Yesterday our Director Cathy Marston broke the sad news to us that as of the end of Season 12/13 she will not be having her contract renewed with Bern Ballet.
News of this is not only sad to so many dancers who have come together to create an incredible working atmosphere and made this place their homes and lives for the past few years, but also for the future of high quality dance for audiences in Bern to enjoy.
The head of the theatre, Stephan Marki, came in to his new position at the beginning of this season and with him brought a lot of change, all the directors of orchestra, drama and opera changed as did the artistic vision of what he and the board wanted from the theatre.
We have been told this new vision, and direction, is in a more experimental direction.
Personally I feel this new chapter will offer a new challenge to Bern, and with a space for director of ‘Dampfzentrale’ open right now, I think this is the place that dance of a high calibre will now be diverted to.
In yesterdays press release Stephan Marki explained:
“The decision to change the dance department within the KTB was not easy for me. Cathy Marston has succeeded in recent years to find a new anchor for dance in Bern; to revitalize the repertoire and build a versatile, high-quality company. Their work deserves our utmost respect and sincere thanks. However, faced with the challenge to give a new artistic direction to the institution, our artistic visions differ too much to enable a long-term collaboration between us. Nonetheless, I am looking forward to the coming season of work together us very much.”
And Cathy Marston went on to say:
“The ensemble that I have established since 2007 is of an excellent quality, demonstrated not least by the international invitations we have received and our recent participation in the Swiss-wide, internationally reputed Steps Festival. When my last season in Bern ends in July 2013, we will have developed 32 world premieres over six years. I hope that the company will continue to be nurtured with care and responsibility, that the enthusiastic audience we have built up is maintained and developed, and that the company achieves its full potential. In the up-coming season we still have much to look forward to: We will continue to show a broad spectrum of contemporary dance, at the highest level, collaborating with no fewer than six international choreographers. I wish Stephan Maerki and his team all luck for the future.”
In my year here, the experiences & thing’s I’ve learned have helped build on my own individual artistic ambitions & develop my sense of artistry within a company, a unique feature of the inspiring atmosphere Cathy and her assistant Jenny Tattersal have created since coming here in 2007 to head the company.
The coming years will present everyone with new challenges, and while sad, we can all take hope that we can move on to a place that shares in our own artistic visions and ambitions for dance.