mussel

Fall Season 2014 @ State Theater

52 posts in this topic

I hope it travels to NYC at some point in the future.

I can't believe given the investment that the NBoC have made in THE WINTER'S TALE and Kain's admirable determination on behalf of the company she so glowingly leads that it won't appear in the Big Apple at some point in the not entirely too distant future.

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I came back from Sat.evening's performance having left at first intermission. Not only did they pull Cote, (no notice) but also the other 2 leads, no explanation & replaced by people who looked to be from the corps. Then during the middle of Act 1, during the dancing, they began seating latecomers, I would guess about 50 people. I couldn't believe it! Even Friday night at Fall for Dance, latecomers were made to wait until a pause or intermission to be seated. Then of course the ballet is dreadful (but I have the Blu-Ray so I have only myself to blame for that one). I think NBoC needs to rethink their strategy before coming to NYC again.

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As I have said many times, it is not "NBOC strategy" that determined what ballet they presented; it is the presenter's (ie the Joyce in this case) choice. You may think the ballet is dreadful but that is a matter of taste; hordes of people find it highly entertaining.

Neither is late seating NBOC strategy; it depends on the theatre. And there are no corps de ballet dancers performing the lead roles in Alice.

Whatever caused the cast change (and really, as we all know, ballet companies do not do this on a whim) was a very late development, as Jillian Vanstone tweeted about it late Saturday morning. I agree the NBOC could have at least tweeted about it, especially since I tweeted them a question about casting for all 3 remaining performances as soon as I saw Jillian's tweet.

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Guillaume Cote just tweeted this:

Guillaume Cote @guillaume__cote

So Sorry to those who bough ticks to c me dance last night in Alice , @nationalballet had to switch shows due to someone else's injury.

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Alice was replaced last night too. The replacement was Sonia Rodriguez.

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I saw the show Thursday night and it was fabulous. It may not be Wheeldon''s most remarkable for choreography, but he shows what a creative genius he is in plenty of other ways in "Alice". The audience loved it. I overheard compliments about the refinement of NBOC dancing and thought Dylan Tedaldi was especially great. Injuries happen and I would think some understanding is in order. It's refreshing to see them in New York and I hope they return again soon!!

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I came away thinking Bob Crowley, the designer, is extraordinarily talented and imaginative. I thought it was Crowley's work that carried the show.

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Sonia Rodriguez as a "replacement" is not exactly a bad thing, in my view. I love watching her.

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I came back from Sat.evening's performance having left at first intermission. . . . Then during the middle of Act 1, during the dancing, they began seating latecomers, I would guess about 50 people. I couldn't believe it! Even Friday night at Fall for Dance, latecomers were made to wait until a pause or intermission to be seated. Then of course the ballet is dreadful (but I have the Blu-Ray so I have only myself to blame for that one). I think NBoC needs to rethink their strategy before coming to NYC again.

We made it until the second intermission before bailing (we were not alone...). Clever designs aren't enough. It's the cloying, sub-film score music that puts the whole failure into relief; if you use a programmatic score, composed for the ballet, there is no excuse for not using the score in a way to enhance the story and choreography. Another example of Wheeldon's unmusicality, I think. However, i think it's worth noting that the people around our seats and on the terrace seemed to love it.

But as for late arrivers, i'm usually deeply against seating late folks, but the box office situation in the lobby was absurd. We got to Koch at 735, and didn't make it to our seats until 757. The lack of any roped, intake system just creates a converging mob of people, loosing arranged into some loosely, snaked mass of humanity, forced to to try to use one of the ticket boxes, while the advance sale box sits unused. For non-subscriber shows like this, where the only options are will call or mailed tix, Koch really need to do some kind of work in putting together some type of arranged intake in place.

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Neither is late seating NBOC strategy; it depends on the theatre.

We asked the ushers about the seating of latecomers (and they are Koch ushers, we recognize from NYCB) and they said the seating decisions were made by NBoC.

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Neither is late seating NBOC strategy; it depends on the theatre.

We asked the ushers about the seating of latecomers (and they are Koch ushers, we recognize from NYCB) and they said the seating decisions were made by NBoC.

Interesting -- do you know if it's regular Koch people in the box office, or did the Joyce have to find their own? Between the NBoC, the Joyce (the presenter), and the theater it's a combo plate.

A question for anyone who saw the RB broadcast of the ballet last year, and saw these performances -- would you please talk about any differences you perceive in the special effects between the film and live experience?

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It was Koch theater box office people, not the Joyce box office people. I contemplated buying a Joyce subscription, and asked if I could buy Alice at a subscriber discount through the Joyce. I was told that even though it is a Joyce presentation, I could not purchase Alice through the Joyce. Purchase had to be at the Koch. Also, no Joyce subscriber discounts were available for Alice.

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I still fail to see why, since neither Jillian nor Guillaume were injured, this necessitated a major casting change up. From tweets, I gather Sat. Matinee, Sat. evening and Sunday matinee all had the leads change because someone down the food chain was injured. I understand a change in lead when he/her is injured (like Evan McKie), but this is IMO is incomprehensible. And I went to Sat. evening just to see Cote so, since he's not injured but didn't dance, I'm pretty mad. I think this company (and maybe the Joyce) made a lot of rookie mistakes (also not staffing the box office for will call properly). I'm pretty soured on them and would not see them again if they come back here.

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Since Jillian Vanstone took over Elena Lobsanova's performances, perhaps Lobsanova was the injured dancer. In that case, leaving Vanstone in her original slot would have resulted in this:

12e - Rodriguez

13m - Rodriguez

13e - Vanstone

14m - Vanstone or Rodriguez

Perhaps the company thought this would have provided the dancers with too little rest time between an evening performance and a matinee the following day, so they decided this would be more rational:

12e - Rodriguez

13m - Vanstone

13e - Rodriguez

14m - Vanstone

Mind you, Jack is a much smaller part than Alice. But if Guillaume Côté was having to replace an injured McGee Maddox, whose performances Côté took over, the scenario would have been exactly the same, so the company decided to alternate Côté and Naoya Ebe rather than have either of them do two performances in a row.

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A movie would have been a guaranteed cast. While a difference of opinion about art is natural (we actually liked the music a lot and, while agree that the production was heavy on design craft, shrugged it off as just how that particular show was conceived to be) ... I find it "curious" huh.png that anyone who considers themselves cultured, as defined by appreciation of ballet and its supporting arts (set designers, craftsmen, musicians, etc), would buy a ticket for a company's tour, and despite being disappointed in a casting change, not sit through to a performance's end. If not to see the outcome of the unpredictable live event, at least to respect the efforts of the artists who put it together? I am so glad that the audience representing the USA and New Yorkers, from what I witnessed, offered a warm welcome to our guests, complete with many audible cheers. Having travelled in Canada frequently, I am so often observing how tolerant and considerate the Canadian culture seems to be.

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Having travelled in Canada frequently, I am so often observing how tolerant and considerate the Canadian culture seems to be.

Having lived in Canada for a long time, I would suggest staying on the alert for veiled passive aggression. wink1.gif

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Neither is late seating NBOC strategy; it depends on the theatre.

We asked the ushers about the seating of latecomers (and they are Koch ushers, we recognize from NYCB) and they said the seating decisions were made by NBoC

Even if that's true, i think it would have been the wrong decision for a visiting company to bar entrance until intermission on the basis of Koch (+ Joyce's?) inability to set up an efficient distribution system. I'm a season subscriber at NYCB, and have seen some bad backups (particularly since they put up the temporary, plywood boxes), but at 735 there was already an overflow of folks beyond the set of first internal doors. So, i would guess that NBOC were trying to make the best of the administrative incompetence they were being forced to accomodate as guest company, not wanting to leave their guest customers out in the cold.

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I find it "curious" huh.png that anyone who considers themselves cultured, as defined by appreciation of ballet and its supporting arts (set designers, craftsmen, musicians, etc), would buy a ticket for a company's tour, and despite being disappointed in a casting change, not sit through to a performance's end. If not to see the outcome of the unpredictable live event, at least to respect the efforts of the artists who put it together? I am so glad that the audience representing the USA and New Yorkers, from what I witnessed, offered a warm welcome to our guests, complete with many audible cheers. Having travelled in Canada frequently, I am so often observing how tolerant and considerate the Canadian culture seems to be.

Having left after two intermissions, deciding that we had better dinner options at 10pm rather than 11pm, I can apreciate people can have various reasons for leaving early, and if the earlier poster left early because of a casting decision in a ballet he/she already considered dreadful, so be it. NBoC is a major north american company,whom I've enjoyed in the past (and will enjoy in the future) and I don't think they expect some sort of patronizing "warm" reception. Rather, being a major company from an intertnational city, they probably expect to be appreciated on the merits of what they do. I think the majority enjoyed what they saw during this Koch season, but that doesn't make those who left any less "cultured".

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I find it "curious" :huh: that anyone who considers themselves cultured, as defined by appreciation of ballet and its supporting arts (set designers, craftsmen, musicians, etc), would buy a ticket for a company's tour, and despite being disappointed in a casting change, not sit through to a performance's end. If not to see the outcome of the unpredictable live event, at least to respect the efforts of the artists who put it together? I am so glad that the audience representing the USA and New Yorkers, from what I witnessed, offered a warm welcome to our guests, complete with many audible cheers. Having travelled in Canada frequently, I am so often observing how tolerant and considerate the Canadian culture seems to be.

Having left after two intermissions, deciding that we had better dinner options at 10pm rather than 11pm, I can apreciate people can have various reasons for leaving early, and if the earlier poster left early because of a casting decision in a ballet he/she already considered dreadful, so be it. NBoC is a major north american company,whom I've enjoyed in the past (and will enjoy in the future) and I don't think they expect some sort of patronizing "warm" reception. Rather, being a major company from an intertnational city, they probably expect to be appreciated on the merits of what they do. I think the majority enjoyed what they saw during this Koch season, but that doesn't make those who left any less "cultured".

If shedances has read some of the very early comments on this thread, many NYers do not like Alice and were very disappointed this ballet was what NBoC chose to bring to NY. Many chose not to see the production at all. I was not going to go (because I don't like Alice) but seeing either Evan or Guillaume is a rare treat that I didn't want to pass up. We see many, many ballet performances and it is rare that we leave early. Generally, we just select programs we like. But, NBoC is not the Bolshoi, where, for example, seeing the wonderful corps and leads, makes seeing the Grigorovich Swan Lake tolerable. Far from thinking we aren't "cultured" I think we are discriminating and know what world class ballet looks like. For heavens sake, we just went to London to see the Maryinsky (6 performances in 8 days). If you like Alice, fine, but take a deep breath before being judgemental and insulting a poster shedances.

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We've got a running discussion on the subject of abandoning shows. Please chime in.

http://balletalert.invisionzone.com/index.php?/topic/39222-spectators-walk-out-of-a-show-for-many-reasons/

Saw the thread and just want to say we left at first intermission not immediately. Had the dancing been more engaging (what I had hoped Cote would bring to enliven Alice) we might have stayed. However, a ballet we found very "Disney" and not interesting choreographically plus meh dancing = I can spend my time more enjoyably elsewhere.

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Neither is late seating NBOC strategy; it depends on the theatre.

We asked the ushers about the seating of latecomers (and they are Koch ushers, we recognize from NYCB) and they said the seating decisions were made by NBoC.

Interesting -- do you know if it's regular Koch people in the box office, or did the Joyce have to find their own? Between the NBoC, the Joyce (the presenter), and the theater it's a combo plate.

A question for anyone who saw the RB broadcast of the ballet last year, and saw these performances -- would you please talk about any differences you perceive in the special effects between the film and live experience?

I suspect it's Koch people staffing the box office but either NBoC or the Joyce probably decided how many to use. For example, during NYCB, I believe there are 2 tickets takers at each of the 4 entrance ways to get into the theatre. Last night for NBoC only 1. Also no security screening of bags/purses, routinely done when NYCB is in season. So the employees may be Koch employees, but who, how many, what they should be doing was clearly left in either NBoC or the Joyce's hands.

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Amour, funny you should mention that it looked very "Disney". If you read Crowley's previous credits, he has worked on a lot of Broadway shows presented by Disney. Disneyesque may have been exactly what Wheeldon was going for here. He wasn't catering to the neoclassical Polyphonia crowd with this one. I think the intent was to make it entertaining, but not neccessarily make brilliant or difficult choreography. To a balletomane, the choreography looked anemic. I saw two casts - opening night and Sat evening replacement cast. I didn't think there was a tremendous difference in the dancing quality.

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Apologies for any offense taken in my post referring to audience members who get up and leave live performances early in a huff when the reason is that they didn't get to see a particular dancer perform, or that some or many aspects of what they were seeing disappointed them. I just happened to be on this particular thread because I had attended this show and if I looked at many forums on this site more frequently, I might see that this happens more than I thought. The principle of the idea and the tone taken just bugged me and I felt compelled to comment, just as a poster or two here was so bothered and wanted to vent about their experience. Whether a world class company or not, performers are human beings who are paid little and giving their all to the crowd sitting there in front of them. I also don't think showing a company hospitality by way of warm reception and respect would ever be taken as "patronizing", even by a group of artists considered world class. Personally, a production would have to be disturbing to me to the point of causing revulsion or fear to warrant not sticking it out for taste reasons and I hardly think this one fits that category, so I was surprised at how offended the poster could have been. But I suppose there are ticket holders who become really casual when they can afford to attend so many performances and see so much and concern for this idea goes out the window. Fortunately, most people stick it out, or imagine how many seats would be empty after intermissions! Maybe this happens all the time?When I said "I find it curious", that is an honest statement and not meant to be aggressive. This is just my opinion. I do think we can all, myself included, re-visit the actual dictionary definition of "cultured" these days, and try to be a bit more of that.



I also agree with abott that the intent was to make it exactly what it was, which was more a spectacle of set design than dancing. The story of Alice in Wonderland is so much about magic and illusion and why not run with that in a ballet this time, especially if someone as talented as Crowley is doing it. We also thought that the reserved and sweet choreography for the solos, as well as the romantic pdd given to Alice made some sense, given her age and character in the 19th century.

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I have it on the best authority that all front-of-house decisions were made by the Joyce and not by NBOC.

Also, and I hope this is the last time I have to say this, the NBOC was invited to NY by the Joyce **because of Alice**. The Joyce wanted Alice, the NBOC has rights to it for N America. The Joyce did not invite the NBOC saying "bring whatever you like".

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