Bruce Simpson (former Ballet Master-in-Chief of Fort Worth/Dallas Ballet and current Artistic Director of the Louisville Ballet), in this interview by Toba Singer for CriticalDance.com, had this to say:
“The worst thing would be to become complacent. I don’t mind if people hate my dancing. I worry more if there’s no reaction. Conflict is important. Artists function within the society in which they live. There has to be a chemical reaction with the audience because there are no words, and we have to affect people. As Artistic Director, I have to affect dancers, or they won’t affect the public and by extension, the society in which we live. That’s why conflicts within the art form make me hopeful, because if we get too comfortable or complacent, we just reproduce mirror images of what has been done before. One often longs for the original cast, but that was a piece of the time.”
As if he were balancing a line of dancers, Mr. Simpson weighed in on the other side of this question: “Now this may seem like a contradiction, but I am at the same time a traditionalist. I see myself as part of a 400-year tradition. Every day that I walk into the studio, I see myself as a custodian of classical ballet technique.
He has a number of things to say about the role of ballet companies and what it takes to run one.
for more of the interview.