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ABT Season


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How did ABT fare in the tickets sale during this terrible economy?The performances that i attended seems pretty well attended(except for a Monday night performance of Sylvia where there were a lot of empty seats in the orchestra). Frankly, i was expecting a catastrophic season(boxoffice-wise) last May. :clapping: Any opinions?

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I attended to an average of 3 performances per week.

In general, the shows were very well sold. At least in the orchestra level, I saw more than 85% seats sold in most of the nights that i attended.

Swan Lake was pretty much sold out in all 8 performances (at least in 6 of them).

Giselle and R & J sold very very well too (with a few close to sold out shows).

I think Sylvia sold pretty good as well (at least the 3 that i saw, not monday though), similar to Corsaire and the Balanchine program.

Sadly, I think La sylphide was probably the weakest, although it was still pretty well sold (more than 70% i would say).

I dont know about the prokofiev program. i only attended to opening night and it was pretty full.

I think the season was a great success.

Now I have another question here, why is abt not performing at city center this year ?

I thought that city center would be closed for construction, but it doesnt look like it.

The last two years the city center season was reduced to 2 weeks, and now is gone.

Instead, we only get 4 days at Avery Fisher, how awful !!!!

The idea of waiting another full year to see the company perform is so crazy.

Also, why is the met closed for 2 1/2 months ?

We used to get kirov, Royal, Bolshoi after the abt season, not anymore !!!!

This year the Royal and the Bolshoi came to DC, none of them stopped by nyc (guess no theater for them here)

Next year, the Kirov is bringing their magnificent SB to DC and then the Bolshoi "Spartacus".

Bravo for the Kennedy center and shame on nyc and the met, we dont get the best in ballet anymore, why ? why ?

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Just a note that the first two weeks of the ABT Spring/Summer Met season usually sell poorly. Several of the All Tchaikovsky evenings were sparsely attended - ditto the overexposed "Corsaire". The novelty of the new Ratmansky picked up the box office for the "All Prokofiev" evening. By the time "Giselle" rolled around the houses started to fill up more. At that point the NYCB season was over and ABT was the only game in town for tourists who wanted something more refined than the current state of the Broadway musical. "Swan Lake" was pretty much sold out though the "Airs"/"Sylphide" double bill didn't pack them in. "Sylvia" did surprisingly well.

ABT should consider pushing its season a little further into July since they really do get a great tourist trade. I have also been told that unlike the opera, the ballet is budgeted so that they don't have to sell every seat to make a profit.

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Based on my observations, Swan Lake, Giselle and Romeo&Juliet sold very well. Sylvia didn't seem to sell well (I also know that ABT put Sylvia tixs on the discount program TDF to fill empty seats). I don't think Corsaire, Sylphide or either of the mixed bill programs set the box office on fire. For me, the season highlights were the Vishneva, Nina A and Osipova Giselles; The Vishneva, Part and Nina Swan Lakes; the Osipova Sylphide; any performance involving Marcelo Gomes, and David Hallberg's Romeo. I very much enjoyed Roberto Bolle too. Murphy has improved dramatically; her technique continues to dazzle.

It's too bad that we won't have a City Center season. I'm not sure about whether I want to see the company at Avery Fisher in all new works.

As someone mentioned above, it's very disappointing that we no longer get the Kirov, Bolshoi, Royal or Paris Opera ballet in the summer. Now we get Shen Wei (saw his company once; I will never go back), Emmanuel Gat, and other "modern" companies. As noted above, Peter Gelb has apparently shut the door to international ballet visits at the Metropolitan Opera House. (His predecessor, Volpe, was a much more dedicated fan of ballet. Volpe, I believe, was the lead chairperson for Nina's farewell dinner/dance Gala at the Metropolitan Opera House.) City Opera has a reduced schedule for 2009-2010 (and it is rumored that the company may go out of business all together). Might we finally get an international ballet company visiting us in the 09-10 season? Let's hope. If not, I'm saving my pennies now for a trip to Washington D.C. in Feb 2010.

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Peter Gelb has apparently shut the door to international ballet visits at the Metropolitan Opera House.

Is it really Gelb? I'm no longer a resident of New York so perhaps I'm misinformed, but it seems to me that apart from the Bolshoi and Mariinsky, there haven't been any visiting ballet companies at the Met for years. I'd have to go back to my childhood and teen years to recall visits from the Royal, POB, RDB and others.

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The Royal Ballet visited in 2004 for Ashton Celebration hosted the Lincoln Center Festival (BRB, Joffrey and some other companies were involved as well). The Royal used to be sort of regular. I remember visits in the 80s and 90s. It seems the Kirov comes every 4-5 years. It's just that their last visit was to City Center in early 2008. I've read that it is too expensive for the international companies to come to NY regularly.

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Is it really Gelb? I'm no longer a resident of New York so perhaps I'm misinformed, but it seems to me that apart from the Bolshoi and Mariinsky, there haven't been any visiting ballet companies at the Met for years. I'd have to go back to my childhood and teen years to recall visits from the Royal, POB, RDB and others.

The Royal Ballet appeared at the Met Opera House at least twice during the past 10 years, to my recollection. During one engagement they brought over Ashton's Cincerella (the only time I've seen Tamara Rojo perform) , and a mixed bill program. I also remember seeing them approximately 10 years ago at the Met doing a mixed bill and at least one full length (a MacMillan I think). The Paris Opera ballet was much less frequent. I saw them in New York at least 10 yrs ago (Bayadere and Le Parc). The majority of the visits have been from the Bolshoi and Kirov. I don't know for sure if it's Gelb's doing. All I know is that since he took the helm the Opera House has been shut down at the end of the ABT season.

On the plus side, Gelb has hired Wheeldon to do choreography for a new Carmen next year; he has also hired Ratmansky to modify the choreography of the existing production of Aida. Previously, Gelb hired Wheeldon to modfiy the Dance of the Hours choreography for La Giaconda a few years ago. Angel Corella danced Wheeldon's new choreography at the Opera House a few years ago and brought the house down. A friend of mine who never goes to ballet still talks about Angel's performance in Dance of the Hours in Giaconda.

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I've read that it is too expensive for the international companies to come to NY regularly.

I'm sure it must be very expensive to tour, but why do these companies make stops at the Kennedy Center? Wouldn't it be as expensive to visit D.C.? Does the Kennedy Center heavily subsidize the companies they present ?

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I'm sure it must be very expensive to tour, but why do these companies make stops at the Kennedy Center? Wouldn't it be as expensive to visit D.C.? Does the Kennedy Center heavily subsidize the companies they present ?

They do. There are also exceptionally large donors for specific parts (or all) of the ballet season, for example (from the Center's website):

The Kennedy Center Ballet Season is sponsored by Altria Group, Inc.

Additional support is provided by Elizabeth and Michael Kojaian.

International Programming at the Kennedy Center is supported by the Kennedy Center International Committee on the Arts.

In addition, the Kennedy Center cleverly 'cooks up' country-specific Festivals that pull-in additional funding and usually bring a ballet troupe or two from the countries being celebrated, e.g., recent festivals honoring China and Japan. Next February will see a month-long "Focus on Russia" Festival at the Kennedy Center, with its own special donor:

Focus on Russia is supported through the generosity of the HRH Foundation.

Furthermore, a major donor (anonymous?) is underwriting a 10-year -- yes, TEN YEAR -- Bolshoi Ballet series. They're coming to the Kennedy Center for 10 straight years, commencing with the recently-concluded Corsaire season. Next season will bring Spartacus. This is similar to a 10-yr commitment to the Mariinsky Ballet, which started in 2001 with the Alberto Vilar donation (which has since been taken over by other donors)...of which a couple of years remain (Sleeping Beauty next February + one more season the following year).

People who live in DC are darn lucky, in that respect. It's either feast or famine here. Not at all a ballet-crazy town like NYC or St. Petersburg but it's lucky, every now and then, with the big Russian troupes. We'll go months with NOTHING, then suddenly have a week or two of first-class international ballet...followed by three months of NOTHING. It's that kind of town.

p.s. Also, this is a capital -- an embassy town. I've seen many music series -- if not ballet series -- partially underwritten by the Embassy of Such-and-Such country.

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Thanks, Natallia. That's a fascinating explanation of something I've wondered about ever since the BT Washington contingent started posting all those envy-producing reviews from the Kennedy Center.

As to costs, Edwad Villella said -- I don't know how accurately -- that the one week season Miami City Ballet (2 programs) at the City Center cost a million dollars. It, as in Washington, was heavily underwritten by donors with joint bases in NYC/Miami.

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ABT should consider pushing its season a little further into July since they really do get a great tourist trade.

Hi Faux Pas. I always thought that ABT wanted to finish its season as early in July as possible because they believed that people start to focus on the beach/vacations in July, and therefore attend fewer performances in the city. In fact, in recent years the Met Opera switched to a schedule where they take a mid-winter break of a week or two, thereby causing the opera season to end later than it used to. The result was that ABT's season starts later in May than it used to, and runs further into July. I recall reading an interview with McKenzie in the NYTimes a few years ago where he expressed displeasure at being forced by the opera to begin the ABT season later in May. Maybe since fewer New Yorkers can afford to go to the Hamptons these days, ABT's July ticket sales are not impacted or have even improved.

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The Met's awfully BIG (3800 seats). I've been impressed by the reports of audiences sizes for ABT, especially given the problems in the economy and the fact that many of the seats are quite far from the stage. To compare, the Royal Opera House seats fewer than 2300.

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p.s. Also, this is a capital -- an embassy town. I've seen many music series -- if not ballet series -- partially underwritten by the Embassy of Such-and-Such country.
As the home of the UN, so is New York. I'm sorry the same international outreach isn't extended here.

Although I don't know for a fact that it hasn't. Just haven't seen evidence of it, as there is at Ken Ctr.

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How many week work does ABT provide? Looking at the calendar there are many blank weeks.

I seem to recall that in a NYTimes article last year, ABT's Rachel Moore said that ABT would be touring to Mexico immediately after its engagement at Avery Fisher in October 2009. I guess the Mexico tour fell through, because it is not listed on ABT's website.

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Alistair Macaulay has a long, detailed and rather marvelous review, with lots of photos by different photographers, of the season in the NY Times today:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/19/arts/dan...1&ref=dance

Just about every program and principal is covered.

For those who get the print version, it's fun to read the following and then to notice that a big photo on the same page has actually captured the exact instant he describes. Online, the photo -- much smaller -- appears long before the relavant text.

In one moment Sylvia and Aminta, poised on half-toe (fourth position), suddenly turn their heads towards each other on the same instant: Ms. Wiles and Mr. Bolle, breath-catchingly, played it like new lovers who, in the same heartbeat, find they need to hang upon each other's eyes.

http://www.nytimes.com/imagepages/2009/07/...aca3.ready.html

God, I love moments like that in ballet. And descriptions like that in ballet criticism. :blink:

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I'm not sure why the article refers to Angel Corella as a "regular visitor" at ABT. He's been with the company for over 10 years, and up until very recently appeared with them both at the MET and at City Center. He's very much a fully participating principal in the company. I thought the article was mostly on target, except that I tend to disagree with his negative viewpoint on V. Part. But, as we know, Part certainly inspires a divided opinion.

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I'm not sure why the article refers to Angel Corella as a "regular visitor" at ABT. He's been with the company for over 10 years, and up until very recently appeared with them both at the MET and at City Center. He's very much a fully participating principal in the company. I thought the article was mostly on target, except that I tend to disagree with his negative viewpoint on V. Part. But, as we know, Part certainly inspires a divided opinion.

Yes, she does, but I don't really care for this as an argument against her. There are very few dancers who are universally beloved by all ballet fans and critics. His tone is getting really irritating whenever he mentions Part.

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I'm not sure why the article refers to Angel Corella as a "regular visitor" at ABT. He's been with the company for over 10 years, and up until very recently appeared with them both at the MET and at City Center. He's very much a fully participating principal in the company. I thought the article was mostly on target, except that I tend to disagree with his negative viewpoint on V. Part. But, as we know, Part certainly inspires a divided opinion.

Yes, she does, but I don't really care for this as an argument against her. There are very few dancers who are universally beloved by all ballet fans and critics. His tone is getting really irritating whenever he mentions Part.

He does seem to enjoy working in those little jabs.

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