The Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts at Brooklyn College announced today that it has chosen the nation's oldest classical ballet company--the Atlanta Ballet--to become its resident dance company and to visit Brooklyn each year for five years beginning next April.
The Washington Ballet also had been a contender for the residency.
Dan Swartz, general manager of the Brooklyn Center, said his organization turned down the Washington Ballet because its fund-raising operations are inadequate for the residency, and because the company relies excessively on the ballets of Choo San Goh.
Swartz said the Brooklyn Center was seeking a more diverse cultural contribution from its resident ballet company and added, "You don't want to see 17 Choo San Goh ballets in one night." The Washington Ballet, he said, "seems to have no intention of making a break" with its resident choreographer.
Alton Miller, managing director of the Washington Ballet, said yesterday of the academy's choice: "I think they're primarily interested in the corporate backing any of the leading candidates would have brought in to the fund-raising picture, and Atlanta Ballet has a good record in that regard.
"We know that audience well, we've played there before. And they're quite right--our repertoire is unabashedly dominated by Choo San Goh, and we're delighted by that.
"The company who is the resident company for the Brooklyn Center necessarily signs an exclusive for five years. Now we'll be at the Brooklyn Center next year in any case . . . We had some trepidation in signing an exclusive anywhere in New York.
"So, there may be just a hint of sour grapes in my reaction, but let me put it this way--there's a lot to be said for not being picked by Brooklyn College."