Artwork Director Sonja Kostich’s Ingenious Method to Heritage Danger |

Artwork Director Sonja Kostich’s Ingenious Method to Heritage Danger |

To a freelancer, the concept of ​​working in artwork administration would possibly sound dry, however, as Sonja Kostich makes clear, it isn’t. The chance for nice, transformative concepts is all over the place. Kostich, who in August 2022 was named the brand new director of the Baryshnikov Artwork Heart, has all the time thought of himself a inventive individual. At first that creativity was expressed in efficiency, such because the dance of the American Ballet Theater and later in Mikhail Baryshnikov’s White Oak Dance Mission. Impressed by White Oak, Kostich shaped his personal firm, OtherShore, the place he directed and danced in works by choreographers corresponding to Annie-B Parson and Jodi Melnick.

A dark-haired woman in a floral shirt is smiling at the camera
Sonja Kostich. Photograph by Quinn Wharton, Courtesy Kostich.

His want to be a sensible chief satisfied him it was time to go to school to review enterprise, and get a level in artwork administration. Add to that two years on the funding agency Goldman Sachs, and it is simple to see why Kostich has established himself as such a robust determine within the artwork world, most just lately as chief govt. and humanities officer at Kaatsbaan Cultural Park. He has helped rework this rural idyll in upstate New York right into a vibrant new melting pot of dance, music, artwork and cultural and culinary dialog. “I wish to suppose lots,” says Kostich. “I am keen to take dangers to dream, as a result of I believe it could occur.”

After I arrived in Kaatsbaan I began to take a look at the final plan of this system. They’d been doing indoor exhibits for 20 years, and there’s solely a 160-seat theater. And right here that they had 153 acres. Throughout my dancing profession I spent a couple of yr at Glyndebourne [an opera house on a large estate in the English countryside]. So once I arrived at Kaatsbaan, I instantly thought: We must always do one thing exterior on this stunning place. Then the plague hit, and we was to make a transfer exterior. This pandemic allowed us to make modifications rapidly.

In that first yr, the social gathering consisted of virtually a one-man dance. However we expanded rapidly. The unique function of Kaatsbaan was to be a cultural park. I noticed it as a spot that encompasses tradition, all of it. I’ve all the time thought it is fascinating to collaborate with specialists from totally different fields. And I believe artists now are actually fascinated by being a part of one thing greater than their world. Patti Smith was the primary singer we introduced in. And you recognize, by bringing in Patti Smith, our membership went up 1,800 p.c.

I believe that is one of many explanation why Misha was when he introduced me to BAC, he got here to Kaatsbaan to see the totally different sorts of performs we have been doing. I consider that BAC has the potential to develop its packages in the identical approach. BAC’s mission is to be an arts middle for all arts, not simply dance however theater and music. It is thrilling for artists and it is also very useful in creating an viewers. And I believe it is necessary to make packages that talk to the viewers.

I wish to be a pacesetter. I wish to run issues. You realize, I skilled as a ballet dancer, after which I used to be in ballet firms for 10 years of my skilled profession. In a ballet firm you do not make selections. You simply do what you might be informed. And that was all the time tough for me. Operating OtherShore gave me the impression that I cherished having the ability to have concepts and put these concepts into motion. It felt good to make selections and join with dancers, artists and musicians.

It took me a great 10 years after I ended being a full-time skilled dancer to determine what to do with my life. I believe one of many causes it was tough for me was that I did not actually know what I wished to do. And that is as a result of I did not even know what was exterior of dance. I had been dancing all my life. I did not even know what I wished. The toughest factor in life is figuring out what you need.

After I was 38, I went again to school learning accounting and enterprise communication, with a gaggle of 18- to 20-year-olds. I completely cherished it. I wished to know all the pieces. And I threw myself into it. I ended up at Goldman Sachs, which is a very totally different world. Everybody there was on the prime of their class from prime faculties, and so they have been hardworking and disciplined, targeted and decided, desirous to be the most effective and who seeks perfection. I bear in mind considering, Each Dancer I do know needs to be working at Goldman Sachs.

What mattered to Goldman, just like the dance, was that it was so collaborative. I bear in mind once I was dancing, I used to be thrown inside Swan Lake changing one of many injured swins, with out coaching. An injured dancer stood within the wings, confirmed me the steps, and the singer behind me in line whispered directions. I had a extremely wonderful time. As a result of it had lots to do with group work.

I believe it is enjoyable to carry uncommon folks collectively. By years of wandering round making an attempt to determine what I wished to do, I inadvertently constructed a community. I simply turned 50 and I really feel like that is the most effective time of my life.

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