Ah, this is a year of transition for me. I appointed two new assistant artistic directors, a new staging director for act one party scene and renewed friendships with my NYCB colleagues. All of which are bearing fruit.
Having said that, change is very difficult for me. It is amazing to me that I have lasted this long in my business - one that is fraught with change and the conflict that sometimes accompany it. I feel it has made me into a stronger woman and director and a kinder, more understanding person as time passes. The day to day decisions of casting, recasting (when there is illness or injury), costume choices and choreography that highlights dancers’ attributes, imperfect venues causing restaging, class placement readjustments and staff juggling keep me up at night, especially at this time of year.
This is, and has been, my life. These are things my mentors never discussed with me but ones that I do discuss with NYCB colleagues and others. My hope is to pass my lessons learned on to my new assistant artistic directors: Melissa Barr and Richard Gatta (former graduates of Myers and Company members) and my new Staging director: Bruce Williams. They have all been dancers in our production for many seasons as well. So on top of the regular fall season, I realize that I have added this new additional time and energy demands to the mix.
As always, my first priority is to produce the best Nutcracker production I can for the audiences of Proctors Theatre, SPAC TEAS and Melodies /CBS. That is always the goal of the Fall Season. This includes, but not limited to: keeping my dancers, staff and costume people healthy on all levels while being as creative and fresh with new choreography and costume ideas for the public.
As I was in observing Company Class at Boston Ballet this past week, taught by Peter Stark formerly of NYCB, I could see why many of my dancers have been accepted into their prestigious school over the years to train. I felt humbled and honored to be observing this wonderful company. It struck me that it is a funny thing we “ballet people “ do -- and we do it for as long as our bodies and minds allow us to keep going. I’m a few years older than Mr. Stark, yet we both still find true joy in the art form. Next month I will be reuniting with another NYCB colleague – Mr. Peter Frame. He will be teaching a group of my dancers a private class in the city while Mr. Gatta and I rehearse one of our Guest artist couples (Amy Gilson & Tim Silver, also returning Company dancers), in an adjoining studio space. One of the things that has sustained Northeast Ballet is the generations of families in our annual productions, this is one of my accomplishments of which I am most proud.
Looking forward to such an exciting year of new and returning talent, ideas, choreography, costumes…..many changes, but ones I am thrilled to experience and share with you in our many regional venues.