Judith Mackrell on why Kevin O’Hare is the right man to lead the Royal Ballet

In our media-driven age we choose flamboyant personalities over the less showy, but maybe more capable, alternatives. Italy’s Berlusconi certainly attracts a lot of press attention, but does it serve the country well? The glamorous Obama and Blair easily won over the electors – imagine Winston Churchill being voted into power nowadays. The Royal Ballet have done well in bucking the trend and choosing a new director who seems well-placed for the job, even if his public persona is low key.

The fact that O’Hare comes without any artistic ego or agenda of his own can, I’d suggest, be a positive. There are several ballet companies in the world who have had to suffer from the “creative input” of their directors – either their fag-end-of-a-career dance performances or their not-very-good choreography. In O’Hare the Royal has a director apparently interested only in developing the creativity of others.

High on his press announcement today is the fact that Wheeldon will be taking a far more active role in the Royal under O’Hare’s direction. O’Hare also wants to maintain close ties with Wayne McGregor, who has been resident choreographer at the Royal since 2006, and a dynamic, transformative influence on other younger choreographers in the company.

Frankly, any director that has two of the world’s most sought-after choreographers batting for his team is doing well.”

via The Guardian

Miyako Yoshida and Kevin O’Hare; photo: Bill Cooper

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