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Spring 2020 New York Season


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12 minutes ago, Helene said:

I understand why their systems aren't set up for refunds , and even if they could do a blanket refund easily, there might not be enough cash flow to refund people, especially since I'm sure this has cut into subscription sales for next season, which do provide cash flow.

Ultimately, they're making the patrons;

1. Do the work, including being on hold, pursuing promised call-backs, etc.

2. Be that person who wants their money back, and saying that to a human at the other end of the phone.

Well, I am going to be that person if the spring season is cancelled.  I have way too many tickets to even think about having a problem getting my money back.  It would be no way to encourage patrons to renew subscriptions as well as buy additional single tickets at the same time which of course is what I did.  Who knew?   I am banging my head against the wall right now.  But to put things in perspective, everyone's health is the most important thing.   Aggravation dealing with the Met is just aggravation.

Edited by NinaFan
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I think everyone is within their rights to ask for a refund when a show is cancelled or postponed.  Arts organizations, or any service/subscription provider with a yearly subscription, rather than a monthly subscription or fee, risk acting like a telecom, internet company, or Sirius, where they make you go through hoops with a retention department to cancel, especially now as subscription renewal requests coincide with these cancellations.  They are between a rock and a hard place, and some won't survive, but they certainly won't if they make subscribers not subscribe.  

@maps wrote in another thread

19 minutes ago, maps said:

Donating back to a favorite company is different than a donate back to a venue presenting a company.

which is why I think presenters seem to be refunding more automatically than arts organizations.  My only caveats would be places that don't have local companies and for whom their arts series provide a lifeline, and they are loyal to the organizations that present those performances, and university arts series, some of which overlap with the former, where people are loyal to the university.  For example, when the inevitable cancellations of Michelle Dorrance's company's performances in April, I'll donate tickets back to Dance House in Vancouver without hesitation, but not Seattle Theatre Group.

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1 hour ago, Helene said:

My only caveats would be places that don't have local companies and for whom their arts series provide a lifeline, and they are loyal to the organizations that present those performances, and university arts series, some of which overlap with the former, where people are loyal to the university.  For example, when the inevitable cancellations of Michelle Dorrance's company's performances in April, I'll donate tickets back to Dance House in Vancouver without hesitation, but not Seattle Theatre Group.

I certainly understand that.   While somewhat different, we have always donated our tickets back to the Joyce  as opposed to the dance company.   I'm not talking about cancelled performances, but ones we could not make.  It's a wonderful venue and we want them to be able to continue to present the marvelous programs they bring to NY. 

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I did little searching around the Internet, and found that it is apparently possible for performing arts organizations to purchase insurance to protect themselves against having to cancel performances. However, I got the impression that protection against cancelling performances due to an infectious disease outbreak isn't usually a part of the basic policy but instead requires an additional premium, and it wasn't clear if the insurance company has to pay if the organization makes the cancellation decision or only if the government forces the cancellation.

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14 minutes ago, YouOverThere said:

I did little searching around the Internet, and found that it is apparently possible for performing arts organizations to purchase insurance to protect themselves against having to cancel performances. However, I got the impression that protection against cancelling performances due to an infectious disease outbreak isn't usually a part of the basic policy but instead requires an additional premium, and it wasn't clear if the insurance company has to pay if the organization makes the cancellation decision or only if the government forces the cancellation.

I don't want to take this too far afield, but the dozens of professional associations that have had to cancel spring meetings are having the same problems. Meeting cancellation insurance doesn't cover fear of disease. The "force majeure" clause in typical hotel contracts for these meetings is offering some relief, if a government agency orders them to cancel their meeting (but not if it's only a strong recommendation). My family members' travel insurance for a trip to London doesn't include fear of disease. 

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Arts organizations can purchase business interruption insurance.  The Broadway theaters were waiting for Cuomo to ban gatherings of over 1,000 people before they announced the shut downs.  The government edict was essential to the decision to close from the standpoint of being able to collect the insurance.

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10 hours ago, Helene said:

For example, when the inevitable cancellations of Michelle Dorrance's company's performances in April, I'll donate tickets back to Dance House in Vancouver without hesitation, but not Seattle Theatre Group.

This is making me cry -- I was really looking forward to Dorrance's show here in Seattle.

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1 hour ago, Becki Lee said:

This is so disheartening, to say the least. If the coronavirus is expected to peak in May, I don't see how ABT can expect their season to go on. I wonder if there's any possibility of ABT pushing their season further into the summer, assuming the Met is dark in July and August. I realize this might not be desirable or feasible for various reasons...

Edited by fondoffouettes
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ABT just sent out e-mail about the spring season, but I'm not seeing anything that isn't on their web site:

An Important Message to Our ABT Community

 
ABT80LOGO.png

_______________________________________________________________________________________

Dear Friends and Fans of American Ballet Theatre,

As you and your family navigate the unprecedented COVID-19 crisis, we wish you good health, strength, and resilience.

This is not the way we envisioned celebrating ABT’s milestone 80th Anniversary year. Just two weeks ago we premiered a glorious new production, Of Love and Rage, to standing ovations in Orange County, California, and tonight, there are no standing ovations anywhere in America.

We wanted to share with you some updates on how COVID-19 has impacted ABT's activities so far:

  • March and April Tours to Chicago, Durham, Detroit, and Abu Dhabi have been cancelled. We are working closely with our presenters to see if rescheduling will be possible;
  • ABT’s studios and offices at 890 Broadway are closed, with staff working remotely through at least April 20;
  • The Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School is closed, and students will be participating in livestreamed classes via Zoom and Instagram Live;
  • Patron events in April and early May have been postponed; and
  • Single ticket sales for performances during our 2020 Spring Season at the Metropolitan Opera have been postponed. Please stand by for new dates for Members Advance Sale, Subscriber Exchange Week, and Single Ticket Sales.*

*At this time, a decision on if and how we can proceed with American Ballet Theatre’s Spring Season, May 11-July 4, is currently on hold. We are awaiting further guidance from government officials and health experts, and we ask you to please continue to check ABT.org for further updates. The safety of our dancers, staff, students, donors, and audience members will always remain our paramount concern, and, as a result, the well-being of our community is driving our decisions.

One of the most important things we can do as a society during times of uncertainty is to rally behind the organizations that matter to us, to our country, and to our world. The cultural treasures that sustain us and the artists who will help us heal on the other side of this crisis should be a top priority. To maintain your connection to our brilliant dancers during these challenging times, we are finding creative ways to share their artistry and optimism with you across our online platforms and beyond.

Some of you have asked how you can help ensure the Company’s vibrancy and resiliency. One way is to support ABT’s commitment to providing a crisis relief package for our artists – dancers, production crew, pianists, and ballet masters – to help them through this challenging period.

Here are some ways for you to be a part of this effort:

  • Renew your support as early as possible and be as generous as possible here.
  • Send an additional gift to the ABT Crisis Relief Fund here.
  • Advocate for government support for cultural organizations and artists here.

Finally, but most importantly, we want to thank you for your friendship and your generosity. We are so grateful to you for protecting America’s National Ballet Company®.

ABT was founded in 1940 and survived the Second World War. The Company has weathered many crises over the past eight decades, and we will celebrate together, exuberantly, when we survive this pandemic and return to the stage.

We hope that you will find American Ballet Theatre a source of inspiration in the weeks and months ahead.

With warm regards,

KMBarnettSignature                                             view.image?Id=674

Kara Medoff Barnett                                                 Kevin McKenzie
Executive Director                                                    Artistic Director

P.S. If you would like to make a donation to the ABT Crisis Relief Fund, please visit our site. With our offices temporarily closed, we are unable to accept and process checks at this time. We are grateful for your support, now more than ever.

 

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I’m so happy to see that you can donate directly to the crisis relief fund for company artists (and that they started one, which I hadn’t seen the news of before).

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1 hour ago, Becki Lee said:

Is the Crisis Relief Fund the same as the Dancers Emergency Fund?

Not sure. The former is described in the message that @California copied above. There’s probably more info on the ABT website, which is linked there.

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Some of the ABT dancers shared this link on IG a few days ago (Alexandra Basmagy has it linked in her bio) https://pages.donately.com/dancersemergencyfund/campaign/dancers-emergency-fund

I wonder if the crisis relief is managed by ABT and the emergency fund is managed by the dancers themselves? I'd like to donate, but I think I trust it more if it's managed by the dancers. Not that I don't trust ABT but, well, I don't trust ABT.

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On 3/21/2020 at 10:40 PM, Helene said:

Does ABT also have a Dancers Emergency Fund?  NYCB has had one for decades. 

Yes they have had one for at least ten years if not longer. The proceeds from the sale of the dancers’ autographed pointe shoes and slippers fund it. I don’t recall them ever publicly fundraising for it in the past, but recently Isabella Boylston and James Whiteside have been encouraging those watching their live-streamed classes to donate. 

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ABT just sent email that the Gala scheduled for May 18 is postponed to October 21.

 

UPDATEDheaderSG2020

 

AN UPDATE FROM AMERICAN BALLET THEATRE ON THE

80th ANNIVERSARY SPRING GALA

 

Dear Friends, 

 

I hope this note finds you and your loved ones safe and healthy.

 

While we had been looking forward to celebrating ABT's 80th Anniversary with festivities and fanfare on May 18th, this is not the time to celebrate. The health and safety of our artists and audiences, our ABT community and our beloved New York City are our paramount concerns. 

 

To do our part in slowing the spread of the COVID-19 crisis in New York and globally by social distancing, we have arrived at the difficult decision to postpone the gala originally scheduled for May 18, 2020. Please save the date to join us for ABT's 80th Anniversary Gala on October 21st, 2020. 

 

In place of the tickets or tables (and the new dress or tuxedo) you would purchase in normal times, we kindly ask that you consider a fully tax-deductible donation to support ABT's artists - including dancers, ballet masters, pianists, musicians, production crew, and education faculty - in these uncertain and unsettling times. To make a donation to the ABT Crisis Relief Fund, please click HERE. With ABT's revenue from ticket sales and touring fees disappearing, your philanthropic gift is more meaningful than ever. Thank you for your generosity and your friendship. 

 

With resilience and optimism, we look forward to celebrating ABT's glorious eight decades on October 21st with beloved classics and world premieres. The magnificent program will honor ABT's vibrant history and foreshadow its brilliant future. 

 

Should you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to us at specialevents@abt.org

 

With gratitude for your understanding and wishes for your continued good health,

 

Warmly, 

KMBSignatureCROPPPED

Kara Medoff Barnett

Executive Director

 

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Would there even be space at the Koch (or anywhere) for an extended fall season? NYCB's season ends mid-October, then Paul Taylor has their season in November (following pattern from last year). It's so unfortunate that ABT doesn't have their own performance space, which would allow for more flexibility. 

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I was holding out hope that ABT would push their spring season into July and August, but this news makes me think otherwise. It seems likely that they're facing a reduced makeup season next fall. Something is better than nothing, but I was so looking forward to Lane's Juliet debut and Brandt's Aurora debut. Perhaps they'll both premiere this fall.

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At a certain point in the very very near future ABT is going to have to step up and make an announcement about the spring season.  They are the last holdouts.   (Broadway League just announced that shows won't open until June at the earliest. Every other arts organization has cancelled through the end of this season.) 

Edited by abatt
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ABT has cancelled the Spring 2020 Met season:

AMERICAN BALLET THEATRE TO CANCEL 2020 SPRING SEASON AT THE METROPOLITAN OPERA HOUSE

American Ballet Theatre announced today the cancellation of its 2020 season at the Metropolitan Opera House. The season, marking the Company’s 80th Anniversary, was scheduled for May 11July 4, 2020. The cancellation, necessitated by the public health crisis arising from the coronavirus pandemic, was announced today by Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie and Executive Director Kara Medoff Barnett.

“While the impossibility of proceeding with our season is deeply painful, protecting the health and well-being of our ABT artists, crew, musicians, staff, and audience members is paramount,” said Barnett. “Right now, members of the ABT community are #AloneButTogether, doing our part to stop the spread of the coronavirus through social distancing. We have never been prouder of the Company’s camaraderie, unity, and optimism. We look forward to the day when ABT’s artists can come together to train, create, and collaborate, as well as when we can astonish, delight, and transport audiences once again, in New York City and beyond. As America’s National Ballet Company®, we know we will play an important role in healing our nation on the other side of this crisis.”

American Ballet Theatre’s 2020 Spring season was curated to celebrate the Company’s 80th Anniversary with programs paying tribute to ABT’s vibrant history and bright future. Programming for the 2020 Spring season was slated to include “ABT Then and Now,” the New York Premiere of Alexei Ratmansky’s Of Love and Rage, the 40th Anniversary of Natalia Makarova’s production of La Bayadère and full-length ballets Romeo and Juliet (35th Anniversary), Giselle, The Sleeping Beauty, Jane Eyre, and Swan Lake (20th Anniversary).

American Ballet Theatre’s 80th Anniversary Spring Gala, originally scheduled for Monday, May 18, 2020 at the Metropolitan Opera House, has been postponed to Wednesday, October 21, 2020, kicking off the Company’s Fall Season at the David H. Koch Theater (October 21November 1, 2020). “The ABT80 Gala program will celebrate the diversity of ABT’s repertoire and the dynamism of our dancers,” said McKenzie. “We look forward to honoring the Company’s eight decades of artistry with highlights from our beloved classics as well as world premieres. We may be hunkering down now, but our creators are busy dreaming and planning for the future.”

Subscription ticket holders for ABT’s 2020 Spring season at the Metropolitan Opera House will have the option to donate the value of their tickets to support ABT during this unprecedented time, to receive credit for future performances, or to request a refund. Ticket holders will be contacted by a representative of ABT and information will be available on ABT’s website, www.abt.org, or by calling Met Customer Care at 212-362-6000, Monday through Friday, 10am to 6pm EST. Please be aware that due to a high volume of inquiries, there may be long wait times. Thank you for your patience, support, and understanding during this uncertain time.

The current state of emergency has severely impacted American Ballet Theatre’s operations. Before the coronavirus pandemic forced the cancellation of the spring season at the Metropolitan Opera House, ABT’s spring tour engagements in Chicago, Durham, Abu Dhabi, and Detroit were also cancelled. As a result, the Company projects losses of approximately $18 million in revenue from touring fees, ticket sales, education programs, and special events.

“American Ballet Theatre was founded in 1940 and survived World War II. This company exemplifies resilience and resolve,” said Barnett. “We have provided emergency relief and supplemental benefits for our artists during the period of the cancelled tours, and we are striving to position ourselves to support our artists and staff during the time that we would have been preparing for and performing magnificent productions at the Met. While the artistic and financial ramifications for the ABT ecosystem will be major, ABT has been nimble, agile, and scrappy for eight decades, and we will forge ahead.

American Ballet Theatre’s 80th Anniversary continues with the Fall 2020 season at the David H. Koch Theater, (October 21November 1), which is anticipated to continue as planned, pending the guidance of government and health officials. “ABT is an entrepreneurial, resourceful, and innovative group of individuals, and we know that the collective imagination of this community will spark inspiration during this otherwise dismal time, said McKenzie.

The newly established ABT Crisis Relief Fund allows ABT to provide supplemental benefits and financial support to ABT’s artists. “We are grateful for the outpouring of support we have received from fans and friends around the world,” said Barnett. “At this time when our mission  which requires travel, human connection, and public assembly  is under threat, we are buoyed by the generous acts of kindness we have witnessed.”

For more information or to donate to the ABT Crisis Relief Fund, please visit www.abt.org.

 

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This is terribly disappointing — but not at all surprising — news. I so hope that all the dancers who were set to get exciting new opportunities this season will be given the same (or better) chances next year.

It's also sad that we've now likely seen the last 8-week Met season of ABT.

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How sad.  Will we ever get to give Stella the send off she deserves?

This was to be the year of Tom Forster.  How much longer will he have to wait for those opportunities.

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3 minutes ago, Leah said:

Hopefully promotions will happen after the fall season. It’s very sad. I was hoping they’d keep the last couple of weeks but I suppose that would be impossible. I don’t think Cuomo will permit large performances for sometime even if the shutdown gets lifted in June.

It's not just the performances, though — it's also the rehearsal time that would need to lead up to the performances. With dancers coming back after months away from their usual routines (even if they are taking daily online classes and staying in shape as best they can under current circumstances), they will need a lot of work to get back into performance shape. That will take significant time, so even after the shutdown is lifted no performances could happen for quite awhile.

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