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
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!)