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Audience Behavior


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#1 ord7916

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Posted 13 May 2013 - 06:59 PM

Hi,

I just returned from the ABT Gala Opening. As far as I remember, this was my first ever ballet and my first time at the MET since 1985.

What struck me most was the bad behavior of the audience. People kept lighting up flashlights in the middle of the performance to read the programs. It must have happened at least 20 times. Do they not see anything wrong with that? And then there were those who kept talking and had to be told more than once to be quiet. And others taking flash pictures during the curtain calls.

Is this common at the ballet and the MET? It certainly doesn't happen in Broadway theaters. I really thought they'd be much stricter in enforcing the no electronic or recording devices rules.

For those of us who are easily distracted, it was quite distracting.

#2 Jayne

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Posted 13 May 2013 - 07:10 PM

I find this distracting as well, people turn off their ringers, but leave the phones on. So when someone calls or texts, their phones light up!

If someone has to communicate that badly, then exchange tickets for a different night when ballet may have undivided attention.

#3 carbro

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Posted 13 May 2013 - 07:12 PM

There's bad behavior all over, I'm afraid. At a diner this very evening, someone was playing a game on her phone, and the tones were loud and intrusive. Finally, when a waiter asked her to lower the volume, she took great offense, oblivious to the other customers who didn't appreciate the noise.

We have several threads around the board about bad audience behavior. I suspect that if the ushers were lax at ABT tonight, it was because the audience was full of donors, and the company didn't want to offend anyone who might be a major donor. Of course, there are others, like you, who might leave the performance having had a bad experience. I hope this doesn't get in the way of your returning to ballet.

Welcome to BalletAlert!, ord7916. Posted Image

#4 abatt

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 05:31 AM

I've got one that I think takes the prize. I've seen this several times at the Met during ABT season over the years. Women take their bare feet out of their sandals and then put their bare feet on their seat or the seat in front of them. Disgusting.

#5 Mme. Hermine

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 05:53 AM

I've seen that one too, alas.

#6 Birdsall

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 06:04 AM

Things have gotten bad. Phone cameras are out snapping pics (with flash) at performances. This happened at the Mariinsky too, and it was not an isolated incident. You could see phones being held up throughout the performances.

I once attended a La Traviata (opera) in Miami where the audience acted like the Preludio was mood music and they were coming and going like Grand Central Station.

#7 Helene

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 08:15 AM

We have discussed audience behavior over the years on Ballet Alert!

http://balletalert.i...ience-behavior/
http://balletalert.i...n-the-audience/
http://balletalert.i...ence-etiquette/
http://balletalert.i...etiquette-rant/

Even one about when management is in the audience:
http://balletalert.i...n-from-the-top/

I've noticed that audience behavior has been an occasional hot topic at ever performing arts or sports discussion group I've seen: you're not alone in your concerns.

#8 SandyMcKean

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 12:27 PM

Finally, when a waiter asked her to lower the volume, she took great offense, oblivious to the other customers who didn't appreciate the noise.


That would have been a great time for you to have spoken up and support the waiter by saying: "You may think the waiter doesn't have the right to tell you to be quiet, but I as another customer surely do; so tone it down".......adding the word "please" at the end is optional :).

#9 Helene

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 12:36 PM

I was just listening on the WXQR website to an episode of "The Vocal Scene" from May 12, 1977 called "To Vienna, With Love," and at the end of it, George Jellinek said, after a mention of the downside of the city's artistic history,

But in an age like ours, threatened by the mentally crippling affects of mass technology and the deadening signs of creeping vulgarity, Vienna appears like a pleasing outpost where old values and old manners are still appreciated. Someday it will arrive in the 20th century. I imagine it will be at a time when the rest of the world will reach the 21st.


I don't think Mr. Jellinek anticipated the Internet and international cable TV.

#10 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 12:41 PM

After all my traveling, i declare Miami the top jewel of the bad audience behavior crown. All the way from theater management polices down, late comers constantly interrupting ballets, galas etc...candy wrappers being slowly unfolded and folded all over the place, cell phones and electronic devices on,along with ring tones sounding during concerts, full scale text messaging, and so on and so forth. Overtures...? Please, that's time to kill and talk and eat and drink before the "show"-(the word "performance" is non existent over here)-starts...Situation is so bad in the sunchining state, that Michael Tilson once loudly crashed his baton against the music stand, interrupted the orchestra, turned around and screamed at the cell phone offender.."You turn that thing off ...NOW!!!!"

Shame...? Maybe to some...but many others laughed-(let's link this to the laughing thing of that other thread)- at the incident. Bienvenido a Miami!

#11 Jayne

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 02:34 PM

epic - this should be at every theatre in the world



#12 ABT Fan

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Posted 15 May 2013 - 06:28 AM

epic - this should be at every theatre in the world

https://www.youtube....h?v=5cx_xsWcD8g


Absolutely!!

#13 Birdsall

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Posted 15 May 2013 - 06:40 AM

I have to say that I was shocked to hear so much talking during performances at the Mariinsky, and it was mostly Russian that I heard at all my performances which surprised me. I thought for sure they would be better than American audiences. The Germans, French, and English people I heard around me were silent when the curtain went up. Whenever I heard voices talking it was Russian.

I think cell phones are a major problem in America. That is the main disruption. Same with candy wrappers. For some reason people think unwrapping it slowly helps but it actually makes the disruption last longer! Anyway, I think noise like that is omnipresent, as Cristian says, here in Florida. But I think actual talking during performances is a lot less than at the Mariinsky!

#14 MakarovaFan

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Posted 15 May 2013 - 01:21 PM

Does Carnegie Hall still have containers of free Ricola drops on every level? I thought that was a great idea since the Ricola wrappers are waxy paper and make less noise that the crunch and crinkle of cellophane.

#15 abatt

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Posted 15 May 2013 - 02:01 PM

Yes Carnegie still has the Ricola drops.


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