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Helene

War Memorial Closed for the Next Two Weeks through March 20, 2020

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According to this article, War Memorial and all Performing Arts Center venues will be closed through March 20, due to concerns about the spread of COVID-19.

 

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22 minutes ago, Helene said:

According to this article, War Memorial and all Performing Arts Center venues will be closed through March 20, due to concerns about the spread of COVID-19.

Thanks Helene. Now I have to worry about my next trip to SF (will this closing period be extended?).   ;)

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Here's the sad message from SFB:

UPDATE 3/6/2020: AN IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM SAN FRANCISCO BALLET 

Early Friday evening, March 6, 2020, San Francisco Ballet received a communication from the War Memorial Performing Arts Center with the following statement: 

“By order of Mayor London N. Breed, to prevent the spread of COVID-19, all public performances, events, and gatherings at the San Francisco War Memorial & Performing Arts Center are hereby canceled from Saturday, 3/7/20, through Friday, 3/20/20.”  

Therefore, it is with deep regret that we inform you that in compliance with Mayor Breed’s order, all performances of San Francisco Ballet’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream from Saturday, March 7 through Sunday, March 15 will not be taking place 

TICKET HOLDERS 

A situation of this magnitude is unprecedented for our organization and we are working to be as responsive as possible in real-time. We assure you that we will follow up with a detailed communication early the week of March 9th, which will outline appropriate options and next steps for you as a ticket holder.  

OTHER SF BALLET EVENTS & ACTIVITIES 

At this time, all other San Francisco Ballet and San Francisco Ballet School events and activities not taking place at the War Memorial Opera House are scheduled to proceed as planned. Any changes will be posted to our website or sent to you directly by email 

It remains San Francisco Ballet’s priority to ensure the health and safety of our patrons, artists, students, and staff. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we sort out the many implications we are faced with in this situation.  

https://www.sfballet.org/a-message-regarding-the-covid-19-virus/

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This has happened so fast. I almost went tonight but thought tomorrow afternoon would be better, less crowded, I could walk. But it's the dancers who've prepared so long for this who are the most affected. The mysterious world of Balanchine's Shakespeare ballet is one that we'll all have to wait to visit when this program is repeated – this summer? next year?

Lots of other things in SF are being cancelled, even outdoor events. According to the Director of Public Health in an earlier story in the Examiner –

Quote

Colfax said that taking these measures now is the best course of action.

“If we wait to take stronger action until we have multiple confirmed cases and deaths, the window of opportunity we have now will have closed,” he said.

https://www.sfexaminer.com/news/sf-officials-urge-residents-to-limit-outings-avoid-large-gatherings/

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Posted (edited)
50 minutes ago, Quiggin said:

This has happened so fast. I almost went tonight but thought tomorrow afternoon would be better, less crowded, I could walk. But it's the dancers who've prepared so long for this who are the most affected. The mysterious world of Balanchine's Shakespeare ballet is one that we'll all have to wait to visit when this program is repeated – this summer? next year?

Yes it's really a sad thing to happen - it's got to be crushing for all the dancers expecting to dance lead roles. And the revenue losses will likely be huge. Not the kind of thing a ballet company needs. Time to schedule a week-long tour at Kennedy Center, or in NYC for Midsummer Night's Dream.

Edited by pherank

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Posted (edited)

I found out about the closure during the intermission.  I was working the pop-up table when my fellow volunteer said 'so I guess tonight's performance is the opening and closing one' and said 'WHAT??!?!?'  - then she showed me a text from her friend with a link to the announcement on https://sfwarmemorial.org/notices/. My heart really goes out to the dancers who worked so hard to bring this performance to life.  It was a wonderful performance (I will post more in the Midsummer Night's thread) and I was really looking forward to more.  I hope that Midsummer will be part of next season. This also wipes out the SF Symphony performances I was going to next Friday....  Plus - it had made me rethink my Seattle trip....

Edited by sf_herminator

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Posted (edited)

Tonight I was just about to finalize my checkout of a flight down on April 5th to see Program 6.  I flipped to the SFB website to confirm the date of my show, and saw the announcement and decided to hold off for now.

It’s a pretty extreme measure.  Our Comic Com convention has been delayed to summer but that was the event organizer’s decision.  Seattle’s mayor has made no such announcements, and we have more cases and deaths in this area thus far.

P.S. Seattle Opera is continuing it’s run of Yardbird, through March 7, but is working with those who should not or plain don’t want to attend.

Edited by seattle_dancer

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Posted (edited)

I am just gutted.  Had tickets for 4 perfs and was so looking forward to seeing this finally on stage, but as a member of an 'at risk' group (crochety old ladies), I certainly can't complain about more aggressive measures being taken.  How this situation plays out in the end (cancelled performances/gatherins at various venues, lost revenues, unhappy customers...) will be interesting in a grim sort of way.  Agree that it's the dancers who are the most affected after putting so much time and effort into preparing.  The effects go beyond the WMOH, of course.  I cancelled both hotel and lunch reservations for today, and likely many others will do the same.  

 

Edited by PeggyR

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Zellerbach (across the Bay in Berkeley) is open with Joffrey this weekend, the Trocks next week, and Alvin Ailey at the end of March.  There’s a notice on the web site that they are monitoring the situation, so things could change.  I have a ticket for Pina Bausch in late April, so hoping things will have stabilized by then.  

 Quite aside from all the other difficult aspects of this situation, this uncertainty must be awful for performers.

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Not to make light of this terrible situation, but it would be nice if SFB still presented the shows to an empty house, like how European sports events are still being played.  At least all the performers would feel like they had their stage time.  It's so awful this happened right when Midsummer opened.  PNB presents it about every three years, but I know you SF locals have been waiting decades.  Hopefully it works out SFB can keep the set and costumes longer.  So far Midsummer has not been announced for PNB's '20-'21 season, but they have only announced part of the season so far (Maillot's R&J, world premieres by Jessica Lang and Alejandro Cerrudo).  Midsummer was last season, so I suspect it will be another couple years before it returns.

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Many of the sports events are televised or streamed.  If the dancers were playing to an empty house, which they might not even do for dress rehearsal, it should be streamed.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, seattle_dancer said:

Not to make light of this terrible situation, but it would be nice if SFB still presented the shows to an empty house, like how European sports events are still being played.  At least all the performers would feel like they had their stage time.  It's so awful this happened right when Midsummer opened.  PNB presents it about every three years, but I know you SF locals have been waiting decades.  Hopefully it works out SFB can keep the set and costumes longer.  So far Midsummer has not been announced for PNB's '20-'21 season, but they have only announced part of the season so far (Maillot's R&J, world premieres by Jessica Lang and Alejandro Cerrudo).  Midsummer was last season, so I suspect it will be another couple years before it returns.

Midsummer would likely be returning next year anyway given all the work that goes into arranging for its return.

2 hours ago, Helene said:

Many of the sports events are televised or streamed.  If the dancers were playing to an empty house, which they might not even do for dress rehearsal, it should be streamed.

Exactly - FILM THE PERFORMANCE!
And while you're at it, SFB, use a simple camera positioning that takes in the entire stage, as well as a couple closeup cameras to zoom in on the principal dancers as needed. This doesn't require any fancy visual effects that aren't already part of the stage production. Sell broadcasting rights to Medici.tv and that sort of platform. SFB could and should allow the audience to use pay-per-view to watch SFB streaming of dance productions online. This company needs to stop thinking that the only way to present their art form is by getting people to come to SF and sit in an opera house. Film 3 or 4 programs in a season and allow people to view them on Amazon Prime, say, for a reasonable price. That's how the company can continue to make money on performances, and the participating dancers and orchestra can be seen and heard by the world for years to come. (And that "coincidentally" deals with the SFB social media blackout in a positive fashion.) SFB already has to negotiate all this copyright stuff for performances - might as well take it a step further and get it in writing regarding online and TV broadcasts, because that's the future for any "big" company.

Edited by pherank

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