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Angela

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  1. There is a huge audience for classical ballet at Berlin, LinMM, and on the other hand an audience for very modern, contemporary dance or dance theatre. The newspapers played an important role in edging Vladimir Malakhov out in 2013/14 because in their opinion he invited not enough modern choreographers to the company, because he showed too many "old story ballets" like Esmeralda or Sylvia. They wanted someone more modern and got Nacho Duato who made nobody happy, not the classical audience nor the contemporary audience. The prevailing opinion with the critics still is that Berlin needs a company which can do both, the classics and spectacular new works - which in the Berlin case means contemporary dance, not modern ballet in the style of Ratmansky, Wheeldon, Peck, van Manen, Schläpfer. Yes, they liked the Ratmansky Bayadere, but sometimes I'm afraid there is no appreciation at Berlin for what it means to have a classical repertoire, to have fine classical dancers, but that the only important thing for politicians and critics is the aspect of being new. By the way: Eric Gauthier's smaller company from Stuttgart had a huge success two weeks ago when they were guesting at Berlin with a bill of modern ballet from Forsythe to Naharin. I'm sure Gauthier is a name they consider, too.
  2. Yes he is, and he directed Vienna State Ballet for 10 years, very successfully. He is definitely on the classical side - way too classical for what the Berlin newspapers now imagine for their town, I fear. José Carlos Martinez has no job at the moment - he did both, classical and contemporary, at the Compania Nacional de Danza in Spain. He comissioned that great "Carmen" by Johan Inger, for example. I think he could be what Berlin looks for...
  3. I'm not sure the new co-director wants to be a mere assistant to Waltz. And I'm not sure if having his fingers in many pies is enough qualification to save this dead-end situation.
  4. The name-dropping has started in some newspapers. I just list the names that were mentioned: Adolphe Binder, former dance director of the Comical Opera at Berlin, then Göteburg, then Wuppertal Bettina Wagner-Bergelt, former Assistant Director at Munich Ballet, now at Wuppertal Tamara Rojo (who won't be so ill-advised to leave her glorious company in London to come to Berlin) Benjamin Millepied Manuel Legris Christian Spuck, director at Zurich Paul Chalmer, former director at Leipzig Ballet Thiago Bordin, former Hamburg dancer, sometimes choreographer Filip Barankiewicz, director at Prague Ballet, former principal at Stuttgart Ballet
  5. Capybara, this decision is totally up to the town of Berlin, not to the state of Germany. It's a system called "Kulturhoheit der Länder" (cultural sovereignty of the federal states) which gives the federal states like Northrhine-Westphalia or Bavaria total control of cultural matters, from education, universities to theatres, museums, libraries, broadcasting, television. The so called State Theatres are subsidised by the federal state or by the federal state and the town, smaller theatres are subsidised by the towns alone. Sometimes it is the culture secretary or minister who decides alone about the appointment of theatre directors, sometimes they convoke a panel or commission to decide, normally made up of experienced/retired theatre people or also critics. The state of Germany has no influence on these decisions, not even at Berlin. The huge town of Berlin is also a federal state, the decision about the next ballet director will be made by Klaus Lederer, the Senator for Culture and Europe (at Berlin or Hamburg, they have senators instead of secretaries).
  6. https://www.staatsballett-berlin.de/en/newsletter/272/ this is the new press release
  7. A little bit of news from Berlin: In a press conference this morning, Sasha Waltz stated that, differently than published in the press release by the company last week, she is not really out at State Ballet - she needs time to think if she will leave also when Öhman leaves. If Waltz stays, she wants someone with "classical expertise" beside her, but she also thinks that you can't pull someone like that "out of the hat". So instead of looking for a new director to consolidate the company, the confidence of the dancers and the doubts of the Berlin audience, the politicians at Berlin will now wait patiently until Waltz decides what to do. Maybe someone with classical expertise will show up to take the hot seat beside her... 🍿 Öhman's new job at Stockholm is due to begin already in March 2020, so he seems to have two jobs from then on until December 2020.
  8. Yes, but only very recently, as it went through all courts to the Federal Court. She should be given her job back, but I guess it could be settled by a money payment, if Binder accepts. At the moment, she has no job.
  9. Floss, you are right: In German theatres, a new AD can replace the dancers (singers, actors - but not musicians) for artistic reasons. This should give him the chance to work on his ideas with the artists he prefers. It often happens in the playhouses or with smaller dance companies in town theatres, if they change, for example, from modern ballet to contemporary dance theatre. But not with the big ballet companies, where rarely more than third of the dancers, mostly less are replaced or leave on their own will. There was change at Berlin when Öhman came, but if I remember correctly, he kept most of the principals and soloists. Zelensky did not keep Ratmansky's Paquita at Munich because he did not like the production. But at Berlin, for example, Duato had thrown out the reconstructed Nutcracker and replaced it by his own version - after he left, Öhman reinstated the reconstruction. Who knows if we will see Ratmansky's Paquita again one day (I heard that Boston Ballet wanted to buy the production). There is a change of repertoire when an new AD comes to a German ballet company, but not so huge, normally the new ADs keep most of the productions. There are exceptions, at Ballet on the Rhine for example, where Martin Schläpfer started from scratch with his own works after he succeeded Youri Vamos. On the other hand, Munich (from Liska to Zelensky) or Stuttgart (from Anderson to Detrich) had a very small change of repertoire. The problem at Berlin (Duato to Öhman/Waltz) was that the dancers feared for the classical repertoire with contemporary choreographer Sasha Waltz as director, they thought it would be completely gone soon. That did not happen, Öhman just invited more very modern choreographers. The town of Berlin, I'm sure, will want to keep a classical ballet company, but of course with a modern vision. Whatever politicians think what that means. Next to Adolphe Binder the name of Bettina Wagner-Bergelt was mentioned in some papers, now director at Tanztheater Wuppertal and before that Assistant Director at Bavarian State Ballet, where she left because she did not get along with Zelensky (as, it turns out, rather few people do). Christian Spuck was also mentioned, AD at Zurich Ballet. It is likely that Christiane Theobald, Assistant AD/Company Manager, might become some kind of interim solution because it should be difficult to find a competent director until the end of this year.
  10. They just started their joint direction in August 219, and now both Sasha Waltz and Johannes Öhman will leave Berlin State Ballet at the end of 2020, as they just announced. Öhman has accepted the position of Artistic and Managing Director at the Dansenhus in his hometown Stockholm. Sasha Waltz then decided to leave also and concentrate fully on her artistic work as a choreographer. Öhman started as director in 2018, after Nacho Duato had left prematurely, Waltz joined him in 2019 as co-director. At the moment, Berlin is shocked. The list of possible successors might include Manuel Legris, who leaves Vienna in summer, or Adolphe Binder, who already directed the Ballet of the Komische Oper Berlin some decades ago. German Press release here
  11. After half a year with the company, 19 year old Gabriel Figueredo of Prix de Lausanne fame is cast as Prince Desiré at Stuttgart Ballet at 26. and 31. January. He'll be dancing with Diana Ionescu, who was a Prix de Lausanne winner in 2017.
  12. Tickets are reserved until two weeks before the performance - the tickets for 29th that have not been paid will be sold on Monday, 16th at 10 CET - start dialing the phone number one minute before 10 and keep your computer at hand to try it online, too. It will be hard! They normally don't take tickets back (I'd ask if you are from abroad), but if you are at the matinee, just come back one hour later and sell your ticket at the theatre. The demand for tickets is high. It's very beautiful production by the way, you can watch both performances without getting bored :-))
  13. No ballet in the desert, please stay!!! 😘
  14. Ecriveur, I think the "labels", as you call it, are directly from Tschaikovsky's partitura. He is a composer, not a choreographer; I guess he had a scenario or libretto, by which he worked in 1876/77, and he wrote titles over the parts he composed. I know that later, when he worked with Petipa in St. Petersburg, he was given exact instructions what scenes or forms he had to compose, but I don't know how it was for Swan Lake which premiered in Moscow and was Tschaikovsky's first ballet, so he had no experience. I don't think you should take these "labels" as a choreographic instruction, they are Tchaikovsky's attempt to put some kind of order in his partitura, to follow the scenario he was given. I think the book "Tchaikovsky's Ballets" by Robert John Wiley might help in this regard, and check Petipa's memoires, you'll find more about the choreographic nomenclature there. I don't think there is a book which outlines how to call a scene or a form in a ballet, the labels were made by tradition and conventions.
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