Monday, November 21, 2022
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Susan Jaffe to steer American Ballet Theatre

In early 2023, Susan Jaffe will take over as inventive director of American Ballet Theatre (ABT) in New York Metropolis. With a background as a principal with the corporate, the Dean on the Faculty of Dance for the College of North Carolina Faculty of the Arts (UNCSA), and inventive director of Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre (PBT), her expertise factors towards a way forward for development inside the firm. She’ll be a part of Lourdes Lopez (Miami Metropolis Ballet) and Tamara Rojo (San Francisco Ballet, as of late 2022) as considered one of three feminine inventive administrators inside the prime 10 ballet firms in america. 

Susan Jaffe. Photo by Jordan Bellotti.
Susan Jaffe. Picture by Jordan Bellotti.

Jaffe has a number of concepts for ABT and plans to make use of her background as a dancer as a information to navigate a world of male dominated leaders. 

“Girls are way more daring and adventurous than they was once, and really feel that they will accomplish issues within the ballet world,” she tells Dance Informa. “I believe that’s a purpose why extra girls are beginning to take these roles, versus males. I’ve by no means been a person, so I don’t know if individuals push on males’s boundaries as individuals push on my boundary. However I’ll simply put a line within the sand, with kindness and compassion however firmness. That helps me be capable to lead individuals in a manner that’s constructive.”

It’s additionally necessary to Jaffe to extend the varied voices presenting work, as she had beforehand completed at UNCSA and PBT. 

Susan Jaffe in ‘The Sleeping Magnificence’. Picture by MIRA.

“For me, to enter an viewers the place the viewers is various due to what’s being supplied, it’s such a celebration,” Jaffe says. “It’s so enjoyable! I need to do extra of this.”

Jaffe’s purpose is to diversify the choreographic voices briefly ballets, plotless ballets, modern ballets, in addition to full-length story ballets. Viewers constructing is at all times a priority for any dance firm, and Jaffe hopes to make ballet accessible and welcoming to extra audiences. A part of that philosophy stems from working in a collegiate dance program and recognizing the deep worth of a dance training, whether or not or not college students find yourself as dancers. 

‘There’s a lot information about how dance develops the mind in very vital methods,” Jaffe notes. “Dancers have a few of the highest stats in essential considering. I believe it’s due to the unbelievable quantity of multi-tasking, proprioception, steadiness, coordination, spatial consciousness, music, rhythm, velocity. There are such a lot of issues which are required of a dancer. You develop a very deep understanding, simply by motion, in so many areas like essential considering.”

Susan Jaffe. Photo by Rosalie O'Connor.
Susan Jaffe. Picture by Rosalie O’Connor.

Jaffe arrives again to NYC from her present house in Pennsylvania, in early winter 2022, to shadow departing Creative Director of 30 years Kevin McKenzie earlier than taking the reins within the new 12 months. She’s excited to go to the Met, store at (the final remaining) Fairway and nurture the dancers in the easiest way she is aware of how. 

“The tenacity that’s developed because of dancing and doing practically inconceivable issues (fantastically, I would add) actually develops a human being from the within out,” Jaffe says. “I at all times say, ballet taught me the best way to be a human.”

By Emily Sarkissian of Dance Informa. 



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