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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Affects the Ballet World


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Unsurprisingly, Giselle in Seattle is cancelled, along with all of the seminars and panels.  The full day symposium at Kane Hall at the University of Washington would have brought together an exciting group of people, and I hope that Doug Fullington is able to re-assemble them in some way in the future.

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This just hit my inbox from the NYPL:

Dear Friends of the Jerome Robbins Dance Division,

To help researchers and the dance community during this trying time, we have developed and are sharing with you a guide for electronic resources available to all. This guide brings together items available through NYPL such as our collection of e-books, databases, and Digital Collections Portal. It also includes free and open databases from the internet, streaming services to find recordings of performances or documentaries, as well as guides on how to face this pandemic and what resources are available to help. Just follow the link below to discover a great book, or find an inspiring performance to watch!
https://libguides.nypl.org/dance-division/remote-access

Please be safe and well. 

Jerome Robbins Dance Division

The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts
Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center
40 Lincoln Center Plaza, New York, NY 10023
212.870.1657 | x21657

Some of the resources listed on the webpage are only available to NYPL library card holders (e.g., some of the journal databases, the circulating ebook collection, etc.), but others are available to anyone with an internet connection. The page is actually pretty nicely organized. There is a row of tabs at the top to click on to access different categories of resources: 

Databases Through NYPL
Open Resources
E-Books
Digital Collections and Permissions
Streaming Dance
Self-Care

"Self-Care" includes online dance and yoga classes, so get those socially-distanced bodies moving, folks!

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On 3/21/2020 at 8:51 AM, California said:

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

The small Denver-based dance company Wonderbound posted on their Facebook page that they will also pay their dancers and staff.

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SFB has sent out a notice regarding the creation of a SF Ballet Critical Relief Fund "to support our dancers, musicians, students, and staff during this uncertain time".

https://www.sfballet.org/support-us/donate/

They have also posted today's company class (note that it takes a couple minutes for the dancers to join the stream and begin). Looks like not as many dancers are taking part in today's session, but these classes aren't mandatory as far as I know.  😉

https://www.facebook.com/sfballet/videos/507010980180001/

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Gia Kourlas has an article in the Times about dancers taking and offering ballet classes on Zoom, IG, YouTube, etc.

I'm surprised at the inclusion of so many photos taken (by visiting professional photographers, presumably) in people's homes at this time — though, as Unity Phelan notes, they are fun to see:

Quote

Unity Phelan, a soloist with City Ballet, said that one of the best parts of class is when everyone signs on, and you can hear snippets of voices. She also likes getting a glimpse of her colleagues’ apartments: “It’s like you get an MTV tour of their crib,” she said, and “to feel the community again is really fun.”

 

Edited by nanushka
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I want to move into Kyle Davis' (PNB) apartment where he and Sarah-Gabrielle Ryan did a short use-the-balcony-as-a-barre video.  It's so light and airy!

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When you've been stuck at home, and the dancers are making do in their own living spaces, it's a very humanizing experience. There's always a few humorous moments too and that gave me a lift on an otherwise bad day. Listening to pianist Mungunchimeg "Mongo" Buriad on the SFB live class was really relaxing, and she's a first-rate concert pianist (for performances of Shostakovich Trilogy, for example, she plays the Piano Concerto #1). The after class chatter was fun to observe too.

Ordinarily the dancer's private lives are less on display, but as these are "extraordinary" times, enjoy these visits while they last.

Edited by pherank
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Seattle Opera just canceled "La Boheme," which was scheduled for this May.  I don't know this production or whether it uses dancers in the Cafe Momus scene.

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The Times published an interactive chart today that allows you to plot various shelter-in-place / flattening the curve scenarios as an epidemiologist would. It looks as if a 60 day or even 90 day stay at home period would be most effective, especially in hard hit areas such as New York and Seattle. This of course would impact heavily on all arts events in those areas.

Deborah L. Birx in todays press conference (Thurs the 26th) described a more sophisticated way of measuring data and constructing these models than this one does, so it's a only rough sketch of what could happen.

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/03/25/opinion/coronavirus-trump-reopen-america.html?action=click&module=Top Stories&pgtype=Homepage

Unfortunately the present administration has not yet filled many important jobs to deal with the crisis (Times today: Unfilled jobs and high turnover mean the government is ill equipped for a public health crisis, said many former and current federal officials and disaster experts.) Lucky for us Dr. Birx and Dr. Fauci have been around to give the public sober and helpful answers.

Dr. Fauci was an important actor in the AIDS crisis. In the 1980s he listened to ACT UP Treatment & Data Committee members with their on the ground reports, their drug and dossage recommendations, and helped open up many early protocols for promising drugs. Previously these evaluations took up to nine years. Many of the fast track protocols established then helped future groups of patients get early access to promising treatments. 

 

Edited by Quiggin
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The Royal Opera House has just announced an expanded list of programming on-line, notably including The Winter's Tale on May 1.

https://www.roh.org.uk/news/the-royal-opera-house-launches-a-programme-of-free-online-content-for-the-culturally-curious-at-home?

This will include the following productions offered on demand and for free via the ROH’s Facebook and YouTube channels:

  • Peter and the Wolf, The Royal Ballet, 2010 – 27 March 2020, 7pm GMT

  • Acis and Galatea, The Royal Opera, 2009 – 3 April 2020, 7pm BST

  • Così fan tutte, The Royal Opera, 2010 – 10 April 2020, 7pm BST

  • The Metamorphosis, The Royal Ballet, 2013 – 17 April 2020, 7pm BST

  • Gloriana, The Royal Opera, 2013 – 24 April 2020, 7pm BST

  • The Winter’s Tale, The Royal Ballet, 2014 – 1 May 2020, 7pm BST

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Many dancers have been dealing with poor dance surfaces at home (naturally). One of the SFB supporters has been sending his version of a "Marley" surface to SFB dancers needing something decent to do (remote) class exercises on.

"...I’m cutting more now in my basement - the stuff on a roll is much less wrinkled! I saw some of the dancers struggling on their floors (Mathilde in stone, Kimberly on carpet) and thought there has to be something at Home Depot. A little googling led me to shower pan liner, the amateur theatrical company’s favorite bargain makeshift Marley."

Frances Chung now has hers:

 

Misa Kuranaga ironing out the wrinkles:

 

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I believe Diego Cruz of SFB and Ruben Martin Cintas (Washington Ballet, ex-SFB) have started a Worldwide Ballet Class. The class leaders are various well known Ballet Masters and dancers. Christopher Stowell (NBofC) is leading this class:
 

 

Apparently Sofiane Sylve led the Saturday, March 28 class (but alas, I missed it):
 

 

Edited by pherank
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8 hours ago, YouOverThere said:

Despite being given $25 million in the bailout program, the Kennedy Center is going to layoff the musicians in the National Symphony Orchestra.

Has anyone stated where the money will be used? Or is it all too little, too late?

Edited by pherank
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The next World Ballet Class:

Sunday, March 29th
2:30 pm EST (Washington Time)
11.30 am PST (San Francisco Time)
20.30 Central European Time (Paris, Berlin Time)
ZOOM ID Number 904-525-5655 💻📱

Live Streams (for non participants) and archived classes are available at the Zarely website:

https://www.zarely.co/pages/live-streams

I think they plan on doing this at least 5 days out of the week, for the time being.

EDIT: The Zarely YouTube page will probably be the best place to find archived class videos.

Edited by pherank
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47 minutes ago, pherank said:

Has anyone stated where the money will be used? Or is it all too little, too late?

The Kennedy Center director claims that they need $6 million a month to pay those members administrative staff who aren't being laid off and for office and warehouse rentals. This does NOT include the cost of maintaining the building because the building is owned and maintained by the government.

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This discussion covers a lot of range.  If anyone wants to dive deeper into any of the issues/discussions raised, please feel free to branch off, and I can try to "harvest" posts from her into the discussion.

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I just received word from the Wagner Society of Northern California that the Bayreuth Festival is cancelled this year, because they would need to start the production process tomorrow, which is, of course, out of the question.   i think that Jacob's Pillow is being realistic about their summer, oo.

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The Kennedy Center stated that about 90 percent of holders of tickets to cancelled performances have asked for a refund rather than donating the money. I'm guessing that other organizations are finding similar results,

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29 minutes ago, Helene said:

I just received word from the Wagner Society of Northern California that the Bayreuth Festival is cancelled this year, because they would need to start the production process tomorrow, which is, of course, out of the question.   i think that Jacob's Pillow is being realistic about their summer, oo.

Yep, the production process for tours and festivals often begins a year or two in advance - depending on how big (and complicated) the event is. It's understandable that the Japanese want to continue with an Olympics in Tokyo sometime in the next couple of years - the planning, budgeting and building began at least a decade ago.

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