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NYCB in Paris, September 2008


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I'm looking forward to knowing more about the programs they will bring :)
Sounds like it will include West Side Story Suite. It's great to hear that NYCB will be continuing its expeditions into the world far from Lincoln Center. Good for whomever is in charge of this policy!

Given Lefevre's professed fondness for musical comedy and "typically American," energetic theatrical dance -- what would you all like to see NYCB include in its programs?

Edited to add: cygneblanc has posted the repertory here:


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I'm never sure what moderate means without a price range, but Leigh and I stayed at Des Trois Gares hotel, which was a 10 minute walk from two Metro stops and a 7 minute walk to Opera Bastille. The standard rates are 75-100 Euros, depending on the room type. The rooms were plain, clean, and comfortable. The people who worked there were very nice and very patient speaking English to me, even after I figured out how to say my room number in French without a melt down. I would stay there again in a second.

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A second recommendation for the Hotel de 3 Gares. Clean, smallish rooms, comfortable - best price I have found for a moderate hotel near the Marais (where I prefer to be). However, do check your schedule, if you're going mostly to the Garnier, you may want to get something in its neighborhood, though I would still prefer the Marais.

You can save 12% on the hotel by going through a shopping portal.

Sign up at http://www.shopathome.com (if you wouldn't mind using me lwitchel@aol.com as your referrer I get $5. Woohoo.)

Use booking.com to book the hotel. I love them as first stop booking engine for Europe. Their prices are as good or better than anyone else's, the reservations are cancellable without penalty (MAKE SURE TO DOUBLE CHECK THE TERMS AS YOU BOOK) and you get 12% back from shop at home 30 days after the stay. It helps. What I've done is made all reservations at booking.com and then some I've used and others I've beaten via Hotwire or Priceline, but for Paris, I'd rather stay in a more moderate hotel in a better location than a better hotel in a less interesting neighborhood.

BE SURE to save your tracking number from shopathome.com (copy it on the screen before it flips over to booking.com, or there are three month's worth of them listed for you in your account information at shopathome) and also your confirmation email from booking.com. This rebate has never been credited automatically; I've always had to inquire, but then I would get it 7-10 days later. It's worth the small amount of trouble.

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Thanks, and that sounds like my price range exactly. Thanks for the comment on location too....that's always important!

I would look at Tripadvisor.com. I wish I could have recommended my favorite Paris hotel from about 12 years ago, the Frémiet in the 16th arrondisement, but it's changed hands and become this exhorbitantly priced boutique thing called the Hotel Sezz. But one property I saw that is quite inexpensive is the Hotel Perfect in Montmartre. It sounds like a cross between a hostel and a hotel, but the price looks right.

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I'd also suggest looking at budget hotels from hostelworld &tc (do a search for it). Two or three years ago, I stayed at one that was a 15 minute walk from the Palais Garnier (incidentally, I did not see any ballet on that trip - I thought "oh what a lovely building" and then WALKED AWAY FROM IT...the follies of the young and stupid). It was $40 per person for two nights, and was quite clean and comfortable despite being a little stark in the furnishings. Quite a few good (and reasonably priced) places to eat in the surrounding area as well. I can't seem to remember what the name of it is, but I know that one at least is still in business.

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Two weeks before opening night, NYCB has apparently dropped Vienna Waltzes from its programme in Paris, replacing it with Tchaikowsky Suite #3. Any theories on why they might have done that?

I think the number of set pieces and costumes for Vienna Waltzes is pretty substantial. Tcha Suite 3 has no sets.

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TCHAIKOVSKY SUITE NO. 3 has minimal decor compared to VIENNA WALTZES.

SUITE 3 has a painted ballroom surround, backcloth, legs, and a swirling-nebula painted scrim, which remains in place until the THEME AND VARIATIONS section (designs by Nicola Benois).

Ter-Arutunian's designs for VIENNA WALTZES are much more elaborate, with a rising and changing elements in the background for the successive sections of the ballet, plus the raising and lowering of other elements, such as trees and swagged draperies and chadeliers, not to mention all the costumes.

apparently VIENNA WALTZES is one of the only (or THE ONLY) ballet for which any extraneous 'watching from the wings' is forbidden b/c of the complex changes required to get the large cast on and off and in and out of the costuming that's different from section to section. (The Merry Widow even involves little props, cafe tables, and 'extras' to play waiters.)

i imagine the whole VIENNA W production needs a very high flyspace once the background elements roll up and out of view to bring in new ones.

and then there is the background, wall of mirrors, turning the stage into a gallerie des glaces.

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I think that the NYCB stage manager is sent a few weeks ahead of the rest of the company to inspect the theater for logisitical issues relating to lighting, scenery... They probably didn't realize until very recently that there would be logistical problems at the theater re the Vienna Waltzes set pieces. With respec to the above comment on the dry cleaning costs, I once attended a fourth position discussion where this was addressed. According to the speaker, immediately after a performance, the costume is sprayed with Fabreeze (spelling?). The costumes are not dry cleaned until the end of the season. The costs must be tremendous. (I'd love to find out who they use. My dry cleaner managed to destroy a silk blouse by blasting it with too much heat in the pressing process. )

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Two weeks before opening night, NYCB has apparently dropped Vienna Waltzes from its programme in Paris, replacing it with Tchaikowsky Suite #3. Any theories on why they might have done that?

Suite #3!! Those lucky Parisians!!! Theme, the last section, should be full of brilliant, top-quality dancing.

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I'm sorry Paris won't get VW. Theme is great, but the preceding three movements of Suite #3 are not on the same level. VW is an unusual ballet showing Balanchine's invention in a way that is less often seen.

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I had received an e-mail from the POB warning about that programming change, and as Jane, was a bit surprised that such a change occurred so shortly before the performances- and a bit disappointed, as "Theme and Variations" has already been performed by the POB (well, unfortunately, not in recent years) while "Vienna Waltzes" has never been, and will very probably never be...

Dale, thanks for that link about casting !

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