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Audience behaviorany especially bad examples recently?


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#46 richard53dog

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Posted 31 March 2007 - 05:37 AM

Leaning forward seems to be growing in behavior. I get the feeling that the lean-forwarders think that they show a more intense connection with what's going on. The fact that they drive those behind to madness may foster my derisive explanation. Hate 'em.


Oh,I hate this!
It can cause a domino effect.

Generally a few minutes after the curtain is up, if someone ahead of me is still leaning forward , I tap them on the shoulder and ask them to sit back. This usually works.

#47 bart

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Posted 31 March 2007 - 05:53 AM

And then there's the opposite: those that never move at all, are completely nonresponsive, applaud tepidly, if at all, when the curtain falls, and file out stolidly, silently, when they have endured enough.

They tend to flock together in groups - little black holes of negative energy. I call them (privately) the "sitting dead" and am planning to ask for different seats for one subscription next season.

Why ... are ... they ... there ??? Better a fidgeter. Better even someone taking a snooze. At least they are reacting to what is happening on stage.

#48 SandyMcKean

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Posted 31 March 2007 - 07:50 AM

And then there is.....

Audiences here in Seattle have a bad habit (IMO) of giving standing ovations for almost any performance (especially theater plays). But.....what I think is really going on is that there is this large-ish group of people who want to get to their cars in parking garages before the rush. They stand up as soon as the curtain drops, and then Seattlittes, being very polite as we are, figure: "Oh, it's a standing ovation, I better stand". The result is a mish-mash of applauding standers, and others pushing and shoving to get out (even before the house lights come up).

My God, those performers just gave their all, and our main concern is to save 10 minutes in the parking garage???

#49 Farrell Fan

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Posted 31 March 2007 - 08:46 AM

I agree with Bart. The Living Dead bother me at least as much as seat-kickers, hummers, et. al. Worst of the lot are those who sit silently through a performance and get up to leave before the houselights come up, making lots of knee-contact on their way out. Almost as bad was the couple who sat next to me at one of my NYCB subscriptions for a few years. They never discussed the ballet, as far as I could tell, but when it was over, the man would ask the woman, "Did you like that?" She would answer yes or no, and that would be the end of it.

#50 Helene

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Posted 31 March 2007 - 08:47 AM

My God, those performers just gave their all, and our main concern is to save 10 minutes in the parking garage???

25 minutes in a fume-filled garage, and then who knows how many more in the Mercer mess.

I attend the Q&A's, so that's not an issue, and I head in the opposite direction of Mercer. But I can appreciate how the experience of two plus hours of beautiful dancing (or opera or symphony) can be ruined by a hell commute home.

I think you're right about the Simon Says aspect of standing ovations, especially at the Opera House, where the lights are down. (Although, in NYC a couple of years ago, my best friend and I were glared at two days in a row for not giving Vanessa Redgrave a standing O for Long Day's Journey Into Night and for all of Movin' Out. So I'm not sure it's better there.) But at the symphony, where there is brighter lighting, and no orchestra pit to separate the front row from the stage, it seems like the front rows are up on their feet before the reverb ends. (And, because the lights are up enough, the only people who leave usually skulk out, bent over.)

#51 pj

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Posted 31 March 2007 - 08:49 AM

The "hurry-up-and-give-them-a-standing-ovation-so-I-can-get-to-my-car-fast" phenomenon is alive and well in Orange County as well. It really dilutes the sincere standing ovation, unfortunately.

#52 bart

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Posted 31 March 2007 - 01:31 PM

Let's try a few charitable explanations for some of these behaviors:

Those who shuffle out early may actually have been so drained by their involvement in the peformance that they need to save what is left of their energy (and their arm movements) for the battle at the Valet Parking line outside the theater.

Those who do not applaud or show much response to the dancing may in fact be attempting to address the old Zen koan, "'What is the sound of one hand clapping?".

#53 carbro

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Posted 31 March 2007 - 02:16 PM

Let's try a few charitable explanations for some of these behaviors:

Those who rely on commuter trains, and if they miss the one that leaves in 20 minutes, the next one isn't for another hour.

I actually prefer the living dead to those who think every time a dancer leaves the floor, balances on pointe for more than one count or adds a triple revolution is a historic event warranting ear-shattering bravos.

#54 Giannina

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Posted 31 March 2007 - 03:23 PM

Amen to that, Carbro! My pet peeve.

Giannina

#55 Mike Gunther

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Posted 31 March 2007 - 04:03 PM

My oddest Audience Behavior experience was a couple of years ago at the opera house. I was standing up (along with many others) for a SO at the curtain call, when the lady behind me asked me to sit down so she could see the performers! It takes all kinds, I guess :)

#56 SanderO

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Posted 31 March 2007 - 04:05 PM

What do you people think of a post performance online audience comment section on the company's web site? Not everyone is going to go online and write a mini review, but some might and it could be real interesting to read.. no? I think I would like to read something like that. Would you?

#57 Marga

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Posted 31 March 2007 - 04:06 PM

Leaning forward seems to be growing in behavior. I get the feeling that the lean-forwarders think that they show a more intense connection with what's going on. The fact that they drive those behind to madness may foster my derisive explanation. Hate 'em.
Giannina

I just have to offer an explanation in rebuttal. The situation may be unique to me, but I'm sure I'm not the only health-challenged patron of the ballet. I have had to lean forward at many a performance, and do so only as a last resort, because my abdomen harbours a very large tumour. When seated in the normal way, I can only last for a half hour or so until the pain becomes so severe that I simply need the relief of leaning forward. Of course, the balletgoer seated behind me thinks I am being incredibly rude and insensitive, rather than in incredible pain.

I always try to buy seats where there will be no one behind me, either on the sides or in the back row, but ordering through ticketmaster, this isn't possible every time. Instead of staying home to bear my particular burden and foregoing theatregoing entirely, I just do the best I can and bear the inevitable pain as long as I can, praying that the person seated behind me will be kind if I have do a little leaning forward. I simply want to raise awareness, as it were, of other reasons for leaning forward. Lots of folk may look hale and hearty on the outside, as I do, but live with chronic health problems that don't allow them to behave as normally as you would like.

#58 kfw

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Posted 31 March 2007 - 04:12 PM

I actually prefer the living dead to those who think every time a dancer leaves the floor, balances on pointe for more than one count or adds a triple revolution is a historic event warranting ear-shattering bravos.

I'll take either one over the folks who have loud conversations about anything and everything before the ballet and then again during intermissions. Maybe these people have had season's subscriptions since they were kids. Maybe they just have too much money and too few inner resources and have come for nothing more than entertainment. But I'm there to see the ballet, and to savor about it, and to my mind public conversation about other matters is like wearing jeans to a church wedding -- it fails to honor the occasion.

#59 Mike Gunther

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Posted 31 March 2007 - 05:26 PM

Leaning forward seems to be growing in behavior. I get the feeling that the lean-forwarders think that they show a more intense connection with what's going on. The fact that they drive those behind to madness may foster my derisive explanation. Hate 'em.


What is the problem with leaning forward, anyway? You might scorn me for asking the question, but I have seen a *lot* of performances in my life and this has never been a problem. I suppose there must have been leaners in front of me from time to time, but if so it has just not even registered. Is this because I typically sit up front, or because I am 6' tall, or ?? Inquiring minds want to know.

#60 Marga

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Posted 31 March 2007 - 05:33 PM

It must be because you're 6' tall (for times when you're not in the first row)! I'm only 5'4" (with hair that lies flat on my head!), but my leaning forward seems to obscure the view of the person seated behind me. Come to think of it, audience members of your height (and taller) obscure my view, and there's not much you or they can do about it (except to slink down in your seat a little :)).


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