I am alarmed to learn that in these uneasy times of arts budgets that Rockford Dance Company has made what seems to be a reckless decision to “let go” artistic director Margaret Faust “effective immediately,” as one source puts it.
I rather doubt that a replacement can easily be found to match the innovation, successful choreography and creative adaptation that Faust has drawn from her rich background. RDC’s varied repertoire and collaborations with the Rockford Symphony Orchestra have developed a class act as a result of her highly artistic intelligence.
If the issue is about petty politics, I would hope that we remember that the audience cares little about what happens behind-the-scenes and more about what happens before the foot lights to present some of the community’s most magical productions that only Faust could lead. That would include her expertise to invite special guest artists as well as inspire young children and develop a strong audience.
The news is just another tired reminder about the dysfunctional marriage between boards of directors and creative staff. As Houston Ballet’s iconic choreographer Ben Stevenson long ago said, “I thought that being an artistic director meant that you were unemployed every six months.” My hope is that RDC gets what it wants, but I think they already had it…Sue Langenberg, reviewer, columnist, author.