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June Program Cancelled


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#1 Helene

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Posted 22 January 2009 - 02:04 PM

Much to my dismay, I read the following article that announced that Ballet Arizona is forced to cancel the June program -- what was originally listed as all-Balanchine -- and lay off 1/4 of it's artistic staff:

http://www.azcentral...conomy0118.html

Almost all these groups saw a decline in attendance after the financial crisis hit in the fall. At Ballet Arizona, for example, early sales for The Nutcracker were running ahead of 2007 sales before taking a dive in November, ending up 9 percent lower than past years, said Kevin Myers, who runs business operations for the company.

That might not sound like a huge number, but The Nutcracker is the ballet's biggest moneymaker every year, the surefire hit that helps subsidize the rest of the season.


Now to contact Alaska Air to change my plane ticket.

Edited to Add: According to the Ballet Arizona website, the May "Mother's Day" program "is a selection of Ib Andersen's favorite Balanchine ballets seen in Phoenix for the first time including STRAVINSKY VIOLIN CONCERTO and LA VALSE, danced to music by Ravel." There will be Balanchine after all.

#2 bart

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Posted 22 January 2009 - 02:55 PM

This is really awful news -- partly because I suspect we'll be getting more and more of such stories from other parts of the country.

Interesting that Nutcracker ticket sales were actually up until November, when they took a "nose dive." Edward Villella, in his interview with Roslyn sulcas in the NY Times, mentions something parallel: pledges and subscription sales were excellent until just about the same time. Then it all evaporated. Single ticket sales "went away" and pledges were withdrawn.

It's ironic that the only Arizona performing arts institution still selling lots of tickets is the theater that has a hit on its hands: a revival of Hair.

As Villella says in the Times interview: "To sum it up: It's a brutality."

All our best wishes to the artists and staff of Ballet Arizona in these shocking times.

#3 Marga

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Posted 22 January 2009 - 03:42 PM

Much to my dismay, I read the following article that announced that Ballet Arizona is forced to cancel the June program -- what was originally listed as all-Balanchine -- and lay off 1/4 of its artistic staff:

I went to the article because you mentioned that artistic staff would be laid off and was relieved to read instead that it is "25 percent of its administrative staff (italics mine) and not the dancers who will meet this fate. Not good, either, but at least it's not the dancers this time!

#4 bart

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Posted 22 January 2009 - 05:10 PM

Thanks, Marga. I also read the article, but apparently skipped over that key word.

Here's the company's website, where everyone can check out the program for the Mother's Day program, including, as Helene mentioned in her addendum, Balanchine:
http://www.balletaz.org/

Helene, do you know what was on the now-cancelled June program?


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