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capybara

Royal Ballet Promotions Predictions 2019

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Posted (edited)
34 minutes ago, alison said:

Heaven forbid that any AD *should* fill vacancies "just because they're there" - that risks not only blocking promotions for more promising dancers later on, but also means you may get a subpar dancer at [rank] level. Not to mention that it might, for example, be more appropriate at any given time to devote the resources to creating more Soloists, say, than First Soloists.

 

Indeed - we have all seen certain dancers spend several years as Soloists or First Soloists (the highest rank they reach before eventual retirement) who do not fulfill their early promise at that level, but because they are now occupying the position (which seems to me to be a "jobs for life" scenario") are effectively blocking it from being available for a dancer who is now better than them to be promoted into.  Were I in charge, this might inform extreme caution as to who I were to choose to promote when vacancies arise.

 

Looking at the company's current personnel following the natural attrition of the past few years, I would say there are few if any dancers who are at a higher rank than they should be.  That's a great position for the company to be in, and one worth maintaining.

Edited by RuthE
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Is it really a 'jobs for life' scenario? I remember, for example, Fiona Chadwick having to leave when she was still at the height of her powers. I had assumed that dancers were on annual contracts, but maybe that's not the case.

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15 hours ago, FLOSS said:

Kevin has three vacancies at First Soloist created by the retirement of Kobayashi and Crawford,and Sambe's promotion .

Assuming that there are two promotions to First Soloist then Kevin will have three soloist vacancies to fill as Emma Maguire who retired earlier in the season has not been replaced. As

 

I don't want to take anything away from FLOSS's interesting musings but I am wondering why a number of posters seem to suggest that there is a quota within each RB rank.

The primary determinants are surely: a) talent; b) potential; c) the Company's artistic needs going forward; d) 'reward' for services rendered; and e) budgetary constraint.

 

 

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11 hours ago, bridiem said:

Is it really a 'jobs for life' scenario? I remember, for example, Fiona Chadwick having to leave when she was still at the height of her powers. I had assumed that dancers were on annual contracts, but maybe that's not the case.

 

That was 25 years ago, though.  "Jobs for life" may be overstating it, but unless things have changed since 2001 RB dancers can't be demoted, certainly.

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Posted (edited)
36 minutes ago, alison said:

 

That was 25 years ago, though.  "Jobs for life" may be overstating it, but unless things have changed since 2001 RB dancers can't be demoted, certainly.

 

Sorry, not sure of the relevance of 2001 - were new employment terms introduced after the re-opening of the ROH? I wouldn't expect that dancers could be demoted (now or in the past); but I would have thought their contracts could not be renewed (as has clearly been the case in the past).

Edited by bridiem

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Ross Stretton's directorship.

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An interesting post from @FLOSS

 

I agree that apart from Sambe, I don't see any other principal promotions this year. Would imagine for the females, the next contenders would be O'Sullivan/Kaneko/Magri potentially next year, but equally as Alison has said I wouldn't want promotions for the sake of it and filling 'numbers', and people should only be promoted when they are at that talent level. 

 

This then moves onto the interesting discussion of are RB dancers continually monitored each year to check they are on the 'right' level from a downwards movement perspective, not just in terms of promotions? I agree that is highly unlikely that a dancer would get demoted (surely at least if KOH etc were considering this they may be given ample warning, facilitating the time to find a role in another company to save some potential embarrassment) and it would be incredibly demoralising not just for the dancer in question but for others in the company. To be constantly 'in fear' of losing a job is not a positive environment that many would want to work in, so I imagine demotions to be near impossible now, and something drastic would have to happen to the dancer/quality of their dancing for this to be even considered. Having said that, there comes the question of balance and whilst in an ideal world no one should be 'blocking' another's opportunities, I can imagine it is a bit of a numbers game as there isn't infinite budget to promote everyone who may be worthy and timings of retirement etc may not align, so in practice I imagine there is a bit of 'blocking' going on. (Although I agree with Ruth that I don't really think that anyone is dancing at a rank they shouldn't be!) 

 

Furthermore, I doubt anyone wants to see a company which is 'top heavy' and therefore diminishes the status etc of having reached a certain rank. But similarly, if a dancer is clearly not performing at a certain level, I do think something should be done (not necessarily a demotion, perhaps extra training/physio if someone has an injury, it should only be laziness and true lack of wanting to improve that should lead to a demotion, which in essence may be the same as asking someone to leave the company, meaning no one really gets 'demoted' per se). 

 

Regarding Capybara's point re a 'quota' for each level, I imagine that there is one surely because of budget, and because you wouldn't want more principals than first soloists for example. Unfortunately while I think there is vast talent throughout all ranks of the RB, not everyone is at principal/soloist or ever will be (in the RB at least) and that's just a fact of life. I don't think anyone should be promoted as a 'reward' for long service, they should only be promoted if they have demonstrated the appropriate talent for the next rank (which isn't mutually exclusive to being rewarded). I also don't think anyone should be promoted on 'potential' - whilst this may link to talent, I think a dancer must have proved themselves to be promoted. For example someone like Anna Rose O'Sullivan has great potential - but should she be promoted to principal just because she has this and is dancing some principal roles next season? In my opinion no, once she has 'proved' herself in those roles at a principal level only then a promotion should be considered. (Capybara I don't think you were saying someone should be promoted on potential alone, I take your comment to mean that potential is just one thing that should be considered). 

 

To go back to the 'promotion prediction' element of this thread:

- Anna Rose O'Sullivan to First Soloist (surely this is almost a given with her dancing Aurora/Swanhilda) 

- Romany Pajdak to Soloist - surely this too is given, considering her appearance in the Fonteyn gala, her work in La Bayadere and other appearances throughout the year 

- Reece Clark to First Soloist (less sure on this one, but he deserves it. Unfortunately his injuries this season may mean he doesn't 'make the cut' this year however). 

- David Yudes to Soloist - he was Kolia in A month in the Country and has been in various other roles at soloist level throughout the year 

 

There may be some I have missed as I'm not an avid a ballet-goer as some on here, but these are the ones that seem likely to get promoted (and deservedly so) in my view. I don't think any more than 5 promotions should/would happen (including Sambe plus the four above) but I have no idea how this actually works and what the 'rules' are so I may be totally wrong.

 

Best of luck to all the dancers anyway, I hope they are enjoying Japan and their Summer break! I've also realised this post is much longer than I intended so thanks to those who read it all! 

 

 

 

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As an aside (sorry if this is too far off topic) what happens to dancers when they retire? Do they get a pension or do they have to go off and find other work (perhaps as a dance teacher etc). I always think with dancers/athletes that whilst it must be a fabulous job to genuinely do what you love, knowing that you only have a certain number of years relative to other jobs means that being able to financially support yourself once you are no longer at your dancing peak/able to dance must be so difficult, especially for those who aren't principal level or well known. Must be a big sacrifice on one level and this makes me all the more appreciative of the work that the corps/artists do. 

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RB dancers used, I believe, to be able to claim something at, or soon after, their retirement. This does not apply any longer` and pensions 'kick in' much later on, apparently.

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Last I heard, dancers, like footballers, were allowed to draw a pension at 35.  The practicalities, however, mean that most dancers won't have earned the sort of money by then which would really make drawing a pension feasible.

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On ‎22‎/‎06‎/‎2019 at 21:50, JNC said:

- Romany Pajdak to Soloist - surely this too is given, considering her appearance in the Fonteyn gala, her work in La Bayadere and other appearances throughout the year 

 

Really? Romany Pajdak has been dancing significant featured roles for several years, is a terrific actress, and for four or five years now I've been expecting/hoping that a promotion to Soloist will be announced, to the point that I've pretty much given up on it ever happening.  I'd be delighted if it happened.

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3 minutes ago, RuthE said:

 

Really? Romany Pajdak has been dancing significant featured roles for several years, is a terrific actress, and for four or five years now I've been expecting/hoping that a promotion to Soloist will be announced, to the point that I've pretty much given up on it ever happening.  I'd be delighted if it happened.

 

I agree - it’s one of the enduring mysteries!

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Judging from what I've just seen in Japan, Mayara Magri is now right up there as a potential Principal, with Fumi Kaneko not far behind.  Interesting to see what will happen. 

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I would put it the other way round....Fumi is almost ready with Mayara following behind!   Very different dancers, but I think (and hope) they will both go all the way!  

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6 hours ago, RuthE said:

 

Really? Romany Pajdak has been dancing significant featured roles for several years, is a terrific actress, and for four or five years now I've been expecting/hoping that a promotion to Soloist will be announced, to the point that I've pretty much given up on it ever happening.  I'd be delighted if it happened.

 

Oh that's interesting Ruth! Sorry I haven't been following RB as long as others have on here! But I still think it's likely (or at least hope it is) - she was the only one below First Soloist level to be given a big part in the gala (aside from O'Sullivan, but she was replacing Morera last minute, and also looks to be promoted to First Soloist this year anyway perhaps). 

 

I really do hope it does happen, she deserves it and certainly can dance at a Soloist level no problem so it would be odd if someone else was to be promoted 'instead'. 

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11 hours ago, JennyTaylor said:

Judging from what I've just seen in Japan, Mayara Magri is now right up there as a potential Principal, with Fumi Kaneko not far behind.  Interesting to see what will happen. 

I totally agree Mayara is wonderful and long before she was in the company I felt she would one day rise to the very top. i Love her ability to radiate a real joy when she dances.

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When do the promotions get announced?

 

Regarding ‘jobs for life’ from what I see I’d say RB management are doing a better job of managing retirements/moving on these days.  I note the arts management courses that Nehemiah Kish and Federico Bonelli are taking up.  

 

Although I’m now going to negate that statement, in that I can’t understand why Alexander Campbell wasn’t scheduled to dance either Romeo, Mercutio or even Tybalt in the recent run of R&J - it’s not like he had something else on (guesting elsewhere or whatever) at the time.  Hmmm. Seems a waste of a principal and of his dance career.  We know he’s going to make an excellent presenter and/or manager later on.  But a dancer needs to dance while they still can - such a short time to perform.  

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45 minutes ago, FionaE said:

 

When do the promotions get announced?

 

 

I suspect it will be after the foreign tours have finished.

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My predictions are Mayara Magri to Principal,

Anna Rose O Sullivan and Reece Clarke to First soloist,

Romany Pajdak and Joseph Sissens to Soloist,

Lukas Braenstrod and Sae Maeda to First Artist

Yu Hang to artist.

 

This is probably just my wish list!

 

 

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On 29/06/2019 at 14:17, Jan McNulty said:

 

I suspect it will be after the foreign tours have finished.

When is that?

 

On an aside, it would be nice if they toured the UK occasionally!

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42 minutes ago, taxi4ballet said:

When is that?

 

They have "done" Japan, and finish in LA on Saturday (13th). So hopefully  the announcement will be next week. 

Edited by Richard LH

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I think that some RB promotees have known for a while and are finding it harder by the day to keep the lid on their excitement.

I have only seen/heard of one social media leak this year (by a dancer's relative) and that was taken down very quickly.

 

Kevin O'Hare also has the casting for the winter booking period to finalise before the end of this month!!!!

 

[ENB has promotions 'in the air' too but, as recently as last week, some dancers had not had their 'annual' meetings.]

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Since the promotions have now been announced (see posting immediately above), I'm locking this thread.

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