The Ballet Herald: ‘The Professional Ballet Community Adapts in a Pandemic World’
February 2nd, 2021
As we are pretty much at the one year mark for which the world was turned upside down, I got to wondering how artistic leadership and dancers of professional ballet companies around the world would reflect upon the months past and their thoughts about the ones to come.
Thus the following questions came to mind:
How have the events of the past year influenced how directors, teachers, choreographers, and dancers approach their jobs?
Although we all wish we had an eight ball, we know the future is unforeseeable. That being said, relative to the ballet industry, what predictions can we make for 2021?
Without really knowing how receptive people would be to opening up, I decided to contact those I know personally in the professional ballet field as well as others who could help me extend the reach even further to see if I could gather some answers to my questions.
So what did I learn?
First and foremost, that it is so important for artists to project their voices so that the world knows and feels how the salvation of ballet is not just about saving an integral part of our culture, but preserving the passions that create the energy we feel when at the theatre.
Also, that the professional ballet community is resilient and stronger than ever with a renewed, overriding sense of gratitude for the professions they have, patience with themselves as they adjust and learn, and reflection about the gifts they have been blessed with to give. Many view this moment in time as perhaps a renaissance for ballet, an opportunity to innovate, refresh, or evolve from some of the more traditional ways.
And last but not least, that although I have known this for a long time due to the decades I have spent as a ballet student, professional dancer, educator, studio director, and now editor of a platform specialized in the art, these opinions confirm that creators are a special breed – one that thrives on diversity, discipline, determination, and dedication to the process and final product.
And now without further ado, I present to you the voices of dozens of artists that represent the world of ballet that we love so much. They are
- Artistic Directors from national and regional ballet companies who strive to balance the art and administration;
- Ballet Masters that serve as the bridge between choreographers and dancers;
- Choreographers associated with companies as well as freelancers;
- Dancers at varying stages of their careers;
- Educators at ballet schools and universities;
- Entrepreneurs who have used their passion and expertise in ballet to venture into their own business;
- Executive Directors responsible for steering their companies in a positive direction;
- Musical Directors for orchestras dedicated to ballet companies.
To borrow from the title of Miranda July’s 2005 film, they are Me and You and Everyone We Know. Read the full article.