Ballet West Staffer Fired Over Comments About Ousted Director

Classic Arts News   Ballet West Staffer Fired Over Comments About Ousted Director
Annie Van Alstyne, the administrative manager of Salt Lake City's Ballet West, has been fired because she spoke to the press about ousted artistic director Jonas Kê‰ge, the Salt Lake Tribune reports.

In an article published in the Deseret Morning News on May 31, Van Alstyne, a supporter of Kê‰ge, was quoted as saying that the company planned to replace Kê‰ge's versions of Sleeping Beauty and Giselle with other versions, to avoid paying him. She also said that other choreographers on the schedule had withdrawn permission for the company to perform their works, "so in a sense, the company is selling a season that doesn't exist."

Executive director Johann Jacobs said that Van Alstyne's comments were inaccurate and violated a company policy under which only certain staff members may give information to the media.

Jacobs met with Van Alstyne yesterday and fired her. "You've never seen such hatred in your life," she told the Tribune. "He was just so angry with me."

Kê‰ge was told in April that he had failed a performance review and given the option of quitting or being fired. After initial announcements indicated that he had chosen to step down, he told the media that he had been ousted. He is currently negotiating a severance agreement with Ballet West officials.

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