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.