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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Affects the Ballet World


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2 hours ago, Helene said:

Their mom moved to Moscow, like a lot of ballet and figure skating mothers do in order to get the training they want. (They have two older half sisters who are also professional ballet dancers in Europe.)  It was their idea, and I remember in an interview when Julian Mackay talked about how his brother, who followed in his footsteps, was fluent in Russian in a very short period of time.  I'm not sure how long she stayed.

I'm not sure if Nicholas Mackay has graduated yet, but I've been following Julian Mackay on Facebook for quite a while, and it looks like he's been thriving in Russia.   He had a brief period in London, I think right after he graduated, but Russia is where he wanted to be.

Interesting piece in The Guardian about how Russia now has the best female figure skaters in the world,  but they flame out after a year or two at the top.

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2020/mar/26/the-russian-dolls-have-transformed-figure-skating-but-at-what-cost

Does this situation also exist in the ballet world?  I think Maria Khoreva is immensely talented,  but she seems to have danced every lead role in existence in the space of a year.  What is there left for her to do?

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It's easy to see why the last Olympic champion would suffer from burn-out:  she had won everything there is to win in skating, and the chances of her being able to repeat, given her technical content, which was high for 2018, but no longer, are extremely slim. (Whereas the two-time Olympic champion in Men is trying for his third, and he'd be the only man to have done so.) There's a ballet analogy there for some dancers, who are given a lot young, and like, Gelsey Kirkland, are cautionary tales.  But, at least in Russia, there is a tradition of having a personal coach, a reverence for the classical rep, and the idea that a dancer goes deeper each time she or she dances a major role, plus there's new rep that comes in every season.  

Most young skaters aren't burning out: they're being surpassed in competition by younger and more technically able skaters, where working through puberty isn't an option: it takes too long.  While there are always phenoms in ballet, and bumper crops of incoming graduates, most dancers don't generally get kicked out of the company when someone younger is better, at least immediately: they stay in the corps and don't get solos, whereas, the two-time World Champion from 2016 and 2017, who was injured in the last Olympic season and missed Olympic gold by a couple of points, didn't qualify for the national team for 2020 and lost funding.

 

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On 3/12/2020 at 9:18 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:As a lockdown alternative, you can stream Oropesa in the Verdi rarity I masnadieri from La Scala.

https://www.raiplay.it/programmi/imasnadieri

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RAI is presenting free screening daily, many marked for 30 days from the start date -- one released per day -- of La Scala productions, including the ballet.  If your buttons aren't translated, click the "Riproduci >" button.

Here's the schedule:

http://www.teatroallascala.org/it/calendario-trasmissioni-rai.html

Here's the search link for La Scala:

https://www.raiplay.it/ricerca.html?q=la+scala

 

Direct links:

Don Q (Osipova/Sarafanov, Nureyev Prod)

Sleeping Beauty (Semionova/Andrijashenko, Nureyev Prod)

 

The calendar says there was a Zakharova/Bolle Bayadere on April 2, but doesn't mention 30-day access, and I don't see it in the search results.  There's a Le Corsaire (Anna-Marie Holmes Prod) that is scheduled to release on April 21 and be available for 30 days.  

 

For opera, besides the casts, La Scala performs operas that are rarely performed, at least in North America, like early Mozart and Not Barber of Seville.

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I hope they'll release the TV only offerings to "on demand".  Some of them are on the schedule for TV after they've been released on demand, like La gazza ladra, on TV next week, but I watched part of it on demand earlier this morning.  Maybe it will also work the other way around.

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I've been occupied elsewhere, and so haven't been following along here very regularly.  Just read through this whole thread, and it's a pocket history of such a miserable situation.  Still, I'm so proud of the dance community and the way they are stepping up to the challenge of shifting their lives online.  It can't last for very long, but still -- such a resilient response!

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19 minutes ago, sandik said:

I've been occupied elsewhere, and so haven't been following along here very regularly.  Just read through this whole thread, and it's a pocket history of such a miserable situation.  Still, I'm so proud of the dance community and the way they are stepping up to the challenge of shifting their lives online.  It can't last for very long, but still -- such a resilient response!

As Madison Keesler, puts it: 'this "new normal" is starting to feel, well, normal'

 

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On 3/17/2020 at 6:15 PM, 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

The Kennedy Center is selling tickets for June TWB Swan Lake and is continuing to sell Hamilton.  TWB is a renter so if you're logged in it doesn't exist. This has been going on since Rutter's website update [Jan 2020?].  Articles had the KC at 90% refund while some others locally get 50-90% donate back.  https://wtop.com/entertainment/2020/04/curtain-call-dc-area-theaters-hope-to-stage-comeback-after-coronavirus/

Update 4/28/20 - TWB Swan Lake is moved to May 6-16 2021 in the KC Eisenhower.  

 

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30 minutes ago, Leah said:

Well Lincoln Center has cancelled all summer programming. Will there be any fall seasons at this point? I’m getting increasingly pessimistic.

Here's the email they sent out:

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Given the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have made the difficult decision to cancel this summer’s Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts programming, including Midsummer Night Swing, the Mostly Mozart Festival, and Lincoln Center Out of Doors. These festivals have brought great joy to New Yorkers for decades, in ways only extraordinary, fearless artistry can.

It is our intention, when it is safe again to gather in person, to stage a free, pop-up festival in a celebration of our great city and the selfless first responders and healthcare workers who are giving so much during this crisis.

Currently, and for the foreseeable future, we’re taking our work online with Lincoln Center at Home, our new portal helping families and communities keep the performing arts front and center. Lincoln Center Pop-Up Classrooms, #ConcertsforKids, and archival & live stream performances from across campus feature the arts from wherever they’re still happening – empty halls, living rooms, and more. We are in awe of the teaching artists, musicians, dancers, educators, and staff who are sharing such impressive creativity during this time.

As previously announced, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts has cancelled all spring performances and events. For details on cancellations specific to Lincoln Center’s resident organizations, you may wish to consult their individual websites.

For your convenience and in order to manage call volume, we are reaching out to ticket holders for cancelled events to facilitate donation and refund options. You may also contact your point of sale directly or call CenterCharge at 212.721.6500 to speak with a guest services representative. We hope you will consider donating the cost of your tickets as a tax-deductible gift. Your support helps ensure the vitality of the arts now and into the future.

In these times of heightened anxiety and vigilance, we are holding on to the important role the arts play in our lives: they nourish our hearts and minds, teach us valuable lessons and critical skills, and help us create community. We are resolved not to lose sight of what connects us, and we hope you will follow us on social media and continue to be part of our community from wherever you are. 

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Millepied's L.A. Dance Project put together a "stay at home" video which is quite nice:

I think that's Janie Taylor doing the couch dive dance.

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I love the tech support at the beginning.  And I saw an opening tile for Sarah Ryan & ... until Chung started to teach.

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38 minutes ago, Helene said:

I love the tech support at the beginning.  And I saw an opening tile for Sarah Ryan & ... until Chung started to teach.

At the beginning of one of the classes, someone said, "how come everyone's speaking Spanish?"  😉 There's lots of Spanish chatter between Diego Cruz, Ruben Martin Cintas, Felipe Diaz, etc. But the actual classes are always in English.

They are getting dancers from all over at this point - I've seen a few from Europe and the UK (such as the Royal Ballet). Many from Washington Ballet and SFB though, since the classes are generally lead by staff from those companies.

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I just came across this posting by SFB (with video)


Training During Shelter in Place

Daily training is an essential component of being a professional ballet dancer. But how do you train during a shelter in place mandate? Our dancers have been taking company class daily via Zoom to ensure they’re still honing their craft even amidst a global pandemic.

Find out how a few of our company members are creatively using furniture, household items, and even shower liner to turn their homes into a studio! Then take these tips and join us online for our new Virtual Adult Ballet Classes every weekday from 9:30–10:30 am.

https://www.sfballet.org/discover/backstage/whats-your-barre/

 

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There is an article in The Seattle Times, in which PNB Executive Director Ellen Walker was interviewed:

  • Dancers, musicians, and much of the staff is on furlough
    • Still receiving health insurance; at $95/K month, there is only enough in the relief fund to pay for two more months
  • Subscriptions are [unsurprisingly to me] down 30%
  • One third of ticket holders have donated them back to the company
  • Seattle Center is giving them two free months rent at the Phelps Center (right across from McCaw Hall, and where the studios, offices, library, and costume shops are)
  • They'd need to be in the studio by May 4 to start rehearsing for their final rep*

*The last stay at home order from Governor Inslee lasts through May 4. I assume also Season Encore, the special program that takes place the night of the last Sunday rep performance and which celebrates dancers who are leaving the company at the end of the season.  (Announced are Margaret Mullin and Benjamin Griffiths.)

While Walker expressed appreciation for the people who have donated tickets back, that doesn't strike me as a lot, I hope many of the other 2/3 are taking a credit towards next season instead of asking for refunds.  

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It looks like Julian McKay finally got back to the U.S. His Instagram profile says, “Former First Soloist with the Mikhailovsky Theatre.”

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2 hours ago, AB'sMom said:

It looks like Julian McKay finally got back to the U.S. His Instagram profile says, “Former First Soloist with the Mikhailovsky Theatre.”

Does that mean he was forced to quit in order to get priority to leave?

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He hasn't posted about it to Facebook, at least publicly.

On Instagram, he posted  just before and after his father died.

My condolence to him, his brother, his mother, and the rest of his family.

 

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