By Misty White Sidell
3 May 2019
The New York City Ballet held its annual spring gala on Thursday evening — the first to be presided over by a new leadership administration.
In late February, Jonathan Stafford and Wendy Whelan — both former principal dancers at the company — were named as artistic director and associate artistic director, respectively. Stafford had been serving as interim director since June 2018, when his predecessor Peter Martins resigned amid allegations of abuse, following a 35-year run at the head of the historical troupe.
This passing of the baton — only the third such change in City Ballet’s 71-year history — was embroiled in scandals relating to male dancers’ and administrations’ conduct. Thus, the company — known in recent years for its flashy artist and fashion design collaboration — appears to be taking a quiet moment to reassess. Its gala last night was not attended by celebrities and the company has no imminent plans for an international tour.
In the weeks since their appointment, Stafford and Whelan have been outlining plans to modernize the company. As previously outlined to WWD, Stafford intends to implement new protocols to ensure that the City Ballet-affiliated School of American Ballet becomes increasingly diverse, thus providing the company with a class of dancers that better reflects the outside world. Whelan, the company’s first female director, hopes to make City Ballet a sanctuary for female choreographers and reverse years of patriarchal rule.
Read the full article in WWD.