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Where do you like to sit and why?

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This topic came up under another thread about NYCB. Sneds wrote:

It really can make a difference in one's perception of a performance, depending on where you sit in a theater.

Several others commented as to why they chose to sit in certain places in various theaters... I've always aimed for the middle of the orchestra...what I hope is just above the midline..so I'm slightly above the height of the stage. Naturally I don't always end up in these seats.

Tonight will be a first for me...on several levels. I will be meeting Mr. and Mrs. Treefrog in Manhattan and we'll be taking in the All Robbins program at the New York State Theater. The other "first" for me will be sitting in the Fourth Ring. I know a number of people always sit in the Fourth Ring. One of the main draws, I'm assuming, is the extremely affordable price for these tickets... In our case, these were the only seats left in the house at the time of ordering.

I shall report back in the hopes that my fear of heights hasn't gotten the best of me. ;)

Where do you like to sit - given the choice when money is no object - and why? And what do you consider your next best options?

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I always go for the front row, ideally toward the center, but I prefer the front row even if I have to be off to the side.

Why? I don't know. Maybe my eyes are bad. I like to be able to see the details: faces, feet, costumes, etc. much more than the larger formations that can be seen better from afar. I also like not having to look around/over others.

I am usually just tall enough to see feet from front-row seats, though sometimes it's a stretch.

Heck, I'd probably work as a super if I could, but they never seem to need average-height women.

Next-best if I can't get the front row: as close to the stage as possible.

I also like the backstage "seat" I usually have when the teenagers where I take classes perform.

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After years of sitting upstairs where I can see the floor patterns (so important in many works by Balanchine, Petipa and others), I find I get dizzy if I sit too close. Although on occasion, when the whole evening is "chamber scale," (e.g., nothing bigger than, say Fancy Free), I think the lower RINGS might be fine. If money were no object, I would probably choose the Third Ring for a preferred overall location at State Theater, and Grand Tier for the Met.

I once won(!) a pair of seats to Paul Taylor Dance Company at City Center. They placed me in Row A of the Grand Tier. That was heaven! Astonishingly, I won another pair the following year :eek: , and was seated in the footless front of the orchestra. :D

I have stopped entering drawings for Paul Taylor tickets, partly because I shouldn't be so greedy, and partly to find out if my PTDC luck is transferrable. Next time the opportunity arises, I will run -- not walk -- to the nearest Lotto dealer. ;)

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It depends on the piece and how many times I've seen it, sometimes I like the pattern and other times I want to see the dancer's/costumes. So for the NY State Theater I like the 2nd ring or middle of orchestra.

At the Met, the orchestra, I feel so small in there anyway.

And at City Center, I like the mezzanine, but the front of it.

Obivously, I'm NY-orientated

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I like to sit in the loge boxes (comes off of the grand tier at Wortham, the 3rd ring), front and center being the best. Founders' boxes (2nd ring) are the best in the entire house, although I've never sat there before because I would probably have to donate a lot of money, which I don't have.

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front row, first tier, NOT right on centre! :)

like to see patterns, so don't like being in stalls/orchestra.

don't like to be looking up at feet, or up dresses (!), so i especially don't like to be RIGHT down the front, IN the stalls/orchestra (i wish ballet companies would realise this, for critics...)...then again, apparently the preceding one to me had a fear of heights, so preferred to be downstairs!

why don't i like to be centre (i hear victoria asking me...) ? : it's too confronting, too "in your face".

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I'm happy to report that our fourth ring seats at the NY State Theater turned out to be absolutely wonderful for the first two pieces by Jerome Robbins...Glass Pieces and Piano Pieces... perfect to get the total view from above and to see the patterns made by the dancers... It was even good for West Side Story Suite, though I did have my binoculars up more often.

Given my druthers, I'd still choose the just about the middle, center of the orchestra...but now that I know about the Fourth Ring Society deal with NYCB, I think we'll be attending much more often. :) If you have a good pair of extra wide angle, auto focus binoculars it makes a huge difference.

Saturday I'm returning to see NYCB's West Side Story Suite because I loved it so much and this time, though the Treefrogs won't be with me, I will be bringing my husband and daughter - we've got orchestra seats for this one so the comparison should be interesting for me - in re the point of view question.

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As close as I can get and not have the apron obstruct my view of the dancers' feet. In most cases I like the center, but the genius who built the auditorium here at ECU installed the center seats one right behind the other instead of staggering them. :ermm: So I sit on stage right most of the time.

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Hans, I'm with you - as long as that first ring isnt' too far back! B)

I'd never experience sitting above until two summers ago at SPAC in Saratoga. We had "your" perfect seats - right, smack dab in the middle - for "Serenade" and I fell in love.

Then this past spring at the NY State Theater, during Treefrog's ballet vacation to NYC, I joined Treefrog and Mr. Treefrog for an "All Robbins" night and we ended up in the 4th ring - which for those who may not know it - that's way up there! However, it was great - I don't think one could appreciate the patterns in several of the pieces if one had been down in the orchestera.

Perhaps this is as good as any reason to vary one's seats, if possible?

And Arak, thanks for finding this thread and posting - it's always wonderful to read another's perspective :ermm: on these things!

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When my daughter was dancing several Nutcracker performances last year, I was fortunate enough to see the show several times, and all from different vantage points. When I chapperoned the student matinee, I sat in our hall's first balcony, right side. When all the local relatives went with us, we ended up in row 3 -- close enough to hear the dancers breathe (my preference). When the out-of-town relatives arrived, we sat in the center of the first balcony. Finally, when my daughter asked to see the other children's cast on an off night, we grabbed the cheap seats offered to students, and ended up in the 3rd balcony, moving to center when it was obvious those seats were empty.

I enjoyed seeing the same ballet from the different vantage points, as then I was able to see different emphases and different "pictures" of the stage. I still prefer right down front, regardless of the ballet I'm seeing -- I like to see the facial expressions clearly and the details on those fabulous costumes.

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I've always been a big fan of "first row - center" and when the gods have seen fit to allow me to sit there, I've always had a fine time. However, after the last season of sitting in those seats at Colorado Ballet, I asked to be moved back to the 3rd row. Why? The ancient Denver Auditorium Theatre stage is perched too high to be able to see the dancers' feet from the first row unless you consciously sit up very straight. The conductor's box totally blocks the view from 2 of the seats. The Auditorium is currently being gutted for a total remodel - forcing Colorado Ballet to perform elsewhere for 2 year. When it reopens, my fingers are crossed that the 1st row/stage relationship is improved so I can resume sitting close enough to see the sweat.

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The side loge of the Performing Arts Center in Milwaukee. I adore(d) it. The only theater I've ever been in that had a side loge. I feel like a storybook heroine in a very European theater -- just imagine those opera boxes. Fantastic view of the entire theater (downstairs and balconies), as well as stage. Cheers for that architect.

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And of course, the thing we haven't mentioned but, let's face it, is always a consideration, is where your seat is in proximity to the ladies' room. Those intermissions can be dreadful, even in my current town which likes to spend as much time at intermission (they sell a LOT of drinks here) as it does watching the actual performance. :thumbsup:

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Where to sit---if it is free, wherever they let me! If I am parting with some of my own ballet bucks, slightly to the left of center, preferably in the middle of a row (to minimize the up and down and excuse me's) and mid-to-rear orchestra or first ring.

I have had the occasion, to stand in (though not actually watch a performance from) the Queen's box at the Royal Theatre in Copenhagen. It made me a little bit nervous to be honest.

Oh, and of course there is the stage right wing in the smallest, most cramped corner that you can find which will make my day!

Now my question is on seating etiquette. When the lights go down, do you scoot to the center, run down a few rings or stay put until the first intermission? :devil:

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