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 Post subject: Re: Ross Stretton's resignation
PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2002 2:55 am 
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Article in the Guardian which gives a very balanced view of Streeton's time at RB.

Quote:
Ross Stretton's exit from the Royal Ballet last week, less than a month before the start of its new season, could not have been more embarrassingly timed. Stretton was only one year into his three-year contract as artistic director, and couldn't claim to have a better job to go to. It was clearly a forced resignation.
Why was he compelled to leave? There has been talk of arrogance, capricious casting and inappropriate relationships with younger dancers. There had been similar gossip while Stretton was at Australian Ballet, which the Opera House board might have investigated. After an Equity meeting in August, the mutinous artists apparently put so much pressure on the board that he was obliged to go.

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RThe Sunday Times put Deborah Bull forward for the job.

Quote:
THE former principal dancer at the Royal Ballet, Deborah Bull, is frontrunner to become its new artistic director, writes Richard Brooks.
Bull, 39, who retired last year citing “nerves” as one reason for stopping her main stage performances, is highly regarded by both the senior management and the board of Covent Garden. Since the start of this year she has been artistic director of the Royal Opera House’s two new studio theatres, the Clore and the Linbury.

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The Independent.

Quote:
Ballet companies are hothouses at the best of times. Just imagine: you have reached the top of a ferociously competitive profession, and then you have to compete some more. Your fellow-dancers may be your friends but they are also your rivals. Career spans are short, and liable to end at a moment's notice – by injury, disfavour, or some crisis within the institution beyond your control. The world you inhabit is small, enclosed and highly charged. The strain on the nervous system is hard to imagine for those of us whose livelihoods don't depend on putting in a top-notch performance night after night. The pressure is on even at rehearsals. Bodies – literally stretched to the limit – break down. Exhaustion is common.

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<small>[ 09-30-2002, 05:13: Message edited by: Joanne ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Ross Stretton's resignation
PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2002 7:11 am 
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"Corps, what a scorcher!" sums up the shoddy journalism from Simon O'Hagan in the Indie based on tittle-tattle. Shock, horror probe - adults sometimes have affairs, whatever next!! Not what you expect from a quality paper.

I agree Joanne that Mackrell does better than most.


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 Post subject: Re: Ross Stretton's resignation
PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2002 4:11 pm 
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I think given the other revelation over the weekend that the hints of Strettons private life are really quite tame!

What do you make of the Deborah Bull article Stuart?


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 Post subject: Re: Ross Stretton's resignation
PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2002 2:42 am 
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I've tried a couple of times to access the article , both from CD and also from the Times search engine but without success.

On the basic issue, it's inevitable that her name will come up as an ex-Principal with the highest public profile that any dancer has had since Fonteyn and Nureyev. I admire her immensely for her promotion of dance in a variety of styles and dance causes. She is bright and energetic and gets on well with a wide range of people in dance. I have no doubt that she would improve the image of the ROH both in the Press and in the UK dance world.

Further she is definitely a moderniser (shouts of shame from the usual dinosaurs), who also values the heritage. So that suits me down to the ground. If anyone is going to bring people like Maliphant etc into the ROH ambit then she is the one.

On the other hand she has never lead a large team or had the decision making for a ballet company, although the ADI/Clore-Linbury/Arts Council responsibilities are all steps in the right direction. As the ROH is an equals opps employer (Arts Council condition) then if it is done properly a detailed job description will be drawn up and on a number of points someone like Ross Stretton who has worked his way through company management in several places will definitely come off better.

Similarly Bruce Sampson has had an excellent preparation for company administration, but is only a month into his first senior (but not top) post at Rambert, a medium sized company.

Thus the ROH has a problem. If they cannot recruit someone of the calibre of Kevin McKenzie (who seemed to think long and hard last time) then they will be faced with a difficult choice of existing Directors of medium/large sized companies or one of the two above, always assuming David Bintley has not changed his mind.

Having thought about it, my guess is that they will not go down the Stretton route again and that they might give wweight to RB knowledge and go for Deborah Bull.

In answer to earlier queries I would be delighted to see Monica Mason in the role. This would be a low risk decision and there is no doubt of her talents or her toughness when needed. The heritage would be in safe hands, but I don't know enough to comment on her view of current ballet. As someone else said I'm not sure whether she wants this high profile poisoned chalice. It's not nice to regularly read horrid things about yourself in the press or on the Internet.

<small>[ 10-01-2002, 06:19: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Ross Stretton's resignation
PostPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2002 3:38 am 
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any one got the web page for the article David Drew put in the Mail on Sunday ..have tried to access via their web site but can't get it!


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 Post subject: Re: Ross Stretton's resignation
PostPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2002 4:05 am 
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It's on Ballet.co, on the third Ross Stretton thread.


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 Post subject: Re: Ross Stretton's resignation
PostPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2002 4:11 am 
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More correctly, it's in the Ballet.co.uk October magazine, under David Drew, RB principal on the Ross Stretton sacking. Not sure of the exact link.

<small>[ 10-02-2002, 06:11: Message edited by: HelenB ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Ross Stretton's resignation
PostPosted: Fri Oct 04, 2002 1:34 am 
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Article in the Guardian on a possible successor.

Quote:
Kevin McKenzie, the unsettled artistic director of the American Ballet Theatre in New York, last night emerged as the frontrunner to take over at the scandal-hit Royal Ballet.
Ironically, the former dancer, who has spent a decade at the helm of the New York-based company - America's finest - is the man who plucked the Australian choreographer Ross Stretton from relative obscurity. Stretton's ignominious exit from Covent Garden last week has thrown the Royal Ballet into crisis.

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 Post subject: Re: Ross Stretton's resignation
PostPosted: Fri Oct 04, 2002 3:42 pm 
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Interesting what McGibbon said about the health of the Royal Ballet as an organization. He sounds so bitter about his experience applying the last time.


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 Post subject: Re: Ross Stretton's resignation
PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2002 8:05 am 
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Looking back over the articles now that the dust has settled, it seems that Ross Stretton did not manage to build any sort of rapport with the RB dancers and that his time at Australian Ballet was rather torrid with regard to staff relations. After the very likeable Dowell that must have come very hard for the RB staff.

I still do not criticise his programming as some do and it's worth noting that Kenneth McMillan introduced no less than 13 new choreographers to the RB. As I have said elsewhere, although I do not think that the changes to the 2002-3 programme are for the better, I understand that Monica Mason must be allowed her artistic perspective for the coming season.

Overall I can see much sense in David Drew's proposal that Monica Mason be given the full Directorship for a period. If she wants it and gets it, I'll keep my fingers crossed that she follows McMillan's boldness with new choreographers and radical dance works, rather than relying too heavily on the back catalogue. In addition Tony Hall will have to fulfill his vision to provide additional cash to support agreater balance between opera and ballet for new productions and commissions.

<small>[ 10-22-2002, 00:48: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Ross Stretton's resignation
PostPosted: Tue Oct 22, 2002 2:38 am 
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Article in The Telegraph where Derek Deane gives his opinion.

Quote:
The choreographer Derek Deane thinks that the Royal Ballet needs a boss with 'experience'. Who can he mean? asks Louise Levene

Derek Deane is eerily calm. Once upon a time, interviewers could rely on a little headline-friendly indiscretion - English dancers are all pear-shaped; ballerinas should have sex before a performance - but suddenly he is a model of discretion. Two years ago Deane was beaten to the directorship of the Royal Ballet by Ross Stretton, but his rival "resigned" under a cloud last month and the job is tantalisingly vacant once more.

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 Post subject: Re: Ross Stretton's resignation
PostPosted: Tue Oct 22, 2002 4:27 am 
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I can't say that I have ever been enthusiastic about Louise Levene's attention grabbing style. This mix of innuendo about Stretton and speculation about Deane's future mixed with a discussion of some of the other candidates for the job does little to change my view.

I'm not sure how a Deane candidacy will be seen at the ROH. However, I agree entirely that his proscenium arch "Swan Lake" is not only one of the best things in the ENB rep, but is one of the best of the current stagings worldwide. The performance I saw with Oakes and Edur was divine.

<small>[ 10-22-2002, 06:27: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Ross Stretton's resignation
PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2002 2:14 am 
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Ismene Brown interview Lady MacMillan largely on the Opera House crisis.

Quote:
In a frank interview, Lady MacMillan, whose threat to withdraw her husband's ballets precipitated the exit of Royal Ballet director Ross Stretton, points the finger at the Covent Garden board. By Ismene Brown



Ten years ago tonight, Britain's leading ballet choreographer, Sir Kenneth MacMillan, died backstage during the last act of Mayerling, his ballet about the death-obsessed Hapsburg prince Rudolf.

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 Post subject: Re: Ross Stretton's resignation
PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2002 6:30 pm 
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Mary Clarke reports on the Royal Ballet Press Meeting where the recent events were discussed:

The Royal Ballet - Restoring the Balance
By Mary Clarke for Dancing Times

On September 25, as all the world must know by now, The Royal Opera House issued a press release announcing that Ross Stretton, Director of The Royal Ballet, had resigned from the position he took up in March 2000. He expressed his “enormous respect for the great heritage of this company” but continued “my interest lies primarily in developing the future of ballet and that is what I want to spend my time doing”. Sir Colin Southgate, Chairman of the Board of Directors of The Royal Opera House, in his statement said: “It is with deep regret that I have accepted the resignation of Ross Stretton with immediate effect.” He thanked Stretton for introducing “some new and interesting works” and introducing audiences to further work by “some of the finest living choreographers, including Mats Ek and Nacho Duato”. The statement concluded “Until a new Director is appointed, Monica Mason, Assistant Director, has generously agreed to lead the Company, with Anthony Russell-Roberts continuing in his role as Administrative Director”.

click for more

<small>[ 11-08-2002, 19:31: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Ross Stretton's resignation
PostPosted: Sat Nov 16, 2002 1:58 pm 
Does anyone think theres a chance that Sarah Wildor will go back now???
From the little I read,I believe she probably(spl) thought it would be better to leave before being totally neglected or sacked.Stretton seemed to be ignoring her.

<small>[ 11-16-2002, 15:09: Message edited by: angela ]</small>


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