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ABT's Stiefel will lead Ballet Pacificamore
Chris Pasles, LA Times
In a high-profile move to upgrade its status, Irvine-based Ballet Pacifica has named acclaimed American Ballet Theatre principal dancer Ethan Stiefel, 31, its "artistic director-designate."
"Of all the candidates we were talking to, he was the one who really stood out in coming to the table with a real vision of what the company could be and should be," executive director Thomas Gulick said Wednesday. "Plus he fit the business plan."
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Stiefel will stop guesting, though he will still dance with ABT. He says, "What attracted me was just the extraordinary opportunity to come into an organization on the ground floor, so to speak — to bring in staff, repertoire and dancers.
"That's something every artistic director looks for. I see great things for this company, and if I don't do it, someone else will. And I want to be the one to do it."
He comes on-board in September 2005 for 3 to 5 years, and the first public performance under his direction will be in February 2006. They're going to look for new dancers, expanding to about 18. They want to increase their annual budget from $1.7 million to $6.5 million in a few years. They'll have a full-length ballet, and 3 mixed reps per season.
No indication was given on the artistic direction. Does anyone know what the artistic tastes of Irvine are? Apparently, the board and past directors have had differences of artistic vision, and they're hoping to go to the community for much financial support.