Jump to content

Cathy Marston to leave Bern:Ballett in Summer 2013


Recommended Posts

News that choreographer Cathy Marston is to leave her post as Director of Bern:Ballett next year has been announced this morning. The Press Release is on DanceTabs, here:

 

http://www.dancetabs...tt/#comment-398

 

The announcement comes after the appointment of a new Intendant at the Stadttheater and, I believe, some planned reorganisation there, and the statements by Herr Märki and Cathy make it fairly clear that they cannot see eye-to-eye on the future.

 

Cathy's directorship was marked early on by her leading a campaign for the company's future which, had it failed, would have seen the company dissolved this year to meet budgetary constraints. I have no idea what may now happen, but that campaign had secured funding until 2016. Her term will have seen numerous outside commissions, including new works from names like Andrea Miller and Didy Veldman, plus a number of significant new ballets of her own. (I will remember particularly her first-season "Firebird" and then her superb "Julia und Romeo," and regret that I will probably not now see her "Wintersnachtstraum" from late last year.) And the reputation established by her earned the company its first overseas invitations to London in 2009, 2011, and again next Spring.

 

Her departure next year will make available a Director with proven choreographic talent and hard-won administrative experience. I feel sure that a suitable appointment somewhere will emerge to take advantage of both and, above all, I wish her well for the future.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If your German is up to it, or you want to try Google Translate, Stephan Märki, the new Intendant in Bern has been talking to the Berner Zeitung:

 

http://www.bernerzeitung.ch/kultur/theater/KonzertTheaterBern-plant-Zukunft-ohne-TanzChefin-Marston/story/24563987

 

From what I can tell, he considers Cathy as insufficiently daring or experimental, something that might raise a few eyebrows back here - and I suspect it means he does not care greatly for narrative dance, something that means a very great deal to Cathy. (Herr Märki is presently sharing the Intendant position at the theatre, where the name has formally changed to Konzerttheater, presumably reflecting the amalgamation of the Bern Symphony Orchestra into the existing structure of Opera, Ballet, and Musical Theatre. He takes over as the sole Intendant later this summer, and is clearly clearing the decks for the future.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here's another article in the Swiss newspaper Der Bund, stating that the new Intendant Märki wishes "more courage" for the dance company at Bern, and that it should be different to what ballet and dance companies in Zürich and Basel have to offer. He wants to keep a company of 12 dancers at least.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Before he came to Bern, Märki was Intendant of the Deutsches Nationaltheater Weimar, where he had to close the dance company in 2000, directed then by Ismael Ivo, due to a huge financial crisis of the whole theatre. During Märki's tenure there, the Weimar theatre did not have a dance company, but now for his last season there will be a new, small dance festival in May, directed by a dancer of Ivo's former company.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Angela:

 

From your perspective over there, can you comment on Herr Märki's remark that the Bern company must be differentiated from those in Zurich and Basel? I have little knowledge of the Basel situation, but the Zurich company is very considerably bigger than that in Bern and dances a repertoire to match, and I would not have thought of them as very similar in nature or approach at all.

 

Also, his remarks about 'festivals' seem a little opaque, and make me wonder if the Bern dance audience should expect to see more work brought in from outside after 2013, with a parallel reduction in domestic output?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

the Zurich company is very considerably bigger than that in Bern and dances a repertoire to match, and I would not have thought of them as very similar in nature or approach at all.

 

Me neither, considering the fact that Spoerli made classical ballet until now at Zürich. However, the situation will change from next season on, when former Stuttgarter resident choreographer Christian Spuck will follow Spoerli - his style is modern ballet, not as classical as Spoerli. He will also show pieces by Stephan Thoss (German Ausdruckstanz) and Forsythe.

In Basel they have Richard Wherlock with his own works and ballets by Kylian, Preljocaj, Bigonzetti, Johan Inger - modern ballet in the continental style, if you could say so. So to differentiate from those two cities, you would either have to do pure classical ballet or switch to contemporary dance. I fear it's the contemporary that Märki prefers.

 

Also, his remarks about 'festivals' seem a little opaque, and make me wonder if the Bern dance audience should expect to see more work brought in from outside after 2013, with a parallel reduction in domestic output?

My fear too - "eine Anbindung an Tanzfestivals" means "an attachment to dance festivals". I'm pretty sure he has already the name of a choreographer or "Kurator" in mind, as they say now here for the people who direct festivals and invite companies. I don't think he wants to kill the ballet at Bern, but I'm sure he has a very different idea of dance, much more modern.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cathy was taught by the same school and teachers my DDs went to. They are very proud of her and I wish her well for her future. It would be nice if she could come back to the UK.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...