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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Affects the Ballet World


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Owing to new lockdown measures in Austria, the Vienna State Opera is canceling performances as of November 3rd. That includes a planned livestream of Dmitri Tcherniakov's (infamous) production of Eugene Onegin. The theater promises the return of free streams from its video library during the lockdown.

Apparently, rehearsals will continue.

https://www.wiener-staatsoper.at/die-staatsoper/medien/detail/news/wiener-staatsoper-ab-dienstag-voruebergehend-geschlossen/

Edited by volcanohunter
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With a new lockdown in England scheduled to begin on Thursday, the Royal Opera House is closing again.

By my count, theaters are already shut or about to close in Spain, France, Belgium, the Netherlands (because only 30 spectators are allowed), Germany, Switzerland (because only 50 spectators are permitted), Italy, Austria, Slovenia, Czechia, Slovakia and Romania. 

Edited by volcanohunter
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In this situation, it is so weird but the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra will come to Japan to tour with more than 100 musicians and Valery Gergiev conducting, Denis Matsuev as the soloist. Apparently this is a very political matter because no other overseas guests have been able to enter without the 14 day quarantine period. The flight will be a special chartered one, and strict protocols would be followed for prevention but no quarantine period. The tour is not only in Tokyo but also in Osaka and Kyushu. 

https://www.suntory.com/culture-sports/suntoryhall/schedule/detail/20201109_M_3.html

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This seems very unfair. Tours by European ballet companies have been canceled because of quarantine regulations, and local productions have been postponed because foreign repetiteurs were not granted quarantine exemptions. Perhaps an orchestra can function as a self-contained bubble, but surely so could a visiting ballet company. I certainly understand your observation about politics, because Gergiev and Matsuev are as well-connected as classical musicians can be.

Edited by volcanohunter
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17 hours ago, naomikage said:

Apparently this is a very political matter because no other overseas guests have been able to enter without the 14 day quarantine period. The flight will be a special chartered one, and strict protocols would be followed for prevention but no quarantine period. The tour is not only in Tokyo but also in Osaka and Kyushu.

This kind of tour is arranged for well in advance, and often has government backing - it's good public relations after all. That's a rather large bubble to have to maintain though - will be interesting to hear how things work out.

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I expect that's true of most large tours. Today the Mahler Chamber Orchestra was forced to cancel a five-city tour of Japan, led by Mitsuko Uchida, no less, that was to have started at the end of the month, with performances at the same Suntory Hall. I think it's fair to wonder why the Vienna Philharmonic, Matsuev and Gergiev were granted an exemption.

Edited by volcanohunter
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National Ballet of Canada just cancelled the rest of their 2020-2021 season:

2020/21 Season Cancelled

Swan Lake Postponed to 2021/22

Although this news is not unexpected, it is with a heavy heart I announce that the remainder of the 2020/21 season has been cancelled. This difficult decision has been made due to the continued uncertainty around the COVID-19 pandemic and in recognition that a return to large gatherings in the near future is unlikely. The health and safety of our artists and audiences continues to be our foremost priority.

I am particularly disappointed that once again we must postpone the world premiere of my new production of Swan Lake, which will now be presented in the 2021/22 season, full details of which will be announced in the spring of 2021. We will return to the stage when it is safe to do so stronger than ever and until then, we will continue to share the artistry of our dancers virtually and, when possible, in socially distanced live performances.

The 2020/21 virtual season launched in September with Expansive Dances, a stunning triptych of dance films created by our Choreographic Associates Robert Binet, Guillaume Côté and Alysa Pires and acclaimed director Ben Shirinian.

Coming next is Spotlight Series, a digital reimagining of new and existing works, featuring world premieres of Trase Pa by Kevin A. Ormsby and Soul by Jera Wolfe, who both make their choreographic debuts with the company. Additional programming will be announced shortly.

The socially distanced performances of Mr. Binet’s The Dreamers Ever Leave You at Harbourfront Centre and open rehearsals of Mr. Ormsby’s Trase Pa at the Art Gallery of Ontario were postponed due to Toronto returning to modified Stage 2 restrictions. These events will be rescheduled when restrictions are lifted and it is safe to do so.

Together for Ballet

During this especially challenging time with the loss of performance revenues, the National Ballet needs support more than ever. Through the Together for Ballet campaign, donations will keep our artists active and healthy by maintaining their training; assist us in commissioning and performing new works in this changed environment; and help us share our work digitally with the community.

Donate >

This pandemic is the most serious crisis the performing arts has faced in my lifetime and I am deeply touched by the tremendous support shown to this company. All of us at the National Ballet are grateful for the continued commitment of our audience and donors. Thank you!

Sincerely,
Karen Kain signature
Karen Kain, C.C.
Artistic Director

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With so many companies cancelling their seasons im curious to know just how you think this will affect the tissue of some companies: do you think some companies might end up changed forever and if many dancers might end up seeking employment elsewhere? 

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As Japan is still going on with live performances with audiences, some of the dancers dancing overseas have left their companies and returned to Japan to seek performing opportunities. For instance, Tulsa Ballet’s principal Sena Hidaka and her partner Shuhei Yoshida has left and joined K Ballet Company in Japan. 

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On 11/7/2020 at 2:04 PM, Hogmel said:

With so many companies cancelling their seasons im curious to know just how you think this will affect the tissue of some companies: do you think some companies might end up changed forever and if many dancers might end up seeking employment elsewhere? 

I think that the big concern is that companies won't be able to continue paying the dancers so many of the dancers will move on to other careers. My worry is that when performances start up again that companies will not have a full roster of professional dancers.

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7 hours ago, YouOverThere said:

I think that the big concern is that companies won't be able to continue paying the dancers so many of the dancers will move on to other careers. My worry is that when performances start up again that companies will not have a full roster of professional dancers.

I think that's a very legitimate concern, but I hope many young dancers are using the time to pursue college degrees that qualify them for teaching or administrative work in the arts. Those are great career options when they retire, as they all do eventually at young ages. If they can also keep up dance training/classwork, they could return to performance for a few years, but face a brighter post-retirement future. Still, I think all the performing arts are in for major restructuring (as are some other industries, like restaurants and travel).

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On 10/22/2020 at 2:50 PM, California said:

Opera Colorado has just announced cancellation of the spring 2021 season. They perform in the same opera house as the Colorado Ballet, so I'm waiting for that shoe to drop.

 
 
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Important Announcement from Opera Colorado

 

 

 

The Colorado Symphony has just cancelled its entire season. Tick..Tick..Tick

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Colorado Ballet announces reconceived 2020-2021 season. This seemed inevitable. But I'm glad they'll have dancers back for some limited performing in their black box theater with digital transmission.

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seasonreimagined-playbutton.jpg

Colorado Ballet Reimagines Remaining Season

All mainstage performances will be rescheduled for future dates and alternative programming will complete the current season.

 

Dear Season Ticket Subscribers,

Colorado Ballet announces that we are currently reimagining the remainder of the 2020/2021 season. Given the ongoing restrictions and safety considerations surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, all remaining performances for the 2020/2021 season that were originally scheduled at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House with a live audience will not take place. However, we are delighted to announce that all productions including The Great Gatsby, The Wizard of Oz and Giselle will be rescheduled. With this postponement, all season tickets will be returned. Please see below for your ticketing options.   
  
In spite of the current situation that prevents us from gathering together to present and enjoy live mainstage productions, we remain committed to bringing world-class dance to our audiences.

We are thrilled to collaborate with Rocky Mountain PBS to bring The Nutcracker into your homes this holiday season in partnership with PNC Bank.

In January 2021, Colorado Ballet’s dancers will return to work and begin rehearsals for alternative, mixed-repertory programs that will be performed in February, March and April of 2021, featuring solos and pas de deux. Patrons will have the opportunity to view these intimate performances virtually via digital features online. Also, as health and safety guidelines allow, a limited number of patrons will be able to attend these performances in the Black Box Theater at Colorado Ballet’s Armstrong Center for Dance. Stay tuned as we approach 2021 for more information about how to view and experience these productions. 

We are excited about the new possibilities our current circumstances present and the opportunity for our dancers to work on and perform different types of repertoire. We will do everything possible to enable our dancers to continue to share their artistry with you.

 

Ticketing Options

Please visit our website and login to your account and select the “Request a Return” button below each performance that you have tickets for. You will be given four choices: request a refund, make a donation, receive an on-account credit or exchange your tickets for a gift certificate.

Questions?

If you have any questions or need further assistance, please contact our friendly Patron Services  Representatives at 303-837-8888 ext. 2. Please be aware that call-backs will likely take a bit longer than usual because our Patron Services Representatives are not in the office, but are checking messages remotely.    

 

 
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I wonder how much longer are companies going to be able to pay their dancers? Government loans and donations will only take you so far ... and the fall of 2021 is still a long way to go.

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It depends on the company.  Some factors would be whether they're able to monetize digital offerings, how much advance subscription revenue they first raised and then were able to keep without having to refund  it, endowments, and local government contributions, in kind and cash, as well as rent forgiveness from public and private landlords.

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In Moscow the mayor's office has mandated that theaters play to 25% capacity for the next two months. This has created a bit of a logistical nightmare, since up until now theaters had been selling about 50% of seats. (Frankly, the Bolshoi was pushing this a bit by placing one empty seat between each pair of ticketed seats.) As a result, the Bolshoi has annulled all tickets for shows between November 27 and December 31, and will start selling from scratch with a reduced number of tickets.

Hopefully, many of the tickets were bought online and will be refunded automatically. However, people had to stand in line to buy Nutcracker tickets, and if they paid in cash, they'll have to stand in line again, which sort of defeats the purpose of the new restrictions.

Edited by volcanohunter
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1 hour ago, volcanohunter said:

In Moscow the mayor's office has mandated that theaters play to 25% capacity for the next two months. This has created a bit of a logistical nightmare, since up until now theaters had been selling about 50% of seats. (Frankly, the Bolshoi was pushing this a bit by placing one empty seat between each pair of ticketed seats.) As a result, the Bolshoi has annulled all tickets for shows between November 27 and December 31, and will start selling from scratch with a reduced number of tickets.

Hopefully, many of the tickets were bought online and will be refunded automatically. However, people had to stand in line to buy Nutcracker tickets, and if they paid in cash, they'll have to stand in line again, which sort of defeats the purpose of the new restrictions.

Seems like the perfect opportunity to vaccinate all those people against Covid-19 with their vaunted Sputnik V vaccine - after all they're going to be  waiting in line anyway.

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In an interview with Twyla Tharp that was part of PNB's digital Rep 3 program, Peter Boal said that, typically, they'd raise 12m in revenue, and this year they are projecting 2m.

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