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Fall for Dance ticketing problems


Adam

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I assume that others had the same problem I had. The City Center line was blocks long (along 55th, up Seventh and around onto 56th), so I decided to bite the bullet and pay the $6 per ticket (60%!) surcharge to order online. The server was so slow that my order timed out again and again, with my great seats being released. Each time, I was assigned progressively worse seats. What to do? There's more to being an arts presenter than just booking the artists, and this is being woefully mishandled.

I won't be renewing my contribution to City Center, and I'll be sure to let their administration, as well as the participating artists, know why, but they won't care, as long as the seats are filled. And I wouldn't deny the individual companies my support because of City Center's mismanagement.

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I didn't venture to 55th St., but I had the same problems booking on line. Three times my order timed out, emptying my cart (which had only two or three tickets). I should have closed each order as soon as I had the ticket. Instead, I ended up breaking it into Week 1 and Week 2, with actually pretty bad seats for the night when Morphoses appears.

I don't think its fair to fault City Center for the roaring success of this series. (Maybe they'll extend it in the future!) For inadequate bandwidth? That's another, probably unanticipated, matter. I had no such problems ordering online last year. Maybe it will be remedied by next year. :) My problem was that on my second order, there was a demand for a donation before it would process the order. I didn't want to cancel and condemn myself to less desirable seats.

But welcome to BalletTalk, Adam. I hope you'll share your reactions to the performances, and in the meantime, please introduce yourself on our Welcome Page.

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I had the same frustrating experience. My daughter and I tried a 3-pronged attack. She was in line at City Center at 10:00 and was 3/4 around the block. She phoned me to say there was someone walking the line and explaining there were 3 times the number of people in line as last year and was recommending ordering online. So my daughter stayed in line while I phoned the order line (never got through) and simultaneously tried to order online. After an hour online I managed seats in the last row of the orchestra for 9/28 and 9/29. Horribly frustrating. I guess this is the success they were hoping for but as you say with luck this ordering situation will be ironed out. Another glitch - I apparently had registered with City Center in the past but had forgotten my password. Ok no problem, I'll just ask them to email the password to me. But no email response ever comes which basically makes ordering online impossible. This happened to me last week while ordering ABT tickets. I finally ordered by phone and was told their computer was down. But the same thing happened yesterday. I finally registered under my daughter's name and that's how I managed the Fall for Dance tickets. It really shouldn't be this hard.

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Thanks for your comments. A few quick thoughts:

You think you lost good seats? I had pit seats right in the center (Rows AA on the 27th and CC on the 29th) for two performances, and lost them. (Yes, I know, those aren't considered good, because you can't see the patterns, but, since I'm an amateur dancer, I prefer to sit as close as possible, so I can observe the technique.)

As for "maybe next year", I should think that City Center already has had enough instances of this to know that their servers are inadequate. I hold established venues to a higher standard than I do smaller and/or newer venues.

As to contributions, I rarely respond to the "impulse donation" screens. When I start contributing to an organization (any organization - not necessarily a dance organization, or even an arts one), I always make a token contribution first, until I see how well it's run. No matter how much research one does, the view as a member (even at the lowest levels) can be quite different. Then I'll increase the amount, level by level. Sometimes, I'll move all the way up in one season, if the organization is especially well-run and deserving, but I still take it one step at a time.

By the way, I haven't been able to say "hello" on the Welcome Page. Can somebody explain the secret? It won't let me start a new topic. Obviously, I know how to log in and add a new topic (here I am), but that doesn't appear to work on the Welcome Page. In the meantime, here's the short version: I'm an entertainment lawyer/producer. I'm the former Regional Vice President of USA Dance (formerly USABDA), which is the IDSF and IOC-recognized governing body for competitive amateur DanceSport in the U.S. I'm a Standard and Argentine Tango dancer.

I had no interest in ballet until two years ago (May 2005). I was an opera fan. and I'd only seen ballet on television (and once when Eddie Villella came to my school when I was a kid, but we didn't really pay attention). Well, it didn't look that difficult to me. Holding the girl's hand while she stands on tiptoe. Or those four swans skipping around. It looked like something I could do. I have a simple rule: anything I can do isn't worth going to see, because I have no talent.

I went to the Met to get opera tickets. It was the last night of the season (Tosca). They already had the ABT posters up. And there was a poster that said that some guy named Bocca was dancing his last Don Q. I didn't have any interest, but I figured, what the heck, I'll go. I'll be able to say I was there. After I bought the tickets, I realized what it said, and I thought, "It didn't say he's retiring. It just said it's his last Don Quixote. This guy Bocca could be milking the retirement thing for years!" Anyway, I went, I was hooked (Xiomara and the fan did it for me). I went about 35 more times just that season.

And I still think it looks better in person than it does on television.

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Adam and Barbara. I'm sorry for your problems with the Welcome page. I'm sure one of the more technically minded Moderators will take care of this for you. But I just wanted to say "Welcome" to you both. I hope you'll find lots to interest you and that you'll feel free to share your thoughts with your fellow Ballet Talk members.

And I still think [ballet] looks better in person than it does on television.
Amen to that! :) In my opinion, videos, which allow for freezing the movement, for rewind and fast forward, are great tools to help educate the eye, but are a completely different experience from sitting in a theater and allowing our eye and mind to wander around the stage as we, rather than the director, wish.
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To whom are you referring as "management"? I thought the administrators had access to the site operator.

I hope that some of you who experienced those problems will let management know about it, and not just vent to us, sympathetic tho we may be!
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Ah, comes the dawn. I thought you meant letting site management know about the problems in introducing ourselves. If you mean let City Center management know about it, I don't think they'd care, as long as someone bought the seats. They're sold out. They don't care who got the seats. They already know that their ticketing system (box office, internet and telephone) is woefully inadequate for any hot tickets, and they've chosen not to upgrade.

When they solicit donations, I'll tell them that that's the reason I'm not renewing my contribution, but I doubt that the volunteer to whom I'm venting will care, either, unless the complaints reach critical mass. Volunteer to City Center management: "They're all telling me to get lost because they got cheated out of their Fall for Dance seats"? Not likely to happen.

Certainly, I'll mention the way this was handled to my friends and classmates who are now on the boards of some of the foundations and corporations which are sponsoring events and companies appearing at City Center. But as long as they get their halo effect, I don't think they'll care, either. Probably, they'll just say to me (as one just did), "Adam, if you wanted seats, why didn't you just call me? Now, what can I do?"

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