Debates in the arts are being politically manipulatedOrchestras
A personal point of view from the director of the national orchestra of Brittany:
Before everybody clutches their pearls and wags their fingers about a so-called cancelation of a beloved classic (that can be tired and hackneyed even in the most lavish productions), I have just three things to say about reality. 1) Other companies are performing the Nutcracker in Berlin this season. 2) Why don’t people simply read the Staats Ballet website for their point of view https://www.staatsballett-berlin.de/en/blog/wir-lieben-den-nussknacker/118. 3) They will be programming a new Nutcracker next season!
Throughout the ages pieces are always reworked and art has always evolved in ways that are bothersome to the temple gardians. That is also why the performing arts are living and breathing entities and are not simply folkloric and fetishistic in their uniformity. The very fact the Staat Ballet has decided to take a look at 19th century stereotypes in the arts and are looking for ways to present the Nutctracker (and perhaps other works) in the future can also bring the freshness and inclusivity that we have almost all been looking for in the classical arts world, for years. This their point of view and an expression of their values.
The real problem is that these healthy debates about the arts and their role in society are all too often manipulated for obvious political reasons, many times by non-artists, on both sides of the spectrum. That leaves many arts professionals caught in fights that are not winnable for anybody and only serve to divide us further. This in turn keeps feeding the political extremes that are tearing down open our societies today.
So, how about this : Let those artists and institutions who wish to experiment, explore and ask hard questions about who we are in a contemporary world do so freely. And – let’s see the artistic outcomes and what they have to express to audiences.
In turn, let’s let those who wish to perform and produce classical arts in their purest forms do so as well, as long as everybody is admitted to the process along the way. Audiences will chose and some will even chose experimentation AND classicism. There is an absolute need for both for us to grow and evolve in a changing world.
Marc Feldman, Director Orchestre National de Bretagne