You hear lots of complaints about the behavior of audiences in all sorts of performances. Movies, of course, are the worst. But I guess my experience with ballet and opera, as well as serious theater, have been pretty lucky so far. Which is why WindFlyer's comment on the Kirov-Maryinsky - Orange County, CA, thread -- was an eye opener.
Let me start with a rant... This was one of the worst audiences I've had the displeasure of seeing a performance with in a very long time... Crying babies, chirping cell phones, murmur of conversation well into the first few minutes after every intermission, untimely applause—when Vishneva lined for the start of the fouettés, the audience started clapping before a note sounded ... It came very close to ruining a good afternoon of ballet for me.
Babies? (They can afford the tickets?) Cell phones? (Well, that's not really a surprise, though around here peple tend to wait until the instant they hit the lobby, leading to an awful lot of solitary individuals wandering around during intermission gabbling and gesticulating into empty space.)
Richard Wagner -- trainer of audiences who sat in silence in complete darkness, while focusing every particle of their being on what was taking place on the stage -- would be appalled. And, with the current high price of tickets, so am I.
Any other stories of particularly bad audience behavior at the ballet?