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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Affects the Ballet World


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13 minutes ago, California said:

The Kennedy Center is cancelling all performances through May 10, extending its earlier cancellations through March 31.

https://www.playbill.com/article/kennedy-center-extends-closure-more-washington-dc-theatre-organizations-cancel-performances

We'll have to keep our fingers crossed that this is the last extension, since it would still allow the Scottish Ballet to perform.

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I just looked past the first few entries on the Staatsoper unter den Linden streams over the next couple of weeks, and they are including ballet streams:

03/22/2020 »The Nutcracker«       
MUSICAL DIRECTOR Daniel Barenboim
Staatsballett Berlin, Staatskapelle Berlin

 

24.03.2020 »Swan Lake«       
MUSICAL DIRECTOR Daniel Barenboim
Staatsballett Berlin, Staatskapelle Berlin

 

03/31/2020 »The Nutcracker«       
MUSICAL DIRECTOR Daniel Barenboim
Staatsballett Berlin, Staatskapelle Berlin (repeat)

 

Promenade Choir .2020 "Swan Lake"       
MUSICAL DIRECTOR Daniel Barenboim
Staatsballett Berlin, Staatskapelle Berlin -- no date on the website, but it's between April 1-3, so probably April 2

 

https://www.staatsoper-berlin.de/de/staatsoper/news/unser-taegliches-video-on-demand-programm-kostenlos-fuer-sie.142/

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21 hours ago, mussel said:

The Mariinsky is closed thru the end of month, at least for now. Mikhailovsky is the last one standing.

Now that St. Petersburg has banned gatherings of more than 50 people, the Mikhailovsky is also closed until May.

There are, of course, opera houses in other cities. For example, in Perm and Samara they closed only today, after a directive from the Ministry of Culture. As recently as yesterday, the opera house in Novosibirsk insisted that shows, including a tour by the Bolshoi at the beginning of April, would continue. But today it announced its closure until May in compliance with the order.

The Australian Ballet also canceled its performances after the government limited crowd size to 500 until mid June.

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While I was making lunch, someone from Meany Hall, which is the venue for the University of Washington arts series and performances, to thank me for donating my ticket back and expressing hope that I'd be (able to be) back for another performance soon.

While their dance series isn't ballet-specific, the graduate students present shows at Meany, and very often include ballet works on their programs, as well as new choreography and historical modern dance works.  

I know that many box offices are swamped and barely keeping their heads above water, I got a warm and fuzzy from this message.

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On 3/16/2020 at 3:26 PM, abatt said:

The Fleming Hvorostovsky Onegin is a gem.  It's the only opera performance  that has ever brought tears to my eyes. 

I loved it too and the set design was great. The Netrebko Hvorostovsky Trovatore is magnificent.  I've seen it 3 times.

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Here’s something that might be somewhat hopeful news.

New York Times

“■ For the first time since the crisis began, China today reported no new local infections for the previous 24 hours. Experts have said at least 14 straight days without new infections are needed for the outbreak to be considered over.”

 

“China Hits a Coronavirus Milestone: No New Local Infections”

“In cities such as Beijing and Shanghai, restaurants and shops are reopening.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/18/world/asia/china-coronavirus-zero-infections.html?"te=1&nl=morning-briefing&emc=edit_NN_p_20200319&section=topNews&campaign_id=9&instance_id=16894&segment_id=22376&user_id=771dec6c17fa570d3622c6dc4c746eed&regi_id=44177886tion=topNews

 

Added:

I arrived back home in California yesterday from Moscow after a very good flight on Aeroflot which arrived about an hour early.

Edited by Buddy
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37 minutes ago, Leah said:

Well, the Met has laid off its orchestra and chorus. To be expected, hopefully this is temporary.

ETA: this would allow them to apply for unemployment so it’s  probably a deal with the union.

This suggests that the cancellation of operas will extend beyond Mar 31, although I'm not aware of any formal announcement yet. 

Carnegie Hall has officially cancelled all shows through May 10. That comports with the CDC's rec. that all gatherings of 50+ should be suspended for 8 weeks.

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It is helpful that most of them can apply for unemployment. Foreign dancers and young dancers who have only recently become employed are not eligible and are struggling right now. James Whiteside and Isabella Boylston are streaming ballet classes and including a link for voluntary donations to the Dancer’s Emergency Fund. 

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To add to the best-case scenario, maybe NYCB could push their spring season into June or even July. According to the Koch website, there are no shows happening there between June 1 and June 19, or after June 28.

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5 minutes ago, JuliaJ said:

To add to the best-case scenario, maybe NYCB could push their spring season into June or even July. According to the Koch website, there are no shows happening there between June 1 and June 19, or after June 28.

We need to keep in mind, though, that NYCB would be severely limited in the coming months in terms of what sorts of classes and rehearsals they'll be able to hold. Even if the CDC guidelines reach their currently projected end point, there's still going to be the need for a lot of further catch-up before a season could be presented.

I have strong doubts that a spring season will be possible for either NYCB or ABT this year.

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I've been watching a lot of the free streams from the Met and Europe.  Before the Wiener Staatsoper Die Walkure, they had a segment on the Vienna Opera, and there was a small segment with Manuel Legris, and how his goal was to take a bunch of great dancers from all over the world and get them to unify their dancing.

There have been a lot of short backstage segments and profiles of individual orchestra members, along with the glimpse of a fancy buffet for patrons.  A reminder that a very short while ago, we took the ability to practice, work, and eat in groups without thinking about it.

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Vail Dance Festival still hopes it happens, but they just announced a new policy on tickets refunds. (Single ticket sales opened recently and I wonder if they're worried about lack of sales at this juncture.)

 
62edabdc-e650-44e4-b8d2-08deb4a031f8.png

Dear Vail Dance Festival Patrons,

The Board of Directors and staff of the Vail Valley Foundation place the health and wellbeing of our employees and their families, our supporters, our guests and the people we serve as our highest priority. In light of current news relating to the spread of COVID-19, we understand that many of you may be wondering about the status of our summer 2020 Vail Dance Festival, and carefully considering your future planning. We hope each of you are safe and healthy.
 
At this time, we believe it is still too early to cancel or postpone our beloved Vail Dance Festival, but we are closely following the updates from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and the Colorado State and Eagle County Health Departments, to stay on top of any new developments.
 
Historically, our ticket policy has not allowed for refunds or exchanges, but we wanted to inform you today of a revision to this policy. For our summer 2020 Vail Dance Festival, in the case of a cancellation or postponement of the Festival that prohibits your ability to attend, we will provide either a full refund or a ticket credit for a future Vail Dance Festival performance. If there are no changes to the current 2020 Vail Dance Festival schedule, yet you feel uncomfortable attending due to COVID-19, we will be happy to extend a ticket credit towards a future Vail Dance Festival performance in summer 2021. We hope this creates some peace of mind for all of our valued patrons. In the event of a cancellation, postponement, or an inability to attend due to COVID-19, we of course would be grateful if you elected to allow the Vail Dance Festival to retain your ticket revenue as a fully tax-deductible donation.

We cannot thank you enough for your continued support of the Vail Dance Festival. We are prepared to navigate through these challenging circumstances with you, and with your health and safety at the forefront of everything we do.

Now more than ever, we can all benefit from the power, beauty, creative energy and sense of community, that is inspired by the performing arts, and projects like the Vail Dance Festival. We look forward to celebrating with each of you this summer as we welcome the greatest dancers, musicians, and choreographers in the world back to Vail.
 
Please visit vaildance.org for the most up-to-date information, to view the full schedule and to purchase tickets. Thank you and we look forward to seeing you this summer.

 

Best,
Sarah Johnson
Senior Vice President, Education and the Arts, Vail Valley Foundation
e performances from the Vail Dance Festival. Tune in to Facebook on Friday to watch!
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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3 minutes ago, Leah said:

Lincoln Center just sent an email saying that all performances are cancelled through May 17. Dumb question, would this include the two ballet companies/everyone on campus? The email only cites special events and the Great Performers series.

I was wondering the exact same thing.

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48 minutes ago, Leah said:

ABT apparently updated its Coronavirus page at 4:30pm today and it still says the season will start May 11. 

They may have been caught off guard by this fast changing situation or are trying to figure out Plan E. I highly doubt at this point they’ll open May 11. Maybe they’ll do a reduced season. But, obviously if the dancers can’t rehearse soon enough that won’t happen either. And, taking class in their kitchens won’t keep them in performance shape. It’s an awful situation all around, for everyone.

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28 minutes ago, Leah said:

They updated again at 5, still no change. They were probably as you say caught off guard. NYCB has made no changes either. There’s been an overall failure of communication in this crisis - yesterday, when the Met cancelled their season the person at the box office I called had absolutely no idea.

I've been inclined to cut them (i.e. performing arts institutions) a good deal of slack, given the severity of the circumstances and how much has changed in just the past two weeks. And in any case, the question of performances weeks or months off doesn't seem particularly pressing right now. If it takes an extra day or two for clear messages to get here or there — well, it doesn't feel like there's really any rush.

Likely, NYCB and ABT are waiting to figure out what they're going to say before they post a statement, and that understandably takes some time. Whether their websites get the updated information at 4pm or 6pm or tomorrow or next Tuesday, it doesn't seem very urgent. I know I'll still be right where I am, unfortunately.

I think there's almost certainly going to be no NYCB spring season of any sort, and quite likely no ABT spring season of any sort either. Logistically, in many ways, it just doesn't seem feasible.

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25 minutes ago, Leah said:

They updated again at 5, still no change. They were probably as you say caught off guard. NYCB has made no changes either. There’s been an overall failure of communication in this crisis - yesterday, when the Met cancelled their season the person at the box office I called had absolutely no idea.

Many of the dancers are not even in New York at the moment. I don’t see how they could even get to NYC for rehearsals. 

I’m trying to cut them some slack. The government and CDC updates are coming fast and furious leaving businesses little time to figure things out. I’m sure everyone is more than aware that if they had to cancel the Met season it would be catastrophic financially and artistically for the company, especially after canceling all of their tours, so no doubt they’d want to do whatever they can to save it or at least a portion of it. And, no final farewell performance for Abrera? I’m trying not to go there yet.
 

As of right this second, flights are still happening, not to say flying is the wise thing to do. I have a friend who is a flight attendant and as of yesterday flights were about half full. I thought it would have been a lot less. 

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One bright spot in the midst of this global catastrophe: Colorado Ballet has decided to pay its dancers and artistic staff through the end of their contracts, even though the final program of the season was cancelled.

Colorado Ballet's board and leadership recognized the financial impact this would have on the various artists of Colorado Ballet and unanimously decided to pay all Company and Studio Company dancers, ballet mistresses and the Colorado Ballet Orchestra through the remainder of their original contracts, which would have concluded on April 12, 2020.

https://www.broadwayworld.com/denver/article/Colorado-Ballet-to-Pay-Dancers-Through-Season-Contract-20200320

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