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SFB 2019 Miscellaneous

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Recent SFB postings:

Adult Ballet Summer Workshop
"Who decided ballet summer intensives should just be for kids? While SF Ballet performers are on a well-earned break after the London tour, our studios are filled with wonderful students enrolled in our annual Adult Ballet Summer Workshop. Dancers have gathered from across the country for full days of classes led by SF Ballet School Faculty members as well as Principal Dancer Frances Chung; Rubén Martín Cintas; and Tina LeBlanc, who was recently appointed as a Ballet Master at SF Ballet."  https://www.instagram.com/p/ByoLnMAl30p/

https://www.sfballet.org/adultworkshop


Kids Days at Stern Grove Festival
"SF Ballet performs at Stern Grove Festival on July 28. Did you know that from July 23 to 25, 600 kids will come to Stern Grove for free classes in ballet, West African, Bollywood, Latin Dance, and musical theater, all taught by SF Ballet School teaching artists? It’s called “Kids Days,” and pre-registration is required on the Stern Grove website. It will fill up, so register now and we’ll see you at Stern Grove!"  https://www.instagram.com/p/ByoI4f3lDEn/

http://www.sterngrove.org/education-and-outreach/#block_14

Edited by pherank

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19 minutes ago, pherank said:

Recent SFB postings:

Adult Ballet Summer Workshop
"Who decided ballet summer intensives should just be for kids? While SF Ballet performers are on a well-earned break after the London tour, our studios are filled with wonderful students enrolled in our annual Adult Ballet Summer Workshop. Dancers have gathered from across the country for full days of classes led by SF Ballet School Faculty members as well as Principal Dancer Frances Chung; Rubén Martín Cintas; and Tina LeBlanc, who was recently appointed as a Ballet Master at SF Ballet."  https://www.instagram.com/p/ByoLnMAl30p/

https://www.sfballet.org/adultworkshop

 

I asked them last year if they welcomed real adult beginners who just wanted some disciplined absolute beginner exercise -- nope, they said. I'm curious how NYCB's first such adult workshop went -- It was three days June 6-8. Anybody here attend? NYCB has been doing one-time adult classes and I've gone to a few when in town. True beginners are welcome and nobody feels left out. I think there's a market for these.

https://www.nycballet.com/Educate/Public-Programs/Ballet-Essentials.aspx

https://www.nycballet.com/Educate/Public-Programs/Ballet-Essentials-Workshop-Weekend.aspx

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SFB posting:

"Results are in! And we’re thrilled to announce that SF Ballet School has awarded 12 scholarships at the School’s first-ever auditions in Mexico. Held in Guadalajara and led by SF Ballet School Director Patrick Armand, the auditions are part of the multifaceted arts event Despertares Impulsa, created by Isaac Hernandez and his brother, SF Ballet Principal Esteban Hernandez. Thanks to everyone who played a part in these auditions. We look forward to seeing some of these talented students on the SF Opera House stage one day!"

https://www.instagram.com/p/B0CKbrTDDHd/

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A worthy project, indeed. We tend to hear about these things after the fact though - I wish SFB would mention this sort of thing in their calendar, or in the Events section of the website. It's just nice to know about all the extras that the company is involved with.

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Thank you @PeggyTulle for posting such a great interview.  It is honest indeed and I love it.  The more we can talk about our demons, the more we can help to silence them.  She seems to be a strong minded dancer!

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Coming this Fall:

San Francisco Ballet on Film and Television series

"Ballet, film, and television may seem like disparate art forms with little relationship. But in fact, the ability to preserve dance on film has had a major impact on the preservation and dissemination of the art form, and the transmission of dance on television in the 20th century was instrumental in popularizing the art form in the United States. But what impact have television and film had on San Francisco Ballet in particular? How has this relationship changed as we’ve moved from film to television to the internet? And how are dancers and choreographers exploring today’s multifaceted media landscape?

Early Days
September 22, 1–3 pm

The Dance Boom
September 29, 1–3 pm

New Modes, New Media
October 6, 1–3 pm

https://www.sfballet.org/season/events/ballet-insights

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This sounds fascinating -- I hope someone from BA goes, and comes back to tell us about it.

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I'm noticing that SFB has pushed out on their subscription dates this year. The 'Choreograph Your Own Season' option isn't happening until September 12th this year - over a month beyond the former start date. I guess they've decided the Fall is a better time to sell tickets?

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On 7/30/2019 at 6:02 PM, pherank said:

Coming this Fall:

San Francisco Ballet on Film and Television series

"Ballet, film, and television may seem like disparate art forms with little relationship. But in fact, the ability to preserve dance on film has had a major impact on the preservation and dissemination of the art form, and the transmission of dance on television in the 20th century was instrumental in popularizing the art form in the United States. But what impact have television and film had on San Francisco Ballet in particular? How has this relationship changed as we’ve moved from film to television to the internet? And how are dancers and choreographers exploring today’s multifaceted media landscape?

Early Days
September 22, 1–3 pm

The Dance Boom
September 29, 1–3 pm

New Modes, New Media
October 6, 1–3 pm

https://www.sfballet.org/season/events/ballet-insights

Just purchased tickets for all three.  I went to last year’s series about the history of ballet in the US.  Given the time limitations, the lectures were well organized and informative, and more important, a lot of fun.  Definitely recommend attending if you can.

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SFB just sent out their yearly survey to subscribers (and others?), and one of the questions that caught my attention was:

How appealing would you find each of the following options for structuring the SF Ballet season?

  • A season that is spread out across several months instead of 15 - 16 consecutive weeks
  • Two non-consecutive time periods where the programs are divided equally
  • A season that is spread across the entire calendar year

As far as I know, those options are not available for the War Memorial Opera House. However, there was another question that asked about one's ability to go to performances that might be located elsewhere (such as the East Bay, South Bay, Marin, etc.)

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Very interesting options, all of them.  SFB has certainly made a virtue from necessity all these years, but I can't imagine that anyone is really thrilled with their current schedule, which seems incredibly dense to most of us.  Will be very curious to see if they actually shift their calendar around.

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10 minutes ago, sandik said:

Very interesting options, all of them.  SFB has certainly made a virtue from necessity all these years, but I can't imagine that anyone is really thrilled with their current schedule, which seems incredibly dense to most of us.  Will be very curious to see if they actually shift their calendar around.

It's certainly hard on the dancers, and audience members who can't attend much at that time of year. The downside of the year-round schedule is that dancers really wouldn't have much free time to plan other things (including dance appearances elsewhere). They would be given lots of short breaks (presumably), but no long vacation period. SFB manages to keep the dancers busy most of the year with the current schedule, so I don't see how establishing a year-round schedule would help matters for the company. It seems to me that spreading out the season somewhat, and providing longer rehearsal and rest periods for the dancers would be best for everyone. But there are always going to be conflicts with other art events and sport events. At least San Francisco isn't dealing with the level of conflicts and cacophony one sees in New York.

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I received the same survey, although I've never been a subscriber. I couldn't find a place in the comments to tell them what I consider one of their best scheduling options, viz., that they stagger two programs with overlapping schedules throughout their season. That makes it very easy for out-of-towners like me to plan a 3-4 day weekend trip and see multiple performances of two different programs. Very nice! It would be easy to get to Berkeley's theater (where the Mariinsky is performing this fall) on Bart, but not the more suburban options they listed. I hope they weren't serious about those.

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6 hours ago, California said:

I received the same survey, although I've never been a subscriber. I couldn't find a place in the comments to tell them what I consider one of their best scheduling options, viz., that they stagger two programs with overlapping schedules throughout their season. That makes it very easy for out-of-towners like me to plan a 3-4 day weekend trip and see multiple performances of two different programs. Very nice! It would be easy to get to Berkeley's theater (where the Mariinsky is performing this fall) on Bart, but not the more suburban options they listed. I hope they weren't serious about those.

I totally agree that overlapping programs makes it much more likely that I will attend (from out-of-town). Being able to see 6 different ballets in one visit (sometimes with multiple casts) is great.

Unfortunately for story ballet lovers, these overlaps are only really possible with mixed rep programs that require little in terms of stagings. We're not likely to ever see overlapping Midsummer Night's Dream and Romeo & Juliet programs, for example.

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On 8/24/2019 at 6:14 AM, California said:

I received the same survey, although I've never been a subscriber. I couldn't find a place in the comments to tell them what I consider one of their best scheduling options, viz., that they stagger two programs with overlapping schedules throughout their season. That makes it very easy for out-of-towners like me to plan a 3-4 day weekend trip and see multiple performances of two different programs. Very nice! It would be easy to get to Berkeley's theater (where the Mariinsky is performing this fall) on Bart, but not the more suburban options they listed. I hope they weren't serious about those.

Out of curiosity, what were the more suburban options they listed? I didn't see the survey...

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My memory isn't very good (!), but I think it was just general areas - North Bay (Marin, Sonoma), East Bay (Oakland, Berkley), South Bay (San Jose and maybe Palo Alto?). And I don't remember if there was a Southern California option (think 1 week residency near LA), but I don't think so.

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31 minutes ago, pherank said:

My memory isn't very good (!), but I think it was just general areas - North Bay (Marin, Sonoma), East Bay (Oakland, Berkley), South Bay (San Jose and maybe Palo Alto?). And I don't remember if there was a Southern California option (think 1 week residency near LA), but I don't think so.

That's what I remember. I was thinking of BART stops an out-of-towner could easily use, which is mainly Berkeley.

Long ago they used to do a week at Orange County/Segerstrom and I've always wondered why that ended. 

I don't understand why the compressed 6-month schedule is a problem for selling tickets. ABT in New York is not exactly year-round, nor is NYCB. 

If they're eager to sell more subscriptions, they need the super-flexible versions other companies offer. Their best is three different programs/choose your own. NYCB has one version for 6 performances -- which can all be consecutive. Kennedy Center has a version this year -- mix-or-match 3 or more performances.

https://www.sfballet.org/visit/2020-season-tickets

https://www.kennedy-center.org/subscriptions/season/1404

Subscription sales just aren't what they used to be, for reasons Michael Kaiser and many others have discussed.  But when I'm at San Francisco Ballet, it always strikes me that the house is nearly full with a very loyal fan base. Of course, maybe I only go to popular offerings.

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2 hours ago, pherank said:

My memory isn't very good (!), but I think it was just general areas - North Bay (Marin, Sonoma), East Bay (Oakland, Berkley), South Bay (San Jose and maybe Palo Alto?). And I don't remember if there was a Southern California option (think 1 week residency near LA), but I don't think so.

Oh, interesting. I guess I never minded the compact season when I lived in San Francisco because there were other options throughout the year (LINES, ODC, smaller companies performing at Z Space, etc...), but I can see how that might change if you had to travel a bit to see performances. 

That said, I wouldn't necessarily count on the South Bay to boost ticket sales after seeing what happened to Ballet San Jose/Silicon Valley Ballet and Peninsula Ballet Theater. It's a generalization I could possibly be talked out of, but I've never really thought the "new money" crowd in SV had much of an interest in supporting dance aside from putting their kid's in after-school ballet classes.

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1 hour ago, Syzygy said:

Oh, interesting. I guess I never minded the compact season when I lived in San Francisco because there were other options throughout the year (LINES, ODC, smaller companies performing at Z Space, etc...), but I can see how that might change if you had to travel a bit to see performances. 

That said, I wouldn't necessarily count on the South Bay to boost ticket sales after seeing what happened to Ballet San Jose/Silicon Valley Ballet and Peninsula Ballet Theater. It's a generalization I could possibly be talked out of, but I've never really thought the "new money" crowd in SV had much of an interest in supporting dance aside from putting their kid's in after-school ballet classes.

My kingdom for a bullet train! Sadly, not in this state/country.

Even in a relatively small region such as the Bay Area, there's lots of different cultures playing off against one another. Not necessarily interested in sharing anything. I remember that early in Tomasson's tenure he was promoting the idea of SFB going to Southern Cal to perform on a regular basis (sort of like NYCB going to Saratoga New York), but it never really happened. I can imagine there is intense 'political' pressure in So Cal not to allow companies from _________________ (fill in the blank) take up partial residence in LA where there are still dreams/fantasies that LA will be the dance powerhouse of North America. From the audience stand point its about seeing high-level performances, but for the movers and shakers behind the scenes, its mostly about power and control. The same sort of thing  goes on between SF and San Jose area big money arts supporters.

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