It’s All Muscle and Bone

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President Elect Obama commented this morning to CNN’ correspondent John King, “Anyone can go as far as their work ethic and imagination can take them!

I still agree with that assumption as well.  I might be older and I hope wiser now;  maybe even as I descend into the 2nd half of life,  I might not move as fast, get up and down  in rehearsal as easy but I still believe in the power of creativity and sweat equity.  

Using politics as an analogy….  the Reagan Revolution seems as distant as Kennedy’s Camelot.

 There was a time when those in power knew they had squirreled away their golden parachute for security or found millions of ways to cover up mistakes by creating a cash cushion to fall back on when times got hard-hitting.  Gone, however, are those untroubled, vicarious days of spending.  Now we face years of refunding those mistakes by cutting to the bone, sawing off expensive appendages that grew on the caterpillar of corrupt capitalism.

So how does it affect the ballet?

Let me get the snivel out before I answer. To sum it up: It’s a brutality. To begin with, we’re not in a part of the world where culture is something you give money to, and fund-raising is not easy.  We thought we planned ahead at the end of last season by moving back into Black Box theatre, starting a children’s series and offering additional shows.  As we tried to peer into our crystal ball, to view the future, we thought we were wonderfully balanced to weather the coming year. Then, just before our opening season in the fall, came the crash. Our single-ticket sales went down at first. Some people couldn’t make good on their pledges. Some foundations canceled grants. As CBT Board President Charles Patrick states there’s no fat to cut back on — it’s all muscle and bone.

But after all the whining of above I quote the teaching of Erik Erikson

 Erik Erikson was a psychologist who did most of his work in the post-Freudian era, in the 1930s to the 1950s. Erikson gave a great deal of importance to the social environment in a person’s psychological development.

Erikson’s theory posts that every human being passes through several distinct and qualitatively different stages in life, from birth to death. According to him, the stages are universal, and the ages at which one is said to have passed from one to another stage are also fairly universal.

The key idea in Erikson’s theory is that the individual faces a conflict at each stage, which may or may not be successfully resolved within that stage. According to Erikson, although there is a predominant issue at each stage, the stages are not watertight. Issues of one stage overlap with issues of another; how one has dealt with earlier issues determines how one will resolve later issues. Most important, there is a connection between present patterns of thinking and feeling, and earlier unresolved or resolved developmental issues.

So in regards to the ballet’s progress in this extreme financial upheaval, I am cautiously optimistic. Like Obama..  Anyone can go as far as their work ethic and imagination can take them!  That is why art and imagination is crucial part of our lives, because it is some piece of us, and what a poor life without it.” Art is necessary in life, as it helps us to deal with everyday ordinariness. “Without art, the crudeness of reality would make the world unbearable.”

 I thank all of the supporters who have sent CBT contributions at the end of 2008. I  appreciate all volunteers who have supported getting all the mailings out.  We are climbing toward our fundraising goal but there is still almost a third of the way to go.   Don’t forget about us…  Attend upcoming shows are the Beatles Magical Mystery Tour which begin next weekend, buy a table at the Oscar Gala, join us at the CSO/CBT Collaboration night, and bring children to see Snow White.

 With that imagination and lots of sweat – we live voraciously even in hard financial times and we can pledge an existence will never be boring or bleak.  

I’ll keep you posted on our progress.

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