Jump to content


San Francisco Ballet, Program 4A stellar night of dance


  • Please log in to reply
34 replies to this topic

#31 pherank

pherank

    Platinum Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,241 posts

Posted 02 May 2013 - 03:02 PM

I believe it was money-related: SFB took a huge hit financially when War Memorial Opera House was updated for seismic improvements, and the company had to perform in two less-than-1000-seat venues (one in SOMA and one at the Exploratorium), except for a season-closing program at Zellerbach ("Swan Lake"). It was closed for 18 months, re-opening in 1997.

Fast forward just a few years (2000-2003) and the Seattle Opera House went through the same process (and, as long as the building was being torn up, included an upgrade), and although Russell and Stowell had been extremely conservative fiscally, PNB was left with a mega-deficit (and almost now endowment), losing audience and donors in the years they had to perform in a hockey rink, where the side seats were permanently affixed and pointing towards where the ice would be, not the stage. They stayed a couple of extra years after their original retirement date to put the company back on solid financial footing.


I forgot about the SF retrofit construction - what you are saying about the construction costs, and the resulting lower ticket sales for these two companies does explain a lot. But how to get companies to do exchange tours as part of their regular programs? And, where possible, extend the seasons somewhat to accommodate everyone's needs?

#32 Helene

Helene

    Administrator

  • Administrators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 11,214 posts

Posted 02 May 2013 - 03:46 PM

I keep harping on the orchestras because it was widely reported as a very big deal and breakthrough when Michael Kaiser negotiated for an every-other-year NYCB orchestra appearance at the Kennedy Center. For a company of under-50 dancers like PNB, touring with the orchestra is a very expensive proposition, and the logical solution would be, in a direct exchange, for each orchestra to play for the visitors and get paid for an extra performance for the season if it extends the season.

#33 pherank

pherank

    Platinum Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,241 posts

Posted 02 May 2013 - 03:51 PM

I keep harping on the orchestras because it was widely reported as a very big deal and breakthrough when Michael Kaiser negotiated for an every-other-year NYCB orchestra appearance at the Kennedy Center. For a company of under-50 dancers like PNB, touring with the orchestra is a very expensive proposition, and the logical solution would be, in a direct exchange, for each orchestra to play for the visitors and get paid for an extra performance for the season if it extends the season.


Touring with your own orchestra definitely sounds un-doable. I thought that normally the company's conductor went along on the tour to rehearse and conduct the orchestra in the tour city, no?

#34 Helene

Helene

    Administrator

  • Administrators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 11,214 posts

Posted 02 May 2013 - 04:25 PM

It depends on the contract and whether an exception can be negotiated, if necessary. For example, Ballet Arizona does not have an orchestra (for performances at Symphony Hall, which has an orchestra pit) -- the orchestra is the Phoenix Symphony. PNB has its own orchestra, and, unlike Seattle Opera, doesn't have a contract with Seattle Symphony to provide supplemental work for the symphony musicians.

PNB brought its orchestra to the last two NYC full-company tours, in 1996 with Kershaw, and this past winter with de Cou. They did not bring the orchestra to London: the BBC Concert Orchestra played. A performance was recorded live and broadcast on BBC and later released on the BBC/Opus Arte label.

I don't think it would have been reported as such a breakthrough agreement if the NYCB orchestra expected not to go to the Kennedy Center performances.

#35 pherank

pherank

    Platinum Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,241 posts

Posted 02 May 2013 - 07:52 PM

A recent interview with Christopher Wheeldon touched on the subject of touring:

Aimee Ts'ao: "In this country, the touring has virtually stopped. It’s unfortunate because people and dancers don’t have that “food” and you need it to grow as an artist."

Wheeldon: "Yes, the dancers in SFB are very good about that [getting out to see things]. The dancers in New York tend to get a bit lazy because it’s all there and suddenly you wonder, why aren’t they out seeing all these wonderful companies. Like Nederlands Dans Theater. Unfortunately they had only two shows in New York because it is so expensive to be there. There were so few dancers at their shows. Perhaps because of where I was sitting I couldn’t see, but I felt that because there were only two shows, I should have seen half of American Ballet Theatre and half of New York City Ballet there."

And for SF Ballet fans, there was this exchange too:

Aimee Ts'ao: "Just a month ago when SFB was dancing Within the Golden Hour I just couldn’t believe what was happening on stage. Somehow all the dancers had risen together and whatever they were doing was like magic."

Wheeldon: "It’s so beautiful when that happens; it’s so special. It doesn’t happen that often, but it happens more often with this company than with any other company I’ve worked with. There’s a magic about this company. Even in work that isn’t so interesting. I guess they just work so well together, they understand each other. They have a collective energy about them and I’m so impressed. They get on with the work. Not to be down on any of the other companies that I work with because I love them all with their various quirks, but this company has a way of getting on with the job with less fuss, so they have more energy to find those connections on stage. It’s impressive. And saying that, I have to get on now and go rehearse with them!"


0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users


Help support Ballet Alert! and Ballet Talk for Dancers year round by using this search box for your amazon.com purchases (adblockers may block display):