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New York City Ballet 2021 Season


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Just got the email:

Quote

With safety at the forefront, New York City Ballet will be implementing a mandatory vaccination policy for all employees and visitors to the David H. Koch Theater and Samuel B. & David Rose Building. This includes all audiences attending our repertory performances – SEPT 21 - OCT 17, JAN 18 - FEB 27, and APR 19 - MAY 29. Every audience member must be fully vaccinated and upon entering the Theater will be required to show in-person proof of vaccination authorized by the FDA or WHO against COVID-19. If a potential audience member remains unvaccinated because of a disability or sincerely held religious belief, that person may contact the New York City Ballet in writing for assistance or to request a reasonable accommodation by sending an email to customercare@nycballet.com.

At this time, children under the age of 12, for whom there is currently no available vaccination, will not be permitted to attend NYCB repertory performances

Performances in the fall are not planned to be socially distanced, and in the interest of minimizing overall time at the Theater, Fall 2021 programs will be performed without intermissions.

Additional safety measures include:

  • upgraded auditorium ventilation systems with MERV 15 filters
  • a contactless entry experience for visitors arriving at the Theater
  • rigorous cleaning and sanitation protocols throughout the building

 

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I think requiring proof of an FDA or WHO approved Covid-19 vaccination in order to gain admittance is the right call.

I was somewhat surprised that there is no exception for children under 12: since they can't (yet) be vaccinated, they will not be allowed to attend NYCB repertory performances. While both the Metropolitan Opera and Carnegie Hall have also decided to bar children under 12, Broadway theaters will allow children under 12 to attend performances if they've been tested for the virus. Broadway will also require masking, however. (San Francisco Opera is also requiring proof of vaccination and masking, and will allow children under 12 to attend, with the proviso that anyone planning to bring a child to a performance should call the box office "to discuss seating and safety options.") 

I note that vaccines will be required for "all employees and visitors to the David H. Koch Theater and Samuel B. & David Rose Building." Will children under 12 be allowed to attend classes and rehearsals at SAB? NYCB's announcement states that children under 12 can't attend repertory performances, but doesn't state that they can't otherwise enter the theater or the Rose Building.

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On 7/15/2021 at 8:36 PM, Rock said:

I went back to the NYT article to make sure I read it right. Yup, "for years" greeting her in class Ramarsar was "tweaking my nipples." In company class. In front of oh easily 40-50 other people. No one batted an eyelash. Am I the only one who has trouble with that? Those aren't little girls. Those are professional women. I don't believe for a minute plenty of them wouldn't have said something - to GP, to Amar, to the AD and the ED.

I find it entirely credible. She's describing something that happened in a split second. Who would be paying that much attention? Did he move his hand/arm in front of her chest or did he actually hit her nipple(s)?

I, personally, have had strangers (MEN)...

1. slap my bottom on a crowded subway car,

2. twice had men flash me, one holding a newspaper so that I was the only one who could see his penis in the fold, presumably sticking through a hole in his pants. He was on a subway car, the other man was walking by in a public park visible for all the world to see, of course there was no one else around.

3. had a man approach me, yell out "I love this woman!" put his hands around my neck and strangle me in front of a group of my friends. Only lasted a few seconds. Seven people that I know well and would trust with my life all nearby, talking. Only one came up and asked what was up. 

4. press a credit card on my vulva in an overnight train when I was sleeping curled up. I thought I had the worst wedgie in the world and to this day I don't know how long it lasted. I remember when I finally woke up, turned my head and he stopped though!

Violence against women is everywhere. If you haven't seen it yourself you have truly NOT been paying attention. I know it's my issue, but It makes my blood boil when people say they "don't believe" or "she should have stopped him" like it is the woman's responsability alone. It's an insult to anyone who has experienced the abuse. Forgive my rant, but those who qualify socially as clinically blind shouldn't then say "I never saw that." WAKE UP WORLD!! 

Ask the women you know, they'll tell you what has happened to them. Some may even have buried the memory, but within 10-20 minutes they will begin to remember and those of you who "don't find it credible" may have your eyes opened. If you listen.

Also: read Pazcoguin's book, Swan Dive. She's not a literary genius, but I haven't been able to put it down, VERY entertaining.

Edited by BalanchineFan
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38 minutes ago, Kathleen O'Connell said:

I think requiring proof of an FDA or WHO approved Covid-19 vaccination in order to gain admittance is the right call.

I was somewhat surprised that there is no exception for children under 12: since they can't (yet) be vaccinated, they will not be allowed to attend NYCB repertory performances. While both the Metropolitan Opera and Carnegie Hall have also decided to bar children under 12, Broadway theaters will allow children under 12 to attend performances if they've been tested for the virus. Broadway will also require masking, however. (San Francisco Opera is also requiring proof of vaccination and masking, and will allow children under 12 to attend, with the proviso that anyone planning to bring a child to a performance should call the box office "to discuss seating and safety options.") 

I note that vaccines will be required for "all employees and visitors to the David H. Koch Theater and Samuel B. & David Rose Building." Will children under 12 be allowed to attend classes and rehearsals at SAB? NYCB's announcement states that children under 12 can't attend repertory performances, but doesn't state that they can't otherwise enter the theater or the Rose Building.

During this summer session, all the dancers at SAB have been masked because there are children under 12 present in the building.

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Nor does the announcement apply to Nutcracker.  Do the kids in the ballet -- they are a combination of 12+ and under 12 -- start rehearsals early?  (I thought they were all really young, but Merrill Ashley wrote in her book that when she was 13 or 14, she was the first Candy Cane out, and she was already in the pre-professional division.)

Biden said that vaccines for kids under 12 might be available in the next few months, which would be after school starts, but still Fall.  Since the virus variants have changed the landscape pretty rapidly, I wouldn't be surprised to see policy changes even without under 12's being vaccinated, but perhaps they are waiting until the Fall to get anyones hopes up or dashed about Nutcracker, and before they have to start to issue a lot of refunds.   

Booster shots are already being tested, especially among the non-Nutcracker demographic.  (My arm is ready anytime.)  Israel is offering third shots to those over 60 starting Sunday.  

There has also been talk about full FDA approval for the vaccine, but between now and January 2022 (the deadline) doesnt help much for Nutcracker plans now, nor does "sooner than January 2022" and that's just for Pfizer, which has completed its application.  Also according to the following article, Moderna has submitted parts of the application, and Johnson and Johnson expects to sometime next year:

https://www.poynter.org/fact-checking/2021/when-will-the-covid-19-vaccines-get-full-fda-approval/

Once there is full FDA approval, there will be mandates for the military, and likely more in various government agencies, companies, universities, and schools where the population is eligible/for which there is full approval.  (I haven't seen articles that say whether the military mandate will include staff and anyone living on base or will be limited to those serving.) It will also give a lot of people a graceful way of getting vaccinated or admitting that they got the vaccine.  All of these factors hopefully will increase the number of vaccinated people who, even if we can spread COVID-19, at least the Delta variant, are less likely to, at least from what has been disclosed so far.

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Obviously I cannot stop thinking about this...

I'm going to continue unless the moderators decide to remove my post. I am a  ballet patron and I loved to attend the working rehearsals as often as possible.  IN 2015 or 16, during a break in the invited dress rehearsal for a full length ballet, Peter Martins wanted the leading ballerina to repeat her variation. They were standing downstage with a Rep Director and other dancers. He pulled the ballerina's wrist and began walking upstage so abruptly that the ballerina bent over and had to take a few running steps to keep up. My companion gasped. She had never seen anything like it. It was not assault, but blatant physical aggression and casual disrespect In front of a full theater, 2500 patrons. I'd seen it, but it hadn't registered. He's the choreographer, the AD, the maker of careers, etc. The one who got board members to resign when they opposed him.

Is she seriously supposed to report that to HR? What do you think would happen if she did?

Remember how Larry Nasser abused at least 160 young women during their medical treatments, often in the presence of the girl's parent? He did that for 20 years (that we know of ). No one found it credible ... that a respected doctor would abuse teen and preteenage girls.

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16 hours ago, Helene said:

There has also been talk about full FDA approval for the vaccine, but between now and January 2022 (the deadline) doesnt help much for Nutcracker plans now, nor does "sooner than January 2022" and that's just for Pfizer, which has completed its application

It appears that the FDA will accelerate the final review process for the Pfizer vaccine with the goal of issuing final approval as soon as it can:

"Under heavy pressure, the Food and Drug Administration center that reviews vaccines is planning to deprioritize some of its existing work, like meetings with drug sponsors and plant inspections, in an effort to accelerate its review of Pfizer’s application for the formal approval of its Covid-19 vaccine, a senior agency official told STAT."

"The process requires FDA staff to review millions of pages of complex data, conduct plant inspections, and negotiate with Pfizer over issues including the terms of the FDA’s approved label and the company’s postmarketing responsibilities. Now, the senior agency official said, the agency will initiate a 'sprint.'"

As someone who worked for over two decades in the pharmaceutical industry, I can attest to the painstaking nature of the FDA review process. There's a lot more to it than it might look from the outside. 

ETA: This STAT News article provides a little more context around calls to accelerate the final approval process and agency pushback. As does this longer piece from Forbes.

 

Edited by Kathleen O'Connell
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Will any acceleration cause opponents to claim that the resulting full authorization is not really full authorization?

I think the number of people for whom the difference between emergency and full approval and who don't have to give up their school or job is relatively small, even adding in the people who can use the distinction to save face, compared to the number of people for whom the vaccine will be mandated to attend school and/or keep their jobs once there is full approval.

In France the government decided to impose resrictions barring entry to cafes, restaurants, shopping malls, and train for the unvaccinated starting next months, and appointments for vaccines soared.  It will be interesting to see if people want to see "Hamilton" or go to the ballet enough for the new restrictions to be an incentive, with or without full approval.

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21 hours ago, canbelto said:

I hope MSND will not be canceled due to the large child cast.

One would hope that by the spring there would be vaccines approved for children. Pfizer and Moderna have been doing trials aimed at children as young as 6 months old and are expected to release results in September, according to the Connecticut Children's website. I don't know how NYCB is planning to cast its Nutcracker. Will they limit the casts of children to vaccinated kids over 12? Has this already been discussed?

https://www.connecticutchildrens.org/coronavirus/when-will-a-covid-19-vaccine-be-ready-for-kids-under-12-and-whats-the-latest-news-on-clinical-trials/

https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/vaccines-kids-under-age-12-expected-mid-winter-fda-official-n1274057

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NYCB sent out an email saying Abi Stafford is retiring on 9/26 with Russian Seasons, which has replaced Namouna (which was briefly replaced by Concerto DSCH) on the Robbins/Ratmansky program. 

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11 minutes ago, JuliaJ said:

NYCB sent out an email saying Abi Stafford is retiring on 9/26 with Russian Seasons, which has replaced Namouna (which was briefly replaced by Concerto DSCH) on the Robbins/Ratmansky program. 

Russian Seasons is a good choice for Stafford's retirement performance. I've always enjoyed her in the roles Ratmansky created for her and thought she took on Jenifer Ringer's role in Russian Seasons with real distinction. (That's the role danced by the woman in emerald green.)

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Looking at the schedule, they have now replaced Concerto DSCH with Russian Season on all of the Ratmansky Robbins performances, not just the Stafford farewell.  This  is the third time they have changed this program. I like DSCH much better than Russian Seasons.  These multiple changes of the program is annoying.  By accident, I am now slated to attend the Abi Stafford farewell.   

 

I hope all of these retirements mean that some deserving soloists move up to principal.

Edited by abatt
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5 hours ago, abatt said:

I hope all of these retirements mean that some deserving soloists move up to principal.

I share abatt's hope and believe there will be a lot of movement in the ranks before things settle in. Is there official word on Sterling Hyltin? Did I miss something?  I ask because she is not a big social media presence and, I believe, was on maternity leave pre-pandemic. She can fly below the radar, but is a favorite of mine. Also, I didn't buy a subscription for the first time in many years, but just bought tickets to a performance with a single ticket discount code. I noted that 3rd and 4th ring tickets are not for sale. Hope they figure out how to fill the house!

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Ashley Hod and Gretchen Smith were both part of the MOVES group at Vail and were wonderful in challenging roles they premiered (DaaG, Pictures at an Exhibition).  I would not be at all surprised if they were promoted tout de suite.  Overall it was a wonderful weekend seeing NYCB back live.  Both performances were nearly upstaged by critters running across the stage (a chipmunk and a squirrel, I think) but the dancers held their own.  Anthony Huxley was mesmerizing in both DaaG and in his premier in Sonatine w Tiler Peck (also incredible).  

Edited by KikiRVA
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20 hours ago, abatt said:

I vote for Emily Kikta as soloist among the women.  I think Miriam Miller is also a viable candidate. 

 

 

I had to look to see that Emily Kikta is still in the corps. She certainly deserves a promotion to soloist.

NYCB has added to the number of apprentices listed. IIRC, all last year the only apprentices were Savannah Durham, Zoe Bliss Magnussen, Samuel Melnikov and KJ Takahashi (who was in Kyle Abraham's When We Fell). In the documentary On Pointe (still on Disney+) Zoe and another dancer are seen receiving news of their apprenticeships.

APPRENTICES

  1. Savannah Durham
  2. David Gabriel
  3. Ruby Lister
  4. Zoe Bliss Magnussen
  5. Samuel Melnikov
  6. McKenzie Soares
  7. KJ Takahashi
  8. Quinn Starner
  9. Rommie Tomasini
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On 8/2/2021 at 1:44 PM, abatt said:

I vote for Emily Kikta as soloist among the women.  I think Miriam Miller is also a viable candidate. 

 

 

And Pointe Magazine cover girl Mira Nadon. I hope they announce some promotions in the fall. 

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