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Some familiar names moving to San Francisco


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The SF Ballet has just announced some company changes for next year, and amongst those joining and rejoining are Ulrik Birkkjaer, who joins as a Principal from the Royal Danish ballet, Madison Keesler from ENB and Solomon Golding from the RB, both to the corps de ballet. (so that's why Golding was helping Yanowsky to cut the Taglioni cake!)

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I'm sorry Madison Keesler is leaving ENB though.

is the San Francisco Company smaller than ENB? Maybe wants a chance and bigger roles....though she was chosen as one of the Giselles in the Akram Khan version.

Though perhaps she comes from California and just wants to go home?

 

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Also RBS grad (and wonderful dancer) Esteban Hernandez (brother to ENB's Issac) has been promoted to soloist.  Think it's a good move for Golding ... he'll be happy there I'm sure ... but found it interesting that Kessler - whose work at ENB I have much enjoyed - is returning to her old stamping ground at her old ranking - which must - at least on the face of it - be, at most, a lateral move.  Still, she will have access to that glorious balletic rep and it is a larger family of a company.  I'm sure she must have many friends there still.  She'll leave London with many as well.  (Wonder too in light of Brexit if visas might now be a greater difficulty for some foreign [e.g., non European] nationals.  [Plus for American ex-pats FATCA presents very particular and ever more stringent difficulties.] Certainly these strictures will - or certainly may - make way for many more indigenous opportunities.  Step up Aaron Robison - who, of course, is joining ENB from SFB.)  Also (for the few here who actively follow NYCB) the exquisite Ana Sophia Scheller joins SFB as a principal (much as she has been at NYCB since 2012).  Lucky them is all I can say.  She didn't dance at NYCB as much as she should have ... Of course, injury was responsible for a certain part of that.   May she have a long, fruitful and healthy career with the exquisite SFB.  I so look forward to seeing them again - most like when they next return to Paris. 

 

Edited by Bruce Wall
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2 hours ago, Bruce Wall said:

(Wonder too in light of Brexit if visas might now be a greater difficulty for some foreign [e.g., non European] nationals.  [Plus for American ex-pats FATCA presents very particular and ever more stringent difficulties.] 

 

Isn't Brexit likely to help non-EEA nationals on this front?  It should level the playing field, so EEA nationals are not privileged over people from the rest of the world.  FATCA shouldn't be a real problem for anyone who isn't trying to hide money from the taxman.

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From a professional POV I was surprised to read that Madison Keesler is moving as she was beginning to get more featured roles including Giselle in the Akram Khan production. However, sometimes dancers move for personal reasons and perhaps that's the case here. Whilst I admire much of what TR has done I feel that one thing that she's weak on is nurturing junior and even soloist dancers (notwithstanding the Emerging Dancer Award). The same few people tend to dance all the main roles (sometimes dancing more than one main role in a production) and it can take ages for a junior dancer to dance a featured / soloist role. Obviously, there are one or two exceptions to this eg Cesar Corrales and Rina Kanehara. Certainly on the female side, there is a bit of a gap in the middle ranks and, with a number of female principals out this season and next, the company has been stretched and has needed to bring in principals from outside. 

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4 hours ago, aileen said:

From a professional POV I was surprised to read that Madison Keesler is moving as she was beginning to get more featured roles including Giselle in the Akram Khan production. However, sometimes dancers move for personal reasons and perhaps that's the case here. Whilst I admire much of what TR has done I feel that one thing that she's weak on is nurturing junior and even soloist dancers (notwithstanding the Emerging Dancer Award). The same few people tend to dance all the main roles (sometimes dancing more than one main role in a production) and it can take ages for a junior dancer to dance a featured / soloist role. Obviously, there are one or two exceptions to this eg Cesar Corrales and Rina Kanehara. Certainly on the female side, there is a bit of a gap in the middle ranks and, with a number of female principals out this season and next, the company has been stretched and has needed to bring in principals from outside. 

 

7 hours ago, LinMM said:

I'm sorry Madison Keesler is leaving ENB though.

is the San Francisco Company smaller than ENB? Maybe wants a chance and bigger roles....though she was chosen as one of the Giselles in the Akram Khan version.

Though perhaps she comes from California and just wants to go home?

 

 

San Francisco Ballet is not smaller, it is a company of a similar size, in fact it is slightly bigger. As a corps dancer at SFB, she will not have any principal roles. There may be another factor though. Helgi Tómasson trusts his intuitions and is known to promote dancers who catch his eye in an an instant. At San Francisco Ballet the season will not start until the December-January run of "Nutcrackers", the proper season is very short, lasts three and a half months and starts in the end of January. Thus, if Miss Keesler is seen by Tómasson in the class to be the soloist level, she may be promoted to Soloist before she even steps on stage.

 

 

7 hours ago, Bruce Wall said:

Step up Aaron Robison - who, of course, is joining ENB from SFB.)

 

 

SFB this season was so severely strained in terms of man power that not seeing Robinson given any of the bigger classical parts even once was probably a signal to him about his prospects in the company. I saw him a few times, he was best in Arthur Pita's little provocation Salome, in Posokhov's less than successful Optimistic Tragedy. In Balanchine he seemed to be rather odd, displaying neither the required attack or precision.

 

 

4 hours ago, alison said:

The names that Jane mentioned aren't nearly enough to fill all the gaps indicated by the article I linked to a couple of months ago, though:

 

 

 

The company lost lots of its principals, including several key dancers. Some were retired or fired, other left the company on their own. As recently as a year ago, SFB had 4 Cuban principals, now it has none. The future of Kochetkova's relationship with SFB is uncertain, she moved to New York and commutes to San Francisco to fulfill her contractual obligations. It is not clear how much longer this can continue. Times like these are a golden opportunity for soloists, and indeed within one year all of them who were theoretically capable of being promoted were promoted one-by-one.

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6 hours ago, barton22 said:

 FATCA shouldn't be a real problem for anyone who isn't trying to hide money from the taxman.

 

A simple matter of fact, Barton22, is that it is virtually impossible for an (or certainly all but the most wealthy who can - or always seem to get around such matters) American ex-pat to open an account now in any core BRITISH bank/building society and even in international ones they are treated with ever increasing distain.  If you now look at any British form - either hard copy or on-line - you will see a question 'Are you responsible for paying tax in any country outside of the UK'.  There are only two countries on our planet which tax by nationality:  the US and Eritrea.  If you tick 'yes' - as any American MUST - the application is immediately refused for very understandable reasons given the risk to UK banks that FATCA brings.  I would suggest most of the people filling out these forms are NOT hiding money; ignoring tax.  In the US you are supposed to have 'taxation with representation'.  The problem with US ex-pats in the 33 so christened 'European' countries who have signed the FATCA agreement is that they have taxation, yes, but NO representation.  OK, they can vote for the President - but they have no senator or congressman - which are most American's REAL voice, much like a British's person's MP.  I would beg to suggest that this is - for them - an oh, so very 'real problem'.  People I know have lost jobs, have certainly lost promotions, have lost property and - in the truest sense - lost marriages/relationships over this - certainly their children have lost educational opportunities.  These people I know - taxpayers in BOTH the UK and US - I promise you Barton22 - are upstanding and fine people.  They are not criminals - and it is wrong - certainly unfair - that they should be painted - in any respect - as such.  They are simply caught up in this so called 'Catch22'.  Given that there has been such an understandable rush for American ex-pats to renounce their nationality over the last few years - entirely due to this - and so people can simply LEGALLY survive here - there is now over a two year waiting list for such at the American Embassy in London - and over three years in Dublin.  Americans without another nationality cannot renounce because they cannot make themselves stateless.  The renouncement - a so called 'inalienable right' used to be free up to a few years ago.  It now costs $2,350 - and that doesn't count any legal fees one may incur.  You'll not be surprised to learn, Barton22, that there are a goodly few who simply can't afford such and have no option but to leave if they wish to survive here legally.  In short, they can't ... or at least can't at this current moment.  Yes, there is no question but that the problem is 'real' .... I promise you ... but this is really outside of the realm of this site ... and will ONLY effect American dancers - or those who hold a green card - and choose - for whatever reason - to be resident in the UK; people like Madison Kessler, Sarah Lamb, Tristan Dyer, etc. of which there will I'm certain be progressively few as time goes on.  As I say in my main statement - the boon - because SOME good must come out of all this pain - is that more opportunities will be given to British born dancers.  I so look forward to watching them flourish.  

 

Edited by Bruce Wall
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Very interesting Bruce. There was an advertisement in last night's London Evening Standard (puzzles page I think) placed by a law firm to promote their seminars for UK residents wishing to renounce their US citizenship and I wondered why, tax issues not withstanding, it was such a fraught process - now I know.

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