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NYC Ballet Prices

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Is she "Light" or "Civilization"?


Thank goodness, the one who dances less: Civilization. But she gets the big "Free the Slave" pdd with Bolle. That's the pdd that begins with Civilization embracing a kneeling slave, while kicking her free leg up in a high penchee. Imagine the possibilities. Guiness Records should be there to measure the degrees past 180...will she extend to 220...maybe 230 degrees? This is her big chance to cut loose and remain in character!

So back to topic - La Scala, like Bolshoi & POB, does much more than NYCB to welcome non-local audiences. The world has changed; technology exists to capture arts lovers (& potential patron$) around the globe...but NYCB shuns, rather than embraces, the average public, it seems.

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If he survives the nail scratches.

Back to topic, please. Sorry for the diversion. So will NYCB eventually come to its senses and reopen the 3rd and 4th Rings for rep programs? Will it make new DVDs or do telecasts of the rep that we most want to see: complete 'never-telecast-in-the -last-30-yr' complete Balanchines (other than Nutcracker) & Robbins ballets???

There are two marketing options to help the organization 'break even,' as I see it:

A. Exclusive: Lesser visibility, with the elite few viewing options being priced out of the sky. Catering to fewer people - but these few have deeper pockets. This is similar to major airlines choosing to break even through their 1st Class and Business-Elite seats AND cutting down on the number of flights.

B. Inclusive: Greater visibility, at lower prices; this includes selling DVDs of complete Balanchine & Robbins ballets, since this means "getting the product" out to more people. (Sorry, a DVD of Ocean's Kingdom or 'Martins Hit Parade box set' doesn't count.) More inclusivity = more public and more potential patron$ and donor$.

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My theory is that this has less to do with NYCB's financial condition than their spiritual state, which is near death. Popular pricing was an essential part of Kirstein and Balanchine's vision for the NY State Theater. Charging whatever the market will bear is the mark of David H. Koch and the current board.

Count me in, I'm on strike.

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Guest Cleveland

It would also be interesting to historians and even present day members if CBC would release their TV broadcasts from the 1950s-1960s of CONCERTO BAROCCO, LIEBESLIEDER WALZER, AGON, DIVERTIMENTO NO, 15 and others. While these broadcasts could never compare with today's technology, it would give people a look into the way Balanchine wanted his works performed, and with many of the original dancers on whom the works were first made. Does anyone even know about CBC and Balanchine?

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Blog post:

"When New York City Ballet and New York City Opera jointly announced in 2008 that David H. Koch would donate 100 million dollars to renovate the New York State Theater, the opera called it a “transformative gift.” The ballet said it would “ensure the integrity of George Balanchine’s vision for the theater ..for decades to come.” Three years later, the renovation is complete. But the opera company has left the building, now called the David H. Koch Theater, and Balanchine’s vision is in the dumpster."

to read the whole story go to http://occupythearts.blogspot.com/2011/12/david-h-koch-nutcracker.html

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I just received an NYCB fund-raising letter (as I'm sure many of you did, too). I was struck by some data in the letter: ". . . our fall season saw an increase of subscriptions at a renewal rate up to 77% from 72% in previous years. New subscriptions are up by 32%. Fall season attendances were up 11% from last year."

I haven't been able to attend a performance this season, but I had the sense from this discussion board that attendance was dropping, due to the new pricing plan, closing off the third and fourth tiers, etc. I'm curious if the data in the letter reflects the sense of people who have attended so far this season. Perhaps the new marketing team is getting the results they were looking for?

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From what I saw, the attendance rate seemed lower on many rep nights than it used to be. I think the fall season had a lot of performances of Ocean's Kingdom, which was well attended. Swan Lake also sold well. And of course there was the Chuck Askegard farewell. Maybe those performances counter-balanced the lackluster sales for most of the other nights. I suspect most of the new subscriptions they sold were at the $29 price level - people who were looking for an alternative since the Fourth Ring Society program was being discontinued. I'd love to see the renewal stats for the high priced seats.

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I'm now "officially" on strike against NYCB and the David H. Koch Theater. Just before one Saturday matinee of Nutcracker, I staged a one-man picket line with a sign that said "Audience Member on Strike against Koch Theater ticket prices." The response from arriving ticket holders was curious and mostly friendly, though one young lady informed me that this type of performance was not for just anyone and if I couldn't afford it I should look for a cheaper Nutcracker. "They're all the same," she assured me.

Others, including a mom in a mink coat, gave me a thumbs-up.

After about 15 minutes a Lincoln Center security guard asked me (politely) if I would take my protest out to the sidewalk along Columbus Avenue, and I complied. I was still able to meet a stream of audience people as they crossed the street.

Security people kept their eye on me and later two of them asked me what this was all about. I told them, they laughed and said they agreed with me.

My conclusions from this experience were

a. it's possible to protest at Lincoln Center without getting beaten up or arrested.

b. It would be a lot more effective with more people.

If you'd like to join some kind of a protest during the upcoming winter season, email me flipsy23@gmail.com and we can talk about tactics.

You can read more of my adventure at http://occupythearts...ity-ballet.html

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The long-time fans, especially the Fourth Ring set, have been long-time critics of the Martins administration, and splitting up the social groups in the cheap seats and driving away the complainers could dampen the opposition. Even if this wasn't the intention, it could prove to be a side benefit.

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For those of us who are still lamenting Kathryn Brown's/Peter Martin's decision to close the third and fourth rings of the Koch in an effort to artificially control the supply of tickets and thereby force people to sit in higher priced seats, here is an article which confirms what we already know - the fourth ring of the Koch is a pretty great vantage point from which to watch ballet.


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The new pricing set up has not seemed all bad to me--though I do find it somewhat baffling to figure out. I recently bought first ring tickets for NYCB winter season that seemed surprisingly inexpensive to me, though I must admit I did so almost by accident. That is, I had no idea they would turn out to cost what they did which was considerably less than I had anticipated. I'm in a side section but still directly facing the stage (that is, not in the seats down the side of ring). I didn't even buy these when tickets first went on sale, but some time after.

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Three years ago, mad as hell about New York City Ballet’s plan to triple and quadruple ticket prices, I and a few other balletomanes declared an audience strike against our long-time beloved ballet company. We hoped a boycott would shake up the management, and force a return to popular prices.
Three years later, they win. Drawn by rave reviews and gorgeous pictures in the paper, I finally slunk back across my invisible picket line last week. I paid 62 dollars for a seat in Row G on the side in the fourth ring – three times what I would have paid just a few years ago. The reward was a brilliant triple bill of Balanchine classics – Serenade, Agon, and Symphony in C – from a company dancing better than it has in years. Is this the effect of prosperity? If so, you can’t argue with success.
To read more, go to
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