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8 hours ago, naomikage said:

Thank you Buddy. This was a sweet production.  Unfortunately one of the staff got COVID-19 positive and the last two performances were cancelled, but no dancers have tested positive and they are back in the studio preparing for the new season which will start in mid October. 

It is the first season for the new AD Miyako Yoshida former Royal Ballet principal. It was supposed to open with Peter Wright's Swan Lake that will enter the repertoire, but for travel restrictions, it was postponed and they will do Don Quixote instead. Still, a full length classical ballet.

Japan is still struggling, we have like 600 hundred new cases every day, but performances are slowly resuming with social distancing measures. Kabuki has been back since August. 

But because of the travel ban. many tours have been cancelled, such as Bolshoi Ballet, Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo, Bejart Ballet Lausanne. 

Thank you, Naomikage. Are there many performers on stage during a Kabuki performance ?  What seating arrangement did the National Ballet use when you were there ?

Added:

It appears that the Opera National de Paris will be resuming regular ballet with an audience performances October 6.

https://www.operadeparis.fr/en/services-and-practical-info/booking-opening-on-8-september?utm_campaign=social-organic&utm_medium=instagram&utm_source=reseaux-sociaux&utm_term=ouverture-8-septembre

 

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The Royal Danish Ballet season opens tonight, with a performance of Twyla Tharp's Come Fly Away.

Fingers crossed...

 I think they've only sold half the seats but I don't know how the are going to be spaced.

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The Bolshoi reopening today -- This is a fairly detailed article that can be read for free until tomorrow morning. (Reminder: the Mariinsky reopened yesterday)

Some quotes:

He [Bolshoi’s director of dance Makhar Vaziev] said the theatre was doing “everything that it is within our power to do” and suggested safety concerns should be balanced against the desire of artists and spectators that ballet return to the stage. 

Rehearsals have been in full swing for six weeks....

In the labyrinthine backstage, performers, staff and seamstresses mingle in corridors and lifts, with few wearing masks. The Bolshoi has more than 3,000 people on its payroll and relies heavily on state subsidies and sponsorship.

The theatre is opening on Sunday with the Verdi opera Don Carlos, before the premiere of four short new ballets from international choreographers. The full-length ballet Don Quixote will be staged next weekend....

Dr Julian Tang, a consultant virologist at the Leicester Royal Infirmary, said via telephone that there was “no perfect time” to open a theatre as “there will always be a pay-off between economy and safety”.

Theatres and museums are generally safer than pubs or restaurants because of their high ceilings, and the size of the 2,500-seat Bolshoi will work in its favour, Dr Tang said. Intervals are the time of greatest risk, as people remove their masks to talk and drink. The Bolshoi intends to keep its bar open during intermissions.

“But I’m [Bolshoi lead soloist Igor Tsvirko] for safety first of all. The virus spreads easily. Now we have the chance to be in the theatre but all of us understand that it could close at any moment.” 

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/09/06/nervous-bolshoi-prima-ballerinas-prepare-post-covid-return-amid/

(Thanks to MJW at BalletcoForum and Sophia at Dansomanie)


 

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Hopefully a little light heartedness isn't out of order.

As the Bolshoi roles into action next week (see post above), Sebastopol had a treat this weekend.

Maria Shirinkina, Vladimir Shklyarov, Nina Kaptsova, Alexander Volchkov, Elizaveta Kokoreva, Artem Ovcharenko, Svetlana Zakharova, Igor Tsvirko, Ekaterina Krysanova, Viatcheslav Lopatin, Anastasia Stashkevitch and Serguey Polunin.

http://www.lunacharskiy.com/performances/show/3348

( Yep, thanks once again to Sophia at Dansomanie ! ) 

And -- Introducing Elizaveta Kokoreva !  (New to me anyway from the Bolshoi)

Here she is in 2014 -- The Princess of Balance. She's also pleasantly put on some weight. And she might receive the Maria Iliushkina Award for Preciousness.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X7vgQlgPkas


 

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2 hours ago, volcanohunter said:

This list isn't accurate. The group that performed ultimately was different.

Yes, this could be the case but most were the same.  

There are videos of Maria Shirinkina, Vladimir Shklyarov, Nina Kaptsova, Alexander Volchkov, Elizaveta Kokoreva, Artem Ovcharenko, Svetlana Zakharova and Serguey Polounin as listed in my post. Four more are different, all Bolshoi artists, Kristina Kretova, Igor Pugachev, Antonina Chapkina and Egor Gerashchenko.

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On 9/5/2020 at 4:00 AM, Buddy said:

Thank you, Naomikage. Are there many performers on stage during a Kabuki performance ?  What seating arrangement did the National Ballet use when you were there ?

 

Yes there are quite many performers on stage at a Kabuki performance, and not only actors but musicians and singers as well. They perform shorter programs. (usually there are 2 performances a day, and a triple-bill format but now, 4 performances a day in double bill with reduced prices) But the ticket sales are not good as the majority of the audience are elderly people, and they refrain from going out.  

Almost all performances here are carried out with an empty seat next, so the capacity is reduced to 50%. As a result, we recently had the box office opening for Don Quixote (National Ballet of Japan) and the tickets for the two popular principal ballerinas (Ayako Ono, Yui Yonezawa) performances were sold out with the subscribers.  National Ballet of Japan plans to have live orchestra, but many other Japanese companies will do with taped performance to reduce risk. I wonder what they will do with Nutcracker, as usually they have a child choir. 

As for Opera, they are planning to have a "new normal" directed version of Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream in October, with socially distancing on stage. But they will have a child choir.  

https://www.nntt.jac.go.jp/english/productions/opera/a-midsummer-nights-dream-2020.html

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Are they doing any streaming or TV broadcasts, @naomikage?  I know that a lot of figure skating is broadcast.  I hope that at least some arts performances can be, so that elderly people and others who can't attend in person for health reasons for themselves and the protection of their families can stay tied to culture, especially since isolation is so difficult for many people.

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The Hamburg Ballet opened its season yesterday with a new ballet by John Neumeier called Ghost Light. Subtitled "a ballet in the time of Corona," it features the entire company, but only real-life couples touch each other.

 

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6 minutes ago, Helene said:

Are they doing any streaming or TV broadcasts, @naomikage?  I know that a lot of figure skating is broadcast.  I hope that at least some arts performances can be, so that elderly people and others who can't attend in person for health reasons for themselves and the protection of their families can stay tied to culture, especially since isolation is so difficult for many people.

They are doing some streaming. Asami Maki Ballet did a live streaming of their gala in August for 3000 yen (which is approximately 30 dollars). National Ballet of Japan's Don Quixote will also be streamed for 2500 yen, with bonus features which are live streaming of rehearsal and a Q&A session with the artistic director Miyako Yoshida, which is in association with a broadcaster.  K-Ballet is also planning to do some streaming for their coming Le Corsaire and Nutcracker and will also show the recording in the cinemas. 

Kabuki is broadcasted almost every week on terrestrial  television.  

it seems ballet is doing quite well for tickets sales, but opera and Kabuki have more elderly audience and doing not so well in terms of box office. Occasionally there are reports of a staff having a fever and performance cancelled. (in many cases, the fever turns out as not COVID-19, after testing but they cancel just in case.)

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1 hour ago, naomikage said:

Occasionally there are reports of a staff [Kabuki] having a fever and performance cancelled. (in many cases, the fever turns out as not COVID-19, after testing but they cancel just in case.)

Thank you, Naomikage, for your reports.

It would seem that since the Kabuki has maintained large, full scale productions for over a month, that hopefully it's doing something right. If you read anything about its stage and backstage procedures it might be worth telling us about.

Added: Face mask use, social distancing and testing might be factors.
 

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In regard to how the Kabuki has done large scale performances since August 1, here are a few insights from Reuters News.

A few  things that I've noticed that are different from what we're used to as possible guidelines are....

"Actors and staff are completely different for each act, to shorten contact" (this might be significant, closer to the gala format) and musicians wearing masks (wind instruments apparently are not prevalent).

There's no mention of testing of performers and staff or audience activity at intermissions, if there are intermissions.

And this video clip might also offer a clue, that it's about attitude and general behavior. All the public is wearing face masks and social distancing is closely observed.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=5tuvZbAjIo8&feature=emb_logo

"...musicians in masks, actors farther apart on stage and only half the usual number of seats.

“We’re re-opening based on guidelines from infectious disease experts, paying attention to audience safety from the time they enter until the time they leave,” Kabukiza manager Yoshitaka Hashimoto said at a Friday preview for journalists.

Onstage, the number of musicians is limited and all wear draped black cloth masks from nose to chest.

Performers stand farther back on stage and keep a greater than normal distance from each other. Actors and staff are completely different for each act, to shorten contact.

Though the traditional black-dressed stage assistants who approach the performers most closely wore both masks and face shields during a rehearsal, the company that runs the theatre said they wore only masks from Saturday’s [Aug. 1]  performance because the shields apparently made their job harder to do.

Audience members face temperature checks at the entrance and must wear masks. Seats are roped off so fewer than half are usable, and the auditorium will be sterilized between each act.

Though eating boxed lunches between acts has long been a cherished kabuki custom, it’s currently prohibited."

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-japan-kabuki-idUSKCN24X3I6

 


 

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If I could just offer a few more general thoughts. As things progress it may well be a sort of stop and go process. As Naomikage mentioned with the Kabuki when a problem arises performances may be cancelled but everything isn't permanently shut down. The gala format, several performers on stage at a time, seems like a good foundation. As theaters such as the Mariinsky and Bolshoi build on this with small scaled productions like La Sylphide (Mariinsky tomorrow) and then full scale ones like Le Corsaire at the Mariinsky September 11 Romeo and Juliet at the Bolshoi September 15 it may be a 'see what happens' approach. If larger productions seem problematic, then take a step back to smaller ones without completely shutting down.

The same with audiences. See what procedures seems to work best.

Of course if a medical breakthrough such as practical daily testing or largely available  tested vaccine (very possible) happens then all could change considerably for the good. 
 

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Is it just me or is anyone else completely disgusted with NYCB?  They are doing nothing for their dancers and claiming it's financial and yet Miami, San Fran,  Ballet West, and  Joffrey several others  have brought their dancers back? 

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1 hour ago, balletforme said:

Is it just me or is anyone else completely disgusted with NYCB?  They are doing nothing for their dancers and claiming it's financial and yet Miami, San Fran,  Ballet West, and  Joffrey several others  have brought their dancers back? 

I've been puzzled by the wide variation we're seeing on re-opening. SAB is posting daily photos of students with masks, distanced, etc., so that seems an option in NYC. I assume the variations have a lot to do with finances, technical capabilities, and local health regulations of each company. PNB can use their theater for their digital programming this fall, but many don't have that capability. I also assume we're seeing the reflection of long-range financial planning and negotiations with their unions. Is it better to furlough dancers, let them keep health insurance and preserve funds for a return in the spring? Can a company afford to bring them back at full salary now without ticket revenue possibilities? Is a company getting enough money from donors and local governments to tide them over? There is presumably wide variation in all these factors that we're not aware of.

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There is no evidence that NYCB is doing "nothing" for their dancers.  From official news, we know they have not brought dancers back into the studio, at least yet. Edited to remove, as Leah has posted that, according to official social media news, at least one dancer is back in the studio.  How many and for what purposes will come out or not based on whether dancers and/or the Company post/speak about it.

The financial and management decisions that companies make are driven by a wide number of factors and limitations, such as board independence, willingness of donors -- especially "angel" donors who pay for things like health insurance and not new productions -- to contribute, stipulations of the endowment, their landlords, theater costs, including studio maintenance and use for filming, film equipment, changing local and state health regulations, the percentage of public, private, and foundation funding and how that funding is restricted, dancer and staff reliance on public transportation, union contracts, the number of people covered by union contracts, length of seasons, number of performances, strategy that could include maximizing the impact of unemployment benefits, and impact of the number of dancers, musicians, and staff on any of the above.  

Every company is managing under their own conditions, and there's no guarantee that any company that brings dancers back now is making the right long-term decision.  

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3 hours ago, Helene said:

There is no evidence that NYCB is doing "nothing" for their dancers.  From official news, we know they have not brought dancers back into the studio, at least yet. Edited to remove, as Leah has posted that, according to official social media news, at least one dancer is back in the studio.  How many and for what purposes will come out or not based on whether dancers and/or the Company post/speak about it.

 

And.. . .so what "official news" is telling us that they ARE doing anything? A lone principal dancer's instagram post doth not official NYCB news make. Mearns is always involved in a number of side projects.

Megan Fairchild is not in NYC I do not believe. 

Many others are not either. 

Would company dancers come back if the company was offering class? Would NYCB let their audiences and donors know that "dancers are back?" Seems odd for them to "hide it under a bush?" 

All the other companies who are bringing dancers back are proclaiming it through news outlets, official company social media.  

What Variety? WSJ? NYT? sources tell us that NYCB is doing anything?  NONE! 

They are.doing.nothing. They have an annual budget over 60 million--highest in the the US. They have an endowment that is also the highest. All public info. NYCB does not "rent" space for performances or rehearsals.  Koch is "their" theater. 

MCB raised relief funds to support their dancers.  National Ballet Canada got grants. Cut salaries  Boal discussed their funding outreach and salary cuts.  I can post the official sources if verification is needed. Ballet West is going forward--"working as long as we can"  Even ABT is up at Kaatsbaan bubbling and dancing. 

Perhaps in the long run the choice to pay the administrators in a company through the pandemic and let the dancers collect unemployment and find their own conditioning and classes is a "good" decision, but the question remains for whom? 

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Also, for companies that have come back in some form, not everyone is in the studio or required to be in order to be part of the season.   PNB dancers have the option to stay home and work over Zoom (used generically like "kleenex" for tissues and "google" for search).

Dancers' social media is official news. Which includes an accumulation of posts: each does not have to tell the entire story.  And gestures can also be official news, like flowers presented to a dancer taking a bow and/or a front-of-the-curtain solo bow on the last performance of the season are valid to be interpreted as retirement.

As we've state many times, official news does not have to be right, fair, complete, unbiased, or even professional.  It has to be public facing and from a ballet professional under their own name putting their own reputation on the line.  It's all about who said/showed it and where they said/showed it. And no one has to believe it.

 

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NYCB paid its dancers for longer than other companies -- ABT has been furloughed for ... well, awhile. They also have a fund set up to pay its dancers and have been actively fundraising through streaming performances. The U.S. for a variety of reasons is not in the position of many European countries which have begun to have live performances again. 

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It definitely seems like dancers at ABT and NYCB are still spread out all over. Some are working on projects, some aren’t. Megan Fairchild is posting from France and says she intends to stay until November. 

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I would think that Principal Dancers especially would have no reason to be present in NYC.  Most of them know their roles and can refresh their memory from tape.  Who can partner whom is highly restricted even among companies in North America where dancers have returned.  No dance companies are in an NBA- or NHL-like bubble for the long-term.

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So far, "bringing the dancers back" has been a rather limited, and limiting affair. Are there any North American companies inviting choreographers to create on their dancers in person at this time? It's all been remote, Zoom participation that I've seen/heard of. Are there any companies in group rehearsals for the upcoming season? I imagine everyone participating would have to sign an additional agreement(s) that they won't hold the ballet company responsible if the dancer/staff member/visiting choreographer/musician contracts Covid-19 while participating in the rehearsals. And there would have to be detailed plans about what to do when that (inevitably?) happens. The various unions would have to be in on the negotiations.

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PNB has.  Jessica Lang has been choreographing in person for the Company.  Peter Boal described in his Conversations on Dance interview that she is moving between studios, each of which has a separate dancer pod.  Per this PNB Blog post from August:

Quote

Choreographer Jessica Lang is creating a new work for PNB this season, and rehearsals happen in various forms. There are dancers learning the work in the room, while others are on Zoom from other PNB studios, and even more dancers Zoom calling into rehearsals from home. Whereas the opposite is true for rehearsals for George Balanchine’s Emeralds. Rehearsal Director Anne Dabrowski calls in to Emeralds rehearsals from home while dancers Leta Biasucci and Elizabeth Murphy dance in the PNB studios.

 

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