Ohio Ballet Cancels Concerts

Submitted by robataka on Sun, 12/18/2005 - 09:48.

Read in the Arts & Life section of the Plain Dealer that the Ohio Ballet is cancelling concerts, laying off its dancers and cutting its staff to a
barebones two. Apparently, the article was posted on Cleveland.com on December 16th, but I didn't see the article until today's paper.

This is a great disappointment to me. I am not a huge fan of Ballet, but with a daughter whom is
very serious about ballet, we were already disappointed that the Cleveland Ballet moved to San Jose.
Now another ballet group from NEO is on the ropes. I strikes me as a symptom of Cleveland and/or NEO's malaise. As much as people suggest that Cleveland is strong in the Arts & Culture, which in many aspects it is,
it is awfully weak in Ballet.

The Ohio Ballet seems to be handling the situation intelligently. They are making the necessary cuts prior to running up a deficit. The City of Akron, the ballet's largest financial contributor, is puting together a committee to review funding options. Apparently part of the problem is the Cleveland Foundation program they were participating in expired, and they lost that funding. But corporate support is also decreasing.

I certainly don't know what the answer is, but it strikes me that if NEO wants to position itself as
being great in the Arts, not having a resident ballet company is part and parcel of that. Of course, with
the Playhouse ability to invite ballet from other ballet's in for performances its not like there is no access to
ballet. For me, however, it is really an educational infrastructure issue. How does a family with a budding ballet
dancer handle getting him/her(her in my case) in the right track. I know what my answer will be when we
have to face it in year or two...we'll move away from Cleveland area to somwhere that does have the

We have a Cleveland School of Art, a
Cleveland School of Music
. Can't we have a Cleveland School of Dance? Or is there one of which I am
not aware? But even if there is one, where do the graduates go...they certainly can't stay here.

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