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 Post subject: Ángel Corella's new Ballet Company in Spain
PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2007 5:38 am 
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Location: Barcelona, Spain
The “Fundación Angel Corella” signed yesterday the contract with “Patrimonio Nacional” responsible for the cession of the Santa Cecilia Palace that will host the International Dance School and Company.

The “Fundación Ángel Corella” has two objectives:

1.- An International Classic Ballet Company, with 70 dancers of different categories, that will perform the master pieces of the classic repertoire as well as the neoclassics of past and present choreographers.

2.- A formation center, for students from 12 years and up to 18, where they will follow academic and artistic studies.

The first objective will be presented in a gala in the Teatro Real in Madrid, next February 16.

Auditions to hire the 70 company dancers will take place on March 24, 25 & 26 in the Teatro Real in Madrid and on 29, 30 & 31 in the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona.

Further auditions will follow in London and New York. They will be announced soon in Angel Corella’s web page here

The company will start its activity with the premiere of La Bayadere in Madrid’s Teatro Real the 5th of September 2008.

As far as school is concerned it will take more time as the Palace has to be conditioned to be able to give all the services required. Two more buildings have to be built. Depending on the speed of getting licences and carrying out the works it is foreseen to open by seasons 2008/2009 or 2009/2010.

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I'm so happy :)

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To know more about ballet and dance in Spain you can visit "http://balletymas.com/" web page with some articles also in English


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2007 12:22 pm 
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Location: Canada
Wow...good luck to the company.

Do you know where the funding is coming from and whether it actually exists or is just promised or to be raised....

70 dancers is a huge company, and the costs of that many dancers, medical care, pensions, sets, costumes, theatre rental, PR etc etc is enormous. Many smaller companies, with or without government funding, have failed due to a lack of funding etc. For instance, Ballet Pacifica, which had big name ballet dancers on board and several million in funding already raised, was in an area without another ballet company of any significant size and then bit the dust before a single performance if I remember correctly. They learned that big names and a lack of another big (or even small) company in the area don't necessarily make for success.

I do hope that the people working to create this new company aren't taking too big a risk. One wonders if starting small and then adding dancers would be a safer proposition. Show the government and funders that you can be succesful before going all the way. Plus to find 70 dancers of good quality, who are EU citizens or can fulfill EU hiring requirements (interesting to be holding auditions in NY, for EU laws don't make it easy to hire non-EU dancers unless they are of a pretty established reputation, and even then the company has to shell out for work permits) and are willing to take the risk of working for a new company that might not make it could be a challenge. 30 good dancers is far better than 70 so-so dancers with a few stars mixed in. Not to mention that if you are going to do the classics you need 70 dancers with a coherent style. And "La Bayadere" is the ultimate challenege as far as corps work.

And perhaps Balanchine has it right - "First a school". 70 dancers might be a better proposition if you have a school to train them. But perhaps there are enough young Spaniards coming out of other ballets schools who are looking for jobs...

In anycase, this will be a company to follow. I hope they have better luck than other new companies as of late...

Kate


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2007 2:00 pm 
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I would like to see professional ballet get more play in Spain. there are some wonderful dancers coming out of Spain but because of the lack of professional opportunities they mostly leave. That seems to be a great loss to ballet fans there.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2007 7:01 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
That is fascinating news. With Victor Ullate and those associated with him, Spain has some of the best ballet teachers in the world; Corella came from that stable, along with many, many others. However, my single experience of Ullate's choreography, 10 or more years ago now, was not so positive and his company is little known outside of Spain.

The wonderful Ballet Nacional Espagna, features Spanish classical and folk dance rather than "ballet".

Thus, this sounds great news for Spanish ballet fans. but the practicalities do seem daunting. Let's think what it means: Birmingham Royal Ballet and English National Ballet each have around 60 dancers. From memory, they get around £6-7m each as Arts Council grants and I guesstimate that turnover is around £12-£15m each. The infrastructure associated with a company of this size is huge. So, for a company of 70 in Spain, with few locals experienced in managing a ballet company of this size, it really is a massive task.

Still, let's hope that Corella has a Lincoln Kirstein figure in the background, that is: an ace manager with deep pockets. For the time being I'm happy to raise a glass and toast this exciting initiative.

Here is the Angel Corella website, but only in Spanish:

http://www.angelcorella.com/index.php

Wikipedia has a section about him for general background material:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angel_Corella


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2007 8:02 am 
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Location: Barcelona, Spain
As Spanish I would like to thank all of you for your interesest :)

After so many time looking for this dream come true it seems that the time has arrived :)

I agree that there are a lot of questions to be answered but I'm pretty sure that all has been deeply studied and taken into account. After the February 16th, Gala we will have more information about this and if not, we could ask Corella's Foundation staff who kind as they always are, will give us all details we might be interested in.

I agree with you Stuart:

Quote:
With Victor Ullate and those associated with him, Spain has some of the best ballet teachers in the world; Corella came from that stable, along with many, many others. However, my single experience of Ullate's choreography, 10 or more years ago now, was not so positive and his company is little known outside of Spain.


This is what all balletomanes say in Spain. The last piece however, a Coppélia created by associated choreographer Eduardo Lao, and with the lovely ballerina Eri Nakamura as principal, has been a great success. But note that it is not an Ullate's choreographie :twisted:

Anyway back to the so great new, I know that there are some important catalan and even american people giving founds for the Company, it was said that the Catalan Government did not have to put any single Euro to it when Corella foresaw to set it up in Sant Feliu de Guixols but, no way, they denied to support it in any form and the Gran Teatre del Liceu did not commit itself for the Company to have a stable period of time booked to perform so they didn't see any possibility to run their project there.

Now in La granja de San Ildefonso / Proyecto Corella (take a look please) they have found all they need and the Teatro Real de Madrid is willing to agree with Corella's request.

And another link to an interview et report about Ángel Corella and ABT Stars performance in Colmenar Viejo where Ángel was born, he talked about the future Company:

Ángel Corella en España

I know that 70 dancers is a quite big quantity and that La Bayadere is a very demanding production to start with but I'm so confident in Corella himself and people of his staff that I'm sure he will succeed.

I also know that usually there is the school first and the Company follows but yes, there are a lot of very good Spanish dancers and one has not to forget that this will be an International Ballet Company whose aim is quality so only good dancers will be hired, no matter where they come from.

Ángel deserves all the support one can give him, for his bravure, for his tenacity, for his kindness, for his talent and for his perseverance in fighting against anything to get his/ours dream come true.

I'll keep you posted on any new about :)

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To know more about ballet and dance in Spain you can visit "http://balletymas.com/" web page with some articles also in English


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2007 6:13 pm 
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Fascintating news, Carolina. Thanks for your updates. Keep them coming! I love hearing from the locals.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 26, 2007 9:47 am 
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Location: Barcelona, Spain
Update at Ángel Corella's web site

Company Presentation

and the auditions:

Auditions for dancers

:)

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To know more about ballet and dance in Spain you can visit "http://balletymas.com/" web page with some articles also in English


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2007 3:51 pm 
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Location: Barcelona, Spain
The English version of the report about the presentation of the "Ballet de España" and Dance School has been published today in fotoescena.

Thanks Ángel! Congratulations Spain!

Hope you like it! :)

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To know more about ballet and dance in Spain you can visit "http://balletymas.com/" web page with some articles also in English


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2007 4:46 pm 
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Wow...I still think recruiting 70-80 dancers from scratch is impossibly ambitious and Corella - to my knowledge - does not have any real artistic direction experience. But good luck to him...

I however, suspect that the rep is not "set" for the next four years. Whilst choreographers may be willing to take some risks based upon Corella's involvement, it's my experience that they won't give final permission until they see the company in action and have some idea of the quality of dancers and whether there is an infrastucture (i.e. teaching, sets, costumers, stage managers etc.) to support the production. But it's possible that permission has been provisionally granted for programs for the next year or two, dependant upon the company's progress and quality.

Good luck to all involved and the best of luck for the school. I think that's the most important and most valuable part of the project. "But first a school..."

Kate


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2007 3:37 am 
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I'm not convinced that a school is essential, Kate. It was essential for Balanchine in the US, as there was no ballet tradition there. But Spain is different and in the Victor Ullate school they already have one of the best in the world. Also in these times of globalisation, one can recruit leading and corps dancers from around the world, as companies such as San Francisco Ballet and incresingly the Royal Ballet, even though they also have schools.

Another aspect concerns me more:

Quote:
The annual budget for this entire project is estimated to be close to 10 million euros. Corella's aim is to get the funding following an “Anglo-Saxon model”, in other words having funds coming more from private sources than from governmental initiatives. About 5 million will be for the classical ballet company and its productions, and between 3 and 4 million for running the school.


5 million euros for a 70-strong company doesn't sound right. To put it in context the comparable Birmingham Royal Ballet and English National Ballet each have annual budgets of order of magnitude 15-20 million Euros. Scottish Ballet with 36 dancers has an annual grant of some 4 million euros and I guess its budget is around 5-8m Euros. And great though Scottish Ballet is, they do not have dancers with the pay bill of artists such as Rojo, Acosta or Corella, so if Corella hopes to be joined by artists like himself, then the calculations look very strange. Maybe something is lost in translation or there is an additional factor that makes the comparison invalid.

There is mention of an "Anglo-Saxon" model, ie not so reliant on state funding. But bear in mind that even the UK companies receive between 30% and 60% state funding, so they seem to be talking about a US model rather than "anglo-Saxon". However, finding private funding in a culture where there is not a donor tradition like that in the US could be problematic. I also infer that they have not been able to persuade Govt. sources to provide funds.

Thus I infer, perhaps incorrectly:

- the budget looks way too low
- it seems that assured funding is not in place yet.

Overall, from a financial perspective, the announcement raises more question than it answers.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2007 5:03 am 
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Quote:
There is mention of an "Anglo-Saxon" model, ie not so reliant on state funding. But bear in mind that even the UK companies receive between 30% and 60% state funding, so they seem to be talking about a US model rather than "anglo-Saxon". However, finding private funding in a culture where there is not a donor tradition like that in the US could be problematic. I also infer that they have not been able to persuade Govt. sources to provide funds.


In the not so distant past virtually all arts funding came from the government in the UK, but the arts have become unpopular and successive governments became less generous with grants forcing companies to seek more and more sponsorship and donations. When the national lottery was set up over a decade ago part of its remit was to pay for arts projects but the fine arts in the UK have rarely been recipients.

Perhaps the "Anglo Saxon Model" is synonymous with desperation rather than anything else.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2007 7:54 am 
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Could someone confirm that the school fee, for children, has been set at 36,000 euros (about £24,000) per annum - this was stated on Ballet Talk, and it does strike one as preposterous - (unless of course the aim be to recruit only children of the aristocracy and Upper Crust? Who are QUITE unlikely to want as hard as one must, to dance.)

Bearing in mind, that 75% of the French population earns LESS than 1,500 euros (about £1000) per month, and that wages in Spain are even lower, on average, would a fee-paying school, with fees of that magnitude, be viable ?


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2007 1:38 pm 
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You can read this in our article:

Quote:
In the press conference it was said that the cost for students to attend the school would be about 35,000 euros per year. However, there will be scholarships provided for children from low income families. Each individual case will be studied so that no child with good physical conditions and talent is excluded. “Nobody will be left out,” said Carmen Espinilla, from Corella Foundation.


and yes, as far as budget is concerned, this is what was said:

Quote:
The annual budget for this entire project is estimated to be close to 10 million euros. Corella's aim is to get the funding following an “Anglo-Saxon model”, in other words having funds coming more from private sources than from governmental initiatives. About 5 million will be for the classical ballet company and its productions, and between 3 and 4 million for running the school.


and your concern is also ours, this is the reason why we finished our article as follows:

Quote:
There are still gaps to be filled, not everything is known, we have to watch and see how it all evolves. What's more, we know that there will be things we won't be accustomed to as the company will probably be managed following mainly an American system, but we still have to be grateful for Ángel's generosity to his country.


We really hope that this can come true and that there are things we still do not know but that can guarantee the success of this project.

Thanks a lot to all of you for your inputs :)

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To know more about ballet and dance in Spain you can visit "http://balletymas.com/" web page with some articles also in English


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2007 1:47 pm 
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Sounds like this project may be overly ambitious and under-funded, but the heart seems to be in the right place. I hope it can suceed.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2007 7:20 am 
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Yes Wish it succed, cause that's a big risk. And Corella does really need good luck !
Managing a ballet company of this size, specially in Spain, where no real cultural policy, no real donnation law..., looks really a massive task.
And of course he does not have any real artistic direction experience.

The point now is that, dance community in Spain seems already fed up about the idea of having to pay 10 euros to get into the audition for his company, (which is completely the very first time occurs in that country), than even local press starts by wondering if is really necessary to get paid for it from the poor ballet dancers dreams !

Estimating up to 2000 young dancers auditionning in Madrid, more, the 2000 young dancers in Barcelona..., that produces pretty good money !


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