Director's Notes
Gen Horiuchi with dancers Lauren Lane and Elliott Geolat. Photo by Sabrine Rhodes.

When Gen Horiuchi became the executive and artistic director of Saint Louis Ballet, his mentor Peter Martins offered the same wisdom that George Balanchine had given him: Running a company isn't just about ballet—you have to do and oversee everything. That leadership philosophy is what Horiuchi, now 53, has adopted at Saint Louis Ballet.

The Tokyo native and former New York City Ballet principal took over the financially troubled company from longtime artistic directors Ludmila Dokoudovsky and Antoni Zalewski in 2000. Within two years Horiuchi stabilized the organization's finances and restructured and revitalized the Saint Louis Ballet School. In 2010, he moved the organization into a new 7,500-square-foot facility with four studios.

Now in his 18th season with SLB, Horiuchi has increased the company's annual operating budget from $200,000 in 2000 to $2 million currently, grown the number of dancers from 13 to 25, and added more productions (when he arrived they were only perform- ing Nutcracker). He's also increased ticket sales and bolstered the school's enrollment from 50 to 350 students.

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Former Paris Opéra Ballet étoile Laurent Hilaire will succeed Igor Zelensky at the Stanislavsky Ballet in Moscow. Zelensky recently took over at Bayerisches Staatsballett (aka The Bavarian State Ballet) in Munich, Germany. You might remember him as the director who convinced Sergei Polunin to join the Stanislavsky, and helped get him back onstage after a particularly rocky patch in his career.

The New York Times reports that Zelensky had briefly attempted to manage both Bayerisches and the Stanislavsky, but he announced that the split prevented him from giving necessary attention to either company. Hilaire will be able to focus all his energy on the company as Zelensky settles into his own new directorship.

Hilaire has long shown leadership potential, serving as ballet master and associate artistic director at POB. He was also considered for the La Scala Ballet directorship. As a dancer, his consummate career began under Rudolf Nureyev and earned him, among other titles, a Lifetime Achievement award from the Benois de la Danse. He was also named Commander of Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government. Perhaps Hilaire and fellow POB dancer-turned artistic director Aurélie Dupont can compare notes.

 

Rudolf Nureyev and Laurent Hilaire (photo by Rodolphe Torrette)

 

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As Von Rothbart in ABT's "Swan Lake." Photo by Gene Schiavone, courtesy ABT.

Former American Ballet Theatre soloist Sascha Radetsky has been named the director of New York University's master's in ballet pedagogy program, which runs in partnership with ABT. The program, officially titled "Teaching Dance in the Professions with a concentration in ABT Ballet Pedagogy," prepares participants for a career in ballet research, or teaching positions at company schools or in higher education. Dancers who come through ABT's Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (JKO) School are often noted for their unaffected, pure technique. Students in NYU's master's program study that same ABT approach to ballet education, but from the perspective of pedagogy rather than performance.

Radetsky had a notable onstage career, and achieved wider visibility than many ballet dancers thanks to his role as Charlie in the dance movie (and cult favorite) Center Stage. He also recently played the sleazy Ross on Starz's TV show "Flesh and Bone." He has written for magazines and websites and was awarded one of NYU's Center for Ballet and the Arts' fellowships for an upcoming writing project. His talent for dancing, acting and writing is obvious—and it's likely he'll be successful as a program director, too.

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