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NYCB cancels Fall 2020 and Nutcracker seasons


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18 hours ago, canbelto said:

I'm a little confused about Lovette and her break with her parents. It sounds like she hinted that they're part of a fundamentalist cult? 

It sounded that way to me, too.  That must have been so hard for Lauren to separate from them.

 

With regard to Megan Fairchild's interrupting, I do tend to agree that I would have loved to hear Lauren be able to delve deeper into her story.  But I thoroughly enjoyed the interview regardless.  Lauren sounds like such an insightful, kind, and honest person.  Hearing her voice is delightful!  May she have a wonderfully fulfilling life ahead of her.

 

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It wouldn't surprise me if Lauren decided to focus on choreography in the future. She always had a lighter schedule than most principal dancers, maybe because of some injuries early in her career? She was getting invites to choreograph from ABT and Vail. I wish her luck. 

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NYCB will be streaming Nutcracker on Marquee Arts Dec 3 - Jan 6.

https://twitter.com/nycballet/status/1331287355710443520?s=20

 

This holiday season New York City Ballet and Marquee TV will bring viewers around the world the opportunity to revel in the magic of NYCB’s acclaimed production of the beloved masterpiece George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker® in a special streaming event available from December 11, 2020 through January 3, 2021 on Marquee TV.

Tickets will be available for purchase starting November 27 at 10 AM EST at marquee.tv/nycbnutcracker and will be priced at $25 in the United States. (Prices will vary internationally.)

Filmed during the Company’s 2019 season at the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center, the broadcast features NYCB Principal Dancers Maria Kowroski as the Sugarplum Fairy, Tyler Angle as Her Cavalier, Megan Fairchild as Dewdrop, and more than 50 New York City Ballet dancers.

The production also features the 62-piece New York City Ballet Orchestra under the direction of NYCB Music Director Andrew Litton, and more than 60 children from the School of American Ballet, the official school of NYCB.

Edited by canbelto
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4 hours ago, canbelto said:

NYCB will be streaming Nutcracker on Marquee Arts Dec 3 - Jan 6.

Coincidentally, Medici.TV has a film of NYCB performing Nutcracker with Megan Fairchild and Joaquin De Luz...

    Megan Fairchild | The Sugarplum Fairy
    Joaquin De Luz | Herr Cavalier
    Adam Hendrickson | Herr Drosselmeier
    Colby Clark | Herr Drosselmeier's Nephew
    Ask LaCour | Dr. Stahlbaum
    Gwyneth Muller | Frau Stahlbaum
    Fiona Brennan | Marie/The Little Princess
    Maximillian Brooking Landegger | Fritz
    Ashley Bouder | Dewdrop Fairy
    Teresa Reichlen | Coffee
    Daniel Ulbricht | Candy Cane
    Tiler Peck | Marzipan Shepherdess
    Antonio Carmena | Tea
    Brittany Pollack | Hot Chocolate
    Adrian Danchig-Waring | Hot Chocolate
    Andrew Scordato | Mother Ginger
    Mary Elizabeth Sell | Harlequin
    Lauren Lovette | Columbine
    Troy Schumacher | Soldier
    Justin Peck | Mouse King

$12.99 for a month's subscription.

Edited by pherank
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Is anyone surprised that bigger streaming companies didn't pick up the NYCB's Nutcracker? Earlier this year, when NYCB mentioned finding new ways to stream the Nutcracker, I thought a Netflix or DisneyPlus would swoop in and buy the streaming rights for the month of December. It seems like such low-hanging fruit.

I know Hamilton isn't the Nutcracker, but Disney paid $75 million for Hamilton's streaming rights.  NYCB makes ~$15 million a year from Nutcracker ticket revenue, so maybe selling to a larger company would've generated more revenue (potentially equal or more to their normal season) and, I'd imagine, would've opened up the Nutcracker to new audiences (along with a greater marketing budget).

I don't foresee people wanting to sign up for yet another streaming service and then paying an additional premium to watch. I think a better approach would've been to sell the streaming rights for a flat fee to a streaming company that would reach a much larger audience (including people that are newer to ballet). Marquee is likely only going to attract people that are already interested in ballet and the arts. 

 

 

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10 minutes ago, Dancerboy90210 said:

Is anyone surprised that bigger streaming companies didn't pick up the NYCB's Nutcracker?

Not really, assuming that the recording is of similar quality to those used for most of the spring and fall digital seasons — i.e. recordings made primarily for promotional/archival purposes and not originally intended for commercial release. Those recordings have been perfectly watchable, but I don't think they're of the quality that a Netflix or a Disney+ would be looking to acquire. (My assumption about the quality of this Nutcracker recording may be incorrect; I haven't followed the details closely enough to be sure whether there's been info to the contrary.)

10 minutes ago, Dancerboy90210 said:

I don't foresee people wanting to sign up for yet another streaming service and then paying an additional premium to watch.

I believe Marquee has always had a free trial period, so at least there's a possible workaround.

Edited by nanushka
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I would ask a few questions. How many films (if any) of The Nutcracker are in the Netflix library? When NYCB beamed its Nutcracker into cinemas a few years ago, how was the box office? (I'd guess pretty abysmal, because Lincoln Center at the Movies never returned.) And nanushka's point, what is the technical quality of this recording?

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10 minutes ago, volcanohunter said:

How many films (if any) of The Nutcracker are in the Netflix library? 

More Nutcrackers than I can digest in the next month!

  • Amazon Prime:  Included: Baryshnikov, Slovak National Ballet + several more with a charge or another subscription
  • Netflix: Dance Dreams: Hot Chocolate Nutcracker (documentary with Debbie Allen)
  • Medici (offering a one-year subscription for $51!): Mariinsky (with Somova and Shklyarov); NYCB (with Fairchild and De Luz); Staatsoper Berlin (1999)
  • DirectTV: Czech National Ballet
  • PBS: local stations are airing local companies in Boston and Colorado -- are there more?
  • Marquee.tv  (it overlaps so much with Medici in Ballet, I decided to skip it for now - $60/yr on a new subscription): NYCB (Kowroski/Angle); Royal Ballet (Hayward, Cuthbertson, Bonelli); Moscow Ballet
  • Disney+: No Nutcrackers that I can see. I'm thinking of a one-month subscription to see Hamilton and the SAB documentary series
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2 hours ago, nanushka said:

Not really, assuming that the recording is of similar quality to those used for most of the spring and fall digital seasons — i.e. recordings made primarily for promotional/archival purposes and not originally intended for commercial release. Those recordings have been perfectly watchable, but I don't think they're of the quality that a Netflix or a Disney+ would be looking to acquire.

Netflix, for instance, has very rigorous production standards for the content provided by its various partners, whether that content is in-licensed or produced for Netflix. For instance, a partner producing content for Netflix must use one of the cameras that Netflix has authorized for video capture and further must use the settings Netflix has specified for that camera. (Note that Netflix will make some exceptions for documentary footage.) It was a big deal in the camera world when Netflix authorized the Panasonic S1H—a mirrorless camera that can be used for either stills or video that is cheaper than industry standard cinema cameras (such as those produced by Red Digital ) and that you might see on the street in the hands of a vlogger or someone shooting content for their YouTube channel. 

I don't know what equipment NYCB uses to film performances nor what its post-production process is, but it could very well be that they don't conform to the major streaming platform's standards. 

It could also be that NYCB wants to test the pay-per-view model and thought Marquee's platform offered a decent opportunity to do so. Pay-per-view might also be the distribution model that is most acceptable to both the rights holders and the performers' and stagehands' unions. 

A lot (most?) of Marquee TV's content that isn't "ticketed" is also available as either DVDs or online purchase / rental elsewhere, so a lot of the digital rights issues regarding wide distribution have likely already been dealt with. (Marquee TV doesn't appear to have much in the way of exclusive content.) 

Edited by Kathleen O'Connell
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2 hours ago, volcanohunter said:

I would ask a few questions. How many films (if any) of The Nutcracker are in the Netflix library?

There doesn't appear to be anything on Netflix other than the Hot Chocolate Nutcracker doc California referenced above. Disney+, Hulu, and HBO don't appear to have Nutcrackers on offer either. But Amazon Video has quite a few, including some that are available for free if you are a Prime member.

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2 hours ago, California said:

Medici (offering a one-year subscription for $51!):

There's a Black Friday special on today — you can get a one year subscription for $38.70. 

I'd be a lot more enthusiastic about their service if it were easier to watch their content on an actual TV. "Aircasting" from an internet-connected computer, phone, or tablet is OK, but kinda fiddly and less than the ideal. Marquee TV does offer the full menu of TV apps.

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3 hours ago, GB1216 said:

Not sure if this the correct place to put this post or if it is already discussed elsewhere, but did anyone see the auction that the dancers put together to raise funds? Some very interesting pieces.  Personally, I bought a ticket to attend the Heather Watts talk for $25.00.

https://www.32auctions.com/dancersofnycb 

The Balanchine rubber tree cutting is an unusual auction prize.  😉

https://www.32auctions.com/organizations/76346/auctions/94005/auction_items/2681471

Edited by pherank
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Well I saw the Nutcracker on Marquee. I saw four other Nutcrackers last season and honestly, they were all better performances overall than the one that is streaming. Maria Kowroski has a gorgeous arabesque and many lovely moments but overall the celesta variation seemed wooden and the grand adagio very careful. Megan Fairchild was lovely as Dewdrop, but last year I thought Indiana Woodward and Emilie Gerrity were just as good. The four SPF's I saw (Sterling Hyltin, Tiler Peck, Lauren Lovette and Tess Reichlen) were all lovely -- regal, gracious, but faster and more dynamic than Maria K. 

Don't get me wrong there's lovely things about Maria's SPF but the effort was very visible. I really enjoyed all the divertissements. Georgina Pazcoguin's Coffee and Lauren King's Marzipan were wonderful.

Edited by canbelto
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I rented the version on Marquee as well. Overall I agree with you, Canbelto: the celesta variation seemed half-polished and was pretty boring. That said-- I really enjoyed the pas de deux with Tyler Angle. Kowroski did a beautiful job holding those striking poses and made a real impact in the jump and lift combination. Wish she had brought the same verve to the solo.

Other enjoyable moments for me: Megan Fairchild's Dewdrop (wow! I ended up watching the waltz three times she had so many breathtaking moments.), Ashley Hod's Hot Chocolate, and Lauren King's Marzipan. The snow variation was magical as always, especially loved Olivia McKinnon opening the section. 

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Maria K suffered a knee injury in spring 2019 and after that wasn't the same. I remember her Diamonds in fall 2019 being rather careful. She reinjured herself midway through the Nutcracker season. This performance seems danced rather gingerly.

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Kowroski and Angle were better than I expected after reading the reports, but it wasn't a performance that's indicative of NYCB at its best. Odd choice of casting for a high-production filmed show. Angle screwed up pretty noticeably in the turns à la seconde; it looked like he started late and finished early before stumbling out. But Fairchild, King, Ulbricht, the snowflake and flower corps, etc. made up for the flaws. 

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I haven't viewed this Nutcracker (I don't even know what Marquee TV is), but it's fun reading the reviews. Just like the old days! I can't wait to get back to live performances. 

JuliaJ, I don't think they deliberately chose this casting for a recording and broadcast. I assume this was similar to the other pieces they released for the recent "digital seasons," that is, performances recorded for archival and/or publicity purposes only. When covid happened they reviewed and chose some for a release that was not originally intended. I think it would have been great fun if they had put out multiple casts. I would have watched them all. 

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