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Nutcracker Attendance


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Alberta Ballet premiered its new Nutcracker in British Columbia's capital last weekend, and the presenter, Dance Victoria, is reporting its greatest-ever box office success. Presumably the bases for comparison are the National Ballet of Canada's biennial tours, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet's annual tours and performances by Ballet BC.

A reprint from the relevant article in the Victoria Times Colonist: http://www.albertaballet.com/news/press-re...victoria-series

Alberta Ballet has spent a lot of money on this production, so I hope it works out for them.

P.S. Sales in Calgary are going so well that an extra show has been added. If the company believes it can sell 2,400 more tickets, good for them.


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Ticket sales in our area are closely tied to three areas of the economy that are suffering: housing prices, discretionary tourist spending, and high-level, large-scale philanthropy. (Harry Madoff made an awful lot of money disappear from local charitable trusts.)

I was delighted to see that Ballet Florida's ticket sales seem to be doing very well -- good houses, which I eyeballed to be about 80%-plus of a 2100-seat house at the first couple of performances. This year Marie Hale, the Artistic Director, has been making direct appeals from the stage, something I don't recall before.

It must be hard to predict how the Nutcracker will do in times like these. On the one hand, it's a feel-good tradition, and people sometimes turn to such things in uncertain times. On the other hand, the same show comes around EVERY year, so it would be easy to put off your ticket purchases to some future season. In Palm Beach County, the audiences seem to be choosing the first option.

Another piece of possibly good news, from today's NY Times: Ballet British Columbia's Nutcracker has been selling well, too. This has given encouragement to those trying to save the company from closing.


In case you missed it, dirac has linked to longer articles about the Ballet BC situation, in yesterday's Links thread:


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PNB issued a postcard mailing that tickets would be discounted 15% thru the T-day weekend. I didn't take that as a good sign.

I know that the company had some last minute discounted tickets for the 18th and 19th matinees, but I think that was due to school groups canceling because of the weather -- we do snow very, very poorly here in the Northwest, and the unexpected ice and snow is keeping most of us at home.

I'm curious to know if other parts of the country have had similar weather-related troubles with arts attendance. I know that the Northwest is not the only part of the continent to have unusually powerful weather coming through.

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