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NYC Ballet PricesAudience Member Goes on Strike


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#91 Helene

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Posted 23 June 2011 - 03:12 PM

More Martins ballet productions, by no means exhaustive, in addition to "Swan Lake" at RDB:

San Francisco Ballet did "The Waltz Project" in 1996.
Oregon Ballet Theatre did "Ash" in 2007 and 2009.
Pennsylvania Ballet did "Fearful Symmetries" in 2009.
Pacific Northwest Ballet did "Valse Triste" in 2006.

#92 Eileen

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Posted 23 June 2011 - 03:18 PM

Ladies and Gentleman, Start your engines!


The New York Times article by Daniel J. Wakin, is now open for comments!!!

I think that the Company, city, and world should see the things we have been saying.


Thank you, I just commented on Wakin's article.

#93 miliosr

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Posted 23 June 2011 - 04:33 PM

How much of the programming is now full-length works? The company still won't look that reality in the face and include acting classes at SAB to prepare the dancers for it. And that perhaps different dancers should be hired if this is the new repertory.

It's like dripping water on a stone. We're not going to see the real effects of these decisions until the stone changes shape.

This is such a thoughtful post. The only thing I would add is that the really clever ones are already diversifying (i.e accepting Carla Fracci's invitations to perform the classics in Italy.) Doesn't help the kids in the school, though.


I think we've aired out all the disgruntlement. But what is the solution?

I'll start: If full lengths ballets help resolve the budget deficit, then by all means, NYCB needs to do them, and embrace them, and use Balanchine ballets as much as possible (Coppelia, Nutcracker, La Sonnenbula, Swan Lake, etc). Create a "storybook" season ticket package for parents, with additional kids getting half price if they show some sort of proof of age.

I'm still annoyed that Peter Martins mounted his DOA (artistically, if not commercially) Romeo + Juliet instead of reviving the Tudor Romeo and Juliet, which, after all, is a one-act semi-abstraction of Shakespeare's play. Yes, the style would have been alien at first and, yes, it would have been expensive to mount. But it couldn't possibly have been any more expensive or artistically disastrous than the version they eventually presented. And, you could have paired the Tudor Romeo and Juliet with, say, the Balanchine Swan Lake to create a program that was both artistically serious and had the "name factor" that comes from the story ballets. (AND, what a coup it would have been for City Ballet to preserve this highly-regarded Tudor work in the face of ABT's complete indifference to it.)

More Martins ballet productions, by no means exhaustive, in addition to "Swan Lake" at RDB:

San Francisco Ballet did "The Waltz Project" in 1996.
Oregon Ballet Theatre did "Ash" in 2007 and 2009.
Pennsylvania Ballet did "Fearful Symmetries" in 2009.
Pacific Northwest Ballet did "Valse Triste" in 2006.

That's really not much, though, when you consider he's been making pieces regularly for the last 35 years. And, if you look at the companies, most of them are "in the family," so to speak. His repertory will die with him.

#94 Kathleen O'Connell

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Posted 23 June 2011 - 04:51 PM


More Martins ballet productions, by no means exhaustive, in addition to "Swan Lake" at RDB:

San Francisco Ballet did "The Waltz Project" in 1996.
Oregon Ballet Theatre did "Ash" in 2007 and 2009.
Pennsylvania Ballet did "Fearful Symmetries" in 2009.
Pacific Northwest Ballet did "Valse Triste" in 2006.

That's really not much, though, when you consider he's been making pieces regularly for the last 35 years. And, if you look at the companies, most of them are "in the family," so to speak.


I think he's been making the same 2 or 3 pieces regularly for the last 35 years. They just get different music, costumes, lighting, and titles.

#95 ksk04

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Posted 23 June 2011 - 05:43 PM

I would be very careful about making the subscription process too complex, restrictive, or costly. Whatever you think about subscribers, they have been a relatively predictable source of income and, more than most audiences, a reliable source of donations. You don't want to lose these people.


Yes indeed. I know a lot of people who aren't super "into" the arts (in other words, they just go to the theater to go), but they keep subscriptions every year out of habit. Faced with irritation over subscription policy you risk alienating a dependable audience, even if they don't attend as frequently or are as knowledgeable as (for this example) 4th Ring members. A lot of avid viewers subscribe to take the advantages that being a subscriber brings, but for many it's just something enjoyable to do 4 Saturdays a year or what have you. These do people matter in the grand scheme of things and aren't likely to take the time to figure out new pricing schemes and seating.

#96 Helene

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Posted 23 June 2011 - 07:57 PM

That's really not much, though, when you consider he's been making pieces regularly for the last 35 years. And, if you look at the companies, most of them are "in the family," so to speak. His repertory will die with him.

That may be true, but I've seen a number of pieces that AD's, house choreographers, and dancers have choreographed for their own companies that have never made it to another stage, which is a real shame, because I've looked at them and thought, "That would be perfect for Ballet Arizona. That would be great for PNB dancers. That would be a great addition for Oregon Ballet Theatre. Any number of Professional Division students would look superb in that piece, and it would challenge them."

I was thrilled to see that Kansas City Ballet did Ib Andersen's version of "Romeo and Juliet", because it is beautifully constructed. But that's a rarity.

I often wonder if there's some unspoken "no poach" policy at work.

And the SFB cast I saw in "The Waltz Project" looked wonderful in it.

#97 Kathleen O'Connell

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Posted 24 June 2011 - 04:05 AM

Maybe I'm naive, but rather than let those rings sit empty I'd fill them with students (of all ages) and build the audience of tomorrow. Surely there's a foundation or two somewhere who could be persuaded to throw a few bucks NYCB's way for the opportunity. Have a conversation with City Center of Music and Drama (Koch Theater sublessee), Lincoln Center (Koch Theater lessee), or New York City (Koch Theater Lessor) about a break in facility fees in exchange for making those seats available to the Board of Ed.

To me, throwing away those empty seats is like throwing away good food. There are a ton of kids in the metropolitan area who will never see the inside of a performing arts venue but need to. The powers that be -- the NYCB Board, the big donors and foundations who support the company, our elected officials -- could make that happen if they really wanted to.

#98 ViolinConcerto

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Posted 24 June 2011 - 06:28 AM

Maybe I'm naive, but rather than let those rings sit empty I'd fill them with students (of all ages) and build the audience of tomorrow. Surely there's a foundation or two somewhere who could be persuaded to throw a few bucks NYCB's way for the opportunity. Have a conversation with City Center of Music and Drama (Koch Theater sublessee), Lincoln Center (Koch Theater lessee), or New York City (Koch Theater Lessor) about a break in facility fees in exchange for making those seats available to the Board of Ed.

To me, throwing away those empty seats is like throwing away good food. There are a ton of kids in the metropolitan area who will never see the inside of a performing arts venue but need to. The powers that be -- the NYCB Board, the big donors and foundations who support the company, our elected officials -- could make that happen if they really wanted to.



Good suggestion! Why don't you put it on the Times.... the page is getting good responses. (Thanks to all who are posting.)

#99 atm711

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Posted 24 June 2011 - 07:17 AM

Maybe I'm naive, but rather than let those rings sit empty I'd fill them with students (of all ages) and build the audience of tomorrow. Surely there's a foundation or two somewhere who could be persuaded to throw a few bucks NYCB's way for the opportunity. Have a conversation with City Center of Music and Drama (Koch Theater sublessee), Lincoln Center (Koch Theater lessee), or New York City (Koch Theater Lessor) about a break in facility fees in exchange for making those seats available to the Board of Ed.

To me, throwing away those empty seats is like throwing away good food. There are a ton of kids in the metropolitan area who will never see the inside of a performing arts venue but need to. The powers that be -- the NYCB Board, the big donors and foundations who support the company, our elected officials -- could make that happen if they really wanted to.



The same kind of policy was in effect during the days of Ballet Society. The top level of the City Center was unoccupied. However, it did not stop the resourceful students from attending---we got in through the iron staircase attached to the building---there were simply too many of us to be evicted. After a while, they got used to us and left us alone.

#100 Eileen

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Posted 24 June 2011 - 10:57 AM

Very interesting comments to Wakin's article (including mine!). Given the marketing mentality at NYCB, I have a great idea for an untapped resource: water! There is a water fountain on the orchestra level which is much used during intermission. Why not turn it into a spigot of money? It should be simple to add a slot for quarters, you put in a quarter, take a cup and a carefully measured 3 ounces of NYCB water pours out. This giving out free water is wasteful and leads to some patrons taking advantage and taking TWO cups of water. Charging just 25 cents a cup will discourage abuse of water resources, and provide a significant financial flow. Imagine the new Peter Martins ballets this will finance! And worth every penny.

#101 ksk04

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Posted 24 June 2011 - 11:46 AM

Very interesting comments to Wakin's article (including mine!). Given the marketing mentality at NYCB, I have a great idea for an untapped resource: water! There is a water fountain on the orchestra level which is much used during intermission. Why not turn it into a spigot of money? It should be simple to add a slot for quarters, you put in a quarter, take a cup and a carefully measured 3 ounces of NYCB water pours out. This giving out free water is wasteful and leads to some patrons taking advantage and taking TWO cups of water. Charging just 25 cents a cup will discourage abuse of water resources, and provide a significant financial flow. Imagine the new Peter Martins ballets this will finance! And worth every penny.



Amen--Free water is the scourge of society!! :FIREdevil:

#102 Waelsung

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Posted 24 June 2011 - 11:56 AM


Very interesting comments to Wakin's article (including mine!). Given the marketing mentality at NYCB, I have a great idea for an untapped resource: water! There is a water fountain on the orchestra level which is much used during intermission. Why not turn it into a spigot of money? It should be simple to add a slot for quarters, you put in a quarter, take a cup and a carefully measured 3 ounces of NYCB water pours out. This giving out free water is wasteful and leads to some patrons taking advantage and taking TWO cups of water. Charging just 25 cents a cup will discourage abuse of water resources, and provide a significant financial flow. Imagine the new Peter Martins ballets this will finance! And worth every penny.



Amen--Free water is the scourge of society!! :FIREdevil:


Triple AMEN - no such thing as free water, and freeloaders have no place in a free-market economy!

#103 Amy Reusch

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Posted 24 June 2011 - 01:13 PM

I love the idea of the top ring being for students... But I suppose there need to be chaperones too or things will be damaged? Would be a great use of the top rings and certainly help fill the lower rings with audience 10 years from now

#104 Kathleen O'Connell

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Posted 24 June 2011 - 02:29 PM

I love the idea of the top ring being for students... But I suppose there need to be chaperones too or things will be damaged? Would be a great use of the top rings and certainly help fill the lower rings with audience 10 years from now


Well, I was assuming that they would attend in supervised groups, and arrive prepped in advance via some decent curriculum materials like the ones put together by the University of Michigan for their UMS Youth Performance Series.

#105 Jayne

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Posted 24 June 2011 - 02:36 PM

mathematics on the water:
3000 people x $0.25 = $750 per performance x 206 performances = $150,000 per year (plus or minus a few people not buying water)

not going to solve a $6million budget. There have been many times when I needed a quick fix of water, and it was lovely to have it for free, because I was either broke, or didn't have any cash - or change - on me at the moment.


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