Yesterday Kevin McKenzie suggested that he made 22 hiring errors in ABT's corps de ballet by importing an average dancer from a regional company to be a new soloist at ABT instead of promoting from within the enormous wealth of talent of the corps. Haglund's Heel first reported on the acquisition several months ago when the info turned up on the UIEX. That it took so long for ABT to come clean about its latest failing is no surprise.
McKenzie's actions indicate that even though many of the corps men have been cast successfully in soloist and principal roles and have proven their abilities and worth, not ONE of them is acceptable to him to be promoted to the rank of soloist. Not Eric Tamm. Not Joe Gorak. Not Roddy Doble. Not Luis Ribagorda. Not Roman Zhurbin. Not Blaine Hoven. Nope - not one of them is as valuable as an average dancer who comes from a regional company but who has the all important, coveted exhibitionist quality that McKenzie can't seem to sell tickets without. The ballet dancer as exhibitionist is ABT's current artistic direction.
The new average dancer had better be able to pick up ABT's tallest ballerinas or there will be plenty of screaming.
And the corps guys who McKenzie claims aren't good enough – please have some respect for yourselves and get the heck out of here.