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Stuttgart Ballet Cancels NY Performances


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#16 BW

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Posted 10 April 2003 - 09:36 AM

I can't help but laugh - out of recognition! I must confess that when I looked at what they were performing at City Center I was not too excited...then I looked at their website and read what I could about those particular pieces.

If I lived right in the city and if money was not even a second thought ;), then I probably would have gotten tickets and gone to see them. I really like to expose my ballet dancing daughter to different ballet companies whenever possible - but since the first two "if's" weren't available, I took the coward's way out and did not order tickets.

I kept hoping to read something about their mixed rep. but really didn't...at least nothing to turn my thoughts around.

I feel kind of embarrassed to admit to my pedestrian ways..:) :eek:

#17 Leigh Witchel

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Posted 10 April 2003 - 09:47 AM

It's not all that pedestrian, BW. Tickets cost money and if that resource is limited, you pick and choose. Most people, (me included) look for at least one familiar element and that could be choreography, dancers or having heard about the company via word-of-mouth. As Alexandra said, Stuttgart's calling card is John Cranko, and they didn't use it to get people in the door in NYC. Since the company decided to go with four new works by relatively unfamiliar choreographers (Kevin O'Day is known here, but not a household word) then they might have wanted to consider engaging a guest artist in NYC or doing something else as a hook. That or play a smaller house where the costs are lower. It's just realistic business.

#18 Michael

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Posted 10 April 2003 - 05:39 PM

Also, anecdotally, New York is very empty at the moment and has been since the War began. The tourists simply aren't here, the lack of traffic on the streets in Midtown is unprecedented (and something of a silver lining) and my subjective view has also been confirmed by the barometer for such things of cab drivers and restaurant people whom you talk to about such things. Business is terrible here at the moment and Stuttgart Ballet would have had a hard time selling that run under any circumstances. That the die hard ballet audience wasn't itself interested was the coup de grace.

I wonder about the wisdom of cancelling nonetheless. To be seen here is important to register with a critical dance audience and surely a success of estime here might have been worth losing a little dough. Things must be quite difficult financially for the company in general for it to be that sensitive to running a loss for four nights. Surely they had to know, without the war or anything else, that the run here would not be a money maker from a financial point of view.

#19 Dale

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Posted 10 April 2003 - 07:14 PM

We've also had terrible weather in New York. That might have slowed tourism. Has anybody been to Eifman Ballet and noticed the attendance? I haven't or won't be able to go because of work and the holidays, but the Russian community in NY usually supports the company.

I agree that a better mix between established rep and new ballets probably would have been more inticing. When SB performed at NYST it brought Cranko ballets and had a big draw in Vladimir Malakhov as a guest star.

At least 10 years ago, companies used to come with their calling card, as Alexandra put it. However, several of the last visiters to City Center have wanted to show how avant garde, cutting edge or at the forefront of new choreography they are. Australian Ballet brought new ballets, but they also did "In the Middle...," which is a known quantity. SFB this past October did mostly newer work, except its third program which had Rubies and Paquita on it, but Morris and Wheeldon can be considered draws and the company was very popular from its last visit. National Ballet of Canada visited a few years ago and danced Kudelka. I didn't go so I don't know how they drew, but I would have gone if they had performed the attractive mix they perform at home.

#20 BW

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Posted 11 April 2003 - 03:43 AM

Well, thanks Leigh - I feel better now. Actually I guess I'm not alone in my reasons.

Michael, I don't think it's as bad in NYC as you're describing but, perhaps, our paths cut a different swath? I can attest to a packed house at the never ending Phantom of the Opera and continue to be ensnarled in traffic jams all over Manhattan...from now on, rather than getting highly annoyed, I'm going to be happy about this because it attests to our city's still being alive! ;)

Dale really seems to sum it up by saying:

I would have gone if they had performed the attractive mix they perform at home.

And Alexandra wraps it up completely with her last post.

Still sorry not to see them.

#21 Farrell Fan

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Posted 11 April 2003 - 07:40 AM

I was at the Eifman Ballet last night and attendance was excellent -- the Russian community still supports this company in a big way. It made up for the night before when I was at Baz Luhrmann's La Boheme, where attendance was abysmal.

#22 Marga

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Posted 12 April 2003 - 08:53 PM

...National Ballet of Canada visited a few years ago and danced Kudelka. I didn't go so I don't know how they drew...

The house was half empty when they were at City Center. They lost a bundle.

#23 Dale

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Posted 12 April 2003 - 10:03 PM

Thank you Marga. I wonder how empty the house would have been if the company had performed the mix (Kudeka, Ashton, Balanchine, classics, Cranko etc...) it performs at home.

#24 Marga

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Posted 12 April 2003 - 10:34 PM

...I wonder who empty the house would have been if the company had performed the mix (Kudeka, Ashton, Balanchine, classics, Cranko etc...) it performs at home...

Interesting to ponder. (With your typo, your question could start to read as "I wonder who empt{ied} the house?" ;)

I still think they would not have drawn much of a crowd. They simply are not a strong company right now -- have not been for years -- and almost never tour, so folks just don't know the dancers.

A mixed program can be very stimulating, especially to introduce a seldom-seen company doing some familiar works. It gives the audience some meat to chew on.

Unfortunately, no matter what the NBoC dances these days, so many in the audience go home uninspired, unuplifted (can that be a word?), and feeling like they haven't had anything to munch on that night.

The National may just need another Nureyev to rescue them!

#25 garnet

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Posted 18 April 2003 - 10:59 PM

A belated thank-you to svemaus for taking the time to translate the whole article! :(

#26 piccolo

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Posted 19 April 2003 - 06:52 PM

I'm a bit late for this discussion but how many seats are there in the City Center?

I saw their R&J production in San Diego at the Civic Theatre which holds just under 3000 seats -- let's just say that there was a lot of paper in the audience. They were throwing free and severly discounted tickets right and left. I wonder if they are already so far in the hole that they couldn't risk losing more in NY?

#27 CDM

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Posted 20 April 2003 - 07:50 AM

__________________________________________________
[QUOTE]Originally posted by piccolo
[B]I'm a bit late for this discussion but how many seats are there in the City Center?

I saw their R&J production in San Diego at the Civic Theatre which holds just under 3000 seats -- let's just say that there was a lot of paper in the audience. They were throwing free and severly discounted tickets right and left.
__________________________________________________

I find this a bit strange in that a close friend was unable to get tickets for either performance. There were not even comps available. The company considered the response in San Diego to be very very good both as regards ticket sales and audience response.

Regards...

#28 Alexandra

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Posted 20 April 2003 - 07:58 AM

CDM, your friend's experience may have resulted from a box office freeze -- when a house knows the season is in trouble, they may freeze sales for a few days before a cancellation announcement is made. All reports have been that the season was not selling -- including the company's statement.

#29 CDM

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Posted 20 April 2003 - 08:37 AM

As quoted from the earlier translation of the articla from the Stuttgarter Zeitung:

"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."

I am not familiar with the practice of frezing the box office that you refer to but that could easily be attributed to my ignorance of that sort of thing. But that would not explain the lack of any comps (or at least I would not think so).

Are there other public statements that contradict the above? Also, it should be noted that the turnout in St Louis was quite good for both evenings.

Regards...CDM

#30 Alexandra

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Posted 20 April 2003 - 10:34 AM

The turnout may have been wonderful everywhere, but there was not the same demand for tickets in New York.

See the article posted on the first page of this thread, from the Stuttgart press:

From the Stuttgarter Zeitung:

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

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.


I think we've exhausted the topic, and am closing the thread.


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