Memorial Day weekend , because
the production we are doing mandated a
larger venue. To do justice to the work—
it is Sir Frederick Ashton’s The Dream,
Antony Tudor’s Jardin aux Lilas and a
world premiere we will announce in the
coming weeks—you need a larger house.
Will you tour?
Yes. There is a balance in price tag. In
order to tour successfully, you have to
have a product to tour successfully. You
have to put together a program that you
dance beautifully, is appealing and will
be a reflection and a statement: This is
The Washington Ballet, this is how we
dance, and it is at this level.
We also have a school with a 75-year
reputation. [Part of my goal is] developing the presence nationally and
internationally of our school—as far as
summer programs abroad and making
Washington Ballet the place that young
dancers know that they can come and
train and be developed and encouraged and positioned for a successful life,
whether it’s in dance or in other artistic
endeavors or in boardrooms, embas-sies, businesses, finance, medicine. The
discipline, the love, the effort, the time
investment, the care, the desire to succeed and all those things you learn and
are part of your mantra as a dancer, you
can apply to another pursuit.
How do you integrate the ballet with
the rest of the city?
Something very core to our mission is
digging deeper roots in our D.C. community and allowing arts education be
a part of all education. That’s why our
program at THEARC [the Town Hall
Education Arts Recreation Campus in
the District’s Anacostia neighborhood]
is so crucial. It’s not leaving behind
anyone—it’s extending in two directions, and everyone can feel a part and
invested in the whole spectrum of what
this company represents.
Jumping to the change in repertoire. Tell
me how you’re choosing your pieces.
Where I’m picking repertoire speaks to
the beginning of the pursuit. You have
to have the foundation of understanding. The dancer has to understand that
if we want to perform Sir Frederick Ashton’s Cinderella, you have to know how
to dance Ashton. So you dance first his
master works: The Dream. I want to bring
in Symphonic Variations, which Ashton
considered his finest piece. These small
ballets teach the dancer, and teach the
audience, and give a clear indication of
where you want to go. You start this mission of connecting dots. You take the
audience and the dancers on a journey
and you help them understand why is this
a masterwork. So you are building something. It’s connective tissue in all our arts.
In this city we have excellence across the
board in all our arts and music, and dance
should be right in there. n
Writer Sarah Wildman can found at
sarahwildman.com. To comment on this
story, email comments@bethesda