Lincoln concludes by saying:
“I think Michael’s work is tremendous, but sensitivity to the project, its requirements, and the honesty and originality of his approach make just working with him half the fun.”
For those of you who would like to read more of what Lincoln Jones has to say about his ballet company, his philosophy, and about this design, I’ve included his lengthier statement below.
“When I decided to start a ballet company, it was because I wanted to make and to see a kind of ballet that I wasn’t currently seeing anywhere. Now in our third season, I think our product, our values, and our approach to the art form are even more distinctive than when I started. Our graphic art, indeed all of our graphic, photographic, and illustrative material is very important to me because I want it to not only communicate that we are different, but specifically how. I want it to be a flag representing our values to both our audience and our potential audience. To really see what we do, you have to come to a performance, which means these materials have a big job to do the rest of the time, in terms of getting our message out.
The sign that Michael did (which also became our new logo) is totally unique within our market. The ‘Contemporary’ in our name is there because we make new work, and I want people to understand ballet as a contemporary art form. It was important that the design be in a vernacular that would feel very contemporary to people, to contrast the view that I think most people still have about the art, that it belongs more to the 19th century, or even earlier. Still, it had to have a timelessness about it – a classical strength, which is what we strive for in the ballets – something that will make sense to contemporary audiences on their terms, but which also has a substance and depth that transcends the simply current.
The ‘American’ in our name is also very important, in that we are continuing the forward-thinking work that was done in the art form in the United States in the 20th century, but it goes deeper than that. I have a strong connection to the values that this country was founded on – independence, principled thought, and a break from convention to forge new, better paths. These are not values that are necessarily automatically associated with ballet, which is often thought of as being heavily traditional.
I thought Michael did a beautiful job of creating a design that felt both contemporary and American, but it is also such a strong, balanced design with a timeless feel that it can rightly be called classical.
It is also a beautifully integrated design. The way that the ‘Contemporary’ playfully bursts between the strength of ‘American’ and ‘Ballet’ can suggest a new view of the art. But the playfulness isn’t cheap, it is strongly located within the other two words, which to me suggests not only playfulness, but substance, which are the two qualities that any great dance must have.”