Posted 04 September 2013 - 08:40 AM
If the Met has technology and the satellite in Lincoln Center's backyard, plus the experience and expertise, I would approach the Met if I were NYCB, ABT, the New York Philharmonic, Juilliard, the theater and jazz groups in the complex, etc. to see if there are any opportunities to co-produce with them.
Yes, they's have to negotiate with the unions. They would have one place to go for dancers, though, instead of working with multiple artists, and dancers are the right age to embrace new technologies. The arguments for audience-building and fundraising apply to ballet dancers: the more funds that come into the company, the better off the dancers are, one step removed. There are also so few opportunities for dancers to be known through recordings, outside a few places where high-ish quality videos make their way regularly to YouTube, where we can compare not only three Mariinsky ballerinas' Nikiyas, for example, but multiple performances of one ballerina. Most NYCB dancers are known solely from promotional clips and written descriptions. HD broadcasts, which can then be monetized through streaming, downloads, and DVD's, would allow more than locals and visitors to see these dancers, especially when the Balanchine and Robbins Trusts have control over what can be seen of the best of their rep.
The Philharmonic, I'd guess, would try to feature guest artists and would be in negotiation with the orchestra's union and the YoYo Ma's.
The Met made itself a "National" company long ago with its radio broadcasts and has made a huge splash with the Met in HD series. In Vancouver, an hour after sales opened, the pickings were slim in the big theater except for the first five rows for this season's operas (except, predictably, for "The Nose). Especially where there are no local sports teams, fans grab onto some team for which to root. (You can see NY Yankees hats and Manchester United jerseys everywhere.) Ted Turner broadcast Atlanta Braves games on his national cable station and grabbed a lot of non-affiliated fans. I haven't seen any stats to indicate that Met in HD has caused big drops in local attendance and support, although especially as people age, staying local and going to a movie theater on a Saturday during the day will become a more viable option, but this demographic stops attending live performances anyway. The ticket prices, not much more than most club cover charges, are a low barrier to entry for young people, and for older people on a fixed income, they are affordable.
There's a big opportunity for the first dance company out in this media to become "America's Company" and capture the loyalties especially of those in ballet-deprived areas of the country -- there are more local orchestras and opera groups/companies than ballet companies, hence fewer local affiliations in ballet -- but also where there is a ballet company. Porn, on average, doesn't stop people from wanting sex: it makes them want to have more of the live experience, and I don't see why this wouldn't be true of ballet on HD vs. live performances (where available).