Boston Ballet Box Office Woes
Posted 11 November 2002 - 12:43 PM
Posted 11 November 2002 - 12:52 PM
All the other full lengths (with the exception of Bayadere) are pretty known stories.
I think many companies are feeling a bit of a pinch, and some companies seem to be shrinking "dancer wise"
Posted 11 November 2002 - 01:48 PM
Posted 11 November 2002 - 02:27 PM
I agree that Onegin is not kid friendly, but neither is Don Q, Bayadere, Hunchback or Giselle. Frankly, I only think of Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella as ballets that pull kids out in droves, many of them dusting off their tiaras for the occasion. But Onegin is a dramatic love story tragedy sort of ballet and would be a perfect date ballet. Boston advertises extensively in Boston, in print and on tv and radio.
I was at a fundraiser for BB two years ago and I was speaking to a gentleman who told me he had donated some of his dot com stock to the company and had become one of their *big doners* with all of the requiste treatment. During the conversation he mentioned that some people had decided to withhold support for the company because of the tumultous situtation. I don't know how BB has been affected in terms of giving but now, recalling that conversation, I am wondering if alienation is a sizeable part of the ticket sales problem.
Posted 11 November 2002 - 03:42 PM
In DC, the "full lengths," especially matinees, are usually chock full of children. I might demur at Hunchback, but not the others.
But to Susan's more central point, there could well have been supporters of particular dancers, staff, etc at BB who are upset with what happened and are withholding both their money and their presence. Whether that would cause the very noticable dip in attendance though would be hard to say.
Posted 12 November 2002 - 11:34 AM
Posted 12 November 2002 - 02:53 PM
I have heard that subscription sales for Boston Ballet have been going well, with much interest in how the company is doing under its new management and direction.
FWIW - we know a couple who used to be subscribers but are now caught up in child rearing and exurban living. They came with us to the new choreography progarm, loved it, remembered Onegin from a performance in Boston years ago and got another couple to join them for that. I guess the point is that this is the third time BB has performed Onegin so it is not completely unfamiliar. Nevertheless, it would have been nice if even more people had come.
Posted 15 November 2002 - 02:10 PM
Posted 15 November 2002 - 04:39 PM
Posted 15 November 2002 - 07:10 PM
In the same breath, I would like to invite Ms. Temin of the Globe to to get her facts straight before publishing outrageous statistics that get me all in a dither!
Now I can go back to worrying about the Red Sox...
Posted 18 November 2002 - 10:02 PM
Still, this is horrendous. I saw Onegin twice and I don't do that often - it was beautifully danced and acted, especially by Larissa Ponomarenko. The male leads seemed weaker, but since the Onegin character is such a toad in this re-telling, it must be a hard part to act credibly. After seeing the ballet, I read the novel. There, Onegin is self-absorbed, bored and cold, not cruel, and a more believable character. But I digress....
This was such a wonderful ballet and it moved me so much, I just felt I was in a majority and assumed it was a great success. The audiences were tremendously positive. The Sunday matinee I subscribe to was quite well attended. At the Tuesday night performance, I couldn't get as good seats as I was willing to buy, so I thought all must be well. The numbers say otherwise.
Since this was a wonderful ballet, it was danced beautifully, it had excellent notices, it was thoroughly accessible, what could be the problem? This should have been a hugh box office success.
Well, I agree with all of what other posters have said here. Additionally, even educated people hadn't heard of it and it was choreographed recently, which in the view of one Nutcracker parent, made it risky and possibly avant-garde, like the Forsythe from the season opener. This was ignorance, and we could leave it at that, but if Nutcracker parents won't go for it, that may mean that a possibly large group of likely ballet goers isn't getting reached.
I think there's another set of factors: ticket prices are pretty high and people are unwilling to risk a lot of money on something unknown, especially in the crummy economy. I know these are rough figures, but if 18,000 tickets were sold and 25,000 seats were empty and the ticket prices were cut 1/3, wouldn't they break even if they sold 9,000 more seats? The prices now are $12.50 to $72, but the $12.50 seats in the Wang are very bad. If the $72 went down to $48, and all but the lowest were reduced similarly, might not the people come?
I'm sure this kind of thing is chewed over constantly in the theatre business and it is a big risk to lower prices, but isn't that what most businesses do when the product isn't selling?
I think the Boston Ballet is dancing at a very, very high level now and that their recovery from the gross mismanagement of the past Board and other undesirables has been miraculous. I think on the whole that the season planned by Nissenen is imaginative and balanced.
After the Nutcracker madness is over (in which I am involved in a chauffeuring capacity), they are putting on La Fille Mal Gardee. So many people would enjoy this, it would be an awful shame if this weren't a box office success. But I think that's likely as well, because it's got a French name - another Nut parent called it "The Girl in the Garden"), because it was re-choreographed recently (avant-garde risk), even if it was originally very, very old (heightened risk it's boring) and because most people never heard of it.
I wanted to write the Ballet's marketing department about an idea I had for a clever advertisement for La Fille Mal Gardee, but they need more than clever ideas.
Any feeling about lower ticket prices?
Posted 19 November 2002 - 05:08 AM
I think everybody wishes prices could be lowered, but unfortunately there so much cost in putting together a huge production, that like most other companies, ticket prices barely cover the production cost.
In reading the posts over, it seems that the scandal really damaged "consumer confidence" and it's just going to take some time to get it back.
I think "Fille" does very well, because of word of mouth, despite a title that everyone pronounces differently. Plus it's light and fun, and as was reported on the ABT threads, pretty timeless. It will be interesting to see how it does. Keep us posted!
Posted 19 November 2002 - 05:12 AM
Posted 19 November 2002 - 12:01 PM
Posted 19 November 2002 - 01:11 PM
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