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Favorite seats - where do you like to sit?

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When attending a live performance of anything, I've always been a firm believer in sitting as close to the stage as possible. This year, my season ticket status finally got me to the first row, center section of the Colorado Ballet. Although I love the view - unblocked by basketball players or ladies with beehive hairdos - I've discovered a couple of downsides to these seats.

First, the floor is slightly too high. You must sit at attention (no slouching permitted!) to see the point of contact between shoes and floor. When the ancient Auditorium Theatre closes for a complete gut-and-remodel next year, I have my fingers crossed this problem will be solved.

I also learned the hard way which 2 seats have a great view of the orchestra conductor's back, but nothing beyond.

The ticket office was kind enough to exchange my seats for future performances.

If you could pick any seat, where would choose to sit?

- First row to see the dancers' sweat?

- Row 10 for a better overall view of the corps?

- High up in a wing for a 3-dimensional view of the choreography?

- Someplace else?

This could be a fun thread, so let the debate begin!

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I'm a higher up so I can see the whole stage type. I have a subscription to NYCB that I keep renewing, even if I don't like the programs, beause I would hate to give up the seat -- in the center of the first row of the second ring. I woudln't mind beign in the same place in the first ring, of course, but that would take more money and also, i fear, waiting for many people to die.

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Sightlines are really bad at the Royal Opera House in London and because I'm so tiny I'm pretty much restricted to the front row of anything if I don't want to spend 3 hours craning. I love the front row of the stalls for really dramatic ballets like Onegin or R&J so I can watch every single expression on the dancer's faces. It's a bit low though, so you can't see the dancers feet, especially when they got to the back of the stage. For ballets like Giselle I can stand be further back and enjoy the Wilis. More abstract ballets with a huge corps are better of course with a little perspective so it's front of the amphi for me. And standing seats always work for me - cheap and the view is perfect!

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I like to sit "in the tenth row" best I guess. You are close enough to see the expression and the detailing in the costuming and sets.

But if I am fortunate enough to see the same show twice, I like to sit up a level. You get an entirely different perspective from above. You can really see the patterns and I tend to really watch the entire ballet not focus on only one dancer.

If I'm stuck in the "cheap seats" up more than two levels, I carry a small pair of binoculars in my purse and zoom in to see expression and details when I want.

I took my mother to see Sleeping Beauty on Mother's Day. We were in the fourth row orchestra. My mom is in her seventies and she loved it. I prefer to be back a little further.

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Ideally, I like to sit about where you like to sit Doris..depending on how big the theater is. I like to try to sit just a bit above the stage level...but don't want to hear the foot falls, or see the sweat - unless of course it's with my trusty binoculars! Once I sat on the first ring, but on the right side of the NY State Theater and I didn't like it too much...it was for a Merce Cunningham program and I couldn't see enough!

Today I just ordered some tickets for NYCB up at Saratoga Springs...and a really nice, helpful fellow at the box office spent quite a bit of time with me explaining why he liked to sit where! He also told me that the main reason he works at SPAC in the summers is because he can attend any performance from ballet to classical music for free!:)

One performance we attend will be in the "balcony box" row A...supposedly right in the center! :) the other will be in row O of the orchestra. I've never been up there before so it should be interesting to have the two different views.

If, however, I am at a performance in which the stage is at floor level, I prefer to sit a little less than half way up the tiered seats.

Granted these are my ideal seats!

Actually I am thinking of going for the "Fourth Ring Society" of the NYCB next year, and follow some of the other posters here who then move down after intermission...if I can get up the gumption to do it! ;)

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First row of the first balcony. However, I have acrophibia so the first row can be scarey at times and I'll then opt for the 2nd row. But the first balcony....always (I'm too short for the orchestra unless it's raked like stadium seating). And then there's the slant of the rows as they ascend. Some slant outwards and some slant inwards. If you want an aisle seat you'd want to be in an aisle seat that slants outwards from front to back.

Giannina

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At the Detroit Opera House here in the Motor City there are two great places to see ballet: front row of the orchestra, on either aisle or the trustee's circle, which is the first five rows of the balcony.

Front row is great for works I have seen often (generally what we get here, anyway) to better watch the real work happening on stage. One can also see the pit band close up. Beware any seat in the orchestra not in the first few rows--the rake is VERY shallow and a tall person or one with big hair can be a disaster if you are seated behind that person. The trustee's circle--the approximate equivalent of the Grand Tier at the Met, but a LOT closer to the stage--is great for a relatively close up view but from above.

At the Music Hall, just down the street, the rake of the orchestra is much better. The first tier of the balcony is quite good--I can't remember the second tier every being open, even for otherwise sold out houses. Music Hall plays host to modern dance. They had the DTH in the past, but the Opera House may have picked up those dates.

Varner Hall, on the campus of Oakland University, has no balcony and a very steep rake with a low stage. They present modern dance and some instrumental recitals. Most seats are good.

The Power Center in Ann Arbor (not sure if it is part of the University of Michigan--most things there are) is an excellent veune for ballet or dance, at least from the balcony. I haven't been in the orchestra seats there.

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I can't decide my favorite place! I can definitely rule out the first row, and probably anything within the first 15. I don't like sitting so close that I can see the makeup the dancers are wearing, or all the tiny details on the costumes(or that they're frayed or stained, or something like that). At the same time, I don't like sitting really far either, or really high up, especially because I have a fear that the balconies are going to fall. I think that a good center seat about 25 rows back in the orchestra, or a front row in the balcony are just about perfect.

In Chicago, we have the Auditorium Theatre, which has wonderful acoustics. It also has wonderful sightlines from almost any place, so I am really lucky to be able to have perfect seats from almost anywhere. But my preference is to be center, at the back of the orchestra or the balcony.

-Dolphingirl

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I like to sit in the centre column, on the main floor, and about 6 rows back. If you sit too close to the stage, you can't see the dancers' feet. If you sit too far away, yu can't see their face as well.

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Just a post script here: I always bring my binoculars - auto focus, extra wide field of view! I have to see the dancers' faces, and if I can't I am very, very unhappy!

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What Dolphingirl forgot to mention about the Auditorium Theatre (in Chicago) is that the rake increases right around the 25th row, so sightlines are much easier than closer up. I like those seats too.

With a renovation in progress that will raise the stage by 12", who knows what the sightlines will be like in the future?

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