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ABT at the Koch Theatre?


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#1 California

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 10:48 AM

According to the NY Times just now, ABT management is having conversations with the Koch Theater. Their contract at the Met expires in 2015. But I wonder if they might also do their fall season there, now that the NY Opera is gone. No mention of their contract with City Center.

http://artsbeat.blog...f-koch-theater/

#2 mussel

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 11:59 AM

I think it's logical to perform the fall season at the State Theater. The State Theater has a much better sight line and bigger stage than City Center. But I can't imagine ABT would move its all important spring season from the Met to the State. ABT's identity and prestige are partially tied to its spring season at the Met. I suspect ABT is using State Theater as a leverage to negotiate a better term with the Met.

#3 aurora

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 01:23 PM

I think it's logical to perform the fall season at the State Theater. The State Theater has a much better sight line and bigger stage than City Center. But I can't imagine ABT would move its all important spring season from the Met to the State. ABT's identity and prestige are partially tied to its spring season at the Met. I suspect ABT is using State Theater as a leverage to negotiate a better term with the Met.


They'd of course also have to change the dates to do so, as currently there is significant overlap with NYCB's spring season....
It would make it easier for them to fill the theater. Does anyone know offhand what each theater holds? my impression is that ny state (I will not call it Koch) is quite a bit smaller than the Met.

#4 nanushka

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 03:32 PM

They'd of course also have to change the dates to do so, as currently there is significant overlap with NYCB's spring season....
It would make it easier for them to fill the theater.


It would probably not make it easier, though, if indeed they changed their dates to come after the NYCB season. The later in the summer it gets, the harder it is to fill the seats, I'd guess.

#5 Drew

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 05:13 PM

Would love to see them (back) at the State -- that is, Koch -- theater. More seats where you can...uh...see the dancers.

#6 mussel

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 08:27 PM

They'd of course also have to change the dates to do so, as currently there is significant overlap with NYCB's spring season....
It would make it easier for them to fill the theater. Does anyone know offhand what each theater holds? my impression is that ny state (I will not call it Koch) is quite a bit smaller than the Met.


Met has almost 4,000 seats & standing rooms, State almost 3,000 seats before the rennovation and about 2,800 seats after. I estimate ABT sold out or almost sold out about 20-25 performances each Met season. If ABT were to move across the plaze, it'd lose about 30,000 to 40,000 tickets. There would be headache in re-arranging subsrcription seats. Sets might need to be re-configured, ballets re-staged.

As a point of reference, Covent Garden has 2,250 seats, Bolshoi & Mariinsky main stage each has about 1,800 - 2,000 seats. State Theater is humongous, and the Met stadium-size by European standard.

#7 aurora

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 02:23 AM

Met has almost 4,000 seats & standing rooms, State almost 3,000 seats before the rennovation and about 2,800 seats after. I estimate ABT sold out or almost sold out about 20-25 performances each Met season. If ABT were to move across the plaze, it'd lose about 30,000 to 40,000 tickets. There would be headache in re-arranging subsrcription seats. Sets might need to be re-configured, ballets re-staged.

As a point of reference, Covent Garden has 2,250 seats, Bolshoi & Mariinsky main stage each has about 1,800 - 2,000 seats. State Theater is humongous, and the Met stadium-size by European standard.


Thanks for the informative comparison, as well as bringing up the giant headaches that would be caused by such a move. I was also wondering about the issues of sets fitting/ and stagings.

#8 Birdsall

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 03:27 AM


They'd of course also have to change the dates to do so, as currently there is significant overlap with NYCB's spring season....
It would make it easier for them to fill the theater. Does anyone know offhand what each theater holds? my impression is that ny state (I will not call it Koch) is quite a bit smaller than the Met.


Met has almost 4,000 seats & standing rooms, State almost 3,000 seats before the rennovation and about 2,800 seats after. I estimate ABT sold out or almost sold out about 20-25 performances each Met season. If ABT were to move across the plaze, it'd lose about 30,000 to 40,000 tickets. There would be headache in re-arranging subsrcription seats. Sets might need to be re-configured, ballets re-staged.

As a point of reference, Covent Garden has 2,250 seats, Bolshoi & Mariinsky main stage each has about 1,800 - 2,000 seats. State Theater is humongous, and the Met stadium-size by European standard.



What I find interesting is that I read that one of the reasons Makarova changed the number of Shades to 24 (from the original 32) is that the Met stage did not easily fit 32 unlike the Bolshoi or Mariinsky or Paris Opera Ballet. So I guess despite the Met's large size, the actual stage is more narrow. Is this true, Mussel? I notice it is much higher than most stages but it doesn't look much wider than most stages, so if what I read about the Shades is true, then the Met's stage is smaller.

I wonder if the State Theater's stage is wider. The auditorium does feel wider to me even if it is smaller seat wise.

I bet some productions would have to be reconfigured.

#9 Mme. Hermine

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 08:32 AM

They'd of course also have to change the dates to do so, as currently there is significant overlap with NYCB's spring season....
It would make it easier for them to fill the theater. Does anyone know offhand what each theater holds? my impression is that ny state (I will not call it Koch) is quite a bit smaller than the Met.


how much more noble whatever the monetary gift would have been, in my opinion, if it had not been tied to tagging the theatre with his name, which I won't use either.Posted Image

back to topic -

#10 mussel

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 08:52 AM



They'd of course also have to change the dates to do so, as currently there is significant overlap with NYCB's spring season....
It would make it easier for them to fill the theater. Does anyone know offhand what each theater holds? my impression is that ny state (I will not call it Koch) is quite a bit smaller than the Met.


Met has almost 4,000 seats & standing rooms, State almost 3,000 seats before the rennovation and about 2,800 seats after. I estimate ABT sold out or almost sold out about 20-25 performances each Met season. If ABT were to move across the plaze, it'd lose about 30,000 to 40,000 tickets. There would be headache in re-arranging subsrcription seats. Sets might need to be re-configured, ballets re-staged.

As a point of reference, Covent Garden has 2,250 seats, Bolshoi & Mariinsky main stage each has about 1,800 - 2,000 seats. State Theater is humongous, and the Met stadium-size by European standard.



What I find interesting is that I read that one of the reasons Makarova changed the number of Shades to 24 (from the original 32) is that the Met stage did not easily fit 32 unlike the Bolshoi or Mariinsky or Paris Opera Ballet. So I guess despite the Met's large size, the actual stage is more narrow. Is this true, Mussel? I notice it is much higher than most stages but it doesn't look much wider than most stages, so if what I read about the Shades is true, then the Met's stage is smaller.

I wonder if the State Theater's stage is wider. The auditorium does feel wider to me even if it is smaller seat wise.

I bet some productions would have to be reconfigured.


I don't have the stage specs for the Met, State, Mariinksy, or Bolshoi... but the Met stage is definitely wide enough for 32 shades because I've seen it with Mariinsky doing the 32 shades (4 rows of eight shades wide) with the new old Bayadere reconstruction during the 2002 Met season. Even ABT configures the shades with 3 rows of 8 shades wide during the coda with plenty of room width wise to spare.

So the width of Met stage was never an issue, it's just an excuse used by Makarova to downsize the shades. She also staged the same produciton with 24 shades for the Royal Ballet. I think the real reason for the downsizing is cost saving and company size. ABT has 36 female corps, so 32 shades would really push the company to the limit with a very thin margin to account for illness and injuries without taking into consideration of height disparity (the front row of shades is the shortest in height while the last row the tallest to give the illusion they have the uniform height).

#11 Birdsall

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 09:21 AM




They'd of course also have to change the dates to do so, as currently there is significant overlap with NYCB's spring season....
It would make it easier for them to fill the theater. Does anyone know offhand what each theater holds? my impression is that ny state (I will not call it Koch) is quite a bit smaller than the Met.


Met has almost 4,000 seats & standing rooms, State almost 3,000 seats before the rennovation and about 2,800 seats after. I estimate ABT sold out or almost sold out about 20-25 performances each Met season. If ABT were to move across the plaze, it'd lose about 30,000 to 40,000 tickets. There would be headache in re-arranging subsrcription seats. Sets might need to be re-configured, ballets re-staged.

As a point of reference, Covent Garden has 2,250 seats, Bolshoi & Mariinsky main stage each has about 1,800 - 2,000 seats. State Theater is humongous, and the Met stadium-size by European standard.



What I find interesting is that I read that one of the reasons Makarova changed the number of Shades to 24 (from the original 32) is that the Met stage did not easily fit 32 unlike the Bolshoi or Mariinsky or Paris Opera Ballet. So I guess despite the Met's large size, the actual stage is more narrow. Is this true, Mussel? I notice it is much higher than most stages but it doesn't look much wider than most stages, so if what I read about the Shades is true, then the Met's stage is smaller.

I wonder if the State Theater's stage is wider. The auditorium does feel wider to me even if it is smaller seat wise.

I bet some productions would have to be reconfigured.


I don't have the stage specs for the Met, State, Mariinksy, or Bolshoi... but the Met stage is definitely wide enough for 32 shades because I've seen it with Mariinsky doing the 32 shades (4 rows of eight shades wide) with the new old Bayadere reconstruction during the 2002 Met season. Even ABT configures the shades with 3 rows of 8 shades wide during the coda with plenty of room width wise to spare.

So the width of Met stage was never an issue, it's just an excuse used by Makarova to downsize the shades. She also staged the same produciton with 24 shades for the Royal Ballet. I think the real reason for the downsizing is cost saving and company size. ABT has 36 female corps, so 32 shades would really push the company to the limit with a very thin margin to account for illness and injuries without taking into consideration of height disparity (the front row of shades is the shortest in height while the last row the tallest to give the illusion they have the uniform height).


That is disappointing to know that there could have been 32 shades in her production. I have seen the Paris and Mariinsky versions on video, and it is even more stunning when you see 32 descending. 24 is still good, but it overwhelms you to see 32. I had hoped that the reason I read was legitimate. But like you say, it would be pushing things.

#12 FauxPas

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 09:26 AM

Didn't Makarova stage her ABT "Bayadere" in late 1980? Wasn't ABT performing their Spring/Summer season at the New York State Theater at that time? I distinctly remember that in the 1970's they performed there.

However a check of the ABT website showed that their full-length "Bayadere" premiered at the Met: ABT Premiere: Metropolitan Opera House, New York, 5/21/80 Cast: Natalia Makarova (Nikiya), Anthony Dowell (Solor), Cynthia Harvey(Gamzatti), Victor Barbee (The Rajah Dugmanta), Alexander Minz (The High Brahmin), Johan Renvall (The Bronze Idol)

However, I believe Makarova staged the Kingdom of the Shades as a stand-alone piece in 1974 at the NY State Theater and that was when the reduction to 24 shades was likely instituted:

ABT Premiere of "The Kingdom of the Shades": New York State Theater, New York, 7/3/74
Cast: Cynthia Gregory (Nikiya), Ivan Nagy (Solor), Karena Brock, Deborah Dobson, Martine van Hamel (shades)

The State/Koch stage is definitely shallower and smaller than the Metropolitan Opera stage which is like a football field.

The Met stage can definitely handle 32 shades - and I also saw Paris Opera Ballet do the Nureyev "Bayadere" with 32 shades on a Met tour in 1996. My Nikiyas were Isabelle Guerin, Elisabeth Platel (also Gamzatti) and Carole Arbo.

#13 Birdsall

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 10:43 AM

Didn't Makarova stage her ABT "Bayadere" in late 1980? Wasn't ABT performing their Spring/Summer season at the New York State Theater at that time? I distinctly remember that in the 1970's they performed there.

However a check of the ABT website showed that their full-length "Bayadere" premiered at the Met: ABT Premiere: Metropolitan Opera House, New York, 5/21/80 Cast: Natalia Makarova (Nikiya), Anthony Dowell (Solor), Cynthia Harvey(Gamzatti), Victor Barbee (The Rajah Dugmanta), Alexander Minz (The High Brahmin), Johan Renvall (The Bronze Idol)

However, I believe Makarova staged the Kingdom of the Shades as a stand-alone piece in 1974 at the NY State Theater and that was when the reduction to 24 shades was likely instituted:

ABT Premiere of "The Kingdom of the Shades": New York State Theater, New York, 7/3/74
Cast: Cynthia Gregory (Nikiya), Ivan Nagy (Solor), Karena Brock, Deborah Dobson, Martine van Hamel (shades)

The State/Koch stage is definitely shallower and smaller than the Metropolitan Opera stage which is like a football field.

The Met stage can definitely handle 32 shades - and I also saw Paris Opera Ballet do the Nureyev "Bayadere" with 32 shades on a Met tour in 1996. My Nikiyas were Isabelle Guerin, Elisabeth Platel (also Gamzatti) and Carole Arbo.


Faux Pas,
That would explain the reason I read. I think I read it on Wikipedia, and so the facts are bound to be a bit off. She probably downsized the shades at the state theater during the time she staged just the Kingdom of the Shades scene. Then, she kept it like that even when transferring it to the Met. Who knows, but that would explain it.

#14 mussel

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 10:30 AM

I wonder if the State Theater's stage is wider. The auditorium does feel wider to me even if it is smaller seat wise.


According to Le Riche, State Theater's stage is as wide as Garnier's but not as deep.


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