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Where in the theater do you like to sit?Reveal your secrets ....

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9 replies to this topic

#1 sasark


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Posted 17 June 2014 - 11:21 AM

I realize that the answer to this question will vary depending on the particular theater and work -- but I am wondering what people's general preferences are when buying ballet tickets. 
My habit is that I tend to be a "front row center" person, even though it's more expensive. My reasoning is that I like to see as much detail as possible in what the lead dancers are doing. However, recently I accidentally ended up in a center balcony seat for a "Swan Lake" production, and I had a whole new appreciation for the corps. I haven't seen a lot of Balanchine, but I expect the more-distant seats might be great there, too. So now I am always torn, though for most works I still tend to favor front-row seats. 
My least favorite are any box seats off to the side, both because I don't like being way off center, and because to me it can feel a little awkward being in a box with strangers. Sometimes it's OK, but it seems like a crap shoot.
I'm wondering if other people have strong preferences, and what your reasoning is. What for you is the safest best? Or do you like to mix it up?

#2 sandik


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Posted 17 June 2014 - 12:01 PM

When I have a choice, I'd rather be more center than to the side, especially with work that has a large cast or covers space -- it's easier for me to see spatial patterns, and I'm less likely to miss details at the edges.  Especially if there's business going on with exits and entrances.

#3 ABT Fan


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Posted 17 June 2014 - 01:25 PM

sasark - I'm also a "front row center" kind of person.  But if there's a live orchestra or if the front row is right up against the stage (depending on the theatre), then a row or two or three back.  I need to be able to see faces and feet (and don't want to have opera glasses glued to my face).

#4 KarenAG


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Posted 22 June 2014 - 08:30 AM

Front and center rows 10-12, but they are very expensive and I just can't afford that.  For the State Theater, I like first ring center or a bit left or right (subscription prices are around $53 for these if you can get them).  For Jewels this spring, I sat in the orchestra, row M to the left and that was a really great seat for $53.  At SPAC, I like the box seats in the balcony, front and center.  I can't be too far back because details get lost and the ballet isn't nearly as enjoyable.  I've only seen ABT at the Met once, and it was a gift; we sat in the family circle, I think, which was way too high up.  Much detail lost.  I see ABT at Bard when they perform there, and I get great front and center seats there. I'm considering an ABT subscription for the 2014-15 season, so I'll see what kind of seats I can get for affordable prices - what do you recommend? 

#5 California


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Posted 22 June 2014 - 09:03 AM

. . .  I'm considering an ABT subscription for the 2014-15 season, so I'll see what kind of seats I can get for affordable prices - what do you recommend? 

I have never understood ABT's lame subscription program. You pay full price for the tickets and do not get any sort of discount for additional purchases. NYCB and companies all over the country offer perks like that and seem to be doing well. Presumably, somebody at ABT crunched the numbers and decided they do better insisting on full price and then papering the house with student rush and studio give-a-ways.


I tried a pick-your-own trio at ABT a couple of years ago with very detailed instructions on preferences and that's what I got. But I could have gotten those when singles go on sale in April at the same price. If you live in NYC, you can trade subscription tickets, I gather, but I can't think of any other perks. Here's the package of perks at San Francisco Ballet -- pretty nice:


#6 KarenAG


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Posted 22 June 2014 - 09:11 AM

Thank you, California.  I did not know seats aren't discounted for subscriptions!  Definitely a disincentive unless one cannot live without certain seats and will be able to procure them with a subscription.  perks at SFB are lovely!

#7 BalletontheRocks



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Posted 18 July 2014 - 09:44 PM

I would also say I'm a "front and center" type of person.  It's worth the extra money for me, especially at NYCB, because I can recognize most of the dancers by face so I like to sit close enough to be able to see faces and know who is dancing.  It feels more personal and exciting to me, and is easier to pick out the differences between dancers and decide who I like better in a particular role and who in the corps I want to see more of. I think it also provides some more nuances in the partnering and choreography that you might miss out of further back, but I acknowledge that are are also benefits to sitting in the back :) 

#8 Stage Right

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 11:32 AM

I love first ring center, but since I no longer live in NYC, I'd just love to sit anywhere in a good theatre featuring a fine ballet company--what bliss!!

#9 DanielBenton


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Posted 23 July 2014 - 01:01 PM

At NYCB (what we used to call the State Theatre) I sit in the Second Ring, as away from the stage as the $26-$29 seats go (AA10 or AA 11 - the higher up the number the closer to the stage and the more you lose of the side you are on).  For those of us with old eyes it is good to be this close to the stage and I alternate sides on a regular basis. You can get these on a subscription. 

#10 lafemme



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Posted 04 August 2014 - 02:31 PM

How topical- I am currently trying to decide where to sit at the Koch Theater for Don Quixote. I'm a ballet neophyte, but so far I like the first ring and orchestra off to the side so I can see through people's heads. I saw Swan Lake from a ring off to the side, and would probably not repeat. I don't mind paying a lot for some tickets (Don Q w/ Osipova being one of them), and less for further seats for others, but it frustrates me to spend a lot on bad seats (Swan Lake) and I am often late to buying tickets. Here's hoping balletalert will help me with that, and I can experience more orchestra close up or first ring center!

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