Posted 25 October 2006 - 06:41 PM
One of the perks is tickets to attend a dress rehearsal at the MET and perhaps a buffet with the company...at their rehearsal space after a rehearsal or class ... I am not exactly sure what this perk is. The bigger the donation, the more rehearsals and other perks you get.
I would probably prefer to spend my money on tickets to performances than on support if I had to choose. And I do have to choose.
So my question to BT is... would seeing a rehearsal be beneficial to someone such as myself.. would it enrich my ballet experience in the future? Do I even want to see a performance in rehearsal and not the actual performance? What should I be looking for at a rehearsal? The lowest support level IS affordable.
As odd as this may sound I have a strange desire to not actually know the dancers or choreographers etc on any close up personal level... just to sit in the theater and be transported by the ballet experience. Is this odd?
Posted 25 October 2006 - 07:27 PM
Whether a rehearsal is valuable to you depends on a number of factors: where it takes place, whether there are any concessions to having an audience, where you are allowed to sit, whether the technical aspects of a technical rehearsal are interesting to you or if it would drive you crazy if someone yells something about the lights and the dancer stops in the middle of a passage so that the techs can recalibrate a cue or adjust a light, if floppy legwarmers and a tutu will drive you to distraction, etc. All rehearsals, unless otherwise noted, supposedly run as if an audience isn't there, but I suspect that's not 100% true. I gave up on NYCB stage dress rehearsals because I really didn't like where we had to sit, and the people around me chatted way too much during the rehearsal, which made getting a few hours off from work not at all worth it. (But that was almost 20 years ago.)
I prefer studio rehearsals, with dancers and the stager/choreographer, maybe some of the artistic staff, and a pianist. One of the best things I saw, I think as a low-level donor benefit at PNB, was a presentation in the studio by Francia Russell, Patricia Barker, and Benjamin Houk on how dancers were coached in and rehearsed Swan Lake in a studio. It wasn't strictly a rehearsal, because Russell made it into a teaching session for us, and the dancers spoke a bit, too. She pointed out how different dancers have different partnering needs -- these two had been partners for years and had premiered a number of ballets together -- and what the challenges of partnering Barker -- her legs are muscular and aren't strictly straight, and she said it made it hard to partner her in supported turns -- are compared to another dancer.
But the thing I will remember most about it: I watched Hauk partner Barker from up close, and in the White Swan pas de deux, watched him in the passage where Odetted is in low arabesque and slightly atilt and then falls backwards into his arms. He initiated the entire movement with one hand under her ribs, and by holding the front of her ribs with his fingers, and pressing with the base of his hand into her back ribs. She swivelled and swooned. (Isn't physics grand?)
I have no interest in meeting dancers, either. I'd rather that they lead their regular lives and meet people in everyday ways, and that if I was ever in line with a dancer at the supermarket, at most we'd exchange the standard complaints about how slow the line is, just like other strangers.
Posted 25 October 2006 - 07:48 PM
I'd really like to hear those comments, so I can see the dancers' responses. I want that kind of insight. But I'd have to cozy up to a higher level donor to get access to the studio rehearsals where I'd be close enough to see and hear the things that differentiate rehearsal from performance.
Posted 26 October 2006 - 07:18 AM
I can't let the subject go by without reprising the story of the time I snuck into a closed Suzanne Farrell Ballet rehearsal at the Kennedy Center and sat in the dark in the last row of the orchestra. At the intermission of that evening's performance she thanked me for attending the rehearsal -- further proof that the woman has supernatural powers.
Posted 26 October 2006 - 08:40 AM
I really enjoyed the rehearsals at NYCB, described well by Farrell Fan. I could hear a little (we were sitting in the first ring), but much was gained by the body language and demonstrations.
Posted 26 October 2006 - 08:46 AM
Posted 26 October 2006 - 09:37 AM
Posted 27 October 2006 - 05:56 AM
Plus, I happened to be seated next to a gentleman who was very knowledgeable about ballet in general and the Joffrey in particular, and I very much enjoyed the conversation during the breaks.
Posted 27 October 2006 - 01:57 PM
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