FauxPas

Macaulay's Criticism

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Others may know with more certainty, but I believe the New Yorker is very committed to Acocella and her writing. If she did not write on something, the better possibility is that she chose not to write rather than that she did not have the space allotted.

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I don't dislike Macaulay's describing in his review what he doesn't want to see, but want to know why, and, which part of the taste it comes from. Further, I don't expect, or, want (why?) him to exactly agree with me on a performance - I don't want to have two exactly same photos at my hands when trying to reconstruct the performance in my mind through various reviews, like making a 3D movie with many photos taken from different points, but need to know where he took the photo.

You'll never get that from every individual review: he doesn't have enough space. In general, from dance critics I get this from reading their work over time. With Macaulay that started when he wrote for The New Yorker, taking over the "Dancing" column after Arlene Croce. He's written enough explicitly over the years that it was easier for me to get his context than many other critics.

Others may know with more certainty, but I believe the New Yorker is very committed to Acocella and her writing. If she did not write on something, the better possibility is that she chose not to write rather than that she did not have the space allotted.

I would have thought the same, since she's an active contributor as a book reviewer for the magazine.

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I did not feel compelled to go into D.C. in this cold weather to catch "Giselle" (I have seen the same production in NYC 10 years ago with Zakharova, Asylmuratova and younger Vishneva). However here is Alastair Macauley's NY Times review:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/12/arts/dance/12giselle.html?scp=1&sq=vishneva&st=cse

The article states, "This is now the third Mariinsky staging I have seen in which a hunt scene includes a stuffed version of a dead animal (a deer in this case) so unconvincing that it elicits laughter from the audience. Giselle’s rival, Bathilde, who arrives with the hunt, is stuffy, bossy and charmless. Originally, the ballet ended with Bathilde tenderly reclaiming her fiancé, Albrecht. You wouldn’t wish such a fate on the poor guy at the Mariinsky."

Does anyone have information on this version of Giselle, in which Bathilde returns in Act II?

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Helene, I felt uncomfortable with Macaulay's "her own press notice" phrase because it seems to relate to the ethics of the professional dancer and artist, beyond the quality of the performance in question. Claiming that the dancer put his/her own personal interest over the performance is something to be told with due caution,

I took him to mean not that Vishneva was somehow being selfish, but that, for whatever reason, instead of losing herself in the role she was trying to perform it in the way she thought the public expected. Whether or not that was true of that particular performance, that's likely what happens with many dancers when they're having an off night.

Macaulay, generally, may well have confidence in his taste, which may be a very refined one, considering his title as the NY times chief dance critic. But, I think he also should be aware of the dark side of the taste - a part of which, however small, has nothing to do with his knowledge, however vast it is, in ballet, just coming from his whole life, ballet-related or not. It's given to him like his fingerprints, and I don't think it's the place where confidence may be allowed - it will be the opposite. And, as he himself cannot clearly know what kind of and how much of innate bias is mingled with his acquired, cultivated, educated taste, I think the degree of confidence in taste as a whole should be always carefully monitored.

Can anyone really judge his or her own taste in this way? I think a good critic has to have great confidence; if he can't trust his judgment, he can't judge.

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Kyeong said:

Helene, I felt uncomfortable with Macaulay's "her own press notice" phrase because it seems to relate to the ethics of the professional dancer and artist, beyond the quality of the performance in question. Claiming that the dancer put his/her own personal interest over the performance is something to be told with due caution,

kfw said:

I took him to mean not that Vishneva was somehow being selfish, but that, for whatever reason, instead of losing herself in the role she was trying to perform it in the way she thought the public expected. Whether or not that was true of that particular performance, that's likely what happens with many dancers when they're having an off night.

Agree with kfw. And it's all right when a performer is once in a while 'selfish', and then all right if the critic points this out so that it hasn't gone unnoticed. Not that this necessarily means that she was 'selfish', of course, anyway--I just mentioned this, because that impression could also come from an exhilirated mood as well, in which you were 'full of yourself'. This could still be an 'off night' for the whole piece, but there can be all sorts of 'off nights', including those in which it's just not quite inspired or quite enough energy.

kyeong said:

Macaulay, generally, may well have confidence in his taste, which may be a very refined one, considering his title as the NY times chief dance critic. But, I think he also should be aware of the dark side of the taste - a part of which, however small, has nothing to do with his knowledge, however vast it is, in ballet, just coming from his whole life, ballet-related or not. It's given to him like his fingerprints, and I don't think it's the place where confidence may be allowed - it will be the opposite. And, as he himself cannot clearly know what kind of and how much of innate bias is mingled with his acquired, cultivated, educated taste, I think the degree of confidence in taste as a whole should be always carefully monitored.

kfw said:

Can anyone really judge his or her own taste in this way? I think a good critic has to have great confidence; if he can't trust his judgment, he can't judge.

Good heavens, yes, he can't be hemmed in and worry about every little thing he says, and I'm obviously not even a big fan. If he 'didn't have confidence in his taste', then he ought not have that job! even if we don't always like that taste. 'Innate bias' is something we need as well--that's just like a ballerina's 'possible selfishness' or 'over-the-topness'--personal taste is part of it.

It's given to him like his fingerprints, and I don't think it's the place where confidence may be allowed - it will be the opposite. And, as he himself cannot clearly know what kind of and how much of innate bias is mingled with his acquired, cultivated, educated taste, I think the degree of confidence in taste as a whole should be always carefully monitored.

Why cannot he himself 'clearly know what kind of...etc.'? And why would his 'acquired, cultivated, educated taste' always be better? And if his 'confidence in taste as a whole should always be carefully monitored', I can assure you it must be, or people wouldn't be talking about him all the time. This sounds almost as though he needs one of those bracelets that people who get out of jail early have to wear. If people are TOO carefully monitored, they become afraid to express anything.

I mean, what PLANET? This is not a country where 'Dear Leader' has to be pleased to such a degree beyond just not cussing or leering too much.

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The Post and The Times have different goals, styles, editors and readers. But in the two years writing at The Post, the most refreshing thing has been the full-on immersion in making my own taste less important. Sure, it's there and it's essential, but it's not where the column starts nor where it ends - which is with reportage and giving the reader a visual sense of what was on the stage. I'd love another paragraph for context and analysis, but that's not in my word count.

I couldn't do the sort of meaty criticism or comprehensive coverage possible in The Times, but it's refreshing for it not to be central whether I like what I see or not - and it's a different school of thought on arts writing. I've long tried to evaluate things by how well they achieve their goals, not mine - these two years have given me a lot of practice!

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Here is the review:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/26/arts/dance/american-ballet-theater-at-met-opera-house-review.html?_r=1&ref=arts

Two points. Macaulay is always castigating ABT for not programming more mixed bills at the Met (even though he has admitted they don't sell.) For those of you who may have attended the mixed bill, did it sell???

My second point is in regard to the almost non-review of Antony Tudor's Shadowplay. Note to Macaulay: Rather than spending the first seven paragraphs of the review acting like a wannabe artistic director for ABT, maybe your time (and ours) would have been better spent telling us why Shadowplay is "a relic" and "ponderous".

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My second point is in regard to the almost non-review of Antony Tudor's Shadowplay. Note to Macaulay: Rather than spending the first seven paragraphs of the review acting like a wannabe artistic director for ABT, maybe your time (and ours) would have been better spent telling us why Shadowplay is "a relic" and "ponderous".

I count five paragraphs of introduction and editorial comment, two of which are only a sentence apiece, before the heart of the review. A good many posters here seem to be wannabe ABT (or NYCB or Mariinsky) artistic directors, and who can blame them? (Me, I have a few suggestions for Suzanne Farrell, if she's foolish enough to listen to them). I'd have liked more on "Shadowplay," since it seems to be rarely performed in New York, but there were those three premieres to concentrate on. And I want a critic to be engaged enough to give advice. Macaulay's hardly the only one who does.

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You can go to the Metropolitan Opera's website and see that the mixed bill indeed is not selling well. It's mystifying: three famous choreographers presenting new ballets with great dancers in the middle of ballet season in New York. I don't pay much attention to advertising, but is ABT's PR department perhaps to blame? At any rate, given this state of affairs I can't see anything wrong with Macauley devoting several paragraphs to a discussion about ABT's programming. And his self-deprecating humor made me laugh:

Audience excitement on opening night was kindled by the presence in the auditorium of the world’s most famous Black Swan in an advance stage of pregnancy. And despite the Met’s vast size and two central aisles, the powers that be decided to place Natalie Portman, the three choreographers and the ballet’s executive director in the seats immediately behind, before and across the aisle from me. I had the feeling that they were all going to say “Come quietly, please, Mr. Macaulay,” and lead me away to ballet prison.

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My second point is in regard to the almost non-review of Antony Tudor's Shadowplay. Note to Macaulay: Rather than spending the first seven paragraphs of the review acting like a wannabe artistic director for ABT, maybe your time (and ours) would have been better spent telling us why Shadowplay is "a relic" and "ponderous".

I count five paragraphs of introduction and editorial comment, two of which are only a sentence apiece, before the heart of the review. A good many posters here seem to be wannabe ABT (or NYCB or Mariinsky) artistic directors, and who can blame them? (Me, I have a few suggestions for Suzanne Farrell, if she's foolish enough to listen to them). I'd have liked more on "Shadowplay," since it seems to be rarely performed in New York, but there were those three premieres to concentrate on. And I want a critic to be engaged enough to give advice. Macaulay's hardly the only one who does.

I'm afraid we'll have to agree to disagree regarding what we want out of a critic. :wink:

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You can go to the Metropolitan Opera's website and see that the mixed bill indeed is not selling well. It's mystifying: three famous choreographers presenting new ballets with great dancers in the middle of ballet season in New York. I don't pay much attention to advertising, but is ABT's PR department perhaps to blame?

Just thinking out loud here . . . is it the PR department's fault or is ABT's leadership trying to push something that the vast majority of the Met audience (as compared to the Fall City Center audience) just doesn't want???

At any rate, given this state of affairs I can't see anything wrong with Macauley devoting several paragraphs to a discussion about ABT's programming.

This is precisely what drives me up and over the wall about him. He very clearly wants more of the mixed bills at the Met even though much testimony exists to the fact that these bills don't sell. (He even admitted as much in print several years ago when he reviewed an Ashton/Balanchine double-feature.) How much of a bath does he think ABT can take with these non-selling mixed bills? (This is a rhetorical question, of course!)

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You can go to the Metropolitan Opera's website and see that the mixed bill indeed is not selling well. It's mystifying: three famous choreographers presenting new ballets with great dancers in the middle of ballet season in New York. I don't pay much attention to advertising, but is ABT's PR department perhaps to blame?

Just thinking out loud here . . . is it the PR department's fault or is ABT's leadership trying to push something that the vast majority of the Met audience (as compared to the Fall City Center audience) just doesn't want???

At any rate, given this state of affairs I can't see anything wrong with Macauley devoting several paragraphs to a discussion about ABT's programming.

This is precisely what drives me up and over the wall about him. He very clearly wants more of the mixed bills at the Met even though much testimony exists to the fact that these bills don't sell. (He even admitted as much in print several years ago when he reviewed an Ashton/Balanchine double-feature.) How much of a bath does he think ABT can take with these non-selling mixed bills? (This is a rhetorical question, of course!)

I wish I could go to see ABT and NYCB, but who has the time or money? I think a lot of people fall into the same category.

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In terms of a mixed bill selling I think that there is PR and there is also choice of ballets. ABT presented 3 of the most active choreographers around, but your casual ballet goer doesn't know that (B. Millipied might be know because of the movie, but I bet most people don't make the connection and/or don't care). You add to that a Tudor ballet that is far from his best and not very well know, and it doesn't translate to a hot ticket.

Ballet Theater has had many ballet over the years that did and could sell well as on a rep program - Billy the Kid (a number of ABT guys would be great in it), Rodeo, 3 Virgins and a Devil, Push Comes to Shove -- could they get a guest like Cojocaru, Osipova or whoever to do Taglioni in Pas De Quatre.

Obviously, I'm not putting together a program, just trying to make the point that a program could be put together what would sell with the right hook and a little PR push.

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Puppytreats, you make a good point. If budget would allow I would see everything ABT presents. But having to apportion funds over the season I must see my favorite classics, sometimes more than one cast and so I have to draw the line somewhere. I really wanted to see Bright Stream but simply could not do it - especially with RDB and Kirov to consider. I fervently hope Mr. McKenzie doesn't think empty seats are simply a matter of disinterest.

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I would have liked to see the mixed rep programs too, but time, distance, cost to travel + tickets, AND the fact the mixed-reps were only 4 days, and all in the middle of the week, prevented me. I have to work to live, and getting time off in the middle of the week takes some negotiation. I also have to choose either to attend a matinee, and miss one day of work; or if I do try to attend an evening performance, must rush out of work, take a 4hr bus/train ride into the city, maybe arrive in time to see something, then get no sleep so I can catch the return bus/train at 4am the next morning and still make work that afternoon. It's a tough sell.

I am very glad ABT is still doing a City Center season, and if they are true to form, some programs will be repeated on the weekends so I can better attend them.

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"I fervently hope Mr. McKenzie doesn't think empty seats are simply a matter of disinterest."

- I fear this is how many will interpret the situation. Probably government funding is affected by this, too.

Why do NYCB and ABT compete during the same season?

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Why do NYCB and ABT compete during the same season?

With City Opera vacating the State Theater, I hope ABT and City Ballet will alternate seasons there. It would make so much more sense than their competing directly against one another, and after all it is the theater created especially for ballet. And many of ABT's mixed bills would look much better in a less monumental house.

miliosr, I'm not sure I am understanding you right. ABT is only doing four performances of a single mixed bill this season. They're clearly not listening to Macauley's advice anyway (and I'm sure he's not expecting them to), and in the meantime his talking about the program generates press and therefore interest. In fact, the friend I attended with last night decided to go with me at the last minute precisely because Macauley's article piqued her curiosity.

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miliosr, I'm not sure I am understanding you right.

Often, I'm not sure I understand me right either. :wink:

ABT is only doing four performances of a single mixed bill this season. They're clearly not listening to Macauley's advice anyway (and I'm sure he's not expecting them to), and in the meantime his talking about the program generates press and therefore interest. In fact, the friend I attended with last night decided to go with me at the last minute precisely because Macauley's article piqued her curiosity.

I guess my bottom line is this: I'm not convinced that the vast majority of the ABT audience (or at least the ABT Met audience) is all that interested in mixed bills with new works by leading choreographers. I think the vast majority of the audience (as compared to the ABT intelligentsia on this board) only want to see their favorite stars in multi-act story ballets (no matter how terrible the actual productions may be.) In that sense, I agree with Arlene Croce when she wrote in 1995 or 1996 that, "of all the major companies, ABT has changed the least." It's still the same old gaudy warhorse [not a judgement -- just an observation] it's been since at least the 1960s, and, in my opinion, a large segment of ABT's audience is perfectly happy with that state of affairs. So why, if I'm Macaulay, do I harp on ABT in print for something that, institutionally, is unlikely in the extreme to happen???

That being said, though, there's no way of knowing what the ABT audience really wants apart from ticket sales and/or some kind of comprehensive survey of the ABT audience itself.

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Why do NYCB and ABT compete during the same season?

With City Opera vacating the State Theater, I hope ABT and City Ballet will alternate seasons there. It would make so much more sense than their competing directly against one another, and after all it is the theater created especially for ballet. And many of ABT's mixed bills would look much better in a less monumental house.

I hope they don't, and I like their competing against each other, it's healthy. But going to the Met for literally almost anything is better than going to the State if the money part is working for the company. Who needs that tinny sound you get at State Theater? Last summer I saw the Ashton program of 4 ballets, and the advantages definitely outweighed the disadvantages. ABT is used to projecting big, as I see it, and especially for the big 19th century 'warhorses', they need the Met. I've been seeing ABT sporadically at the Met for 30 years (probably only 20% as much as I've been to NYCB), and I'd hate to see them have to undergo the reduction that State Theater would require(although if it just substituted for the CC season, that would be all right); this is something you can even see when one of the big male stars from ABT guests with NYCB--they're used to big projection so that they really stand out a little more than they should, since that's what ABT is all about. And at the Met, even if the orchestra playing isn't first-rate, it still sounds fabulous compared to what you hear at State; you don't even care if they didn't practice or sound a little lazy sometimes, you're so grateful. I dread that aspect of going to RDB in a few weeks, although the delicacy of the Danish choreography probably will be one thing that will look better in the smaller house. Peter Martins's Sleeping Beauty would itself be much better at the Met, although that's not going to happen. I recall seeing Merrill Ashley's Carabosse in disbelief last year, looked like an old Mighty Mouse cartoon and sounded like it too. Yes, it was that small.

I agree with Arlene Croce when she wrote in 1995 or 1996 that, "of all the major companies, ABT has changed the least." It's still the same old gaudy warhorse [not a judgement -- just an observation] it's been since at least the 1960s, and, in my opinion, a large segment of ABT's audience is perfectly happy with that state of affairs.

I used to be very judgmental about this aspect of ABT, but now I'm like the 'large segment of the audience' who 'is perfectly happy with' it. I want the warhorses and stars there, and if that means I've turned into a philistine in some ways, I'm not worried about it. They get Osipova and Vishneva, just like they got Makarova and Baryshnikov. And it's fun for NYCB types and ABT types to compete with each other sometimes. Makes me think that now that if you see 'Swan Lake' at NYCB, you know you're probably never going to see the Balanchine Act II again there, which would be what that house should be more about (I think it was on a program a few seasons ago, but that's not what you will usually see there.) After having seen Martins's SB and SL at State Theater, there's not a single 'Swan Lake' or 'Sleeping Beauty' at ABT I wouldn't rather see, no matter who was in the cast, and even if the corps was not overly inspired (they're not nearly always at NYCB either). But if ABT was doing their big things at State Theater, I'd never go. The whole idea sounds claustrophobic, homogenizing.

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I believe the two companies competing against each other actually helps to build excitement about going to the ballet... the double blast of PR about the competing seasons probably gets more people to consider going to the ballet than if they weren't in competition. It works for retail, why not for performing arts? There are more people in the potential audience than are actually reached. If it were a small town and the population was already maxed out, maybe... but I am sure there is still a large "sleeping" audience that hasn't been tapped yet. I don't think the competition spreads the audience too thin, I think it's the high cost of tickets that slows the flow of the ticket sales. Sure Broadway gets high prices, but hey, those prices slow down many of us as well... and there is more awareness of the Broadway half-price ticket booth perhaps than of discounts on ballet tickets...

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In terms of a mixed bill selling I think that there is PR and there is also choice of ballets. ...

...just trying to make the point that a program could be put together what would sell with the right hook and a little PR push.

I also wonder if more could not be done to make these programs sell better and I was surprised not see more "fuss" whether in advertising or special features about an evening featuring premiers by the two choreographers usually considered the best classical ballet choreographers working today. Of course, it would have been good for ABT had the NYTimes, say, had a big Sunday feature on their "Premier" night. (I should add that it's entirely possible a Times writer or critic lobbied to do such a feature and was turned down by the editors.)

But I also think casting can work wonders, which Vipa also suggested. What about a classics to premiers evening that included "Other Dances" with Osipova-Halberg alternating with Vishneva-Gomez? That would be artistically substantial and a crowd-pleaser. Macaulay's own suggestion about pairing a short work with one of the shorter, two act "full length" works is also shrewd.

ABT's "audience" may be happy with the current Met seasons--but that does not mean they would not also be happy if the company developed its strengths in repertory programs (or, for that matter, improved the quality of their full length productions). By featuring just one repertory program for four performances in the middle of the week, it's as if the company is actively discouraging audience interest by showing its own lack of faith in that kind of program. The Met season is the company's "big" New York season so what they do there matters and there are a number of short works that, historically, have played there very well including ABT classics such as Rodeo and Fancy Free.

I don't think the ABT Met season need or even should radically change--far from it--and I hugely admire much of what Mckenzie has done. As the director of a ballet company only in fantasy, my job is a lot easier than his! Still, I can't help but think that at least a full week or week and a half could be managed of two different programs or varied mix and match repertory with shrewd audience-pleasing casting. I also suspect that having more repertory programing would generate more interest in that programming, as it would show audiences that these programs are an integral part of the season, and that the company itself has faith in what they are doing.

To say something a little more directly on topic: in one or two articles I have thought Macaulay sounded as if he simply wished ABT were a different company and for me as a reader those are not his most interesting moments, but in his review of the recent premier evening I did not think that was the case and he does seem to put his finger on something at least some ABT fans care about...which is part of the reason it has generated this discussion...

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In terms of a mixed bill selling I think that there is PR and there is also choice of ballets. ...

...just trying to make the point that a program could be put together what would sell with the right hook and a little PR push.

I also wonder if more could not be done to make these programs sell better and I was surprised not see more "fuss" whether in advertising or special features about an evening featuring premiers by the two choreographers usually considered the best classical ballet choreographers working today. Of course, it would have been good for ABT had the NYTimes, say, had a big Sunday feature on their "Premier" night. (I should add that it's entirely possible a Times writer or critic lobbied to do such a feature and was turned down by the editors.)

But I also think casting can work wonders, which Vipa also suggested. What about a classics to premiers evening that included "Other Dances" with Osipova-Halberg alternating with Vishneva-Gomez? That would be artistically substantial and a crowd-pleaser. Macaulay's own suggestion about pairing a short work with one of the shorter, two act "full length" works is also shrewd.

ABT's "audience" may be happy with the current Met seasons--but that does not mean they would not also be happy if the company developed its strengths in repertory programs (or, for that matter, improved the quality of their full length productions). By featuring just one repertory program for four performances in the middle of the week, it's as if the company is actively discouraging audience interest by showing its own lack of faith in that kind of program. The Met season is the company's "big" New York season so what they do there matters and there are a number of short works that, historically, have played there very well including ABT classics such as Rodeo and Fancy Free.

I don't think the ABT Met season need or even should radically change--far from it--and I hugely admire much of what Mckenzie has done. As the director of a ballet company only in fantasy, my job is a lot easier than his! Still, I can't help but think that at least a full week or week and a half could be managed of two different programs or varied mix and match repertory with shrewd audience-pleasing casting. I also suspect that having more repertory programing would generate more interest in that programming, as it would show audiences that these programs are an integral part of the season, and that the company itself has faith in what they are doing.

To say something a little more directly on topic: in one or two articles I have thought Macaulay sounded as if he simply wished ABT were a different company and for me as a reader those are not his most interesting moments, but in his review of the recent premier evening I did not think that was the case and he does seem to put his finger on something at least some ABT fans care about...which is part of the reason it has generated this discussion...

Drew, you've written here that rarest of things--a long post with which I agree 100%! Brimming with fine ideas, and if this is feasible

at least a full week or week and a half could be managed of two different programs or varied mix and match repertory with shrewd audience-pleasing casting.
it's a superb idea.

When I wrote last night, I hadn't even read the Macaulay article, but today I see this, and just wanted to point it out, given my panic at the idea they'd not use the Met:

Of the evening’s new ballets, however, it’s the most reluctant to meet the expectations of a Met audience. It’s geared to the chamber dimensions of its score, Stravinsky’s “Dumbarton Oaks,” a concerto for 15 orchestral players. The 10 dancers — quietly, attractively and not-quite-uniformly dressed by Richard Hudson, with the women in dresses cut just above the knee and wearing point shoes, and the men in shirts (suggesting they’ve just removed their jackets), trousers and laced shoes — seemed recessed on the large stage.

But even though he says 'seemed recessed on the stage', he doesn't seem to consider that especially a problem, and in mentioning the 'expectations of a Met audience', he does point to the element I kept emphasizing about the ABT's need for the big Met stage and sound.

I'm glad you pointed back to the review, as I would have to also say that I consider this easily to be the best-written one I've yet read by Mr. Macaulay, and he makes you want to see the 3 new works by really describing them well. Part of it could be that the works really did all turn out to be satisfying in a number of different ways, but his descriptions are very useful, and sound for the first time like the kind of dance criticism I like to read, i.e., not so much hyperbole, which often puts me off with him, and just talking about the works and even doing some thoughtful musing, whether or not one agrees with all of it. And I thought the witticisms were really funny here, not twee. The Portman/Millepied/Macaulay, et alia seating arrangement that anthony pointed out, was quite hilarious, plus the

(but don’t worry, there’s no hint of sexual attraction among us men!)
verged on profound :P If he wrote like this all the time, which is definitely more understated than we almost ever get, I wouldn't complain.

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Agreed, papeetepatrick, that Macauley can write so well--intelligently, enthusiastically, eloquently--that he makes me want to go to the ballet more often. I also love the ballet season as we currently know it, May and June with those casual-chic ballet audiences and the beautiful weather and the gelato vendors, it's just a joy. But I miss ballet during the many months when neither company is performing. And I can't help but think each of them could draw a larger audience if they didn't divide them.

miliosr, I think I just have to disagree. It sounds like you want decisions made completely on the basis of what sells rather than on any aesthetic criteria. I understand the need to make money, but how low would my opinion of the Metropolitan Opera fall, for instance, if they eliminated Wozzeck in order to replace it with yet four more La Bohèmes. And anyway, does that awful full-length Corsaire really have to be more of a draw than a properly advertised mixed bill showing off some of the company's biggest stars?

And why in heaven's name hasn't ABT done something about Don Q, Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty? It's their core repertoire, yet everybody knows the productions are poor. I'm convinced the muddled storytelling of Don Q could be improved just by changes to some of the pantomime, but nobody's bothered to touch it in fifteen years. It's infuriating.

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" and there is more awareness of the Broadway half-price ticket booth perhaps than of discounts on ballet tickets..."

Discounts on ballet tickets?

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" and there is more awareness of the Broadway half-price ticket booth perhaps than of discounts on ballet tickets..."

Discounts on ballet tickets?

The David Rubenstein Atrium, across from Lincoln Center has "same day" tickets to performances at Lincoln Center. I haven't checked there for ABT tickets, so I don't know if they've had any. I have gotten 50% off NYCB tickets.

http://new.lincolncenter.org/live/index.php/atrium

Sorry - this is off topic.

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