On the far west side of midtown Manhattan, looking out across the Hudson with a view of New Jersey, is a large sports complex called Chelsea Piers. The office of Ice Theatre of New York (ITNY) is located at Pier 59, across the parking lot from the Golf Center. ITNY is the only arts organization in the complex, using the Sky Rink hockey facility for rehearsals and for its annual gala performance. As founding artistic director Moira North unlaces her skates in the locker room and walks along the pier to the office, she reflects on where the company has been and where it is going. In the coming year, ITNY will celebrate its 25th anniversary and North says she wants to slow down and eventually retire from full-time work.
Since its founding in 1984, ITNY has been working to develop figure skating as a performing art, combining figure skating with contemporary dance and the visual arts. It gives skaters, dancers, choreographers, and other artists a rare opportunity to create work and show it in public performances. The mission statement reads:
Ice Theatre of New York is committed to developing figure skating as a performing art. Through its planning, developing and organization our company is devoted to combining, sometimes experimentally, various art forms, in particular figure skating, dance and visual arts and to provide skaters, dancers, and other artists an opportunity to exchange ideas and show their works at public performances.
ITNY has contributed much to the vibrancy of New York’s cultural scene, to the sport and art of figure skating, to individual artists who find a home at ITNY and to those spectators who find joy in the form. Says Board member and skater William Candee III: “Ice Theatre is Moira North’s creation. She was the one to organize every bit of it and has been the driving force for its existence.” In light of North’s movement towards retirement, ITNY now faces a structural reorganization if it is to continue its evolution from one woman’s passion project to an independent theatre institution.
With consideration of its history, purpose, and future plans, ITNY must answer the tough questions of how, when and with whom to replace its founder and Artistic Director, Moira North.
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Publication Date: 2009-05-15
Suggested Citation: Frances A. Black, "Ice Theatre of New York (2008)," Yale Theater Management Knowledge Base Case Study #08-14, May 15, 2009
Keywords: New York, Leadership Transition, Organizational Direction, Small Organization, Succession
Teaching Notes: No
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