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 Post subject: Sadler's Wells News 2003 and 2004
PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2003 12:35 am 
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One we missed from a couple of weeks ago that popped up in a global search:

Business Profile: The dancing master who's taking steps to stage a revival
Jean-Luc Choplin, the new head of Sadler's Wells, talks to David Litterick in The Daily Telegraph about his moves to turn around the theatre's fortunes.

"I want to go down to the Thames and do a big opera with people attached to helium balloons, like dancing angels floating in the sky with specially composed rock music."


Jean-Luc Choplin wants ballet to reach millions
This is the strange yet compelling dream of Jean-Luc Choplin, the man appointed to lead Sadler's Wells theatre for the next five years.

"It will show the beauty of the choreography, the discipline and the strength of the dancer," the Frenchman explains, with an expansive wave of the hands, his eyes sparkling with passion.

click for more

<small>[ 21 January 2004, 05:54 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Sadler's Wells News 2003 and 2004
PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2003 1:41 am 
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I found this interview a very strange read. The introduction talks about "his moves to turn around the theatre's fortunes." Excuse me! Sadler's Wells is one of the big success stories in UK dance of the past few years. For the first time we regularly see the best dance companies in the world. Before the new theatre, there was simply nowhere for them to come. In addition, as it mentions further down, the theatre has gone from a parlous financial state some 10 years ago to a very solid position.

The opening image of ballerinas over London on balloons is too easy to ridicule and one could say that he needs to leave Disney spectacular behind. But what does concern me is no clear vision of what can be done to overcome the achnowledged lack of interest for the Arts in the UK. Further, he doesn't mention any of Sadler's many successes or a single dance company, almost as if it's an area where he doesn't want to be probed. Are the Nureyev momentoes a way of saying - I do know about this stuff, really?

Yes, we all want to get the Corporate world more closely involved in the Arts, but I suspect he has missed the point that people have been trying to do this for some time. Er....it's not a new idea Jean-Luc, what we want to hear is some clues how you are going to do this.

I regret that I do not feel reassured by this interview for the future of one of my favourite dance venues. Am I over-reacting?

<small>[ 14 June 2003, 03:45 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Sadler's Wells News 2003 and 2004
PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2003 1:33 am 
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Jean-Luc Choplin
The new boss at Sadler's Wells wants it to be 'popular but sophisticated'. Are hip-hop and martial arts the answer? By Charlotte Higgins for The Guardian

· Rather discreetly, Sadler's Wells has acquired a new boss. Replacing Ian Albery, who brought London's theatre for contemporary dance through rebuilding to become the first new lottery-funded theatre to open its doors (albeit £22m over budget), is one Jean-Luc Choplin. The 53-year-old Frenchman, who took over as chief executive in October, has an intriguing background. After working with Rudolf Nureyev for five years as managing director of the Paris Opéra Ballet, he helped set up Disneyland Paris, then moved to Los Angeles to develop splashy millennium cultural projects for the Walt Disney Company.

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<small>[ 27 June 2003, 04:25 AM: Message edited by: Emma Pegler ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Sadler's Wells News 2003 and 2004
PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2003 1:39 am 
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Another puzzling interview with Choplin:

Quote:
For the past few years, Sadler's Wells has been going about its task respectably, acting as a receiving house for international contemporary dance on tour, and hosting the odd bit of touring opera or musical theatre (increasingly, though, the biggest names, such as Merce Cunningham and Pina Bausch, have drifted to the more moneyed Barbican).
Well, it isn't long since Bausch was at Sadler's and for large scale work Sadler's wins hands down with its facilities and its ethos, which is why Ballett Frankfurt go there. In terms of big names, Mark Morris remains a regular plus NDT, San Francisco Ballet etc. I wonder where Higgins got this idea from. I hope it wasn't from Choplin.

I'm beginning to think that Choplin doesn't share the view of the rest of us that Sadler's is a big success story.

<small>[ 27 June 2003, 04:24 AM: Message edited by: Emma Pegler ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Sadler's Wells News 2003 and 2004
PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2003 11:50 pm 
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Choplin leads dance at Sadler’s Wells
The chief executive has controversial plans to boost sponsorship at the theatre and apply some of the skills he learnt during his years at Disney. John O'Donnell interviews him for The Times


IT IS RARE for the worlds of theatre and business to meet. But Jean-Luc Choplin, chief executive of Sadler’s Wells, Britain’s leading dance venue, wants to change this.

Choplin, 53, is a theatre luvvie who trained as an economist and worked for 12 years as the vice-president of entertainment at Disneyland Paris. Now he is turning to London’s theatreland, which he says is typified by flaking lobby wallpaper, “non-existent” customer service and half-filled rows of seats. He wants to change all this and has a list of radical ideas.

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 Post subject: Re: Sadler's Wells News 2003 and 2004
PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2003 1:05 am 
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Is it just me or do these interviews seem all over the place?

In an earlier interview Choplin was dismissive of discounting, yet in this recent one he espouses an EasyJet system of cheap prices for early booking. Nevertheless, this is an interesting idea that has worked well at The Place and is worth exploring.

Glynebourne is a great success, but I wonder whether it is model for Sadler's and whether it fits into his vision of getting the people on the tube into the theatre.

What do people think about his new slogan for the theatre, "He talks eloquently about his new slogan for Sadler’s Wells — Taste Water Again."


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 Post subject: Re: Sadler's Wells News 2003 and 2004
PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2003 2:19 am 
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Grand plans
In the Times Richard Morrison meets Jean-Luc Chopin, the man tasked with concocting a new vision for Sadler's Wells.


THERE IS A THEORY doing the rounds that high culture will survive only if there is no such thing as high culture.

Yes, it’s a paradox, but an easy one to grasp. Many people don’t step inside opera houses, theatres or art galleries because they think that high culture isn’t their cup of tea. But if everything from Mozart to Metallica were just presented as “entertainment”, this psychological obstacle would disappear.

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 Post subject: Re: Sadler's Wells News 2003 and 2004
PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2003 5:18 am 
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£80 for a ticket at Sadlers Wells to see Jessye Norman? Can't see many people paying that and M. Choplin is unlikely to pull in any kind of new audience other than well-heeled opera buffs. As for his fond notion that the British are somehow "more generous" towards the arts than the French, could that be because they don't have to be? State subsidies in France are far more sizeable than in UK. Earlier this year I visited a provincial French arts centre where admission was free because the dancers and musicians were amateurs, but someone must have footed the bill for the front of house staff and the technicians working that night.

The rumoured unrest amongst the staff is very worrying as industrial tribunals can be an expensive way of solving disputes and could eat further into the Sadlers Wells profits. As for M. Choplin's training as an economist, I'm not impressed. There is an old Economist joke that is always worth remembering:-

A mathematician, an accountant and an economist apply for the same job. "What is two and two?” asks the interviewer. "Four" replies the mathematician. The interviewer asks the accountant the same question - "generally it's four" comes the reply. Finally its the turn of the economist. On being asked "what is two and two" the economist looks around shiftily, checks the door is shut, moves his chair up close to the interviewer and whispers "what would you like me to make it?"

In other words always check those figures as I find it hard to believe Sadlers Wells operates at just 60 per cent capacity. You couldn't get a ticket for love nor money to see Carlos Acosta a couple of weeks ago.


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 Post subject: Re: Sadler's Wells News 2003 and 2004
PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2003 5:54 am 
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You make a number of good points Cassandra. The thing that worries me most in this series of interviews is that Chopin hardly mentions dance at all, except for working with Nureyev.

<small>[ 10 September 2003, 08:06 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Sadler's Wells News 2003 and 2004
PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2003 8:39 am 
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I see the Jessye Norman performances at Sadlers Wells are now listed as "Postponed". Does anyone know why?


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 Post subject: Re: Sadler's Wells News 2003 and 2004
PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2003 2:37 pm 
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Good spot Cassandra! Here's what it says eleswhere on the Sadler's website:

The three performances by Jessye Norman planned for Sadler’s Wells in October and November have been postponed due to illness.

Sadler’s Wells has been closely in touch with Miss Norman over the last two months. However, her physicians have advised that she needs more time to make a complete recovery from an acute infection that she suffered this summer.

Sadler’s Wells is hoping to reschedule the production for the coming year.


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 Post subject: Re: Sadler's Wells News 2003 and 2004
PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2004 4:11 am 
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It seems M. Choplin has decided the artistic grass isn't that much greener in the UK after all and returns to France to run the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris in July 2006.


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 Post subject: Re: Sadler's Wells News 2003 and 2004
PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2004 4:58 am 
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Thanks Cassandra - here is the Sadler's Wells press release:

For release: 20 January

Jean-Luc Choplin to join Châtelet Theatre in 2006

Jean-Luc Choplin, the current Chief Executive of Sadler’s Wells is to become Director of the Châtelet Theatre in Paris in 2006.

Denise Kingsmill, Chair of Sadler’s Wells said,

“While naturally disappointed to be losing someone of Jean-Luc’s talent in 2006, we recognise the attraction for him of joining one of the oldest and most famous theatres in France.

‘We are looking forward to seeing our theatres continue to blossom over the forthcoming seasons under his direction.

‘In due course, we will be looking for a replacement of comparable stature to take on one of the most prestigious Arts positions in the UK.”

<small>[ 21 January 2004, 05:59 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Sadler's Wells News 2003 and 2004
PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2004 5:10 am 
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We know that top arts jobs are lined up some time in advance, but this is the first time that I can recall someone in such a position in UK dance, having been in post for 18 months or so, announcing a departure with two and a half years to run with his current job.

As Mr Choplin said at the press conference for this season, this is a transition year with 2004-5 forming the first full year of his vision for Sadler's. Then mid-2006 he departs.

I have not been convinced by his vision for Sadler's as a lyric theatre with less dance presented. Am I the only one to feel uneasy that he remains for such a long time after announcing his departure for another job?

<small>[ 21 January 2004, 06:25 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Sadler's Wells News 2003 and 2004
PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2004 5:44 am 
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Although I can't find a link on the web site, the Evening Standard has a very intersesting article about the recent problems at Sadlers Wells regarding the sex discrimination claims. An "insider" is quoted as saying they are pleased he's going.

Sadlers Wells has issued a statement saying that a replacement will be sought "in due course". I suspect that as soon as that replacement is found M. Choplin will be on his way.

The Théâtre du Châtelet was of course where Diaghilev staged a number of his seasons and has strong historical links to the ballet. The theatre also stages operas, concerts and recitals.


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