Stecyk

Bolshoi & Cineplex

20 posts in this topic

I am just sharing some information that might be helpful to others.

 

In Calgary, Cineplex reduced the number of theaters showing Bolshoi Ballet performances from two to one. The prior two theaters were located in the North and South parts of Calgary. Now, there is just one theater located downtown. Unfortunately, it isn't a great theater. After the first performance, I contacted Bolshoi Ballet in Cinema (BBiC) by Twitter, and got its email address. Then, I wrote an email to Cineplex with a courtesy copy to BBiC, and Chinook, my preferred theater. The following day I spoke to Cineplex and voiced my concerns. The Cineplex representative mentioned that I might wish to have my friends write or call, too.

 

This past Sunday, I brought approximately 20 forms to the theater. Each form contained the following information:

  • A mention that I had previously contacted Cineplex, BBiC, and Chinook theater;
  • Brief discussion saying that Cineplex and BBiC negotiate which theaters will carry the performances, so it is important that each be notified of any complaints;
  • A brief sample complaint letter to Cineplex, which they were free to use or write their own, with courtesy copies to BBiC and Chinook;
  • A request that they follow-up their letter to Cineplex with a phone call so that there can be a dialog;
  • A request to be sincere, polite, and courteous, for we want Cineplex and BBiC to want to help us; and
  • My contact information.

 

Prior the performance, I approached various patrons--who I consider friends--and asked if they were happy with the change in venue from last year. One or two preferred this new location because it was closer for them. Others were grateful. I actually ran out of forms to hand out. On my way out of the theater, a few people thanked me for taking the initiative.

 

I did not ask to be included in their correspondence. They were free to say or do as they pleased. A couple of women wrote back and indicated the BBiC is discussing with Cineplex our concerns. They will try to make changes to keep everyone happy. So I remain hopeful for positive change.

 

The key point of this message is, if you are not happy with your theater selection, you might wish to make your voice heard.

Edited by Stecyk

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I spoke with Dianna from Bolshoi Ballet in Cinema (BBiC) yesterday concerning our theaters. I asked if she had any questions. With the responses she has received so far, she felt comfortable with her understanding and didn't have any direct questions. We then talked briefly about the theaters in general. Toward the end of our conversation, she asked for some information about Calgary and asked a general question with regard to helping to promote the Bolshoi Ballet.

 

I have no ideas on how to promote the Bolshoi Ballet in Calgary or anywhere else for that matter. A couple or few years ago, volcanohunter made me aware of the cinema presentations by the Bolshoi and ROH, which is no longer shown in Calgary. Without her comments, I never would have been aware of the cinema presentations.

 

Do you have any ideas on how to promote these cinema presentations? If you do, can you please respond. I will either pass these ideas back to Dianna or simply point her to this thread.

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This has been something of a problem all over, it seems.  There is a fundamental difference between the way that films are promoted (generally by the distributor) and the way that dance is promoted.  While the participating theaters might include these one-off screenings in their general advertising, that doesn't necessarily reach the dance audience in the community.  In the meantime, dance organizations, that do have a direct connection to their audiences, don't seem to want to promote a cinema broadcast that isn't actually about their own work.

 

The Met HD broadcasts seem to have been adopted by local opera organizations in several places, and they will include that information in their general communications with their local audiences.  Here in Seattle, the local opera company often has a staffer at the screenings, to plug their own performances.  I would think that there could be a similar relationship between local dance organizations and the cinemas that broadcast these shows, but so far that doesn't seem to be happening.

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please direct Dianna to me at toursenlair@gmail.com.

I already promote the ballet broadcasts as much as I can on my website and to my mailing list. It would help if I could do giveaways for tickets. The Bloor Cinema in Toronto does that with me for Royal Ballet broadcasts, and I promote the contest draws heavily on my twitter feed and facebook page.

If everyone of us who goes to these broadcasts shared them on our social media feeds that might help to spread the word.

It certainly didn't help that cineplex rescheduled The Bright Stream so that was in competition with the National Ballet of Canada's Onegin. Now I am trying to organize a private screening of it in February for everyone in Toronto who missed it because they were at the live ballet. But it costs $2500 to do so and I have to find enough people to cover the costs.

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4 hours ago, kbarber said:

Now I am trying to organize a private screening of it in February for everyone in Toronto who missed it because they were at the live ballet. But it costs $2500 to do so and I have to find enough people to cover the costs.

 

Good for you -- the impression I get is that there aren't too many communities where anyone is actually promoting/advocating for these broadcasts.  They're the opposite of a Venn diagram -- they seem to lie outside everyone's territory.

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sandik, I like your post. And, I agree with everything you wrote.
 
I suspect local dance companies have a fear of dividing up the "economic pie." Some believe that every dollar spent at the theater implies one less dollar that might be spent with them.
 
I like your opera company's attitude where they believe it's possible to grow the economic pie.

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5 hours ago, kbarber said:

please direct Dianna to me at toursenlair@gmail.com.

 
Consider it done. I will be emailing Dianna on Monday with some follow-up information, and I will make her aware your post.
 
In my conversation with her, I found her genuinely warm and friendly--the kind of person who you would enjoy having coffee with. So I hope that she responds and that you two can make some progress.
 
Thank you for responding, and I wish you good luck!

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30 minutes ago, Stecyk said:
I like your opera company's attitude where they believe it's possible to grow the economic pie.

 

I think it really does make a difference in their own company culture -- fostering enthusiasm for the art form helps everyone.

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41 minutes ago, sandik said:

 

I think it really does make a difference in their own company culture -- fostering enthusiasm for the art form helps everyone.

 

It's probably a scary first step for many to make—that is, going from a mindset of competition to cooperation.
 
I agree with you, though. Fostering enthusiasm for the art form helps everyone.
 

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Social media seems like a starting point.  The best promoter is George Takei, who incorporates humor.  How could we leverage his "best practices" for ballet in cinema?

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Thank you Jayne for responding. 

 

At the Chinook Theater, which is my favorite, a Cineplex employee Dino created a mail list that he sends out to those interested about opera or ballet performances. Now that ballet has largely been removed from his theater—only the Bolshoi Nutcracker is scheduled to show there—his list is just opera. He provides periodic emails to let patrons know if there are any scheduling changes or other worthwhile announcements. 

 

In terms of social media, that's a tough nut to crack. On Twitter, it depends on who follows you and are they using Twitter when you tweet. On Facebook, much the same applies. 

 

Most of my social media stuff relates to business or current events. 

 

I am definitely open to suggestions. 

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Here's another small suggestion for everyone.
 
When I was last at the Alberta Ballet, I mentioned the couple next to me about the Bolshoi series playing at Cineplex. Using Microsoft OneNote (similar to Evernote) on my iPhone, I opened up my page with the complete information, including Cineplex dance series url, Bolshoi dates, times, and titles, and forwarded the information to him by email on the spot. He was appreciative for the information.
 
While I do have all the Bolshoi performances marked in my calendar, I find it helpful having all the information neatly written down in one location to share with others.
Edited by Stecyk
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That;s an interesting suggestion, but in practical terms how do you strike up a conversation with "the couple stting next to me"? I find when I'm at the ballet surrounded by couples, they're all chatting amongst themselves and I don't see how I can muscle in on their conversation to say "By the way, do you know about the Bolshoi broadcasts?"

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Let me preface my comments by saying that I am an introvert. So if I can strike up a conversation with a couple next to us, anyone can.

 

Often when the couple is arriving to their seats, our eyes will meet and we will say a cordial hello. Or, when we are clapping at the end of a performance, one of us will often say to the other, "That was an enjoyable performance," or words to that effect.

 

As I recall from the last Alberta Ballet performance, there was lull in their conversation during an intermission where I mentioned that I was enjoying the performance. He likely replied in kind, and then I probably mentioned that I enjoy the Bolshoi Ballet, too. A bit of back and forth. And then I offered to send him the list of performances right there. He provided his email while I typed it in. He then checked his phone to verify that he received it. During our banter, he mentioned that he and his wife enjoy attending operas, too.

 

Through familiarization of seeing each other over time, you acknowledge their presence. If convenient, say a greeting of hello and at the end mention some praise about the performance you've just seen. And when the opportunity is open, mention the Bolshoi Ballet.

 

You can even be quite forward about it. For example, "We've seen each other for a while now and I wanted to ask you if you are familiar with the Bolshoi Ballet presentations shown at Cineplex. While they are delayed by a couple or few hours, they are almost live and they are incredible to watch." And then watch their body language. Are they interested in learning more or does their current dose of live culture fill their culture bucket?

 

I enjoy watching the Bolshoi Ballet performances, as much if not more so than the Alberta Ballet. I've got great seats, too, for the Alberta Ballet.

 

With respect to the Alberta Ballet, I enjoy supporting our local ballet company. I enjoy being a part of their community. And I enjoy learning more about ballet by watching them. I have got fantastic seats for their performances, so I am happy.

 

With the Bolshoi Ballet, I enjoy seeing world class dancers perform at their best, along with beautiful costumes, sets, lighting, and music. Because of the camera, I feel almost as though I am on stage with them. While I am not viewing the performances live at the Bolshoi, I sometimes catch myself from wanting to clap.

 

If you convey your enthusiasm for the Bolshoi Ballet, it is hard for the other person not to be interested.

 

As mentioned in my prior post, he was genuinely appreciative for receiving the information.

 

Speaking with those around you should not be too difficult. I hope my comments help.

Edited by Stecyk
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A few times when I've been to one of these things I've almost stood up at the end and just asked the group where they heard about the program -- next time I think I should just speak up.

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8 hours ago, sandik said:

A few times when I've been to one of these things I've almost stood up at the end and just asked the group where they heard about the program -- next time I think I should just speak up.

 

You'll find people at Bolshoi Ballet presentations surprisingly open. You're there at an uncommon but cultural event, and you're there because you want to be there. There's already a bond between you and the other person.
 
When I was canvassing other patrons at the last Cineplex performance, people were surprisingly polite to having me, a stranger, ask them questions about their theater preferences. They are enthusiastic about the Bolshoi and so are you, so it's easy to build a rapport from that.
 
Even if you're just standing in line waiting to access the theater, you can start up a conversation.
 
If I were going to see the latest Hollywood hit movie, I don't think it would be as easy. People are there because they want to see the movie and you might have very little in common with them. Here, however, it's different. You both share an appreciation for an art form and for a specific ballet company.
 
So yes, please, just speak up. Take it as an interpersonal challenge to speak with someone you've never met. You will be pleasantly surprised how easy it is to have a conversation with someone new. And, as a side benefit, your day will be a little brighter.
Edited by Stecyk
Fixed a typo.

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While at the gym this morning, I thought more about this thread when I saw a new person I hadn't seen before.
 
Every Saturday and Sunday for well over a decade, I am at the gym when it opens first thing in the morning. While I don't know everyone's full name, we regulars all recognize each other and know each other's first names.
 
Where I work out on Sunday morning on the machines, there are usually only a few others present. And quite often, I have the area to myself. If there is someone new in the area, I can either continue with my normal routine. Or, I can take the first step by saying a warm hello while continuing with my routine.
 
I have found that if I just go about my routine, when I politely ask people if I can "work-in" on the machines they are presently using, they are typically territorial. They might ask allow me to work-in begrudgingly or ask me to wait until they are done.
 
If I have said a warm hello earlier, they are much more willing to let me work-in. The territorial attitude dissipates. Just a quick "hello" earlier seems to grease the skids to sharing the area in a cooperative fashion.
 
So now, I make a deliberate point of saying a quick, warm hello to those I haven't seen before. So little effort results a meaningful benefit. I can continue to work quickly through my routine without worries of being delayed.
 
Now, going back to the ballet conversation. If you approach others without ever having said anything to them previously, it's a bit more difficult than if you at least had said hello before. Once you are known to be a friendly person, the rest comes easy.
 
In most circumstances, most people are friendly. I hope this message inspires you to make contact with those near you at the ballet.

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On 12/5/2016 at 6:10 PM, Stecyk said:

 

 

With respect to the Alberta Ballet, I enjoy supporting our local ballet company. I enjoy being a part of their community. And I enjoy learning more about ballet by watching them. I have got fantastic seats for their performances, so I am happy.

 

 

You've got an EXCELLENT Cuban ballerina there...Miss Hayna Gutierrez,a wonderful.Giselle for the times. I hope you can see her in the role at some point.

 

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cubanmiamiboy, I believe I have seen Hayna Gutierrez in that role, though I am not positive. In your post, you refer to her as "Miss." I believe she's married now with at least one child. I seem to recall something in the Calgary Herald about her wedding.

 

The Edmonton Journal discussed her return after the birth of her child: Prepare to be bitten by Alberta Ballet's Dracula.

 

She is a beautiful dancer.

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While going through an old email, I came across this New York Times article "Hello, Stranger."

 

Quote

If you’ve ever been on a subway or public bus, you know the rules. Don’t make eye contact, stay as far away from other people as the space allows, and for the love of God, don’t talk to anyone. But what if the rules are wrong?

 

The behavioral scientists Nicholas Epley and Juliana Schroeder approached commuters in a Chicago area train station and asked them to break the rules. In return for a $5 Starbucks gift card, these commuters agreed to participate in a simple experiment during their train ride. One group was asked to talk to the stranger who sat down next to them on the train that morning. Other people were told to follow standard commuter norms, keeping to themselves. By the end of the train ride, commuters who talked to a stranger reported having a more positive experience than those who had sat in solitude.

 

I was reminded of this thread where some members wondered how to strike up a conversation with those sitting next to them at a ballet to enquire if they were familiar with the Bolshoi Ballet performances. Perhaps this article will encourage you to speak up.

 

Happy reading.

Edited by Stecyk

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