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Stuttgart Ballet Cancels NY Performances


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#1 sneds

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Posted 08 April 2003 - 09:17 AM

The Stuttgart Ballet has cancelled its performances in New York which were to take place at City Center, April 23-26. Given the economic situation, the war and the desire to end the tour on high note, it was decided to end the tour prior to New York.

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#2 BW

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Posted 08 April 2003 - 01:01 PM

Just wondering why ending it before NYC would be on a "high note"? :confused:

#3 Alexandra

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Posted 08 April 2003 - 01:30 PM

I assumed they were referring to the good reviews from California -- I've never heard of a tour ending for any reason other than insufficient advance sales, though (short of war or natural disaster).

#4 Giannina

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Posted 08 April 2003 - 03:41 PM

The attendance in Costa Mesa (California) was not that good. On the Thurs. night mixed bill performance the theater's 3rd Tier was about as empty as I've ever seen it for a ballet. On Sat. night we were in the First Tier so I cannot comment on the attendance that night. Attendance at the Orange County Performing Arts Center's Dance Series has been consistantly low of late.

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#5 BW

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Posted 08 April 2003 - 04:01 PM

Just wondering, again, if you think what they performed - in the sense of a mixed bill - had something to do with the low turn out? If I recall correctly, their programs at City Center were all to be mixed bills.

#6 CDM

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Posted 08 April 2003 - 04:09 PM

The decision to forego NYC was purely fiscal in nature. The combination of low advanced ticket sales and the higher costs of production in NYC precluded the Company from following through with the scheduled NYC performances.

#7 Giannina

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Posted 08 April 2003 - 05:01 PM

Dunno, BW, since I couldn't get a take on the audience at Sat. night's R&J. I did not like the mixed bill, as I said in my review.

Giannina

#8 Leigh Witchel

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Posted 08 April 2003 - 07:36 PM

An engagement at City Center has thrown more than one company into debt. It had a reputation as a money pit, but I don't know the specific numbers - what you'd need to charge or how many seats you'd need to sell to break even. I wasn't hearing a lot of buzz about Stuttgart coming here, and that's a bad sign.

#9 Alexandra

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Posted 09 April 2003 - 09:02 AM

I'd be curious to know how this is being reported in Germany -- Diane, Jasper, anyone?

#10 garnet

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Posted 10 April 2003 - 01:57 AM

From the Stuttgarter Zeitung:

http://www.stuttgart...tail.php/402513

Okay... my translation skills are not perfect - perhaps one of the native German speaker members has better english than I have german...

As far as I can understand from the article:

Only about 25% of the tickets were sold in advance of the performances in New York. Reid Anderson believes this has more to do with the current situation in the US (war, SARS scare) than with the nature of the programming. He is very sorry to not take his dancers but cannot afford to lose so much money. It is mentioned that Opera and Orchestra ticket sales are also down at the moment.

The reception for Romeo and Juliet was reported as being very good with lots of standing ovations but the reaction to the mixed program was reported as being mixed. Reid Anderson is reported as not being too surprised by this as he states that the art of choreography in Europe is somewhat different (I am paraphrasing somewhat here - please do not read too much into this:)). He is happy with his dancers' performances and pleased with the public and critical response.

#11 svemaus

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Posted 10 April 2003 - 05:03 AM

Originally posted by garnet

perhaps one of the native German speaker members has better english than I have german...


Hi!

I tried to translate the whole article, but please excuse my confusing syntax. I hope you get the gist. ;)


Stuttgart Ballet stops U.S.-Tour
Reid Anderson cancels all the performances in New York - The war and the scare of SARS interferes with the ticket sales


The news came out of the blue: Just on Tuesday afternoon, Reid Anderson of the Stuttgart ballet raved about the way the U.S.A.-tour goes. During a meeting with the company prior to their first performance in Minneapolis, he announced in the evening that he had cancelled the four performances in New York that should have taken place after the Easter holidays. The demand for bills concerning these performances was much less than expected. On all the four evenings in the New York City Center, modern ballets were planned to be performed.

But the modern program was not the reason for the poor audience’s interest in the New York performances, said Reid Anderson. “I am very sad that the people in New York won’t be able to see our fantastic dancers”, regrets the ballet director during a short statement on the telephone from Minneapolis, “but I cannot take the responsibility for losing so much money.” Only about 25 percent of the performances’ tickets had been sold in advance at that moment. This would have been to little to cover all the costs. As the ballet company doesn’t get a fixed wage in New York, as it is usual in other cities, but has to finance all the performances with the income of their ticket sales, Anderson decided along with the New York agency and Hans Tränkle, the manager of the Stuttgart state theatre, to forego the performances in New York.

Anderson blames the rapid loss of the audience, that can be recognized especially in the New York Theatre, on the economic effects of the war on the entertainment sector in the United States and the Americans’ insecurity due to the spreading of the lung disease SARS.
“In New York, you can get tickets for every musical at the moment”, says Anderson. Even the Metropolitan Opera has got problem to fill their empty rows with audience. Additionally to the Stuttgart ballet, some other orchesters cancelled their performances in New York as well.

Until now, the company’s tour, which was due to last seven weeks, was very successful. The performances of John Cranks “Romeo and Juliet” attracted a lot of people and some performances were even sold out. Also, the evenings with only modern ballets by the choreographers Christian Spuck, Uwe Scholz, Douglas Lee, Daniela Kurz and Kevin O"Day were very popular. Despite the cancellation, Reid Anderson takes a positive stock in between the tour: “I am very content, the dancers perform with excellence and the audience was fantastic. A lot of performances were praised with standing ovations. For him as director, it was especially important that all the local critics rated the dancers’ work as excellent.

While all the performance of Romeo and Juliet, in which Anderson presented five new casts for the main roles, were praised, the reactions of the audience and the press for the modern ballets were diverse. “I expected the opinions to be diverse”, said Reid Anderson. “the way of choreographing in Europe is somewhat different.” For the company, only performances in St. Louis, Iowa City and Midland are left. There, the tour will end on April, 20th.

The new cast for “Romeo and Juliet” can be viewed by the Stuttgart’s audience in June, when this classic by Cranko will be performed instead of ballet “Der Widerspenstigen Zähmung”.

#12 diane

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Posted 10 April 2003 - 06:44 AM

svemaus, you did a wonderful job of translating!

What is in the article is also what I have heard.

Too bad! :)

-d-

#13 BW

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Posted 10 April 2003 - 06:54 AM

Many thanks for the translation and information. I'm sorry that they won't be coming to NYC, but it sounds like a wise decison due to the specific financial reasons. :)

#14 Dale

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Posted 10 April 2003 - 08:10 AM

While sales at most venues are down (due more, I think, to the economy than the war), I and many of my ballet-going friends were not that interested in what they were dancing this visit. I have a friend who went to both programs during their State Theater visit a few years ago during the Lincoln Center Fest. and their last engagement at NJPAQ. But looked at the program and the prices at City Center and decided to pass.

I'm adding to note my disagreement with one of Reids saying that SARS is a major reason for poor ticket sales. While people are concerned, I haven't spoken to anybody here in NY that hasn't gone out because of it. The major outbreaks have ocurred elsewhere. As I said before, ticket sales have been down since 9/11. But Reid points out that tickets can be had for all the musicals....that's because Feb. and April are down times for tourism. Ticket sales for those event usually go back up in May, June, July. I think he's using the war, SARS etc... as an excuse for the lack of interest that has been shown for his company in NY.

#15 Alexandra

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Posted 10 April 2003 - 08:16 AM

I agree with Dale. It's the rep. There's the consideration, too, which may have escaped the current company administration that when you have a brand name, it's best to use it. i.e., Americans associate Stuttgart with Cranko. They'll go to see a Cranko ballet, and may be interested enough in the dancers or the company to try out the new rep, but there's nothing in the new rep on its own that's a draw, unless you're a devote of New Now choreography, and New York ain't that kind of town. :)


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