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fondoffouettes

ABT's Met Season to Be Reduced to Five Weeks, Beginning in 2021

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3 minutes ago, fondoffouettes said:

f ABT is being pushed to begin its season in early June, maybe they should just decamp to the Koch Theatre for its spring/summer season. It's certainly a more congenial venue for dance, and they'd have an easier time filling the house. This year, NYCB finishes on June 2.

That is a great idea. 

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1 minute ago, fondoffouettes said:

If ABT is being pushed to begin its season in early June, maybe they should just decamp to the Koch Theatre for its spring/summer season. It's certainly a more congenial venue for dance, and they'd have an easier time filling the house. 

My thoughts exactly. 

I'd like to see the Taylor company hang onto its March Theater-Formerly-Known-as-State season, though — especially now that it's presenting revivals of important modern dance works by other choreographers.

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I agree, and while not a small venue, if, in five weeks, they include mixed bills to break up the full-lengths -- a big if, except maybe for a gala -- they'll look better on that stage and from the upper tier of the house.  (I say having spent many years in the 4th Ring back row corner seats.)

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3 minutes ago, Kathleen O'Connell said:

My thoughts exactly. 

I'd like to see the Taylor company hang onto its March Theater-Formerly-Known-as-State season, though — especially now that it's presenting revivals of important modern dance works by other choreographers.

Ah, I didn't know that. I'm admittedly not a Taylor fan, so my statement was based totally on my personal bias! 😉 

 

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43 minutes ago, Helene said:

I agree, and while not a small venue, if, in five weeks, they include mixed bills to break up the full-lengths -- a big if, except maybe for a gala -- they'll look better on that stage and from the upper tier of the house.  (I say having spent many years in the 4th Ring back row corner seats.)

I'd also look forward to the acoustics of the Koch Theater. I often sit in Orchestra Balance (at both the Met and the Koch), and the acoustics are terrible at the Met; the sound is completely dampened by the extensive overhang of the balconies. At the Koch, I can sit all the way to the side of the orchestra section and the sound from the pit is still big and present. And, of course, you don't get as much pointe shoe noise at the Koch, though that doesn't bother me so much at the Met. Plus, and this actually makes a big difference to me, the seats at Koch are the most comfortable ones I've ever sat in for a dance performance. I'm about six feet tall, and there's enough leg room that I can cross my legs. I know some people hate having to stand up to let people get to their seats, but there's enough room that you don't usually need to do this. I only wish other performing arts venues would modernize their seating, as was done at the Koch. 

The demise of the Lincoln Center Festival has left a real gap in mid- to late-summer dance offerings. Maybe ABT could get away with extending their season into the summer a bit. I realize, though, that the Lincoln Center Festival dance performances are often must-see "events," like the Jewels anniversary performances or a visit from a European company.

Edited by fondoffouettes

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I certainly hope that ABT can somehow manage to perform an 8 week season in NY.  I'd like to see them start at the MET, and transfer to the Koch for the last three weeks of the season. 

While the Koch sight lines are significantly better than the MET, the MET's large stage allows them to perform the full lengths without cramming the dancers or staging.  That being said the Koch has a big enough stage so that they could still perform some of the full lengths.  Of course the Koch has to be available as they do have some guest companies throughout the year. 

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17 hours ago, FPF said:

For my personal convenience, I suggest SPAC, which seats 5,200 (plus lawn). Whenever they've brought in non-NYCB ballet companies, it's been for full-lengths (Giselle, DonQ, Peony Pavilion), so their standard rep should work there. It would need to be after the Met season, as it would probably be too cold earlier.

For selfish reasons, I would love that. It’s a short drive from my town. 

I agree that this doesn’t bode well for those dancers that already only get one performance per ballet during Met Season. Very disheartening. 

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This is very disappointing. 

I imagine the logistics of finding space at other theaters will be difficult. 

But I for one would be thrilled if they, say, expanded to two weeks at the Kennedy Center or came back to Wolf Trap again. 

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8 hours ago, Kathleen O'Connell said:

My thoughts exactly. 

I'd like to see the Taylor company hang onto its March Theater-Formerly-Known-as-State season, though — especially now that it's presenting revivals of important modern dance works by other choreographers.

The Taylor company has canceled its Spring season and switched to the Fall due to the recent increase in inclement weather with its consequent negative impact on the box office. They will now be performing :

"The 2019 Paul Taylor American Modern Dance season at Lincoln Center will take place in the Fall of 2019: October 30 - November 17. " quoted from the Taylor website.

 

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1 minute ago, zerbinetta said:

The Taylor company has canceled its Spring season and switched to the Fall due to the recent increase in inclement weather with its consequent negative impact on the box office. They will now be performing :

"The 2019 Paul Taylor American Modern Dance season at Lincoln Center will take place in the Fall of 2019: October 30 - November 17. " quoted from the Taylor website.

 

Ah ha! Thanks for the update re the PTDC NY season change, which I somehow missed. 

Well then, I think a regular March NYC ABT season would be a very fine thing!

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Going back to the topic of the article for a moment, what I find most potentially problematic about the Met's new schedule is less that the orchestra players will lose a weekend day to spend with their families, but that the orchestra will be playing four performances in less than 48 hours, which goes unmentioned.  Maybe the second trombone and the alto sax doesn't play all night and in every opera, but, for most scores, the strings and the woodwinds are in for hours and hours in each performance.  There is rotation, but I wonder if they'll get to hire more musicians to be alleviate that schedule. It's not just the repetitive stress, but also the toll it takes on hearing, to be blasted from behind.  

 

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45 minutes ago, Helene said:

Going back to the topic of the article for a moment, what I find most potentially problematic about the Met's new schedule is less that the orchestra players will lose a weekend day to spend with their families, but that the orchestra will be playing four performances in less than 48 hours, which goes unmentioned.  Maybe the second trombone and the alto sax doesn't play all night and in every opera, but, for most scores, the strings and the woodwinds are in for hours and hours in each performance.  There is rotation, but I wonder if they'll get to hire more musicians to be alleviate that schedule. It's not just the repetitive stress, but also the toll it takes on hearing, to be blasted from behind.  

 

Thanks for keeping us in track Helene.  I have never thought about the orchestra into consideration.  Still sad there will be less ballet to watch.  I wish they would just take the last week off in July instead of the month of May.

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Hopefully, there will be the same amount of ballet, but distributed differently.  As long as they have a big enough theater, I don't see why the rep would have to change significantly.

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I think this is very sad news. I always look forward to ABT's spring season at the Met. I've been going for 20+ years. Eight weeks of ballet at the beautiful Metropolitan Opera House--absolutely nothing can top this! It's the highlight of the dance year for me. It seems that most people on this board prefer the Koch Theater over the Met for dance. But not me. I'm not sure what ABT should do, but I truly hope that the company doesn't completely abandon the Met and decamp to the Koch (State) Theater. Others may not agree, but I think that something special will be lost.

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9 hours ago, Helene said:

Going back to the topic of the article for a moment, what I find most potentially problematic about the Met's new schedule is less that the orchestra players will lose a weekend day to spend with their families, but that the orchestra will be playing four performances in less than 48 hours, which goes unmentioned.  Maybe the second trombone and the alto sax doesn't play all night and in every opera, but, for most scores, the strings and the woodwinds are in for hours and hours in each performance.  There is rotation, but I wonder if they'll get to hire more musicians to be alleviate that schedule. It's not just the repetitive stress, but also the toll it takes on hearing, to be blasted from behind.  

This is a good point, although of course this exact situation happens now at NYCB — Friday evening, Saturday matinee, Saturday evening, and Sunday matinee. 

ETA: There are probably fewer playing hours involved at the ballet.

Edited by Kathleen O'Connell

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1 hour ago, BalletFan said:

I think this is very sad news. I always look forward to ABT's spring season at the Met. I've been going for 20+ years. Eight weeks of ballet at the beautiful Metropolitan Opera House--absolutely nothing can top this! It's the highlight of the dance year for me. It seems that most people on this board prefer the Koch Theater over the Met for dance. But not me. I'm not sure what ABT should do, but I truly hope that the company doesn't completely abandon the Met and decamp to the Koch (State) Theater. Others may not agree, but I think that something special will be lost.

I agree that something will be lost, at least to me, if they leave the Met completely. Though I am also in agreement that the Koch is better in some ways for ballet/ABT (better acoustics, fewer seats to sell, etc) there is nothing like the grand and beautiful Met with its red carpeting, spiral staircases, and the star chandeliers that ascend into the ceiling signaling the show is about to start. If they decamp to the Koch and it helps them financially and artistically and keeps them in NYC for a longer season, then I'd have to support it. But, I'd also greatly miss going to the Met for their 8 week extravaganza.

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8 hours ago, Helene said:

Hopefully, there will be the same amount of ballet, but distributed differently.  As long as they have a big enough theater, I don't see why the rep would have to change significantly.

I agree.  And now that Paul Taylor has moved to the Fall, perhaps ABT can take their three week slot at the Koch, take a 2 month break (sounds like NYCB, no?), and then resume at the MET in June for another five weeks.   

 

14 hours ago, zerbinetta said:

"The 2019 Paul Taylor American Modern Dance season at Lincoln Center will take place in the Fall of 2019: October 30 - November 17. " quoted from the Taylor website.

 

Thank you for posting this!   Here I am watching the Koch website for tickets and not even realizing that they moved to the Fall.

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4 minutes ago, ABT Fan said:

I agree that something will be lost, at least to me, if they leave the Met completely. Though I am also in agreement that the Koch is better in some ways for ballet/ABT (better acoustics, fewer seats to sell, etc) there is nothing like the grand and beautiful Met with its red carpeting, spiral staircases, and the star chandeliers that ascend into the ceiling signaling the show is about to start. If they decamp to the Koch and it helps them financially and artistically and keeps them in NYC for a longer season, then I'd have to support it. But, I'd also greatly miss going to the Met for their 8 week extravaganza.

I love the MET for it's spectacular ambience.  But as you say, the Koch is better in so many ways, the most important being the sight lines.    I'd hate ABT to leave the MET entirely, but that uninterrupted eight week extravaganza at the MET appears to be out of ABT's hands.  We can only hope that they pick up the other three weeks at the Koch, which in my opinion is the next best option.

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If I'm remembering correctly the Taylor company announced it about a year ago. They didn't make a significant point of it, especially considering there would be a year and a half gap between seasons. But apparently the weather had made a huge difference in their box office between the time they started using the "State" theater and 2017. There had been a lot of snow and transportation difficulties and apparently a lot of their audience was of the walk-up persuasion.

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Dance Magazine has posted an article about this:  https://www.dancemagazine.com/abt-met-season-2606238143.html

It includes the following (non)statement from a company spokesperson: "Although we would love to dance on the Met stage for eight weeks or more each year, we look forward to programming and presenting five weeks of extraordinary ballet to appreciative and enthusiastic audiences at the Met. While it is premature to announce specifics, we have exciting plans underway for ABT's future performances in New York, across the country and around the world."

ABT wouldn't expand on the "exciting plans."

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Yes, I think a lot of us have good ideas for places they can come.

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