Jane Simpson

RDB American Tour 2011

136 posts in this topic

Yes, they are missing as of now, and they were still on there this morning. I called the box office to ask about buying in person, she said call back Monday, that you couldn't buy them at the box office as of today. I doubt it's serious, although at the time she thought they were available online.

Share this post


Link to post

I went to the box office today and was told that the tickets would not be on sale until at least Monday or maybe even later.

When I said that they were available online last night, the girl in the window replied "Not anymore."

Guess we'll all have to wait and see :dunno:

Share this post


Link to post

I called as well, and was told they had no idea when the tickets would go on sale, but to ask them on Monday again.

My dancer is with RDB, and this will be the first time that the whole family will make an effort to go and see him dance, ever! I live far away, and have never been to the Koch. Could someone please let me know where is the best place to be sitting. Is the stage high, so the first few rows only see the feet and we are looking up? I am hoping to buy tickets near the front of the orchestra if I can, so we can recognize him. How close can we sit in this theatre and still have a good view of feet and faces? Any guidance will be much appreciated.

Share this post


Link to post

The Lesson - OMG I am amazed that this very mediocre ballet is still in their rep. Thoroughly unpleasant.

Far from droppping it, the Danes are very proud of it - it is one of only three ballets enshrined in their official 'cultural canon'! When I saw them do it 3 or 4 years ago I found it rather less exaggerated than for instance the Royal Ballet version, and they had some very convincing dancers - though of course that makes it even more horrifying. (Actually I've been told that some Danes think it's a comedy.)

Yes,we are very fond of it in Denmark, and one of its greatest assets is the music (not Danish I’m sorry to say), which I think is absolutely thrilling. I must admit, that I haven't yet met anyone who thought it was just a comedy in the more harmless sense of the word. What appeals to the Danish sense of humour might be the absurdity and the grotesque quality of the ballet. The original source of the ballet is Ionesco's one-act play "La leçon", a famous example of absurd theatre, and therefore the ballet shouldn't be performed in a too realistic manner. It must be performed with some artistic distance and irony, or else it will end up being just a "shabby little shocker", like Puccini’s opera ”Tosca” was once called by a critic. The ballet is, admitted, far more macabre than Ionesco's play. Ionesco's play is immensely funny in all its horror because of his absurd play with words, but dance hasn't that same metaphoric power. Body language is less ambiguous, and therefore the murder becomes more realistic and, yes, more unpleasant, than in the play.

It is possible to watch two very different Danish performances of the ballet on the internet right now. On youtube you can see the ballet chopped into 5 parts with Gudrun Bojesen and Johan Kobborg. It is the performance from the official celebration of the "cultural canon", which Jane mentioned above. And on the homeplage of the Danish National Broadcasting you will find an older version with Flemming Flindt himself and Anne Marie Vessel. The latter is the far more scaring of the two!:

(not complete - the beginning misses)

Danish Radio: The Lesson

Share this post


Link to post
How close can we sit in this theatre and still have a good view of feet and faces? Any guidance will be much appreciated.
If your dancer is doing featured roles, you should be fine in the orchestra, although I can't vouch for seats very near the stage. I have sat in Row R Orchestra a couple of times (four rows from the back) and faces were clearly visible.

However, if your dancer is in the ensemble, perhaps you'd prefer to be able to look down on the stage. If I were in your position, I'd want the First or Second Ring, Row AA. Those are equivalent to the box seats in other theaters, and you will not want to sit to close to the stage, because those seats can have less than full view. You%2

Share this post


Link to post

Millie, if it were my daughter, I'd definitely buy a ticket in the front row. If you have eyes only for James, this is the best place, in my opinion. (Otherwise, Row K is a great central location!)

I sat in my 'old' (from over 40 years ago) front row seat on Balanchine's birthday last month. Aside from being thrilled to be in the exact spot I sat in when I was young, it afforded me the opportunity to really see each dancer at the closest possible range. And at the State Koch Theatre, that isn't really that close.

The orchestra pit is vast and forms a gulf between you and the stage. It really is a pit, in the true sense of the word - it's deep! (When orchestra members speak to friends before and between ballets, they crane their necks in order to do so!) Add the lip which doesn't always get danced on and you're a nice distance away! You can see feet clearly and facial expressions and everything else. Me, I wish the seats in Row A could be closer to the stage!

As far as seeing the 'tableau', who needs to see that when your child is onstage!? :) That said, you can see the whole scene, only not as well as further back, of course.

Watching and getting to know individual dancers is why I subscribed to that seat in the 1960's! In retrospect, being just behind and to the right of Robert Irving and Hugo Fiorato as they conducted the NYCB orchestra was priceless!

Congratulations on James's coming to NY with RDB so you can all go see him dance!

edited to amend senior moment error (thanks, Jack Reed!)

Share this post


Link to post

Does the conductor stand above the orchestra pit in the new configuration? If so, then front row dead center seats (behind the conductor) are awful. I once had them at the Met for an ABT performance, and I was miserable.

To see faces, in the old configuration, I've always loved between five and eight rows back a bit towards the side. You can see between heads that way.

Share this post


Link to post

In retrospect, being just behind and to the right of Clifford Irving and Hugo Fiorato as they conducted the NYCB orchestra was priceless!

For the sake of BA! accuracy, it was Robert Irving in my day; Clifford Irving deployed other talents, elsewhere, IIRC.

But having sat in Row N in the Met the afternoon of 9th June and in Row N in the Koch Theatre that evening, I'd say my sense of Scotch Symphony being at a greater distance in the Koch than ABT's Robbins program had been in the Met wasn't all due to NYCB's remote way of dancing now (or the new backdrop for it by Karin von Aroldingen, no less, evoking the vast spaces of the Scottish Highlands, or something), and I plan to try to sit closer next time I'm in the Koch. (I wanted to do that that time, but I bought at the last minute, and I had to take what I could get.) But I could just make out faces okay, and I had no problem with the conductor, Helene. Seeing between heads can be a problem in the Met's Orchestra; but if you sit upstairs there, then you're really far away.

My seat in the Met had been much more satisfactory (as was the performance!), and I had no particular awareness of the conductor there, either. (His head and shoulders, I mean. Charles Barker didn't get Fancy Free to bounce along quite as I remember the great Robert Irving did.)

On the other hand, I always felt even front row center in the First Ring in the New York State Theatre was farther away than optimum, although of course it helped to "open out" floor patterns for big-cast ballets, e.g. Union Jack, about the biggest cast there was, and it was certainly preferable to sitting at the same distance in the Orchestra seats, of course. I alternated between that location and the center of the old 14th row, old Row M, which always seemed lower than optimum. (Disclosure: I'm spoiled by the steeply-raked profile of the Auditorium Theatre here in Chicago, vast opera house though it is. Behind about the tenth row you can hardly be blocked. So this may explain why I'm in some disagreement with my friend carbro, who may have better eyes than I, anyway.)

Share this post


Link to post

The on-line ticket ordering site is back on-line for RDB in New York this morning (noon, New York time):

http://www.davidhkochtheater.org/events.html

Prices appear comparable to NYCB, with $135 for first ring the top price.

Alas, they don't show you a chart of each section and let you pick a seat. You select the section and it picks one out for you. So, for some of the readers here not familiar with the theatre, do print out seating charts for the theatre before purchasing. I've discovered that if you keep re-ordering and re-ordering on the same purchase, you can pick the seat you want and delete the others before moving to the next step. But it's very frustrating that you have to do this. I tried this for First Tier. The first seat it gave me was A36, which is the outermost seat, on the aisle. Then it gave me A34, then A32, etc. I have no idea how much clicking you have to do to get to a seat you want, say, in the center section!

There is also a service charge of $6 per ticket.

One question: What is " Bourbenonville Variations"? Is that supposed to be "Bournonville Variations"?

Share this post


Link to post

One question: What is " Bourbenonville Variations"? Is that supposed to be "Bournonville Variations"?

See here for a nice description of the "Bournonville Variations," authored by RDB dancer Carling Talcott as a guest post this past May on the "Ballet Bag" blog.

What I'm really looking for is a Bourbonville Variations, which of course would be the ballet's answer to Margaritaville.

Share this post


Link to post

Thank you everyone for your help in seating at the Koch.

I bought tickets the day before yesterday. I was surprised that I was not able to get tickets in the front centre part of the orchestra, the closest the lady said they had was row P! I guess this means that either tickets are selling fantastically well, or they are holding some back. I did get Row A at the sides, near the aisle, for a show, and further back in the centre for another, so hopefully it will all work out.

The ticket office lady was very helpful, and I agree that trying to get them on line, and choose the tickets you want is very difficult. It was worth the long distance phone call.

Now for a hotel at "reasonable" NY prices......

Share this post


Link to post

I bought tickets the day before yesterday. I was surprised that I was not able to get tickets in the front centre part of the orchestra, the closest the lady said they had was row P! I guess this means that either tickets are selling fantastically well, or they are holding some back. I did get Row A at the sides, near the aisle, for a show, and further back in the centre for another, so hopefully it will all work out.

The ticket office lady was very helpful, and I agree that trying to get them on line, and choose the tickets you want is very difficult. It was worth the long distance phone call.

I tried buying a ticket for the 6/18 matinee on line yesterday and got assigned a relatively undesirable seat in the section I chose. (I'm a front-of-1st-or-2nd-ring girl, myself.) Since I was going to be near the theater later in the day, I decided to can the on-line purchase and see what was available at the box office. It was worth the effort - I got a much better seat. (1st ring, row A, and off center- which is where I like it - I think you get more depth in the stage picture. And ... if you're not in the first row, the sight lines over the heads in front of you are better.)

I don't know why the Koch Theater on-line ticketing tool is so much less user-friendly than the Met's, City Center's, or BAM's ...

Share this post


Link to post

I don't know why the Koch Theater on-line ticketing tool is so much less user-friendly than the Met's, City Center's, or BAM's ...

And they are still mailing out hard-paper tickets in the U.S. Mail! In the west, OCPAC, the Barclay, Vail, San Francisco, PNB, Colorado, etc. all let you pick your own seat from an on-line chart and then print out PDF tickets with bar codes, like the Met. OCPAC even has a set of video images so you can see what the view is like from the area you're considering.

The only work-around for on-line seat selection at Koch that I've discovered is to repeatedly add more and more seats until you get to one you want and then delete the others. The timer means you have to work fast, though.

I'm just guessing that the software upgrades they need for a better system are too expensive, but it seems that everybody else has managed this somehow.

Share this post


Link to post

I just bought tickets for the June 14th opening. 4th ring row A quite central. Got a 20% discount with the code DM20 (code good until March 30)

I love 4th ring row A!!

Share this post


Link to post

Is Gudrun Bojesen coming on the US tour? She's not listed for the Kennedy Center appearances.

Share this post


Link to post

Could anyone comment on casting for the Kennedy Center shows, especially Napoli (doubt I'll be able to drive to DC during the work week, sadly....).

I would definitely prefer, and of course that is very peresonal, to see the young rising star Alban Lendorf as Gennaro on June 11. He is interesting both as a dancer and as an actor and both is so important in that role. Both Teresinas are good, though I prefer Amy Watson, having more temperament than the delicate and refined Susanne Grinder.

Share this post


Link to post

There's now a lot of information, including casting, on the Orange County site

Share this post


Link to post

Indeed! I was very confused for awhile when I first read the pdf as it lists Johan Kobborg as a guest principal. I spent awhile trying to figure out where he was dancing, but I guess they are just putting him in the line-up for prestige since his choreography is being shown?

It seems the cast for the mixed bill is the same both night. I will hopefully be able to attend one night of that and the Amy Watson cast of Napoli (merely going off of Anne's recommendation above since I know little about the current principals!)

Share this post


Link to post

Indeed! I was very confused for awhile when I first read the pdf as it lists Johan Kobborg as a guest principal. I spent awhile trying to figure out where he was dancing, but I guess they are just putting him in the line-up for prestige since his choreography is being shown?

I think the list of dancers is for the whole tour so they won't all necessarily appear in every location.

Share this post


Link to post

The company has just published a press release about the tour which amongst other things answers the question above about Kobborg's participation:

"Johan Kobborg - who's a principal with Royal Ballet in London - will guest star in in New York June 14th in the part as the teacher in The Lesson by Flemming Flindt."

Also Caroline Cavallo - who officially retired from the company at the end of last year - returns as a guest to dance La Sylphide in San Francisco May 31st and in New York June 18th.

Share this post


Link to post

I see that Caroline Cavallo is American-born and trained. How is she in La Sylphide? Frankly, and meaning no disrespect to Ms. Cavallo, I had been hoping to see a Danish-trained dancer in the role.

Share this post


Link to post