American ballerina Gillian Murphy
is part of an allegory for independent authors
I LIKE this story because I see it as an analogy of how to make a success of independent writing.
Throughout the world arts organisations are struggling as we seem to be near the bottom of the sponsorship – government and private – cycle.
So how does a ballet company survive let alone thrive in a New Zealand city such as Wellington with a population of 364,000 people. A tiny population by city standards but it gets worse.
Here are the priorities of the Wellington Regional Plan 2010-2012
The priorities for 2010 – 2012 are
- more people get into work and stay in work
- more children are safe
- more young people stay on track
- reduced reoffending by young people
- improved quality of life for older people
- communities are better able to support themselves.
Notice any mention of fostering the arts? No!
Well what does the government see as the backbone of the Wellington economy?
The key industries and employers in the region are:
- public administration and safety
- professional, scientific and technical services
- healthcare and social assistance
- education and training
- retail trade.
Any mention of the arts or even entertainment? No!
A born-again Oliver Cromwell would seem to fit in here.
But perhaps it is the government not the arts community of Wellington which is out of touch with reality.
In November American Ballet Theatre principal dancer Gillian Murphy will perform in a new staging of Giselle, co-produced by Wellington based Royal New Zealand Ballet artistic director Ethan Stiefel and internationally acclaimed principal dancer of The Royal Ballet, John Kobborg.
The production will be in the home of the Royal New Zealand Ballet, St James Theatre Wellington. The London Evening Standard newspaper described the RNZB as “a text book case of how a small company can defy the debilitations that size usually brings.”
For the Standard, bigger is not more secure. Bigger is more precarious.
Notice also tha,t for the NZRB, smaller does not prohibit international co-operation.
How does the company do it?
For a start, the St James Theatre was designed for vaudeville. Maybe the Cromwell ruin song was performed there. As a music hall, the St Jimmy is lower and broader than usual ballet houses and it enhances intimacy between performers and audience.
St James Theatre is surrounded by bars and restaurants, many of which offer special pre-theatre dining menus and deals. As an example, Logan Brown at 192 Cuba St offers a three-course bistro menu for $45 and a $55 ballet package which includes an additional glass of champagne and taxi to theatre.
The City Life Wellington Hotel at 300 Lambton Quay offers weekend packages from $179 for a studio room, subject to availability.
The point of this story is not that Asians, Aussies and Kiwis should rush to the season of Giselle though they can book at www.nzballet.org.nz.
Rather it is that indie authors can ci-operate with one another and relatewd industries to makes less more.
Instead of more of the same offer less of the different