Interview with Sascha Radetsky
Yesterday was your first day in the studios as an Artistic Director, what was that experience like?
Sascha Radetsky: We all introduced ourselves and then dove in. The dancers got to work with Ethan Stiefel, Petrusjka Broholm, Gillian Murphy and yours truly. Suki Schorer, the legendary School of American Ballet teacher, who is among us to set Balanchine’s Tarantella, observed classes. Afterwards, Claire Florian, our Managing Director, led our orientation meeting. It was a focused but fun day. I was easily as excited and nervous as anyone!
We’ve often heard people say that this moment in a dancer's career is one of the most transformative. Do you agree with that statement?
SR: I do. It’s a fleeting and very special time in these dancers’ lives. It’s their first foray into adulthood and the working world, when they bloom from students into professionals and – ideally – artists. It’s when habits and attitudes that will serve them throughout their careers are codified. It’s when they discover what they want to say onstage, and how best to say it. It’s that last, crucial step in their creation process – the kiln-firing of the clay, the tempering of the steel.
You were in one of the early incarnations of the ABT Studio Company in the 1990s. Would you say the dancers experiences today are different or similar to yours?
SR: Much different. The Studio Company in which I danced seems like just a whisper compared to today’s full-throated conception, with its expansive curricula and resources, global renown, vision and extraordinary track record.
What are you most looking forward to with the 2019 ABT Studio Company?
SR: I’m excited to see how much these dancers can grow and how much of their potential we can explore. I’m looking forward to learning from them, from our esteemed lineup of teachers, coaches and choreographers and from Kevin McKenzie, ABT Artistic Director. And of course, I’m eager to see this season’s repertoire – especially our new, commissioned works – come to life in a diverse range of venues.
Photos by Rosalie O’Connor.