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Jan McNulty

Carlos Acosta named as new Artistic Director of Birmingham Royal Ballet

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Dance Europe has announced on Facebook that Marion Tait will be holding the reigns after Bintley leaves and Acosta starts.

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I say this as a huge Acosta fan and love the idea of his being back in the UK and working with a ballet company, but is this really such a great idea?  He will surely be tempted into choreography which is definitely NOT his forte.  I worry about what he is actually going to do and would hate him to fail.  

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3 minutes ago, penelopesimpson said:

I say this as a huge Acosta fan and love the idea of his being back in the UK and working with a ballet company, but is this really such a great idea?  He will surely be tempted into choreography which is definitely NOT his forte.  I worry about what he is actually going to do and would hate him to fail.  

 

I hope he will be persuaded that the AD job is just that and not a choreographers job too.  He has got a fantastic team behind him at BRB and with the David Bintley Fund having just been established hopefully DB will also still be around in an advisory capacity.

 

From the amount of publicity his appointment has already achieved it's fantastic that the company profile must surely be raised even higher.

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The announcement was even on the BBC news teletext (or whatever it is called in new money) last night. I don't think there has every been a ballet item on the general news section before.

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Meanwhile it’s well down the list of priorities on the reliably awful BBC News Entertainment & Arts page :(

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There's a more extensive interview with Carlos in the NY Times (see Today's Links), but here in a nutshell is what he had to say about how he will approach the role:

 

"My ambition is to build on its classical traditions, expand its repertoire, and to reach out to new and more diverse audiences.  I want to define what it is being a world-leading classical ballet company in the 21st century."

 

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I agree that his choreography is a possible issue, but he will have far bigger issues and challenges. I’m glad he’s name checked Ashton and MacMillan, and he’s right to look at those choreographers which are new and homegrown talent too. Good to see the pointer to women in dance. If he gets all of this done, then why not let him try a crowd pleaser one-act work (heavens that’s come over very patronising- sorry!)  which he can do well ...I didn’t like his Carmen although Tierney Heap was amazing in the role and almost saved it, but it just wasn’t right for the RB nor Covent Garden. But I think he learnt a lot from the experience.

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He might do very well do better as a choreographer for a smaller company, in fact. Though I liked his Carmen.

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Funnily enough if I’d seen his Carmen done by his own company or Rambert or NB in a venue the size of Sadlers Wells I would have cut him far more slack. It just didn’t work for me in the context of RB and Covent Garden.

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Well you never know he may have a masterpiece in him yet ...hopefully! Though I don't  mind his Don Q. 

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I actually want him be an artistic leader with a vision of where he wants to take BRB over the next 5 - 10 years (good start made with his statement) and, just as importantly, a good manager of people, one who really nurtures his dancers (a more difficult aspect of a Director's role). If he has time to fit in a bit of choreography as well, then so be it; but he should 'get his feet under the table' for a bit before he diverts himself from his main role.

 

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6 hours ago, Sim said:

There's a more extensive interview with Carlos in the NY Times (see Today's Links), but here in a nutshell is what he had to say about how he will approach the role:

 

"My ambition is to build on its classical traditions, expand its repertoire, and to reach out to new and more diverse audiences.  I want to define what it is being a world-leading classical ballet company in the 21st century."

 

That has a worrying ring of Open-Up speak about it.

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1 hour ago, penelopesimpson said:

That has a worrying ring of Open-Up speak about it

I see it more as just stating the obvious; after all, what new Director could  declare "I want to demolish this Company's classical traditions, limit its repertoire and restrict the audience to a certain type of person"?

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12 minutes ago, Richard LH said:

I see it more as just stating the obvious; after all, what new Director could  declare "I want to demolish this Company's classical traditions, limit its repertoire and restrict the audience to a certain type of person"?

 

 

I will be very interested to see if he keeps the Royal Ballet Sinfonia at its current size and level.  If he decides to shrink it I think that will be a great loss to ballet in general.

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4 hours ago, Two Pigeons said:

I will be very interested to see if he keeps the Royal Ballet Sinfonia at its current size and level.  If he decides to shrink it I think that will be a great loss to ballet in general.

 

 That call may not be one for Acosta to make.

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I have just read the New York Times piece in Dance Links  -interesting in itself that this paper gave the appointment fairly lengthy coverage. Their report is based on several telephone conversations rather than the press release that most of the media have gone with. If you haven't read it,  it's worth doing so as it sheds a little more light on his potential plans. Interesting snippets are his casual dismissal of likely cuts to funding and not ruling out performing in more contemporary roles  ( surely a money spinner!).

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Sorry, I love Carlos, but this appointment of a famous name seems geared to generating as much publicity for BRB as possible. I know there were far more qualified applicants but sadly nowhere near as well known. He’s probably only second to Darcey in terms of being a household name and international star....

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32 minutes ago, tabitha said:

Sorry, I love Carlos, but this appointment of a famous name seems geared to generating as much publicity for BRB as possible. I know there were far more qualified applicants but sadly nowhere near as well known. He’s probably only second to Darcey in terms of being a household name and international star....

 

How do you know who the other applicants were?

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