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Audience behaviorany especially bad examples recently?


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#61 carbro

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Posted 31 March 2007 - 05:35 PM

No, it wasn't the hummer, or the seat tapper, or the cellphone multitasker. This is a new one: The 'Artistically-Moved Sigher.' I had the 'honor' of sitting next to a well-groomed, middle-aged lady who spent the entire performance vocally reacting (sigh, ooh, ahhh, etc.) to almost every movement on the stage. . . . "When the artistry moves me, I have a right to react!" So I answered forcefully: "Wait until the time for applause." That sort-of shut her up...for this first ballet.
. . .
Was I too harsh with this "Artistically-Moved" individual? What else could I have done?

Maybe "It's too bad both of us can't enjoy the performance at the same time"? Maybe shooting a glance at her friend to suggest that she's ruining more than just your enjoyment?

#62 Giannina

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Posted 31 March 2007 - 05:41 PM

Mike, I'd guess it because you're 6' tall. When you lean forward you block the view of those behind you. I'm 5'2" tall and I've done many things to make myself 6' tall: sitting on my coat/purse/program/anything-I can-get-my-hands on.

In some theater programs there is a request for patrons not to lean forward because of the above mentioned result. Kids do it; kids block views.

Giannina

#63 carbro

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Posted 31 March 2007 - 05:42 PM

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.

Orchestra sitters don't lean. Even if they did, the people behind them are looking up -- or at least straight ahead -- so their heads won't block the view. It's with the steeper grading of tiers that leaning is a problem.

#64 Mike Gunther

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Posted 31 March 2007 - 06:01 PM

Orchestra sitters don't lean. Even if they did, the people behind them are looking up -- or at least straight ahead -- so their heads won't block the view. It's with the steeper grading of tiers that leaning is a problem.


Oh I get it now. Like in that situation somebody could be leaning down into your sightline. Thanks!

#65 richard53dog

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Posted 01 April 2007 - 09:31 AM

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.

Orchestra sitters don't lean. Even if they did, the people behind them are looking up -- or at least straight ahead -- so their heads won't block the view. It's with the steeper grading of tiers that leaning is a problem.



Yes, and quite a few in the tiers sit on the edge of their seats and THEN lean forward. Their shoulders and heads seem to block about about half the view of the person in the higher row just behind them.
:)

#66 bart

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Posted 01 April 2007 - 09:44 AM

When you thiink of it, it's something of a miracle that several thousand people -- each with his or her own needs, preferences, and peeves -- don't end up in fist fights and riots at every performance. :(

Possibly this should be credited to the power of Art -- creating a kind of "Peaceable Kingdom" among all those egos.

I'm with kfw. So much of the audience behavior we've been discussing ...

[ ... ] fails to honor the occasion.

Personally, I've become more aware as a result of this discussion, and will be watching my own behavior -- which includes almost whacking the lady Mayor of West Palm Beach on the head during an intermission when I got carried away with enthusiasm and demonstrate a port de bras while standing in the aisle :) :blush: I'll also try to act with more awareness and consideration than I sometimes do.

#67 koshka

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Posted 01 April 2007 - 12:49 PM

I'll take either one over the folks who have loud conversations about anything and everything before the ballet and then again during intermissions.



Well, loud/profane/etc. is not really ever good, but who cares what others are talking about before curtain and at intermission? I mean, yes, it's lovely if your neighbors bring you into a performance-related discussion, but when I attend the ballet with friends (or see friends there), we often use the intermissions, etc. to catch up on all manner of news--travel, kids, work, ballet class... Why this should concern anyone else is beyond me.

As for leaning: a most interesting and enlightening discussion for me.
I sit in the front row (orchestra) whenever possible as I strongly prefer that vantage point. On one occasion, though, I was in the balcony in NY and I leaned forward and was immediately asked not to. I complied, but found the request very puzzling at the time.

Cute story about the KCen: my front-row subscription seat is near the center, behind the conductor. At one of last spring's performances of Sleeping Beauty, a woman was next to me with a tiny girl, 4 or 5 years old. When the conductor came up to face the audience before each act, he was pretty much eye-to-eye with the little girl. Before the first act, his look seemed to say "I hope you behave but I'm a little skeptical". But she held up magnificently, and she got a little look and smile from the conductor before each subsequent act.

#68 kfw

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Posted 01 April 2007 - 01:55 PM

I'll take either one over the folks who have loud conversations about anything and everything before the ballet and then again during intermissions.



Well, loud/profane/etc. is not really ever good, but who cares what others are talking about before curtain and at intermission? I mean, yes, it's lovely if your neighbors bring you into a performance-related discussion, but when I attend the ballet with friends (or see friends there), we often use the intermissions, etc. to catch up on all manner of news--travel, kids, work, ballet class... Why this should concern anyone else is beyond me.

The key word is "loud," and it's precisely because personal things don't concern anyone else and mundane things probably don't interest anyone else that I wish more people would discuss them in the lobby and not in their seats where the people around them have no choice but to hear them, and where some of us are in a this-is-a-very-special-occasion frame of mind. You are probably thoughtful and respectful of the people around you, so we can probably at least agree that the problems we're all complaining about occur because people think that whatever they do in the theater should be of no concern to anyone else.

For what it's worth, I'm a fidgeter by nature, and it takes all my self-control in the theater sometimes to sit still and not bug the guy in back of me.

#69 Helene

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Posted 01 April 2007 - 05:21 PM

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.

Most theaters have areas for wheelchairs and with moveable seats specificially for people who have physical issues that make them need more rooms or ability to move more freely. One of my friends uses these seats when she comes to visit me, because she has severe scoliosis, and it allows her to lean in whatever direction she needs to at will. Even though her condition is quite visible, that's little comfort to a person who is sitting behind her and whose view is blocked if she sits in a fixed seat in a row. I've sat in them when they've been free and I've come in just before the performance starts, but where I don't want to bother 10 people to get to my seat, at least until intermission.

#70 4mrdncr

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Posted 02 April 2007 - 09:43 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.



Well sometimes I'm the one who tries to NOT move at all because...
a) I am concentrating very hard trying to see/analyse/take in as much as possible and enter 'the zone' where I don't have to be aware of my surroundings but only the performance onstage.
b) I am also conscious and conscientious enough of the person behind me who may not appreciate my rocking, leaning, sighing, kicking/tapping feet, or waving hands.
c) I usually attend alone and don't have anyone else to talk to anyways. So I also tend to listen during intermissions to see what others thought, and then compare to what I experienced.

In short, I may not be moving much, but that doesn't mean I was not MOVED or very much alive throughout.
That's all for now folks.

#71 Tammy Spadina

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Posted 02 April 2007 - 11:06 AM

Okay, let's see if anyone has encountered this before:

At a Nutcracker performance recently (professional - ie $75 ticket price) a middle-aged lady near me was murmuring loudly and without stopping -- a continuous drone of sound. When I asked her to knock it off, she said she was describing the performance to her elderly mother, who was blind. I was stunned. Is there such a concept as ballet for the blind ?

#72 Farrell Fan

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Posted 02 April 2007 - 01:20 PM

I have occasionally seen blind patrons at NYCB performances, but have not been sitting close enough to tell whether anyone was describing the action to them.

#73 zerbinetta

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Posted 02 April 2007 - 01:35 PM

Oh, bart, what I wouldn't give for some of your stolid, silent types, having endured two consecutive MetOpera performances at which the well-dressed gentlemen next to me each seemed to be experiencing an onslaught of fleas.

#74 sandik

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Posted 03 April 2007 - 03:19 PM

Why hasn't science developed a quiet, clean, portable vaporization gun for such problems YET? Something that fits in an evening purse, makes no noise when smashing atoms and leaves no residue on the seat. Snap to it, scientists!


Ah, where's Scotty when you need him?

"Set phasers to 'stun'."

#75 innopac

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Posted 04 December 2010 - 01:22 PM

I was horrified at the behavior of this audience captured on youtube (complete with changing seats, texting, paper crunching and constant talking): during a performance of Swan Lake by Elena Kazakova & Artem Yachmennikov.


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