If you’d like a tour of the “Collaboration Station” follow me.
When one enters the Artistic Office he or she will pass Peter Christie’s area. As you already know Peter is the Academy Director and Director of Educational Programs. Almost every inch of his space is filled with work materials but he also has to keep some open space for meetings with teachers, parents, students and business associates. When the new space is complete Peter will have an actual office of his own.
From Peter’s area one can walk south to the “Collaboration Station”. Today Principal Ballet Mistress Pamela Robinson-Harris and Company and Tour Manager Nick Mullikin spent the better part of the day putting together preliminary casting and day to day schedules for the first rehearsal period. Artistic Director Adam Sklute was in and out of this process because he has to give guidance and approval before any of it is released. Doing schedules is a huge puzzle because there are so many variables. In the first weeks of work for the 08-09 season which will begin with Ballet West II on August 11th, the Ballet West For Children show will have to be put together. Seven of the ten Ballet West II dancers will be new to the organization this season and might have never seen the show. The workshop phase of INNOVATIONS will begin. Six choreographers from Ballet West will given about four and a half hours with Ballet West II dancers to get approximately three mintues of choreography set. These six pieces will be shown at the Rose Wagner Theatre on Sept 8th as part of “Curtain Up”. Artistic Director Adam Sklute will then choose three peices which he thinks will make the best program for INNOVATIONS at the end of our season and those works will be expanded for the performances. Ballet West II will have a new work created for them to perform on the Gala Nov. 1. Pam and Nick will also fit in some time for me to stage another ballet for Ballet West II to be performed later in the season and if that is not enough some Nutcracker rehearsals will be scheduled too!
Pamela Robinson-Harris and Nick Mullikin
Other business attended to today included (and I am only giving you a small sampling) : a casting/costume consultation with wardrobe about Ballet West For Children, communication with Maggie Wright about Ballet West II schedules, email or phone conversations with Virginia Johnson, Evelyn Cisneros and Kirk Peterson about “The Tempest”, Maria Calegari about “Chaccone”, Georgina Parkinson about “Les Biches”, the Fokine Estate/Archive about “Polovtsian Dances from Prince Igor”, and Keith Roberts about Twyla Tharp’s “Brief Fling”. If scheduling is not difficult enough with so many repetiteurs coming to stage so many new works, Nick and Pam had to decide how to get the most of our time – getting the right dancers into the most beneficial rehearsals and figuring fittings and photo calls in too! Thank God they’re really good at this!
At the southern most point of the Collaboration Station is the Artistic Director’s office. Though Adam Sklute has been with Ballet West for more than a year he is only now getting a chance to make his office his own. It’s still in progress so I hope he doesn’t mind the picture I am posting (from my iPhone).
Artistic Director Adam Sklute in conference with John A. Roake, Denise Begue, Melanie Gladding and Ashlee K, Christofferson.