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Swan Lake, April 8-12, 2015


Natalia

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Opening this up for discussion. There's huge buzz about this on the Misty Copeland thread because Misty will dance the Thursday and Sunday eve performances, as a guest star. Her Siegfried will be none other than WB superstar Brooklyn Mack...a special fave of mine, can you tell? :)

The two "Misty performances" have been sold out for months and a sort of Tulip Craze has developed in DC to try to obtain tix at any cost...driving prices at StubHub and other resellers to almost $2,000 for choice Orch seats or $500 for EACH of a block of 4 seats in nosebleed.

I wonder when we will learn principal casting for ALL performances?

Also very exciting that this production is being staged by Kirk Peterson according to Stepanov notations, based on Petipa/Ivanov's 1895 original for the Imperial Mariinsky Theater. So will we be seeing child swans?

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I didn't realize that Peterson was working with the Stepanov materials -- exciting indeed. Between that and the other documentation from the period, there's a wealth of information about early productions. Perhaps the "original intent" justices on the Supreme Court should get to the theater as well...

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Woo hoo! I've just nabbed a ticket to the opening night with Misty & Brooklyn. I consider myself lucky to have paid 'only' $300. Bargain basement. The sad thing about the price hike: how many inner-city kids will be able to afford a ticket? Maybe the WB will have a dress rehearsal that DC school kids may be able to attend for free?

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It looks like the Misty Effect has spread to all performances. All the other performances are virtual sell-outs, with the few remaining seats priced at an unbelievable (even for DC) $155. And this despite the fact the the Washington Ballet will be going head-to-head with the New York City Ballet (except for the Sunday evening show).

I'd like to see this production just out of curiosity to see how they manage to fill the need for a large number of female dancers when they only have 10 in the professional company. But not for $155.

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Woo hoo! I've just nabbed a ticket to the opening night with Misty & Brooklyn. I consider myself lucky to have paid 'only' $300. Bargain basement. The sad thing about the price hike: how many inner-city kids will be able to afford a ticket? Maybe the WB will have a dress rehearsal that DC school kids may be able to attend for free?

You've sort of hit an interesting nail on it's head, Natalie. This type of "dynamic pricing" for Misty's performances sort of flies in the face of her stated desire to bring ballet and role modeling to a new audience. How many inner city kids (of any race or ethnicity) can afford these prices? Are the people who can afford to pay those prices now doing so because she(Misty) is some sort of curiosity? African American woman dances "White Swan" Shame on us if that's the case. And shouldn't these same inner city children be allowed to see a full performance and not a rehearsal.? This type of "elitism" seems out of character somehow. I truly wish Misty well in her climb upwards. A dancer's life is never easy. But I also wish all of this were not being made into some PR person's dream. A role model should touch all levels of the spectrum, not just the ones with deep pockets and the check book to pay.

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In fairness, Misty likely has no say or imput into the prices charged by WB. It is ironic, as you stated. I have every expectation that ABT will raise the "dynamic price" of her SL and RJ performance soon enough.

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I can't imagine spending that kind of money to see a regional company perform any ballet.

I know. Regardless of Misty, the $155 base price for one seat is very high but that is similar to what WB charges for average seats to NUTCRACKER at the huge Warner Theatre downtown. Imagine a family of four paying almost $500 for a NUTCRACKER show in upper balcony of a cavernous theatre...I'm not talking the VIP mezzanine seats...and the Warner has no elevators! I guess that they know how to price the big multi-act, luxuriously-designed ballets to break even in a very expensive city.

In comparison, seats for the mixed-bill ABT and NYCB shows at the KennCen Opera House can be bought for $25-29 range.

In DC, seeing a 'regional' company is much more expensive than seeing an international troupe.

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In fairness, Misty likely has no say or imput into the prices charged by WB. It is ironic, as you stated. I have every expectation that ABT will raise the "dynamic price" of her SL and RJ performance soon enough.

Yes, I also doubt she has any input into any of the pricing. What is charged to see any of the other dancers in the company for "Swan Lake"?

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Exactly same price for each show. However, as soon as ticketing was open for single (non-subscription) seats sometime last fall, the two "Misty Performances" were mysteriously declared "sold out." The KennCen website inserted a note to direct all who were interested in those two performances to call the WB. I called that number countless times and was told that the KC erred and that, in reality, tickets to all Swan Lake performances are being handled by the KC. So who is telling the truth? How were all tickets to the two Misty shows instantly sold on the morning when they were made available, yet so many are now on sale at inflated prices on various resale outlets?

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I can't imagine spending that kind of money to see a regional company perform any ballet.

What counts as a regional ballet company?

Atlanta Ballet (mixed rep) $23-$124

Houston Ballet (Taming of the Shrew) $20-$195

Nashville Ballet (Midsummer Night's Dream) $42-$82

Colorado Ballet (mixed rep) $25-$155

Ballet West (mixed bill) $29-$84

Pacific Northwest Ballet (Swan Lake) $30-$190

These are just whatever the company is doing next. I have to say the range of prices is wider than I had thought it might be.

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What counts as a regional ballet company?

Atlanta Ballet (mixed rep) $23-$124

Houston Ballet (Taming of the Shrew) $20-$195

Nashville Ballet (Midsummer Night's Dream) $42-$82

Colorado Ballet (mixed rep) $25-$155

Ballet West (mixed bill) $29-$84

Pacific Northwest Ballet (Swan Lake) $30-$190

Those are list prices. Colorado Ballet does aggressive discounting. Subscribers get 25% off all extra tickets (as well as their subscription seats). This year, they offered 20% discounts on the rest of the season for everybody. For the mixed bill in February, they had listings for almost half off on the local GoldStar. As I've mentioned before, the historic opera house in downtown Denver seats almost as many people as the State Theater and the Kennedy Center Opera House, so it's a challenge in Denver to get good attendance. They ended last year in the black and moved into the new building in the Santa Fe Arts district, so they seem to be doing pretty well.

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Exactly same price for each show. However, as soon as ticketing was open for single (non-subscription) seats sometime last fall, the two "Misty Performances" were mysteriously declared "sold out." The KennCen website inserted a note to direct all who were interested in those two performances to call the WB. I called that number countless times and was told that the KC erred and that, in reality, tickets to all Swan Lake performances are being handled by the KC. So who is telling the truth? How were all tickets to the two Misty shows instantly sold on the morning when they were made available, yet so many are now on sale at inflated prices on various resale outlets?

Ticket brokers have been known to swoop in and purchased scads of tickets and with Craig's List individuals can do the same. The worst thing is that with the advent of etickets, a dealer can resell the same seat multiple times, by sending each unsuspecting patron a PDF file for the same seats. I was at a performance a couple of years ago when the ushers brought three different couples to the same two seats a couple of rows ahead of me. I don't know how the situation was resolved except that the first couple got to keep the seats.

The Eisenhower only seats 1,100. This may be the artistic equivalent of trying to get Superbowl tickets. :-)

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Are the people who can afford to pay those prices now doing so because she(Misty) is some sort of curiosity? African American woman dances "White Swan" Shame on us if that's the case.

Isn't that the whole reason she's a star, that she's an African-American ballerina - a point of pride for some and satisfaction for others, just as Obama was in 2008? I don't see any cause for shame.

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Isn't that the whole reason she's a star, that she's an African-American ballerina - a point of pride for some and satisfaction for others, just as Obama was in 2008? I don't see any cause for shame.

Don't mis-understand me. I agree Misty is a "star". But I believe anyone given the role of Swan Queen should be able to do the work, regardless the color of their skin. Misty is more than capable. A wonderful dancer! I only meant that there may be people out there buying these tickets (and perhaps willing to pay inflated prices) only because she is African American. Not because she is a gifted dancer. There is still a certain portion of any audience willing to pay high prices for the sake of saying "I was there".

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Don't mis-understand me. I agree Misty is a "star". But I believe anyone given the role of Swan Queen should be able to do the work, regardless the color of their skin. Misty is more than capable. A wonderful dancer! I only meant that there may be people out there buying these tickets (and perhaps willing to pay inflated prices) only because she is African American. Not because she is a gifted dancer. There is still a certain portion of any audience willing to pay high prices for the sake of saying "I was there".

It can be hard to disentangle "I was there" from "this is meaningful to me." Copeland's debut will be understandably meaningful to a lot of people who aren't even big ballet fans. I'm reminded of Obama's inauguration, which I considered going to, but didn't because the press predicted long traffic jams just getting into the city that morning. I see those jams as the equivalent of $300 tickets.

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Well, StubHub sent me an email that my $300 ticket - the actual printed ticket, not e-ticket, for specific seat cited to me - is on it's way via FedEx. Should have it in-hand on Monday. Still, I'll go early to the show to 'plop my arse' in that seat first, LOL! This whole thing is crazy fun. Misty had better be fantastic...of course, I expect her to be. Ditto Brooklyn Mack. No tech doubts; I'm hoping for stylistic beauty, too.

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It can be hard to disentangle "I was there" from "this is meaningful to me." Copeland's debut will be understandably meaningful to a lot of people who aren't even big ballet fans. I'm reminded of Obama's inauguration, which I considered going to, but didn't because the press predicted long traffic jams just getting into the city that morning. I see those jams as the equivalent of $300 tickets.

I find it fascinating that you equate Obama's inauguration to Misty's debut in "Swan Lake". Wow! Right about now she must be thinking that her Under Armor commercials really did their job. But I get it. First kiss, first job, first African American President, first African American Swan Queen. As Natalie points out, "this whole thing is crazy fun". I'm sure she will be thrillingly good. and happily we will have many years of seeing her dance this role. I have to ask: does her ticket price go down the longer she dances the role?

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How many people went to see Baryshnikov because he was a defector and later because of his movies--people with no interest in or knowledge of ballet?

Prices? Misty Copeland does not control that, but emerging as a bona fide ballet star gives her the clout to become involved all the more effectively in other outreach activities of all kinds. No reason her regular performances should not be as pricey as other high profile performances are, though for obvious reasons this role is being given special attention.

I have been living in the 'regions' for some time now. The idea that the best tickets for ballet performances by the main regional companies (often with live music) won't be all that expensive seems quaint to me. I also thought every penny I spent to see Maillot's Romeo and Juliet on its return run to Atlanta Ballet this year -- which cost more than early purchased tickets to the Royal in New York for equivalent seats -- was money well spent. It was a terrific performance, building on last year's already very fine one. Memorable in every way. Of course the super-sized off-the-books prices ($1,000 etc.) being mentioned for Copeland are a different matter. But I wouldn't pay those for ABT. (Not that I really could if I wanted to see more than a performance or two a year.) I am not advocating high prices, and they do make me pickier about purchasing tickets, but they are a reality, and performances anywhere can be well worth it.

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Don't mis-understand me. I agree Misty is a "star". But I believe anyone given the role of Swan Queen should be able to do the work, regardless the color of their skin. Misty is more than capable. A wonderful dancer! I only meant that there may be people out there buying these tickets (and perhaps willing to pay inflated prices) only because she is African American. Not because she is a gifted dancer. There is still a certain portion of any audience willing to pay high prices for the sake of saying "I was there".

I'm sure there will be a part of the audience who are there because Copeland is African American. For some, it's a cultural milestone; for some it's a curiosity; for some it's a landmark in the art form.

But I'm also sure that there will be a part of the audience who are there because it's the Washington Ballet. For some, it's a part of their community; for some it's a social obligation; for some, it's a moment in the development of the company.

And I'm also sure that there will be a part of the audience who are there because it's Swan Lake. For some, it's the only ballet they're familiar with; for some, it's part of their personal obsession with the art form; for some.

Some people in the audience are there with a combination of these elements. And this is true, on one level or another, with almost every performance presented, by this and every other group.

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If MIsty gets good reviews in the NY press, McKenzie will cast her every year in SL. In fact, even if she gets so-so reviews, I suspect she will become a regular in the casting.

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