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The Traveling Ballerina

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Affects the Ballet World

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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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7 minutes ago, ABT Fan said:

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.

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. 

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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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It’s a terrible situation for everyone, and mistakes are understandable as I’m sure everyone one is under a colossal amount of stress. But you don’t put out press releases without giving a heads up to involved parties. I’m hoping that ABT will put out some kind of season, at any rate. They certainly seem to be the most vulnerable of the affected companies.

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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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Not ballet related, Canada and Australia will not participate in 2020 Tokyo Olympic if it's not postponed.

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Philharmonic has cancelled through June 13, so I don’t think there’s hope for NYCB and ABT, especially given Cuomo’s apparent resolve to keep things shut down for several months. I’m not sure Mostly Mozart will even happen. 

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I love the Olympics - puts me in a good mood for weeks. Now one more thing to not be able to look forward to.
 

 

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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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Stay at home humor from you know who:

 

 

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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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Perhaps a moderator could sticky somewhere a list of crisis funds to donate to and links?

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Posted (edited)

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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Posted (edited)

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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The extended version of Kitri and Basilio (Masha and Daniil) on FaceTime:

 

 

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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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Posted (edited)

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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Posted (edited)

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

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