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Seating advice for Kennedy Center


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#1 sjmiller

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 12:56 PM

I am planning to see NYCB when they come to the Kennedy Center in March. My friends and I will go to the Saturday matinee on March 30th when NYCB will perform Glass Pieces, Carousel, and Vienna Waltzes. I have never been to the Kennedy Center so I would love if any of you could give me some advice on seating. My friends and I are graduate students, so ticket prices are a factor. What I would like to know is what are the advantages/disadvantages of sitting in $49 orchestra seats vs. the $49 first or second tier vs. $40 second tier for this group of ballets? Any advice will be much appreciated. Thanks!

#2 kfw

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 07:36 PM

How much do you value being able to read faces and see sumptuous sets versus seeing choreographic patterns? I have a only a dim memory of Carousel, but personality means a lot in Vienna Waltzes, which is the greater work - the great or near great work on the program. On the other hand, I'd choose upstairs over orchestra back or sides for Glass Pieces. You don't want to sit very close for that.

#3 Natalia

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 05:15 AM

For those particular ballets, I'd recommend any seat in rows A through C of 2nd Tier, unless one is very short, in which case Row A is not good unless you bring a cushion for 'lift.' The extreme sides of 2nd Tier cut-off part of the stage but, then again, they are priced quite cheaply, compared to the rest of Tier 2. For me, Tier 1 is no great improvement on Tier 2, given the price differences.

Orchestra is a crap shoot. I always seem to have some tall politician or ex-Marine sit in front of me (or, one Mariinsky season, I got the seat directly behind Yuri Fateev...but he's short...ha-ha). The only really safe bets in Orchestra would be right on the aisle or in the first row after the passage way.

#4 sjmiller

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 10:32 AM

Thank you kfw and Natalia for your advice! It is much appreciated. Do either of you know if the sides of the Orchestra have obstructed views of the stage, beyond the misfortune of sitting behind someone tall?

Thanks, again!

#5 SimonA

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 11:00 AM

The extreme sides of the orchestra can have obstructed views of the stage, yes, depending on the staging. Someone I know sat in a side seat for the Bolshoi's Coppelia and had no idea why Swanilda and her friends in Act II were all going over to a corner of the stage (he couldn't see the doll).

My favorite seats in the Opera House are Row S in the orchestra (the first row after the passage way), but those are the priciest. I also like Rows T through W, or so, though some of those rows are more raked than others. At an ABT performance, Makarova and McKenzie had house seats in Row T, and Makarova moved to a side aisle seat farther back after intermission because she couldn't see over the person in front of her.

The first few rows in the upper tiers are also good in the center; I've never sat farther back upstairs.

#6 abatt

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 08:49 AM

The casting for the KC engagement is now up at the NYCB website. http://www.nycballet...ts/On-Tour.aspx

Lauren Lovette is debuting in Carousel w. Robbie Fairchild. (First cast is Tiler Peck w. Veyette). I wish they would have put Peck and R. Fairchild together for this ballet. .

#7 YouOverThere

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 04:55 PM

The best I could manage was the 3rd to the last row in the center orchestra. Should I bring binoculars?

On a related note, my date (yes, there are some foolish women) asked how she should dress (for the Saturday matinee). And I'm a little unsure about myself. When I saw the Washington Ballet at the KC, I found that wearing a tie definitely put me in the minority. Most of the women were dressed fairly well but not in the Saturday evening best (I went to a Wednesday evening and a Saturday matinee performance).

#8 sjmiller

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 05:29 AM

My friends and I managed to get some of the MyTix tickets the Kennedy Center offered for the Saturday matinee, so we will be sitting in rows V and W in Orchestra Right. Having not been to the Kennedy Center before, my friends and I are also wondering how we should dress. Is it like the New York State Theater and other Broadway houses where there is a great range, or is it more formal at the Kennedy Center?

#9 cinnamonswirl

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 06:01 AM

There's a wide range. You'll see one or two disrespectful fools in jeans, a lot of people in nicer-than-casual-but-not-dressy clothes and some people more dressed up. DC used to be more formal than New York, but that seems to have faded over the past decade or so.


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