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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
    longtime ballet goer
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  1. While I was watching this Swan Lake, I spent a fair amount of time thinking about Von Rothbart's motivations/actions (e.g., why is he stalking around in Act 1), rather than just going along with the story. Most of the innovations in the plot try seem to be trying to impose logic/realism on the fairy tale (e.g., Von Rothbart isn't just an evil sorcerer, he wants to take over the kingdom). But this just raises a bunch of other questions that aren't answered. Also, I think that having Von Rothbart in all four acts plus the prologue took some focus away from the Odette/Siegfried romance.
  2. I've seen other productions where the choreography indicates that the corps has been released from the spell. I didn't notice that in this version.
  3. But why would her spirit have the swan queen form, rather than a fully human form? I found a lot of that act confusing--I spent part of the time wondering why Siegfried was laying on the ground--I wondered if he was already dead. Then he got up, and went into the lake, and I thought that he was committing suicide, but then he came back with Odette's body.
  4. And I agree that it doesn't make sense.
  5. Yes, you have it exactly. At the beginning (overture) it shows Odette first in a dress, captured by Von Rothbart and transformed so that she is wearing the white swan tutu. At the very end, Odette in the swan costume is floating overhead while her body, retrieved from the lake by Siegfried, is wearing the dress.
  6. I also saw the new Royal Ballet Swan Lake last week in Albany and I agree pretty much entirely with CharlieH's review. I also thought that several of Scarlett's innovations were misguided (or at least that they didn't work for me). i didn't think the political angle added anything to the story . I also thought that the apotheosis, with Odette's soul in the swan costume while her dead body was in the princess dress was completely misguided. On the whole, although I enjoyed this Swan Lake, I wasn't moved by it.
  7. I also usually buy my SPAC tickets in person when I go to a performance there (and I live ~30 miles/40 min away). After seeing the Cuban National Ballet, I received an email with a coupon code for online purchase only that could be used for the Gala, which normally is not discounted at all. My ticket came with $13 in fees ($3 facility fee and $10 "convenience" fee). The fees ate up more than half the savings, but the overall price was still somewhat less than the original price. I thought the fee was exorbitant compared with what other local-ish venues charge (Jacob's Pillow, Glimmerglass, WTF). I'm also going to see Limon at the Pillow but on Sunday (~1.25 h for me).
  8. FPF

    2017-18 Season

    Will do.
  9. FPF

    2017-18 Season

    Thanks Sandik, Jayne, and ABT Fan. You and the video have convinced me to go. I've just bought my ticket.
  10. FPF

    NYCB 2018 Summer Season

    Thanks for all of this Kathleen--I was trying to look through those financial statements a couple of days ago and couldn't get nearly as much out of them as you have. I'd forgotten about the SB projections. I saw SB at the NYS Theater when it first premiered and probably at least once after, but not for the past ~20 years (except for the Garland Waltz and Aurora's Wedding at SPAC).
  11. FPF

    NYCB 2018 Summer Season

    This year, tickets at SPAC for inside the amphitheater range from $103 to $33 for most performances. "Premium" performances (I'm not sure which performances these are) range from $113 to $43. Matinees are the real bargain, with tickets ranging from $53 to $33, and these prices have actually increased considerably over the past several years (and usually sell very well). Lawn tickets are $29, $34, and $18, for the respective performance types. SPAC seats 5,200 inside, the lawn has substantially more capacity (20,000), but for the ballet, where most people presumably want to see as well as hear, I think the useful capacity would be more limited.
  12. FPF

    NYCB 2018 Summer Season

    Thanks, Kathleen--those numbers are very interesting. The money that SPAC receives from LiveNation for their concerts is supposed to support the classical season, and although I don't know much about this myself, there has been grumbling in the community for years that SPAC gets less than it should. Interestingly, although the atmosphere at SPAC for the classical performances is really lovely, many people seem to hate going to the LiveNation concerts, where the conditions are apparently much more draconian--popular complaints are about everything from parking fees to lack of sufficient restroom facilities, jacked up concession prices, and not allowing drinks other than sealed water bottles to be brought in, and allowing drinking in only a limited space. I thought I read years ago that the ballets are mutually agreed upon by SPAC and NYCB, and that the elaborate sets/costumes are indeed an issue for some of the story ballets. I think that's why Sleeping Beauty hasn't come since I've been going to SPAC, although Aurora's Wedding was done a while back. Swan Lake has also come in recent years. Romeo and Juliet has sold very well at every performance this year, and I believe this has been the case each of the three times (I think) it has been done at SPAC. Midsummer was the first ballet performed at SPAC, so it was considered important for the 50th anniversary season (and it is especially nice to see it around Midsummer with actual fireflies flitting about. I think Coppelia (originally a SPAC premiere) has also been done relatively recently. My understanding is that the NYCB contract with the orchestra requires that their inclusion on tours, outside of NYCB Moves. And frankly, although I know other people love them, I can only take so much of the piano ballets. Plus the acoustics are great. When they've brought in outside ballet companies, it has always been for story ballets (Giselle 2x, Don Quixote 1x), and only 1 Giselle (Cuba) had canned music. I believe that the other companies subsidize their visits and may not be as costly to SPAC, even if they don't sell well. I went to Glimmerglass this afternoon to see West Side Story, and I was thinking about the comparatively great job they do with marketing. They send emails regularly, even during the winter--the director sends notes " from Francesca's Traveling iPad." So they are always reminding you that they're around and about the upcoming season. I do get email from SPAC in the winter, but not really about dance. Glimmerglass has already announced their productions for next year, so even though the specific dates and tickets are not yet available, people might already be starting to think about coming and about which productions they're looking forward to seeing. This maybe gives much more of a sense of Glimmerglass as a destination for visitors from beyond the local community. This is not to say that nobody travels to SPAC, but my sense is that Vail and the Pillow are much more publicized as summer dance destinations. In part, this may be because new works rarely premiere here (and I do realize that new ballets are expensive to commission). This, in turn, means that there's little nonlocal coverage of the NYCB summer season. My Glimmerglass ticket came enclosed within a brochure that included all kinds of information related to visiting there--a map of the grounds, box office hours and other contact information, how to dress, pet rules, where to find out about hotels, discount coupons to 2 local museums, the menu at their cafe, and other tips. Additionally, the director comes out for a minute before the performance to welcome everyone, especially first-timers, and briefly mentions their other programs/current discounts and that they hope we'll all come back.
  13. FPF

    2017-18 Season

    Houston Ballet is going to be at Jacob's Pillow August 15th to 18th. They will be performing Stanton Welch's Clear, excerpts from his Sons de L'ame, a new Welch ballet, Just, plus Trey McIntyre's In Dreams. I don't think I've seen anything by either of them. Any thoughts on these choreographers/works? Is this likely to be a good program?
  14. FPF

    Michelle Dorrance

    A post-performance talk with Michelle Dorrance and the other dancers from All Good Things Must Come to an End is now available from Jacob's pillow. It includes some footage from both parts of the performance.
  15. FPF

    NYCB 2018 Summer Season

    I'm sure you're correct about the relative costs of touring the ballet vs. the orchestra. I would be surprised if the other events were a major factor, as other events do go on (or have in the past) during the ballet season. The opera and chamber music performances are in a separate theater on the SPAC grounds. I believe that they did the Jazz Bar one night after the ballet and there was also a Shakespeare performance to tie in to R+J. LiveNation concerts on Sundays are the biggest moneymakers, and there were concerts on both of the Sundays immediately before and after the ballet season, as there are during the orchestra season. For me, due to the repeated targeting of the NYCB season by the SPAC administration (this is the fourth time the season has been cut in the past 15 years--from 3 weeks with the threat of complete cancellation, to 2 weeks to 1 week, then back to 2 weeks leading into the 50th anniversary, and now back to 1 week), my trust in their commitment to the NYCB residency has really been eroded. The ray of hope comes from the better marketing and substantially larger audiences this year for the evening performances. I hope that If this can be sustained, it will perhaps lead to support for re-expanding the ballet season.