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Leah

Winter 2020

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One more thing. In looking to buy some tickets for the first week, I noted that they haven't even opened the 3rd ring for individual tickets, never mind the 4th or 5th. They seem determined to hold prices and fill from the bottom up. I know nothing about marketing so I don't know if this is a good strategy or not. I will note one thing, the social media postings that dancers do, do not seem to be translating into ticket sales.

Personally I feel an uninspired season coming on, but I hope I'm proven wrong.

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I don’t think the season is laid out very well - all Balanchine at first, then mostly modern stuff with a Swan lake run near the end. And it’s hard to tell from the names of the programs what’s what. I’m really eager to see the first two programs but then the next five weeks seem to be a bit of a slog.

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Personally I think the first week looks exciting. Harrison Ball sure deserves those debuts... he's one of the best male dancers in the company right now in terms of virtuosity. Erica Pereira is hit or miss for me but I like her a lot in classical allegro roles. I've seen her really knock it out of the park in roles like Swanilda (Coppelia) and Tarantella. Also exciting to see very young dancers like India Bradley and Mira Nadon featured. I can see Nadon inheriting more of Teresa Reichlen's rep. 

As for the winter season as a whole, there are some attractive programs mid-season, particularly the one with Episodes, but I wouldn't go out of my way to see Wheeldon's DGV and Polyphonia again. Will wait for casting on Swan Lake. 

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13 hours ago, vipa said:

I wonder how Pollack's casting is being handled internally, given she's Jon Stafford's wife. I'm sure that's not an easy position to be in.

Pollack doesn't seem to be getting preferential casting, so that's a good thing. The question may be, whether she is being held back. I have found her bland many times, but I also remember seeing her as one of the demis in T&V several years ago, and thinking that she looked very grand and polished, ready for bigger things. So I think the potential is there. In any case I don't avoid her, the way I do Pereira. 

I'm trying to remember - is this season one that was programmed by the "interim team"? I know not everyone agrees, but I'm finding it lacking in excitement. 

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6 hours ago, cobweb said:

I'm trying to remember - is this season one that was programmed by the "interim team"? I know not everyone agrees, but I'm finding it lacking in excitement. 

I don't know if it was the intermin team or Stafford, but I'm with you in finding it lacking in excitement.   To make matters worse,  they never used to perform a program more than three times in a season, but now it can be as many as six repeats of the same program.   So basically we're not getting as many ballets as we used to....

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, NinaFan said:

To make matters worse,  they never used to perform a program more than three times in a season, but now it can be as many as six repeats of the same program.   So basically we're not getting as many ballets as we used to....

Seriously though, given the amount of rep that NYCB packs into any given year, and given the number of performances they put on in NYC alone, I really can’t fault them for wanting to perform a ballet 4-6 times. 

Edited by nanushka

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What was the season maybe two years ago that had so many different programs that dancers were getting injured left and right? I remember seeing things on IG about how stressful a season it was. 

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1 hour ago, nanushka said:

Seriously though, given the amount of rep that NYCB packs into any given year, and given the number of performances they put on in NYC alone, I really can’t fault them for wanting to perform a ballet 4-6 times. 

That is very true about the number of performances in a given year and it obviously takes a lot more rehearsal time to prepare for multiple ballets.   I guess I'm spoiled by the large rep the company used to perform. 

 

1 hour ago, GB1216 said:

What was the season maybe two years ago that had so many different programs that dancers were getting injured left and right? I remember seeing things on IG about how stressful a season it was. 

If it was two years ago, then they were performing many more programs than they do today.  It is only in the last year or so that they started repeating ballets more than three times. 

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I wasn’t there, but I think you’re talking about the Here and Now festival? That wasn’t a regular season IIRC, they were doing a huge number of ballets including many premieres.

 I appreciate the number of times ballets are performed. In SF we only got 8 programs a year not including Nutcracker, so I feel very spoiled here. :) Also, I have a job that forces me to reschedule performances often, and it’s nice that I’m generally able to exchange a performance I can’t make it to to one that works with my schedule. 

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3 hours ago, NinaFan said:

It is only in the last year or so that they started repeating ballets more than three times. 

NYCB has been putting ballets "on repeat" for quite a few years now. As a way of checking my recollection, I pulled up the calendar for the Fall 2014 season, and here are the programs the company presented over the course of four weeks:

Morgen / This Bitter Earth / Funérailles / Clearing Dawn / Belles-Lettres = 5 performances

Serenade / Mozartiana / Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux / Tschaikovsky Suite No. 3 = 5 performances

Apollo / Monumentum pro Gesualdo / Movements for Piano and Orchestra /  Duo Concertante  = 5  performances

Donizetti Variations / La Sonnambula / Firebird = 4 performances

Chaconne / Interplay / After the Rain Pas de Deux / Everywhere We Go = 4 performances 

Square Dance / The Steadfast Tin Soldier / Le Tombeau de Couperin / The Concert = 3 performances

Funérailles / Clearing Dawn / Varied Trio (in four) / After the Rain Pas de Deux / Todo Buenos Aires / In Creases = 1 performance

Wendy Whalen Farewell = 1 performance 

I don't mind all the repeats, with some exceptions: there was a period of time a few years ago when the company seemed bound and determined to end every single program with Symphony in Three Movements, as if they wanted to turn it into their version of the Ailey Company's Revelations (which does in fact close out about 95% of its performances). I don't mind the block programming, either, for that matter.  

Some ballets still seem to only get two or three performances a season, such as Liebeslieder or Tombeau de Couperin.

Edited by Kathleen O'Connell

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In the post-Balanchine era, with 2-3 different casts (often with several debuts) per ballet, it makes perfect sense to give each cast at least a few performances. 

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14 hours ago, Kathleen O'Connell said:

NYCB has been putting ballets "on repeat" for quite a few years now. As a way of checking my recollection, I pulled up the calendar for the Fall 2014 season, and here are the programs the company presented over the course of four weeks:

Morgen / This Bitter Earth / Funérailles / Clearing Dawn / Belles-Lettres = 5 performances

Serenade / Mozartiana / Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux / Tschaikovsky Suite No. 3 = 5 performances

Apollo / Monumentum pro Gesualdo / Movements for Piano and Orchestra /  Duo Concertante  = 5  performances

Donizetti Variations / La Sonnambula / Firebird = 4 performances

Chaconne / Interplay / After the Rain Pas de Deux / Everywhere We Go = 4 performances 

Square Dance / The Steadfast Tin Soldier / Le Tombeau de Couperin / The Concert = 3 performances

Funérailles / Clearing Dawn / Varied Trio (in four) / After the Rain Pas de Deux / Todo Buenos Aires / In Creases = 1 performance

Wendy Whalen Farewell = 1 performance 

I don't mind all the repeats, with some exceptions: there was a period of time a few years ago when the company seemed bound and determined to end every single program with Symphony in Three Movements, as if they wanted to turn it into their version of the Ailey Company's Revelations (which does in fact close out about 95% of its performances). I don't mind the block programming, either, for that matter.  

Some ballets still seem to only get two or three performances a season, such as Liebeslieder or Tombeau de Couperin.

Thanks!  It has obviously been "on repeat" longer than I realized.

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1 minute ago, NinaFan said:

Thanks!  It has obviously been "on repeat" longer than I realized.

I must admit that 2014 does seem like it was just yesterday! I think the trend of individual ballets being presented more often in any given season may be a at least partly a function of the company's embrace of block programming. 

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For those wondering where Lauren King in the first week casting, the SAB Instagram Stories just showed her auditioning students for the SAB summer course in Charlotte -- so she's out of town! 

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Week 2 Casting: https://www.nycballet.com/NYCB/media/NYCBMediaLibrary/PDFs/Press/Casting/NYCB-Casting_January-28-February-2-2020_lobby.pdf

Nadon gets another debut in Mearns' role in Bright, Phelan gets 3 debuts - Belles Lettres, Opus 19, and the new Ratmansky, Gerrity debuts in SVC- oddly, in shorter ballerina role. I think of Gerrity as a taller dancer so I'm a little surprised. Woodward is back for one performance. Still no sign of Hyltin or Kowroski.

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Trying to decide between the Wed 22nd casting and the Wed 29th, because any season Tiler & Tyler are doing Allegro Brillante I want to be there. 22nd is La Source/Bouder and Firebird/ Reichlin, while 29th is La Source/Fairchild and Firebird/Bouder. Any suggestions on which to choose? 

I'm also bemused by just how much Pereira is scheduled so far. Of course she's a good dancer, they all are, and I find her technically proficient, but onstage she never seems to give me that extra something I'm looking for and I don't find her musicality really zings. But perhaps she has other qualities that might make her appealing to an AD (maybe she learns steps lightning fast, is always superprepared, gets along with even the most difficult personalities, never injured, has powerful or rich sponsors who want her pushed - all kinds of things that don't reach across the footlights but matter to an AD.) I know these things are factors. I'm mourning the lack of casting this spring season for one of my favorite principal dancers over at ABT and the only thing I can rationalize is there there must be behind-the-scenes issues that I am not privy to. The dancer's performances are wonderful in both technique and artistry, and yet... 😞

 

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Bouder performed on the last couple of weeks of Nutcracker, so she should be back for Winter.

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I'm planning to be in the city for the day on February 7th, and I was (of course) thinking about picking up a ticket for NYCB that night.  The catch is that the performance is listed as starting at 8 pm and running 2 h and 5 min. But the last train back upstate leaves at 10:45 pm. I wouldn't want to leave early, as the new Ratmansky ballet is last on the program.

NYC people, your advice pleaseWould I be able to make it from the NYS Theater to Penn Station in time to catch the last train?

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14 minutes ago, FPF said:

I'm planning to be in the city for the day on February 7th, and I was (of course) thinking about picking up a ticket for NYCB that night.  The catch is that the performance is listed as starting at 8 pm and running 2 h and 5 min. But the last train back upstate leaves at 10:45 pm. I wouldn't want to leave early, as the new Ratmansky ballet is last on the program.

NYC people, your advice pleaseWould I be able to make it from the NYS Theater to Penn Station in time to catch the last train?

Assuming the 1 is running normally, the show isn’t unusually delayed and you’re comfortable walking fast if things get tight, I’d suggest going for it. You should be fine.

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The official start time is not 8pm.  Curtain used to be 7 minutes after the ticket time; I'm not sure what it is now.  You also need to leave time to get out of the building: an aisle seat where you can cut and run before the curtain calls, and, preferably with fewer flights of stairs is ideal.  Then time to get to the subway station -- happily, the Downtown 1 is on the theater side, and not across a complicated and long intersection -- and down the stairs and through the turnstiles and then from the subway to the part of Penn Station you need for your train.  It is important to plot that out ahead of time, if it isn't second nature, especially from the orientation of the direction you need to travel out.

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22 minutes ago, FPF said:

I'm planning to be in the city for the day on February 7th, and I was (of course) thinking about picking up a ticket for NYCB that night.  The catch is that the performance is listed as starting at 8 pm and running 2 h and 5 min. But the last train back upstate leaves at 10:45 pm. I wouldn't want to leave early, as the new Ratmansky ballet is last on the program.

NYC people, your advice pleaseWould I be able to make it from the NYS Theater to Penn Station in time to catch the last train?

This should not be a problem. You could also get a seat near the aisle to get out more quickly, but in any case, you should make it. 

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2 minutes ago, cobweb said:

This should not be a problem. You could also get a seat near the aisle to get out more quickly, but in any case, you should make it. 

If I wanted to be super speedy I’d get a seat on audience left in orchestra. Go straight out the side doors, avoiding the lobby altogether, then head back to the subway entrance a bit further north. Or if you go through the lobby, exit the main doors, take a sharp right, and then take the escalator that’s actually under the building overhang to get down toward the subway.

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5 minutes ago, nanushka said:

If I wanted to be super speedy I’d get a seat on audience left in orchestra. Go straight out the side doors, avoiding the lobby altogether, then head back to the subway entrance a bit further north. Or if you go through the lobby, exit the main doors, take a sharp right, and then take the escalator that’s actually under the building overhang to get down toward the subway.

Exactly. These are very speedy routes, and one out the orchestra left doors is especially unobstructed. You won't see many people going through these doors, but just be fearless and go on through the two sets of doors.

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23 minutes ago, Helene said:

The official start time is not 8pm.  Curtain used to be 7 minutes after the ticket time; I'm not sure what it is now.  You also need to leave time to get out of the building: an aisle seat where you can cut and run before the curtain calls, and, preferably with fewer flights of stairs is ideal.  Then time to get to the subway station -- happily, the Downtown 1 is on the theater side, and not across a complicated and long intersection -- and down the stairs and through the turnstiles and then from the subway to the part of Penn Station you need for your train.  It is important to plot that out ahead of time, if it isn't second nature, especially from the orientation of the direction you need to travel out.

 

22 minutes ago, cobweb said:

This should not be a problem. You could also get a seat near the aisle to get out more quickly, but in any case, you should make it. 

 

17 minutes ago, nanushka said:

If I wanted to be super speedy I’d get a seat on audience left in orchestra. Go straight out the side doors, avoiding the lobby altogether, then head back to the subway entrance a bit further north. Or if you go through the lobby, exit the main doors, take a sharp right, and then take the escalator that’s actually under the building overhang to get down toward the subway.

 

11 minutes ago, cobweb said:

Exactly. These are very speedy routes, and one out the orchestra left doors is especially unobstructed. You won't see many people going through these doors, but just be fearless and go on through the two sets of doors.

Thank you all for your responses. I'm actually a native NYer (although living upstate now) and pretty familiar with getting to the subway from the theater--I'm actually more likely to wander around trying to find the right track at Penn Station), but I keep hearing about how awful the subway has gotten and I've only tried to make the very last train after the ballet once before, and that was more than 10 years ago. My plan would be to leave as soon as the curtain goes down and rush to the subway.Am I remembering this incorrectly--I thought there was a passageway underneath the theater that you could use to get to the subway without really going outside? Or is there a faster route?

This is (I think) one of the art series performances and the orchestra is completely sold out. There are currently 2 seats in the First Ring, both of which are partial view (AA24 and AA49). There are a few more seats in the Second Ring, only a few of which look be full view, but they are about as far from the center as you can get without being marked as partial view (B38, C39, D36). There are a bunch more third ring seats including D2 and E2, which are on the aisle on what I think would be the right side (stage left). There are some more centrally located and left-sided seats, but they are either not on the aisle (although some are close) or are at the far end of the row (D35, E33).

Any advice? Or is this looking like too much of a long shot?

 

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12 minutes ago, FPF said:

...but I keep hearing about how awful the subway has gotten...

 

I've frequently taken the 1 south after performances at Lincoln Center and it's generally been pretty reliable, so long as it's running. It's occasionally not running (or not stopping everywhere), and when that's the case I take other routes. But that's only occasional. When it's running, it's typically reliable.

So you'd at least know earlier that evening if you need to skip the last performance (which I know you said you don't want to do) in order to make the train.

Edited by nanushka

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