Colorado Ballet Artistic Director Rejects Emeritus Position and Resigns

Classic Arts News   Colorado Ballet Artistic Director Rejects Emeritus Position and Resigns
Colorado Ballet artistic director Martin Fredmann resigned on October 11, after the company's board voted to replace him, the Rocky Mountain News reports.

The board offered Fredmann the post of artistic director emeritus, which, according to the News, he angrily declined.

Fredmann, who is 62, has held the position of artistic director for 19 years; in a statement he said that board chairs James Ruh and Christin Crampton Day "abruptly terminated" him, "with no explanation whatsoever." He added that he has long felt that the board has had his retirement in mind.

The board declined to comment on the situation, although Ruh said, "It's best to do it now," and Crampton Day said the board felt it was time to plan for the future. A national search for Fredmann's replacement will begin soon, and associate director Jocelyn Lasban will direct the company in the interim.

There is the possibility that Fredmann will pull the company's permission to dance two of his ballets on the upcoming schedule. He said he would, in that case, allow the performances for a fee. He would also, he said, attend the rehearsals.

The company is also dealing with financial and administrative difficulties. Earlier this year, it decided to cancel a new Christopher Wheeldon ballet that was too expensive to produce, which led the choreographer to charge breach of contract and briefly threaten a lawsuit. Afterward, nine company officials, some of them major donors, resigned.

The company faces a $700,000 debt.

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