious decision to "go taller." Presently, that seems to be 5'7" to 5'9" but perhaps a 5'10" or 5'11" might also fit his plans?

Author:  Francis Timlin [ Tue Oct 31, 2000 2:18 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Companies with Tall Men?

I have bumped my October 18 posts on Arianna Lallone and PNB salaries toward the top....<P>Ballet West is a major least in terms of the U.S. It was founded by Willam F. Christensen, the founder of San Francisco Ballet, in 1951. It was, along with SFB, NYCB, Boston and Houston, one of the original companies to be anointed by the Ford Foundation as a recipient of their funding in order to solidify the establishment of "major/regional" companies in the U.S.

Author:  Basheva [ Wed Nov 01, 2000 4:58 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Companies with Tall Men?

Well, here are my two cents worth - after the major companies in New York City, I would put SFB, with Houston, Boston and Ballet West next. Sometimes they change around because of what is going on there at any given time. How about Pennsylvania Ballet? That has been a fine company for quite some time. I was in class with Barbara Sondanato - the prima when the company was founded. Barbara Weisberger was the founder and she had ties to Balanchine. This company also was a result of the Ford Foundation regional dance program.<P>About the company: <A HREF="" TARGET=_blank></A> <P>About the company's history:<BR> <A HREF="" TARGET=_blank></A> <P>But, I think another fine company is Edward Villela's Miami City Ballet. I saw them a couple of years ago and was VERY impressed. <P>

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Wed Nov 01, 2000 11:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Companies with Tall Men?

My half penny worth. London was very impressed with SFB in 1999. In Lucia Lacarre they have one of the most interesting dancers worldwide, who is a big hit in all of the international galas in which she takes place. She was recently lauded in a major Paris gala. But all 4 of SFB's London Odette/Odiles made a marked impression.<P>There are a number of strong male dancers, and the rep. we saw was interesting and varied. In fact their triple bill with 'TheCage' and 'Sandpaper Ballet' was probably the best I saw in London that year. I was told by one of the dancers that the company atmosphere is friendly and supportive. <P>A number of us London fans were happy to say that we saw SFB and PNB in the same class as the Royal Ballet and Birmingham RB. As you say grace a company on a crest. I can't speak for the other companies mentioned, but I am impressed that you see them in the same class as SFB Basheva.<P>

Author:  DT [ Thu Nov 02, 2000 4:20 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Companies with Tall Men?

Ballet West is a very good company, their starting corps salary is over $700 a week 38 week contract. Good diverse rep,great theatre, and the cost of living in Salt Lake is far lower than San Francisco, Seattle, or Boston. Many of the dancers own homes, nice cars and live very comfortably! It all depends on what you are looking for.

Author:  Francis Timlin [ Thu Nov 02, 2000 9:26 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Companies with Tall Men?

PNB has two current corps members who are foreign-born and trained: Oleg Gorboulev (from Uzbekistan, trained in Moscow) and Astrit Zejnati from Albania. Others who started as corps members who are now soloists include Batkhurel Bold (from Mongolia, trained at Perm), Vladislav Bourakov (from Siberia, trained and performed with the Bolshoi), and Alexandra Dickson (from the Yukon, trained in Vancouver, BC). Also, Valeri Hristov, who has joined as a soloist this year, comes from Bulgaria via the PACT Ballet of South Africa. Others who joined as solists include Christophe Maraval (French), Kaori Nakamura (Japanese via Royal Winnipeg) and Olivier Wevers (Belgian via Royal Winnipeg); all are now principals. And, of course Stanko Milov (a Bulgarian via Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre) who joined last season as a principal. Quite a diverse group for a company that places a very high priority on its own school and producing a critical mass of its own dancers.

Author:  Francis Timlin [ Thu Nov 02, 2000 9:38 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Companies with Tall Men?

Thanks for mentioning Pennsylvania Ballet, Basheva. I knew as soon as I had posted that they were the company that I had left off my list of the original recipients of Ford Foundation funding. And, of course, Debbie's sister, Tamara, used to be their prima Image.

Author:  Francis Timlin [ Fri Nov 03, 2000 9:37 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Companies with Tall Men?

I haven't seen Pennsylvania Ballet since Benjamin Harkarvy was the Artistic Director and they appeared in Seattle at Meany Hall (the same venue as Sydney Dance's recent appearance), so I couldn't say whether they would consider unusually tall dancers. My comment regarding PB was simply an acknowledgement that I had omitted them from my roster of the original Ford Foundation-sponsored companies that spiked the development of U.S. companies outside the City of New York in the mid-60s. I think that most metropolitan areas in the U.S. have seen an exponential rise in first generation Eastern Europeans since the collapse of the Soviet Union. In addition to dancers, we also have musicians -- especially violinists and pianists -- on the ascendant.<p>[This message has been edited by Francis Timlin (edited November 03, 2000).]

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