Thanks to Haglund'eeler "B" for dropping this video on our doorstep. It's an interview with Irina Dvorovenko and Max Beloserkovsky from last fall that hasn't been seen by many people. When the interviewer, Jolinda Menendez (former ABT soloist), asked at the 14:30 minute mark how Irina and Max thought ABT had changed since they joined, they jumped right into the guest artist situation and the adverse effects on the company's dancers. They talked three minutes on the subject.
It sounds like they have confirmed that the sidelining of our own gifted dancers and the importing of the junk from oversees was ABT's brilliant idea of a business marketing solution for the declining audience with no regard for the artistic consequences. But what Koch, Kramer, Sosnoff, Barth, Brinn, Patrick and the others on ABT's board seem to have forgotten is the elementary never-ever-ever-wrong business principle:
The fish rots from the head down.
So now what are they gonna do? They've steered ABT into a much worse position than before, but they're all too proud to admit they've made a tragic mistake. Donations are down 32% Attendance is an embarrassment this season - they aren't even close to selling out Osipova & Vasiliev's SATURDAY NIGHT Don Quixote. ABT is giving away tickets left and right. Onegin was on TDF for over a month.
So what are they gonna do? How about facing the reality that when you piss off your core customers and alienate them, the other customers also lose interest in your product? How about not using the struggling economy as an excuse and face up to the reality that the rotting artistic fish head needs to be lopped off? How about the board of directors hire Stiefel, Bocca, Corella, or Max & Irina as the new artistic director and then get the F– out of artistic decisions?
Advance to the 14:30 mark.If Irina and Max have been as vocal inside ABT as they have been outside about the despicable importing practice, then maybe that explains a little bit why they haven't had many performances in the past few years.