CriticalDance Forum

National Ballet of Canada Financial Woes
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Author:  Michael Goldbarth [ Mon Oct 31, 2005 9:42 pm ]
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Mrs. K must read CriticalDance! I just received a letter from Mrs. K herself informing me of
“changes to the repertoire.”

I have another tip for the NBoC’s Marketing Department. You may consider dropping off a few season brochures at the classical section of HMV or Sam the Record Man. They used to but I haven’t seen anything from the National there for the past few years. It would make sense that someone interested in classical music may be tempted to see the NBoC.

Author:  Michael Goldbarth [ Tue Nov 01, 2005 9:42 pm ]
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More proof the NBoC reads CD! Today I received an invite from the AD herself to check out the view inside the Four Seasons! I’ve also been offered the opportunity to reserve box seats in the Grand Ring with promises of a luxurious interior. :roll: No word yet if this will include power steering and an air bag! :roll: In anticipation of a hefty price tag, I am offering up my kidney to the highest CD bidder. What is my opening bid?

I’m sure the ring seats at the centre will offer a wonderful view but I’m not so sure about the seats to the sides of the theatre. Does anybody have any experience with Ring seating?

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Wed Nov 02, 2005 12:45 am ]
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Michael, is there an online seating plan we can look at?

Author:  Michael Goldbarth [ Wed Nov 02, 2005 12:22 pm ]
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ClickHERE for the seating. I appreciate any feedback

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Wed Nov 02, 2005 12:46 pm ]
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I frequently use the stalls side circle benches at the Royal Opera House.

Good points:

- relatively cheap but less price advantageous than they used to be
- slightly above the stalls, so better angle in this respect
- close to the stage so you feel in contact with the dancers. Some of the expensive seats in the ROH's horseshoe auditorium feel remote from the action

Bad points:

- you are way, way off centre so you lose a lot of the geometry for many works

- the sharp angle means that you miss some of the action on-stage. Worst case was a passionate pdd featuring a bed....I couldn't see the bed.

- in the ROH, if people next to you lean forward you really can't see the stage and I regularly have to point this out.

Author:  Michael Goldbarth [ Wed Nov 02, 2005 7:21 pm ]
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Thanks for the advice. It sounds like the seats to the sides may present a problem but will no doubt offset that by savings in seats. I do wish the seats at the lower levels would be situated above the stage more. I won’t know until we take an actual tour of the facility but the floor seats look disappointing. For ballets like Swan Lake and the Nutcracker I prefer to sit in the Mezzanine section while ballets like Romeo & Juliet lend themselves to better viewing up close. I suspect those coveted Grand Ring box seats will be occupied by the very wealthy or big corporations. Sadly, if they are owned by big corporations they may be empty many nights. The big cheeses don’t always show up.

FYI: I posted casting for Swan Lake under the NBoC Fall section.

Author:  Michael Goldbarth [ Wed Nov 02, 2005 9:31 pm ]
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Below are 3 of the benefits to the Grand Ring Box Seats:

Steps from the glorious Patrons Lounge.

Private entrance with a vestibule to hold coats and bags.

Drinks delivered to your box at intermission.

I hope some of the very rich buy up these seats to keep prices down for us working folk. Most people I know go for a walk during intermission. Hence, I don’t believe the delivery of drinks will be that popular. Cheers!

Author:  Michael Goldbarth [ Thu Nov 10, 2005 11:28 am ]
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The Rockettes[/url] are coming to T.O. in 2006 to kick up a storm at the National’s old home: The Hummingbird Centre! Paula Citron of [url=]
the Globe & Mail[/url] muses about the competition:

"The size and scale of competing shows does impact," says Brown. "The truth is, The Nutcracker is the cash cow of ballet companies and we have to become more aggressive in our marketing to promote the production. There is now a lot of pressure on the holiday market."

For Canada's National Ballet, it is a cautionary tale. In 2006, the company will have the added advantage of a new home, but the competition will be stiff. Not only will the Rockettes be at the Hummingbird, but the much-hyped Lord of the Rings musical will be up and running at the Princess of Wales Theatre.

Drake will continue with the direct-marketing strategy that has proven successful, although she admits that all patterns may change with the new venue. "Our Nutcracker has held its own," says Drake. "We've lived through the Livent and Mirvish big shows before, and we hope for the best."

I said it before and I’ll say it again, the NBoC has to emerge from their Sleeping Beauty slumber and realize they are in the ENTERTAINMENT business-not in the business of presenting contract ballets!!

Author:  Michael Goldbarth [ Sat Nov 12, 2005 11:38 am ]
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Dear Karen Kain:

I was planning to attend your seminar previewing my new seat at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts but the boss I toil for, Mr. Slate, forced me to work OT yesterday! Sure it’s just a little disappointment in life but I am suffering more and more little disappointments which eventually weigh you down. Most people have to work so many hours they are too tired or too sick or live too far away to even attend the ballet.

I’m one of the little people in the real life movie ‘The Third Man.’ Hence; the box sets in the Grand Ring looking down upon ‘the little people’ do not appeal to me – Not that I could afford them anyway! I can envision a future where perhaps a mere dozen fans show up to see the National Ballet of Canada dance music to life because the rest have been forced to stay at work so some CEO can work 1 hour a day and spend the rest of his time recuperating in a spa from working 1 whole hour! Big Business in TO is all about profanity laced diatribes, threats, cheating ‘the little people’ with exorbitant fees for little service and getting away with it. It’s one gross pyramid scheme legalized by the lawmakers of Canada. If anybody has been following the news the past few years, you would say the same thing about the Canadian government!

I feel so much better now! I apologize if I have offended all those wonderful people who worship ‘The Third Man’ or ‘The Third Reich’ for that matter. Given how little leisure time is left for the slaves of Metropolis I highly suggest the National Ballet of Canada market to fans within a 10 mile radius of their new home and to those who can actually afford to be comfortably retired without having to work to put food on their table.

“Would you feel any pity if one of those dots stopped moving forever? If I offered you £20,000 for every dot that stopped - would you really, old man, tell me to keep my money? Or would you calculate how many dots you could afford to spare?...Free of Income Tax, old man...”

Sadly, ‘The Third Man’ is not playing at an old movie house near you. ‘The Third Man’ is playing in the real world and you’re co-starring in a cast of 6 billion or so insignificant ‘dots!’

* Being a mere ‘dot,’ I’m shocked I was even given an invite to preview the view from my seat! It really doesn’t matter because I’m starting to believe planet Earth is in its last season-The Season of Winter. Perhaps Mr. K’s Swan Lake will come true :!:

Author:  Michael Goldbarth [ Thu Nov 24, 2005 8:06 am ]
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Good news for the National Ballet of Canada! The federal Fiberal Party has promised to double Arts funding to $301-million in 3 years. Click HERE for the full story in the Globe & Mail.

Nevertheless, Frulla said, things are looking up: “I’ve never lived such a thing. We’re all crying here,” indicating the mood at the Montreal press conference yesterday announcing the spending increase. “Karen Kain [chairwoman of the Canada Council] has been crying since last night.”

The increased funding will coincide with the council’s 50th anniversary in 2007. “This is thrilling news, not just for the Canada Council and the arts community, but for all Canadians,” Kain said yesterday.

The Toronto Star is not as optimistic:

“But skeptics were wondering whether this bonanza was real or just a pre-election promise blowing in the wind.”

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Thu Nov 24, 2005 8:36 am ]
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Thanks for that excellent news, Michael. However, I have to say that I am surprised that arts funding in Canada is at such a low level compared with European models. The current spending of CAN$150m is around £75m for a population of 32m. Current Arts Council England funding is around 6 times that for a population less than double the size. Even after the major increase, Canadian spending will still only be about one third of that in England.

Nevertheless, it's still more, even at current levels, than the pitiful $120m for the US National Endowment for the Arts (especially Shakespeare for service personnel). We hold these truths to be self-evident.

Author:  Noreen Arnold [ Thu Nov 24, 2005 9:28 am ]
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Michael Crabb made the announcement at the start of the "Ballet Talk" last night - he kept Kain from leaving the platform after she had introduced him and the guest speaker Erik Aschengreen. He praised Kain for spearheading the effort to lobby for more funding, even though he said she's quick to credit everyone on the Council for the effort. He was also critical of the abuse Kain got from critics who claim she's in conflict of interest as AD of the NBoC and chair of the Canada Arts Counsel. I believe he used the word "obscene" to describe what she's been subjected to. In any case she came back to the microphone and gave some details on the funding and that they've been assured that the flow of new money will not be subject to the election results as all parties (supposedly) were in favour or the increase. I've got my fingers crossed on that one! Anyway, Crabb gave her a big bouquet of yellow roses and she left to go do AD stuff while we enjoyed a very informative and amusing talk.

Author:  Michael Goldbarth [ Thu Nov 24, 2005 6:52 pm ]
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