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NYC Ballet PricesAudience Member Goes on Strike


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#151 susanger

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Posted 10 July 2011 - 03:56 PM

What garbage. They haven't a clue. I just wonder how much money is being wasted on the marketing company that is advising them. Peter Martins should take 10 minutes every day to personally call his disgruntled subscribers.

#152 melange

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Posted 10 July 2011 - 06:11 PM

The marketing department's reply to ViolinConcerto is actually a masterpiece of corporate pablum--it explains nothing and it promises nothing. It even leaves NYCB an opening to resume the status quo ante if the new policies should prove not to be a box office philosopher's stone. As someone whose task it sometimes has been to blow fairy dust in the face of a disgruntled client, I must compliment K. Brown and her henchmen and women on such a soothing piece of vapidity. Trouble is, neither ViolinConcerto, susanger, nor, I suspect, anyone else, is buying it...

#153 abatt

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Posted 11 July 2011 - 05:36 AM

The true test will be box office receipts for the 2011-12 season.

#154 Trini

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Posted 11 July 2011 - 06:17 AM

As a result of not renewing my third ring subscription I got a call last week from a volunteer at the NYCB. He was very pleasant and tried very hard to convince me that a far off center seat in the 2nd ring would be a great seat to view the ballet at an affordable price. I did not buy it. He finally said that NYCB was restructuring its prices to be more in line with other entertainment venues in NYC and was way behind in doing this, and later on that they had a $6m deficit and had to deal with it by increasing ticket prices. I pointed out that the new subscription price structure and the various strange "turn off" mailings sent to me as a subscriber said to me that NYCB was looking for a different level of clientele (i.e. richer) than those who occupied the center seats in third and fourth ring, and while I do not like the new policy, they are certainly free to do as they wished, but it now excluded me. The gentleman was very pleasant and spent quite some time on the phone trying to convince me to resubscribe. Now NYCB prices have increased over the years but I always felt that they kept the prices in line so that NYCB was affordable all round and kept to the original aim of bringing ballet to as wide an audience as possible. Now there is a new policy in place. I hope it works for the sake of ballet in the spirit of Balanchine and for the dancers. I look forward to seeing NYCB maybe once or twice a year depending on what is on and whether I can get decent seats at affordable (probably discount) prices. But this is also an opportunity to see other ballet companies that visit NYC with the $ I would have used for NYCB. When I hear the music on the radio I am already nostalgic for the ballets to these scores I will probably no longer see after 20 years of subscribing but I am sure that this, too, will pass with time.

Cheers!

#155 bart

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Posted 11 July 2011 - 07:48 AM

Thanks, trini and others for describing your experiences. I understand that NYCB employees and volunteers have to put the best face on new policies, whatever they think about them personally. But I have to agree with melange, who writes:

The marketing department's reply to ViolinConcerto is actually a masterpiece of corporate pablum--it explains nothing and it promises nothing. It even leaves NYCB an opening to resume the status quo ante if the new policies should prove not to be a box office philosopher's stone. As someone whose task it sometimes has been to blow fairy dust in the face of a disgruntled client, I must compliment K. Brown and her henchmen and women on such a soothing piece of vapidity.



What worries me the possibility of unanticipated consequences. Even if this new policy works in financial terms, NYCB seems to be turning away just the kind of audience they need most.

These people are often the Company's biggest enthusiasts, those who attend most frequently and have seen the most. More important, they are "enthusiasts who actually know what they are looking at." They are the keepers of the Company's history and of its standards.

My fear is this:

--What will happen, if that particular audience departs or cuts way back on attendance?
-- Who will be left to speak up to management if and when performance standards begin to slide, or when repertoire becomes watered down or trivialized?

The NYCB is a great company, charged with preserving a vast repertoire of ballets and seeing that they are danced at the highest level. To do this one needs a discerning audience. Not just ticket-buyers with deeper pockets.

#156 puppytreats

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Posted 11 July 2011 - 08:22 AM

How about writing to the dancers and their union?

#157 Eileen

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Posted 11 July 2011 - 11:51 AM

I will try writing an Op-Ed to the New York Times.

#158 Trini

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Posted 11 July 2011 - 01:16 PM

We were also loyal through good times and bad, good ballets and not so good ballets, because, as you state, we understood the essence of the company. We also appreciated the high standards and spread the word about the NYCB and introduced many to NYCB over the years. Sadly, that has come to an end for some of us loyalists with the outrageous increases in ticket prices. Loyalty cuts two ways. It takes two hands to clap.

Kudos to you for considering writing an Op Ed piece.

#159 bart

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Posted 11 July 2011 - 03:28 PM

Kudos to you for considering writing an Op Ed piece.

I agree. This is the "local company" of the most sophisticated and knowledgeable dance audience in the country. That audience deserves to be heard in a wider forum than here.

#160 ViolinConcerto

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Posted 11 July 2011 - 04:41 PM

As a result of not renewing my third ring subscription I got a call last week from a volunteer at the NYCB. He was very pleasant and tried very hard to convince me that a far off center seat in the 2nd ring would be a great seat to view the ballet at an affordable price. I did not buy it. He finally said that NYCB was restructuring its prices to be more in line with other entertainment venues in NYC and was way behind in doing this, and later on that they had a $6m deficit and had to deal with it by increasing ticket prices. I pointed out that the new subscription price structure and the various strange "turn off" mailings sent to me as a subscriber said to me that NYCB was looking for a different level of clientele (i.e. richer) than those who occupied the center seats in third and fourth ring, and while I do not like the new policy, they are certainly free to do as they wished, but it now excluded me. The gentleman was very pleasant and spent quite some time on the phone trying to convince me to resubscribe. Now NYCB prices have increased over the years but I always felt that they kept the prices in line so that NYCB was affordable all round and kept to the original aim of bringing ballet to as wide an audience as possible. Now there is a new policy in place. I hope it works for the sake of ballet in the spirit of Balanchine and for the dancers. I look forward to seeing NYCB maybe once or twice a year depending on what is on and whether I can get decent seats at affordable (probably discount) prices. But this is also an opportunity to see other ballet companies that visit NYC with the $ I would have used for NYCB. When I hear the music on the radio I am already nostalgic for the ballets to these scores I will probably no longer see after 20 years of subscribing but I am sure that this, too, will pass with time.

Cheers!


Trini, I am curious, did the caller identify himself as a volunteer? I doubt very much if this is a task that volunteers would be assigned to. A friend of mine got a similar call (they spoke for over an hour late at night!) and the caller said he was in the the marketing department. He also made arrangements for what my friend thought was a very reasonable location/price, and then, CALLED BACK THE NEXT DAY TO RESCIND! He said he'd made a mistake. Do you think my friend is renewing? No. And he's had his subscription since the 1970's.

#161 Eileen

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Posted 11 July 2011 - 04:59 PM

We were also loyal through good times and bad, good ballets and not so good ballets, because, as you state, we understood the essence of the company. We also appreciated the high standards and spread the word about the NYCB and introduced many to NYCB over the years. Sadly, that has come to an end for some of us loyalists with the outrageous increases in ticket prices. Loyalty cuts two ways. It takes two hands to clap.

Kudos to you for considering writing an Op Ed piece.


Thank you, Trini. I wrote and submitted it today, but I doubt it will be chosen. I will redo it as a letter to the Arts & Leisure Section of the Sunday Times, at least.

#162 vipa

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Posted 11 July 2011 - 05:10 PM


We were also loyal through good times and bad, good ballets and not so good ballets, because, as you state, we understood the essence of the company. We also appreciated the high standards and spread the word about the NYCB and introduced many to NYCB over the years. Sadly, that has come to an end for some of us loyalists with the outrageous increases in ticket prices. Loyalty cuts two ways. It takes two hands to clap.

Kudos to you for considering writing an Op Ed piece.


Thank you, Trini. I wrote and submitted it today, but I doubt it will be chosen. I will redo it as a letter to the Arts & Leisure Section of the Sunday Times, at least.



Thank you Ellen, for trying to be our voice. I hope something is published.

#163 Trini

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Posted 11 July 2011 - 05:53 PM

Thank you, Eileen. I echo vipa.

Violin Concerto, I must admit that I cannot remember if the person identified himself as a volunteer. In the past the calls I have gotten (not for this ticket price increase but for other reasons) were from volunteers so I may have assumed so. But I am sure he did not say he was marketing, that I would have remembered. Maybe he assumed I would know. He did state a number of times that he enjoyed going to NYCB and it was his favorite ballet company. Fortunately for me I had a chart with all the prices that I had written down which I called and asked for on receiving the first renewal package with xeroxed copy of a theatre seat map and no prices. So, when he tried to convince me that the far off center seat in second ring © would be fine viewing in comparison to what I had this past year, I went for my chart and was able to talk with him based on facts.

I am sorry your friend had this experience. Sounds like NYCB folks need some training in dealing with long time subscribers. Seems to me someone who has been subscribing since the 70s needs special consideration. I must admit I am sorry he called since it awakened all the feelings I had on first learning of the price changes, and with no positive outcome. They should not call unless they have something positive to offer.

I also want to thank all on this board for everything. This is a period of mourning for me NYCBwise and you are all being very helpful. Thank you.

#164 Helene

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Posted 11 July 2011 - 07:09 PM

It may not be common in NYC, but in Seattle, I've received calls from volunteers to renew subscriptions, as well as for fund-raising activities.

#165 Anthony_NYC

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Posted 11 July 2011 - 08:28 PM

I've been avoiding their calls for several weeks now because I'm unsure what I want to do. I think I will not subscribe and take my chances with single tickets, but it's hard to know what availability will be like with the new structuring. What's sad is that it looks like no matter what I do, I won't be able to go nearly as often.

Does anybody know what's going to happen with standing room when the Fourth Ring is closed?


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