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NYCB Goes to the Movies -- with Balanchine's Nutcracker


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#1 abatt

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 05:29 AM

NYCB will be broadcasting The Nutcracker in movie theaters on Dec. 13.

http://artsbeat.blog...aters/?ref=arts

This is a wonderful development. Finally, a smart idea from the management of NYCB.

#2 PeggyR

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 05:47 AM

That's the best ballet news in a loooong time. (However, should we expect full body searches entering and leaving the theater lest a surreptitious video camera filmed a pointe shoe? Will we have our brains zapped at the end to prevent unauthorized restagings from memory?)

I won't ask for miracles and hope for a dvd, but I do hope they think about weekend rebroadcasts for those of us away from the East Coast who may not be able to arrange work hours so we can see this on a weeknight (or what would be for us, late afternoon).

But no matter; at least someone at the company is finally showing some imagination. Welcome to the 21st century, NYCB!

#3 Krystin

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 05:48 AM

I love that this is happening. Also found it interesting that the blog post on NY Times pointed out the opposing view point that it could dilute the audience. I am of the completely opposite viewpoint. I think that very few people who will go see this in their respective cities outside of New York would have been able to travel to the city to see it live. Therefore, we are drastically increasing the audience, not diluting it. Just my opinion. Also, in my mind it is never a bad thing to give more people the chance to see quality art. Thank you NYCB for finally jumping on this bandwagon. Let's hope it is successful and that we see it more and more.

#4 abatt

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 05:57 AM

Peter Gelb of the Met Opera was recently asked about the issue of diluting the in house audience in an interview. He noted that ticket sales in house declined last year, but he intends to proceed with HD broadcasts of the operas. Personally, I don't think that the HD broadcasts of the opera are the reason for generally declining ticket sales at the Met. I think it has more to do with weak casts and poor productions. Tickets for operas with "A" list cast members still sell very well.

#5 Natalia

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 07:18 AM

Great news but...does this now mean that it will not be telecast on PBS' 'Live from Lincoln Center' on Dec 14 (8pm EST), as announced earlier? Link to the earlier thread announcing the Dec 14 PBS live showing:
http://balletalert.i...lincoln-center/

Whatever...as we've been discussing on another thread, it's time for the 'big two' US ballet companies to jump on the Live-in-Cinemas bandwagon. I just find it odd that they would be showing in cinemas a ballet that will air live on TV 24 hours later.

EDITED TO ADD: Hoorah! The Dec 14th Live from Lincoln Center telecast is still 'on,' according to the series' Facebook page:
http://www.facebook.com/LiveFromLC

#6 bingham

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 08:09 AM

Will ABT follow the smart move of NYCB ?Posted Image

#7 Eileen

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 08:12 AM

Just bought tickets for NYC performance live on December 13. Only about $20, and I've seen it on NYCB stage so many times. For $20 I'll gladly see it again. (The 1993 filmed version was marred by the (commercially motivated) casting of child star Macaulay Culkin, whose performance was artificial and "acting".)

#8 Natalia

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 08:23 AM

...The 1993 filmed version was marred by the (commercially motivated) casting of child star Macaulay Culkin, whose performance was artificial and "acting"....


ITA, Eileen - and the editing was done as in a studio, without the feel of a live performance (which it was not). Just look at the wacko editing of the recent Miami City Ballet Square Dance, filmed in a studio...or the 1970s German films of NYCB ballets. I am truly looking forward to an unedited film of a live perfromance of the NYCB Nutcracker.

#9 abatt

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 08:45 AM

Whatever...as we've been discussing on another thread, it's time for the 'big two' US ballet companies to jump on the Live-in-Cinemas bandwagon. I just find it odd that they would be showing in cinemas a ballet that will air live on TV 24 hours later.


It seems live public television (Live From Lincoln Center) must have put up part of the funding for this project. I think that explains why public television will broadcast the show the next night. For the Met Opera HD films, public television bought the right to air the films but the television air date is usually many months after the HD broadcast.

#10 puppytreats

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 08:59 AM

Peter Gelb of the Met Opera was recently asked about the issue of diluting the in house audience in an interview. He noted that ticket sales in house declined last year, but he intends to proceed with HD broadcasts of the operas. Personally, I don't think that the HD broadcasts of the opera are the reason for generally declining ticket sales at the Met. I think it has more to do with weak casts and poor productions. Tickets for operas with "A" list cast members still sell very well.

Yes, but didn't he say that he saw a net gain in revenues and a surplus from this?

#11 Kathleen O'Connell

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 09:34 AM

I love that this is happening. Also found it interesting that the blog post on NY Times pointed out the opposing view point that it could dilute the audience. I am of the completely opposite viewpoint. I think that very few people who will go see this in their respective cities outside of New York would have been able to travel to the city to see it live. Therefore, we are drastically increasing the audience, not diluting it. Just my opinion. Also, in my mind it is never a bad thing to give more people the chance to see quality art. Thank you NYCB for finally jumping on this bandwagon. Let's hope it is successful and that we see it more and more.


I think it's great, too, but I AM concerned about audience dilution -- though not dilution of NYCB's NY metro area audience. Rather, I'm concerned about regional and local ballet companies that rely on their own Nutcracker performances to fund the rest of their seasons. What if the local audience opts for the NYCB live theater broadcast instead? What if it's such a success that it becomes an annual tradition? A live theater broadcast of a major company's Nutcracker goes after a local company's bread and butter in a way that a live broadcast of, say, "Jewels" or "Vienna Waltzes" wouldn't. Smaller companies aren't likely to perform either of those ballets, but an "event" theater broadcast of them might whet the local appetite for more live dance. (Of course, it could also just whet the appetite for more broadcasts with stars.) An NYCB (or ABT) Nutcracker might serve as nothing more than a substitute for the one live dance event certain audience members would think of going to.

Please, someone, tell me I'm being all henny-penny about this ...

#12 Natalia

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 10:03 AM

....It seems live public television (Live From Lincoln Center) must have put up part of the funding for this project. I think that explains why public television will broadcast the show the next night. ...


Ah, so tv viewers will be seeing the Dec 13th show/cast one day after it is broadcasted Live in Cinemas, rather than seeing the live show/cast on Dec 14th? Why do they call in 'LIVE from Lincoln Center'?

#13 Natalia

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 10:07 AM

....I AM concerned about audience dilution -- though not dilution of NYCB's NY metro area audience. Rather, I'm concerned about regional and local ballet companies that rely on their own Nutcracker performances to fund the rest of their seasons. ....


I don't think so. As long as there are Nutcrackers with lots and lots of children in the cast, there will be lots and lots of family, neighbors & friends going to see their darlings performing on stage. That's the source for 75% of audiences for Nutcrackers in many locales (not that there's anything wrong with that).

#14 California

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 10:11 AM

I don't have any data on this, but I suspect these live broadcasts might have the opposite effect, viz., encouraging people to go to the theater to see these ballets live. Wasn't that the rationale for companies all over the country staging Swan Lake, after people had seen the movie? Even now, people can buy (or rent) DVDs with Balanchine's Nutcracker or the ABT version with Baryshnikov/Kirkland. And last year, the cable channel Ovation had a Nutcracker marathon with many versions shown in December.

Having taken my 5-year-old great-niece to several ballets in the last couple of years, the live performances are irreplaceable. We first watch a DVD of the ballet with her so she knows the story and what to expect. But she is excited beyond belief at the prospect of seeing live dancers, getting dressed up to go to the theater, going out for lunch with her grandmother and great-aunt, etc., etc., etc.

I think the more important issue for regional companies is realistic pricing, as Colorado Ballet has done. It just makes so much more sense to fill the house, even with tickets at 30-40% off, and introduce people to the theater experience, as opposed to the crazy practice of closing off tiers at NYCB.

#15 dirac

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 11:10 AM

I think it's great, too, but I AM concerned about audience dilution -- though not dilution of NYCB's NY metro area audience. Rather, I'm concerned about regional and local ballet companies that rely on their own Nutcracker performances to fund the rest of their seasons....


I had the same thought, Kathleen, and I don't think the possibility is particularly farfetched. NYCB has nothing to fear, but other companies might. People may spend $20 on one Nutcracker and deem that sufficient (or all they can afford in these times), or not go see the local Nutcracker that can't hope to match NYCB's production values and dancers. I'm all in favor of these broadcasts, even if I find them less rewarding than others do, but it's not very considerate for the selected ballet to be the meal ticket of companies across the country. Even if there's no harm done in the end, that particular risk should not have been taken. One hopes they did some research first.


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