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Kathleen O'Connell

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Everything posted by Kathleen O'Connell

  1. ABT isn't one of Lincoln Center's Resident Organizations nor are its seasons part of one of the "Lincoln Center Presents" programs. (LCP programs are things like Mostly Mozart, American Songbook, or Midsummer Night Swing.) Its seasons at the Koch are equivalent to, say, the Paul Taylor Dance Company's or Shen Yun's—i.e., not presented by Lincoln Center. For the record, here are Lincoln Center's current roster of Resident Organizations: The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center Film Society of Lincoln Center Jazz at Lincoln Center Juilliard School Lincoln Center Theater Metropolitan Opera New York City Ballet New York Philharmonic New York Public Library for the Performing Arts School of American Ballet
  2. About halfway through the article I thought "OMG what a deliciously lurid miniseries this would be!" That being said, I hope no one goes there out of respect for the parties involved, particularly Doug Benefield's daughter—judging from her tiktok posts, she's in considerable pain.
  3. That too! Tossing a bouquet across the footlights to the other coast 💐
  4. 83 copies! Whoah. The New York Public Library has 12 print copies, 34 ebooks, and 5 audiobooks for a grand total of 51 copies. Note that the NYPL only serves The Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island. Brooklyn and Queens have their own library systems. Brooklyn has 6 print copies, 5 ebooks, and 3 audiobooks. Queens appears to have 1 print copy. That's a grand NYC total of 66 copies. On a per-capita basis, SF is the hands down winner: there's one copy of Swan Dive for every 10,610 San Franciscans vs 1 copy for every 133,333 New Yorkers. We salute your enthusiasm.
  5. San Fransisco Ballet's Covid-19 Safety Protocols don't specify that masks must cover both the nose and mouth, but they are very specific about the kind of masks that are permitted: MASKS Currently, all patrons will be required to wear a mask. Masks with a valve, gaiters, scarves, etc are not permitted. Audience members who fail to follow the Front of House safety protocols will be promptly removed from the performance venue. I hope more venues will be similarly rigorous about what counts as a mask. If I were house management I'd make sure there was some money in the budget for a supply of masks to hand out to any audience member that needs one, whether it's because they lost their own mask or it failed in some way (broken ear loop, e.g.), or because they forgot to bring one, or because the one they arrived with doesn't comply with the rules. Heck, sell souvenir masks with the company's logo or performance-themed art on them in a gift shop kiosk by the entrance. A tasteful Edward Gorey Lavender Leotard Mask might be fun.
  6. As someone who mourned Seth Orza's and Sarah Ricard Orza's departure from NYCB to join NYCB PNB, I feel your pain ...
  7. I was particularly struck by Pazcoguin's analogy between the visual/cognitive impact of a dancer's line and the sound of a bat connecting with a baseball: "The line is meant to be a full-on experience of the human body, designed in a way that is pleasing to the eye, but beyond the cognitive response of your brain thinking, Huh. I don’t think having your foot that close to your ear is normal. Beautiful line makes watching ballet seamless. It encompasses that just-perfect combination that makes the experience unforgettable. Think the loud crack of a baseball bat that charges the stadium with an energy that signals, Whoa, dude just hit a home run. Your body is out of the seat cheering, your beer splashing before the ball lands in the bleachers ..."
  8. Russian Seasons is a good choice for Stafford's retirement performance. I've always enjoyed her in the roles Ratmansky created for her and thought she took on Jenifer Ringer's role in Russian Seasons with real distinction. (That's the role danced by the woman in emerald green.)
  9. I'm listening to the audiobook as well and I'm enjoying it. Pazcogiun is an excellent narrator—she sounds authentically herself and she's able to inhabit other voices as well. (Not many authors can narrate their own work well, and even fewer do it with genuine flair, so kudos to her.) I suspect that @nanushka is onto something in observing that the profanity may come across differently on the page; in my ears she sounds like a considerable portion of my acquaintance. One thing about the audiobook that does give me some pause is Pazcoguin's willingness to mimic the accents of people whose first language isn't English—Peter Martins and Antonina Tumkovsky in the early chapters, for example. I don't think she's trying to mock them by doing so; it's clear that she has nothing but respect and admiration for Tumkovsky and her killer classes: "These exercises were meant to humble our bodies and build strength—all in sync with the speed of the music ... I willed my body to keep moving, and eventually the anxiety and loneliness started to slide off my shoulders. The combination she was calling out was crazy-intense, like nothing I’d ever done before—but my body and soul were buzzing from delight. My homesickness faded. I no longer cared about who was taller, longer, more experienced, more talented, or had the right weird shoes. I wanted to throw myself all in. I was here to learn Balanchine’s way, and if that meant busting my ass for the Michael “Mickey” Goldmill of ballet, well then, I was down." While I'm happy that Pazcoguin's editor didn't flatten her voice by ironing out the slang, I'm going to guess that "I was down" will sound as amusingly outdated as "hep cat" a generation or two hence. While Pazcoguin is clearly out to de-mystify some of the trappings of the ballet world, she's also dead-set on celebrating ballet as an art, and I'm, you know, down with that.
  10. It appears that the FDA will accelerate the final review process for the Pfizer vaccine with the goal of issuing final approval as soon as it can: "Under heavy pressure, the Food and Drug Administration center that reviews vaccines is planning to deprioritize some of its existing work, like meetings with drug sponsors and plant inspections, in an effort to accelerate its review of Pfizer’s application for the formal approval of its Covid-19 vaccine, a senior agency official told STAT." "The process requires FDA staff to review millions of pages of complex data, conduct plant inspections, and negotiate with Pfizer over issues including the terms of the FDA’s approved label and the company’s postmarketing responsibilities. Now, the senior agency official said, the agency will initiate a 'sprint.'" As someone who worked for over two decades in the pharmaceutical industry, I can attest to the painstaking nature of the FDA review process. There's a lot more to it than it might look from the outside. ETA: This STAT News article provides a little more context around calls to accelerate the final approval process and agency pushback. As does this longer piece from Forbes.
  11. I think requiring proof of an FDA or WHO approved Covid-19 vaccination in order to gain admittance is the right call. I was somewhat surprised that there is no exception for children under 12: since they can't (yet) be vaccinated, they will not be allowed to attend NYCB repertory performances. While both the Metropolitan Opera and Carnegie Hall have also decided to bar children under 12, Broadway theaters will allow children under 12 to attend performances if they've been tested for the virus. Broadway will also require masking, however. (San Francisco Opera is also requiring proof of vaccination and masking, and will allow children under 12 to attend, with the proviso that anyone planning to bring a child to a performance should call the box office "to discuss seating and safety options.") I note that vaccines will be required for "all employees and visitors to the David H. Koch Theater and Samuel B. & David Rose Building." Will children under 12 be allowed to attend classes and rehearsals at SAB? NYCB's announcement states that children under 12 can't attend repertory performances, but doesn't state that they can't otherwise enter the theater or the Rose Building.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. Yup. Ditto with masks. I sometimes wonder if we aren't suffering from a national epidemic of adult-onset oppositional defiant disorder.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.)
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. Seriously, how are they planning for the rush to the restrooms when the performance is over?
  25. 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.
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