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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Affects the Ballet World


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6 hours ago, Helene said:

A very tiny percentage of those who are unemployed.  If you put al performers who make a living from it together, they are still a tiny percentage of those who are unemployed.  That doesn't make it any less painful for performers, but their plight alone is not going to drive social policy.  The pressure is less from them than from audience.

Coincidentally, I ran into this posting by Tavi Gevinson concerning Arts and Culture contributions to the US economy (forward past the 1st image to see the stats)
 

 

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1 minute ago, pherank said:

Coincidentally, I ran into this posting by Tavi Gevinson concerning Arts and Culture contributions to the US economy (forward past the 1st image to see the stats)

Audience.

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United Kingdom

“Indoor live performances will be able to resume from August 1 with a socially distanced audience, the government has said.”

 

https://www.thestage.co.uk/news/indoor-live-performance-to-resume-from-august-1

(thanks to Jan McNulty at BalletcoForum)

The United Kingdom seems to be the most assertively determined nation, in relation to reviving the arts, that my  limited viewing has noticed. I wish it much success.

My daughter who follows all this very closely is convinced that the use of face masks is the key to getting on top of it.

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16 hours ago, Buddy said:

My daughter who follows all this very closely is convinced that the use of face masks is the key to getting on top of it.

I think she's right.  As an asthmatic I once had to seek emergency treatment in Spain after catching a mere cold, as a consequence I'm obsessive about hand washing but it's never prevented me from catching things.  If someone coughs or sneezes close to you, particularly if they don't put a hand in front their face, you will catch all manner of things.  Masks are definitely the way to go.

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Face masks are part of the social contract in Japan and have been long before COVID-19.   People who are even mildly symptomatic wear masks to protect the people around them.

Championships can start with (open) practices between 6-7am and last through medal ceremonies ending near 11pm.  They run from Wednesday through Saturday night or Sunday afternoon, often with practices the day before -- and when they had qualification rounds, practices started on Sunday with the competition Monday morning, plus there's always the gala on Sunday.  And fans from Japan wear masks for the duration.

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22 hours ago, Buddy said:

The United Kingdom seems to be the most assertively determined nation, in relation to reviving the arts, that my  limited viewing has noticed. I wish it much success.

There had been news of many job losses in the theatre world in UK these couple of days in spite of the government emergency packages,  Such as The Royal Opera House laying off all their entire casual staff (including stage technicians and wardrobe staff) Such a sad situation.

https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2020/jul/17/royal-opera-house-lays-off-entire-team-casual-staff-coronavirus

Quote

The Royal Opera House has cut its entire team of casual staff, as pressure mounts for the UK government’s emergency arts fund to be quickly rolled out after an estimated 3,000 job losses in the sector.

 

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2 hours ago, maps said:

The Mariinsky has a matinee and evening gala on Sunday 7/19/20.  I saw various dancers had posted rehearsal pictures on Instagram.   https://www.mariinsky.ru/en/playbill/playbill/2020/7/19/2_1400/

Thanks, Maps. 

I've posted performances and casts through February at “Companies/Organizations with Specific Plans for Reopening”. The Mariinsky II and the much smaller Concert Hall are being used for July with seating being every other seat.

https://balletalert.invisionzone.com/topic/45700-companiesorganizations-with-specific-plans-for-reopening/?tab=comments#comment-428530

 

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London gives it a go.

" 'We are not a risk': London Palladium hosts an audience for live performance safety trial "

“Beverley Knight – who Lloyd Webber thanked for being brave – then performed an hour-plus set, the first time anyone has performed on a London stage to a live audience since March.”

https://www.standard.co.uk/go/london/theatre/london-palladium-safety-trials-andrew-lloyd-webber-beverley-knight-a4506961.html

(thanks to Ian Macmillan at BalletcoForum)

 

 

 

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"There’s No Social Distancing for Dancers. How Can the Show Go On?"

The New York Times

"They talk about testing. Daily testing....Apart from a vaccine, daily testing — from home, before leaving for the studio — seems like the only feasible solution for safe rehearsal. Even though paper-strip tests are less sensitive than nasal swab tests, their speed and ease would be a game changer.

"But before any consistent testing happens — and how long will that be? — there is an opportunity for dance to morph into something else as it finds a life off the stage."

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/24/arts/dance/safety-protocols-dance-coronavirus.html

 

“Miami City Ballet is transforming an empty Lincoln Road store into a pop-up theater”

https://www.timeout.com/miami/news/miami-city-ballet-is-transforming-an-empty-lincoln-road-store-into-a-pop-up-theater-072420

 

(Thanks to Ian Macmillan at BalletcoForum for these)

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From the United Kingdom….

“….the Prime Minister announced that indoor shows for socially distanced live audiences are allowed from August.”

“We [Birmingham Royal Ballet] have created a 'safe back to work' plan for the dancers based on the process tested by professional sports.”

This is from an announcement sent out by the Birmingham Royal Ballet.

(Thanks to Alison at BalletcoForum)

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On 7/25/2020 at 5:42 PM, Buddy said:

"They talk about testing. Daily testing....Apart from a vaccine, daily testing — from home, before leaving for the studio — seems like the only feasible solution for safe rehearsal. Even though paper-strip tests are less sensitive than nasal swab tests, their speed and ease would be a game changer."

A  group in Israel has developed a breathalyzer test that gives results in about half a minute, and they're hoping to have it mass produced in India. However, they're only claiming "better than 90 percent accuracy", which might not be accurate enough for people who work very close together.

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2 hours ago, YouOverThere said:

A  group in Israel has developed a breathalyzer test that gives results in about half a minute, and they're hoping to have it mass produced in India. However, they're only claiming "better than 90 percent accuracy", which might not be accurate enough for people who work very close together.

There's no 100% effective in our world. Compare that statistic with this one:

"But it’s another Chinese vaccine that’s more interesting … in an “almost certainly less effective” way...While Phase 1/2 trial results on Moderna, Pfizer, and Oxford vaccines showed over 90% of people developing high levels of neutralizing antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 proteins, with CanSino that number was just 59%. Meaning that almost half the people might not be getting any real immunity from the vaccine. The overall level of antibody production also appears to be significantly lower than that seen with other leading vaccines." --Mark Sumner, Daily Kos

[CanSino is being developed in conjunction with China’s Central Military Commission, which has already approved the vaccine for use in the armed forces]

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Here are some excerpts from an article (in russian, Google translation) in Tass about how the Mariinsky reopening is happening.

“The theater was empty, because only the soloists were rehearsing. At first there were two people in the hall, it was a condition of the Federal Service for Supervision of Consumer Rights Protection and Human Welfare. Then they began to add one more person to the class, and three artists, a teacher and a pianist met in the hall, "says the prima ballerina of the Mariinsky Theater, People's Artist of Russia Viktoria Tereshkina." We come to the theater - they take our temperature, after each lesson in the hall is disinfected, the floors, machines are washed, disinfected with an ultraviolet lamp, only then you can enter the hall and rehearse. "

The announcement of the first concert after the quarantine, even a few weeks after returning to rehearsals, came as a surprise to the artists.

"We didn’t believe in it until the last. It was so amazing to go on stage, and to be honest, there was little time for preparation. It's one thing to do a lesson and quite another to rehearse and dance (on stage - TASS comment). But we survived. this is a test, and now such a practice has developed, in principle, very convenient for us: every weekend we go on stage, "Tereshkina said.

Everyone's [audience] temperature is measured and the presence of protective equipment is checked. If the mask was not with you, it will be given out at the entrance.

There are no intermissions yet.

The auditorium has an unusually large number of empty seats: everyone sits in a checkerboard pattern - from the stalls to the upper tier. You cannot change, and the attendants are closely watching this. In general, according to employees, the audience is quite responsible about visiting the theater in the new conditions and trying to maintain discipline.

The performances themselves are not going on as before. The distance is kept not only by the audience, but also, for example, by musicians, therefore the orchestra is presented in a reduced composition. It is the same on stage: in some mise-en-scènes that involve a large number of artists involved, their number is now also smaller.

https://tass.ru/kultura/9043453

(Thanks to Elena C at Balletfriends)

To translate you can use this.

https://translate.google.com

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30 minutes ago, Buddy said:

The auditorium has an unusually large number of empty seats: everyone sits in a checkerboard pattern - from the stalls to the upper tier. You cannot change, and the attendants are closely watching this. In general, according to employees, the audience is quite responsible about visiting the theater in the new conditions and trying to maintain discipline.

The arrangements make sense from an healthcare point of view, but this would certainly make for an even greater revenue loss for North American companies to discontinue intermission periods. Not to mention no restroom break.  ;)
I wonder if the performance times are shorter too?

Temperature checks are a very imperfect means of virus control, so it's good that everyone on the premises is being forced to wear a mask.

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21 minutes ago, pherank said:

Not to mention no restroom break.  😉

In deference to Wagner's intentions and in defiance of human biology, The Metropolitan Opera stages Die Fliegende Hollander and Das Rheingold without intermissions. (The operas are each about two-and-one-half hours long.) Lots of critics and scholars have tried to justify this on the theory that the resulting continuity from beginning to end is a better musical and theatrical experience. Of course, it's a pretty lousy musical and theatrical experience when one's bladder or one's back—or both—are clamoring for your immediate attention RIGHT NOW barely two-thirds of the way through, and this has apparently never occurred to the opera powers that be.

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2 hours ago, pherank said:

The arrangements make sense from an healthcare point of view, but this would certainly make for an even greater revenue loss for North American companies to discontinue intermission periods. Not to mention no restroom break.  😉
I wonder if the performance times are shorter too?

Temperature checks are a very imperfect means of virus control, so it's good that everyone on the premises is being forced to wear a mask.

This was a typical Mariinsky “gala” performance, Pherank. You can judge what the length might be. I would say one and a half to two hours, but all the ‘Stars’ are there.

PROGRAMME:  July 11

I. Pas de deux from Act III of the ballet The Sleeping Beauty

Performed by Maria Khoreva and Vladimir Shklyarov

II. Highlight from the ballet Carmen-Suite

Performed by Ekaterina Kondaurova and Yevgeny Ivanchenko

III. Pas de deux from Act II of the ballet Giselle

Performed by Olesya Novikova and Philipp Stepin

IV. Adagio from the scene The Dream from Act I of the ballet Raymonda

Performed by Alina Somova and Xander Parish

V. Duet from the ballet Le Parc

Performed by Nadezhda Batoeva and Konstantin Zverev

VI. The Dying Swan

Performed by Anastasia Matvienko

VII. Pas de deux from Act III of the ballet Don Quixote

Performed by Viktoria Tereshkina and Kimin Kim

 

The last ballet for the season, August 5, will be the first regular one, La Sylphide, which runs 1 hour 40 minutes with one interval. I don’t recall it requiring a large corps de ballet.

The article also states that the audience is very cooperative about keeping assigned seats. It’s common practice at the Mariinsky for folks with less expensive seats to try to move up to better ones, so this is good to hear.

Also the article describes extensive surface cleaning for the first training classes anyway. The importance of this has been lowered in my reading from face to face contact, but it’s probably better to do more of something than less.

 

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It's summer, so outdoors seems like a logical way to go. Here's some excerpts from --  'Companies Are Rethinking Live Performance—and Coming Up With Many Creative Solutions'

We all know it's safer to be outside and socially distanced, but that doesn't mean we are confined to an outdoor stage with chairs placed six feet apart.

EPISODE #1: REVERBERATION, choreographed by Scott, for an audience of bicyclists and pedestrians, sprawled out over three blocks on a balmy June 13 Florida morning with 24 dancers spaced 20 feet apart on the shaded sidewalks of an artsy St. Petersburg neighborhood.

Subsequent pop ups will take place in urban and park settings that provide a safe environment for audiences and performers. Wevers is being especially diligent on taking temperatures, asking questions and even researching a more breathable mask for dancing.

Now for the tricky part: to keep the performers safe. "Climbing all over each other is our physical language, so we can't really do what we do," she says. "The challenge is to maintain our language in a safe way.

https://www.dancemagazine.com/live-dance-performances-during-covid-2646226290.html?rebelltitem=8#rebelltitem8

(Thanks to Jan McNulty at BalletcoForum)

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On 3/12/2020 at 1:18 PM, abatt said:

I really wanted to see Lisette Oropessa in Traviata but the remaining  performances this season  are cancelled.  Fortunately she will return next season for a few Traviata performances.

:offtopic: Oropesa singing "Addio del passato" in Madrid earlier this week. And then singing it again by popular demand.

 

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thanks for posting the Oropesa clip.  I don't think I've ever seen anyone do an encore of that aria.

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More entertaining information about 'the way it was' -

The Mask Slackers of 1918
As the influenza pandemic swept across the United States in 1918 and 1919, masks took a role in political and cultural wars.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/03/us/mask-protests-1918.html
 

Arrested on Kearny Street in January, Mr. Cocciniglia told the judge that he “was not disposed to do anything not in harmony with his feelings,” according to a Los Angeles Times report.

He was sentenced to five days in jail.

“That suits me,” Mr. Cocciniglia said as he left the stand. “I won’t have to wear a mask there.”

 

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2 hours ago, balletforme said:

It strikes me as odd that with all the medical advances that we have we are still mostly relying on strategies that were used over 100 years ago. 

The physical properties of particles haven’t changed much in those 100 years, apparently. Masks seem to still work pretty well.

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