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Friday, October 12, 2012

Royal Ballet Flanders: running a ballet company on 1million euros/year???

This is a translation of an article that just appeared in the Gazet van Antwerpen, in which Assis Carreiro is interviewed about her new position as artistic director:

"Assis Carreiro, the new artistic director following Kathryn Bennetts at the Royal Ballet of Flanders, talked on Thursday of the new season. "The limited budget makes it a challenge," she says.

The Flemish Government has been working on a collaboration of the Royal Ballet of Flanders and the Flemish Opera where both houses retain their artistic autonomy. Former artistic director Kathryn Bennetts wanted no part of that transition and left at the end of last season.

From this season on, the Portuguese [ed. note: she is actually Portuguese-Canadian] Assis Carreiro has taken on the artistic direction herself. She has a five-year mandate. The Royal Ballet of Flanders has a budget of one million euros per year and an additional amount of $ 100,000 until the end of 2012.

Why has she taken on the artistic direction? "I love a challenge," she smiles. "It is a wonderful ballet that is worth saving. Limited financial resources make it anything but comfortable to work with. But it's difficult times, we need simply to make do with what we have," she says combatively"

One million euros? That's insane. Kathryn Bennetts made the right choice. The Flemish government has condemned a fine ballet company, of which they should have been proud,  to mediocrity or non-existence. 

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