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Kathleen O'Connell

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Everything posted by Kathleen O'Connell

  1. Agreed. And in truth, the vast majority of New Yorkers in my neighborhood are still masking up in most indoor spaces, even if it's not required that they do so. I'd expect that at least some audience members will resist masking, but that more will be willing (or even eager) to don them again.
  2. Yes. If there's anything that argues for a mask mandate, it's this. To be clear, I don't think it's an argument against vaccines.
  3. Wouldn't it be possible to require vaccination of everyone over 12? One way to protect those who can't be vaccinated—e.g., children under 12—is to ensure that those who can be vaccinated are vaccinated.
  4. I still can't figure out the logic behind no intermissions. I suppose the intention is to limit the absolute amount of time front-of-house employees and audience members are exposed to the virus given that duration of exposure is one driver of transmission risk. But it's hard to see how adding, say, one 20 minute intermission materially increases the risk for people who will be sitting (unmasked!) in close proximity to potential carriers of a highly contagious variant for 90 minutes.
  5. I wonder if NYCB will decide to revise its policy in light of 1) rising Covid-19 case rates at both the local and national level; 2) revised CDC guidance re indoor masking; 3) more and more organizations in the for-profit, non-profit, health care, and government sectors requiring vaccinations of both employees and customers; and 4) the number of public figures now urging everyone to get vaccinated. Surely headlines like "All NYC Counties Fall Under CDC's New Recommendation For Universal Indoor Masking" has to prompt a NYC performing arts organization to re-think its re-opening policies. (Or this one, as Nutcracker season approaches: "Arkansas Children’s hospitals report record high number of children hospitalized with Covid-19"—it certainly got my attention.) Frankly, it might be easier for a venue to require vaccines for admission than to try to enforce a masking requirement. You just know that there will be audience members who will kick up a prolonged and noisy ruckus when an usher politely requests that they put their masks back on.
  6. In the Theater Formerly Known as State where you can actually see what's going on onstage? Oh, I'd be elbowing my way to the front of the box office line for that one.
  7. Yup. Ditto with masks. I sometimes wonder if we aren't suffering from a national epidemic of adult-onset oppositional defiant disorder.
  8. I'm going to push back on this just the little tiniest bit—not because I want to accommodate vaccine hesitancy, but rather because I can see from day-to-day interactions with any number of people that there is a TON of Covid-19 and Covid-19 vaccine mis- and disinformation out there and that even smart and well-educated people can fall prey to it. Some of it has been promulgated in bad faith by people with an agenda; some of it has been promulgated in good faith by people who are either innumerate (i.e., can't process the statistics) or who don't have a basic grasp of the science; some of it arises out of a fundamental mistrust of experts, the pharmaceutical companies, the medical establishment, the FDA, the CDC, and the government; some of it is the result from science reporting that is at best inept and at worst sensationalized for clicks and ratings. ALL of this mis- and disinformation works to undermine confidence in the safety and efficacy of the vaccines, despite the fact that the demonstrated efficacy of both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines is excellent and serious side-effects very, very rare. (The risk of "long-haul" Covid is very, very real, however: studies suggest that 1 in 4 Covid-19 patients will suffer long-haul symptoms months after contracting the disease, even if their cases weren't severe or they didn't have any risk factors. One may worry about the long-term risks of the Covid-19 vaccines; one might more profitably worry more about the long-term risks of even a mild case of Covid-19.) So, I can understand some degree of vaccine hesitancy and why someone who's wary might think that wariness is legitimate caution—especially if other members of their community—be it family, friends, fellow church members, fellow PTA members, whatever—reinforce that wariness. That being said, I have absolutely no qualms about requiring proof of vaccination to do things like board a commercial flight, get on a cruise ship, be seated in a theater, eat in a restaurant, enter a store, work in an office, work in a health care setting, or attend a college or university.
  9. Yes, try again. This email from NYCB hit my inbox at around 4:30: AN UPDATE ON YOUR EARLY ACCESS It was brought to our attention that some of our priority sales patrons were having trouble accessing seats for Maria Kowroski's farewell performance on October 17. The issue has been fixed and available seating for this performance should now be displaying correctly online. If you were experiencing problems ordering online earlier today, thank you for your patience. Please try to order online again as our phone lines are experiencing extremely heavy traffic. We apologize for this inconvenience and look forward to seeing you in the theater.
  10. The perception that politics may be a driver of vaccine hesitancy is likely driven by reports such as these: Data Show Politics Has Become a Powerful Driver of Vaccine Hesitancy State vaccine rates fall along red, blue divide Least Vaccinated U.S. Counties Have Something in Common: Trump Voters Vaccine hesitancy among Republicans emerges as Biden's next big challenge Amid vaccine push in reluctant communities, politics plays big role; Black, Hispanic parents say in survey they are willing to get vaccinated, but Republicans were less likely to say so Regression analysis run on county-level data shows a clear correlation between vaccination rates and partisan vote lean, although as this dive into the data by Cornell professor Tom Pepinsky suggests, it's important to look for nuance when analyzing the data: Trump Support and Vaccination Rates: Some Hypotheses and Some Data Of course there are other drivers of vaccine hesitancy, such as education and income levels (see the first article I linked to above for some data on that), distrust of the pharmaceutical industry, distrust of medical experts, the way one tends to evaluate risk generally, whether one lives in the city or the country, etc etc etc.
  11. On the flip side, there's antagonizing the portion of their audience that IS vaccinated and is reluctant to attend a public event in an enclosed space that doesn't require vaccination because a) they're concerned about picking up a break-through infection and either becoming ill themselves or passing a Covid variant on to someone in their household who's immune-compromised; or b) annoyed at the safety measures that have to be put in place to accommodate the un-vaccinated, such as NO INTERMISSIONS, no bio breaks, no mingling with friends in the lobby, standing outside the theater in inclement weather because the venue can't risk patrons mingling in the lobby prior to the show, etc etc etc. ETA: An example of where the potential for push-back against a good public-health measure was overblown: when NYC decided to ban smoking in bars and restaurants. There was a huge hue-and-cry from certain sectors of the hospitality industry and the usual suspects in the pundocracy, declaring that this would absolutely, positively be the end of the city's bars and restaurants. Spoiler alert: it wasn't, and drinking in bars and eating in restaurants remained as popular as ever, was more enjoyable for the vast majority of patrons who weren't smokers, and much much safer for the industry's labor force.
  12. Leaving the veracity of her claim aside, in the real world of a male-run, tradition-bound, hierarchical organization eager to coddle its stars, neither option would likely have gotten Pazcoguin anywhere. I can imagine any range of bad outcomes for Pazcoguin and none for her harasser; she was on the wrong side of any number of power imbalances in that situation. For a chilling depiction of how a credible allegation of abuse and exploitation can be turned back against the person reporting it by an HR department operating under the thumb of a powerful male executive, I recommend Kitty Green's excellent 2019 film, The Assistant. (If you haven't seen the film and don't mind a little spoiling, you can watch one of the central, telling scenes from the film on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=972P9XLWyoE. Jane, a young production assistant for a powerful film executive is party to a very young, very inexperienced woman being set up for sexual exploitation on the pretext of being given a job at the firm. The executive's habit of sexual predation is an open secret; part of Jane's job is literally cleaning up after his exploits and facilitating them in other ways, including installing the new hire in a high-end hotel. She decides to report the situation to HR. It does not go well.)
  13. Body and Soul is still available for viewing here on the Jacob's Pillow website—I just paid my $15 fee and logged into the stream. I believe that the little note on the bottom of the page that reads "Event Dates: Oh no! You missed this one! Check our calendar for future events" refers to the live performance, not the stream. ETA: Go to this page to see all of the online offerings. Quite a few of them are free.
  14. Namouna is just shy of a hour long. If there's no intermission, it would be audience abuse to put more than one other ballet on the program. ETA: Hmmm ... maybe I misread the original post. Has Namouna been taken off the program and replaced with Doncerto DSCH? If so, that is indeed a short program.
  15. Seriously, how are they planning for the rush to the restrooms when the performance is over?
  16. To be clear, I'm all in favor of unions and collective bargaining in the performing arts. Everyone has a right to fair compensation and a safe and respectful workplace. I think artists and stagehands have a right to negotiate how they will be compensated for work that's made available via means other than live performance. Rights holders are a more complicated issue. Creators should be compensated for their work, but existing copyright regimes sometime operate to facilitate behavior that can stymie the public interest.
  17. Much of the content on Marquee TV is also available on DVD or was previously available via theater livestreams / broadcast TV, although it appears to be acquiring some content from performing arts companies / venues that isn't streamable elsewhere, e.g., from the Washington Ballet, Glyndebourne (the concert series but not the operas, apparently), and Arlington's Signature Theater. Marquee TV also offers "ticketed," i.e., pay-per-view events. There's nothing wrong with a service that streams content also available to consumers on DVD (hello, Netflix!) but it's not (again, yet) a platform that relies on acquired original or exclusive content. By "original" I don't mean new dance works or operas, but rather performances that are only available via its service—e.g., a major ballet company's "digital season." From what I've been able to glean scanning its catalogue, its competitor Medici TV takes a similar "from DVD / broadcast / livestream to on demand" approach, with some exclusive streaming content, e.g., performances from Switzerland's Verbier Festival. So, I can imagine a service that commissions a digital season from a performing arts company for an attractive flat fee; or underwrites a major new production; or fosters collaborations between, say, a filmmaker or a visual artist with a dance company with the right to stream what it commissioned exclusively either in perpetuity or for some predefined period of time. The performing arts company might secure some ancillary rights—e.g., the right to make some of the content available to donors, to release it on DVD at some future date, or to make it available to schools or public libraries. Frankly, if I were a publicly-minded foundation or consortium of foundations and publicly-funded arts agencies, I'd be thinking of ways to support the performing arts' digital future that frees companies and venues of the financial and administrative burden of operating their own bespoke digital distribution platforms or from locking their content up behind a for-profit platform's paywall. Something closer to a shared platform is EU-sponsored OperaVision, which streams recent performances by smaller European opera houses for free over a three-to-six month period. There are exceptions, but most of its content isn't available elsewhere. Some of it does eventually end up on DVD or on another streaming platform. Another model is Seattle's own OntheBoards.TV, which has leveraged presentations from its own theater (plus similar venues in Portland, Austin, and New York) to get works from an array of contemporary artists up on a paid platform. On the Boards is non-profit, so it receives some funding from both foundations and government sources.
  18. I also hope that the broader universe of private foundations and government arts organizations take an active role in fostering the further exploration of digital arts programming. There will need to be funding for everything—negotiating with rights holders; buying equipment and hiring people to use it; securing and scaling a distribution platform; marketing and audience development; developing supplementary educational materials for classroom use; commissioning works for camera, etc etc etc.
  19. sandik points to one possible reason: it could be that the various rights holders and unions involved were willing to authorize making the videos available during the pandemic as a means of keeping the company and its repertory visible to the public and as a means of prompting donations, but weren't ready to negotiate a full-fledged paid digital subscription or pay-per-view offering. Or, the Board might have decided to pull out its collective checkbook and underwrite free digital programming as a public service during the pandemic. Or, the City of New York, which does provide substantial support to NYCB via the Department of Cultural Affairs' Cultural Institutions Group, might have encouraged free digital programming as a public service during the pandemic. NYCB did send out a survey probing its audience on its willingness to pay for digital performances, and it could be that the results didn't surface much of an appetite for paid digital offerings. It could be all or some or none of the above - just spitballing ...
  20. Not sure if these belong in a thread on free streaming during Covid-19, but they're something to watch until the theaters open back up. The English National Ballet has begun posting some #SlowTV videos to its YouTube Channel. The first is a 31 minute video on pointe shoe preparation: "Watch Amber Hunt, Artist of English National Ballet, go through the task and ritual of preparing her pointe shoes for rehearsals and performances." The second is a 40 minute video on making a tutu: "Watch Federica Romano, Costumier at English National Ballet, make a 10-layer pancake tutu base. Filmed over the course of 3 days, the 40-min Slow TV film shows all the intricate work that goes into making a tutu." ETA: I will confess to scrubbing through both videos, stopping here and there to focus in on particular points of interest.
  21. Not just generous, but no strings attached. She trusts the recipients to use the funds however they think best.
  22. If IG made money from search, it would give us Google's search tools and then some.
  23. Agreed! It's now possible to search Instagram using keywords (not just hashtags), but its keyword search functionality is extremely limited. It doesn't appear to be possible to limit your keyword search a specific account, for instance, or to apply any kind of meaningful filters. Plus, IG won't let you search on a just any old keyword: keyword searches are limited to "general interest topics and keywords that are within Instagram’s community guidelines." If you've got a niche keyword, you're likely out of luck. And, since it's IG, search coughs up photos and videos, not comments.
  24. Given that Instagram content is an absolute goldmine for influencers or anyone with something to sell or something to research, there's a healthy marketplace of third-party services that will scrape IG content from the account or accounts of your choosing and dump the results into a spreadsheet or json file for you, where they can be searched and filtered how you like. There are even Chrome extensions that will scrape publicly available IG data for you. (Some of these tools are pretty sketchy, so beware ...) If you know your way around python, javascript, or PHP, you can choose from among the dozens and dozens of open-source IG scraping tools posted to GitHub. In the wake of the EU's GDPR privacy law, Instagram now makes it possible to download everything you've posted to a zip file and either save it or transfer it to another service.
  25. For the record, here's the original 1977 principal cast for Vienna Waltzes: Tale from the Vienna Woods - Karin von Aroldingen & Sean Lavery Voices of Spring - Patricia McBride & Helgi Tomasson Explosion Polka - Sara Leland & Bart Cook Gold and Silver Waltz - Kay Mazzo & Peter Martins Der Rosenkavalier - Suzanne Farrell & Jorge Donn (the role was created on Jean-Pierre Bonnefous, but he was injured for the premiere, so Donn substituted as a guest artist.) Karin von Aroldingen took over the Gold and Silver Waltz role after Kay Mazzo retired. Helene Alexopoulos, Maria Calegari, Rebecca Krohn, Lourdes Lopez, Lauren Lovette, Teresa Reichlen, and Jenifer Ringer have also been cast in the role. I can't discern a real thread connecting them except that they all looked grown up and glamorous in the costume. No one has ever looked as good in those red pants as Martins.
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