CriticalDance Forum

New and renovated venues
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Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Sat Sep 16, 2000 1:17 am ]
Post subject:  Re: New and renovated venues

Image <P>The Coliseum - London's largest theatre and, with Sadler's Wells, the best for large scale dance. The designers of this 96 year old venue clearly knew a thing or two about sightlines.<P>An article from The Daily Telegraph about the renovations spread over 3 years at The Coliseum. This will be much less dramatic than the work at the ROH and Sadler's Wells. There's also a discussion about the state of English National Opera, so those of you with an aversion to the world of big tenors need not read beyond the first part.<P><A HREF="" TARGET=_blank>Coliseum article</A>

Author:  Azlan [ Sat Sep 23, 2000 2:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: New and renovated venues

The Dean Lesher Regional Center for the Arts isn't quite so new but, built in 1990, it is very "young" compared to other major theaters in the SF Bay Area. Despite that, it has hosted many memorable performances, including ballet. Here is a story about Scott Denison, the man behind the scenes at the Dean Lesher center:<P>Peggy Spear, SF Chronicle<BR><B><A HREF="" TARGET=_blank>Man Behind the Scenes<BR>Lesher Center manager keeps busy as he guides center into second decade</A></B><P>[This message has been edited by Azlan (edited September 23, 2000).]<p>[This message has been edited by grace (edited September 29, 2000).]

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Tue Oct 31, 2000 2:51 am ]
Post subject:  Re: New and renovated venues

A bit tangential from the main theme, but here is an article about a new survey of the theatres at risk from re-development in the UK. There is a real problem, heightened by the fact that, although dance audiences have held up at their relatively low level, drama audiences have fallen by a third over the past 10 years. <P>Not mentioned here, as it's post-1914, are the plans to redevelop the glorious art-deco Bexhill Pavilion, which is one of the most important touring venues for dance on the South Coast. <P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>THE Theatres Trust’s first Guide to British Theatres, which has just been launched at the Palladium, is already about to become poignantly out of date. The Brighton Imperial, now called the Essoldo, is listed in the guide as “capable of providing the South Coast with a lyric theatre of regional significance”, but is now scheduled for demolition to make way for flats and offices. <P>“It’s a sad loss. It could have been a great venue,” says John Earl, co-editor with Michael Sell of the new guide. <P>But it is not all bad news. The new guide is a sequel to Curtains!!!, produced independently by a group of architectural and theatrical historians in 1982. It listed 490 pre-1914 theatres and issued a polemical call to arms to save them from demolition.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><A HREF=",,27536,00.html" TARGET=_blank><B>now read on </B></A><p>[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited October 31, 2000).]

Author:  Basheva [ Tue Oct 31, 2000 7:50 am ]
Post subject:  Re: New and renovated venues

What I find missing in the theaters of today is the classical beauty of the old houses. The Civic Theater (3000 seats) in San Diego seems to function well enough - both backstage and public areas, but - well I like some beauty, too. <P>For many years the Civic Theater was blackballed by dance companies because of the hard floor. But that has been re-done. Dance is often not considered when builidng a theater. In some star dressing rooms there is a barre for the ballerina - but the last time I was in that dressing room (visiting Galina Panov - many years ago) there was no barre as I remember it.<P>The Organge county Performing Arts theater is ok in the modern genre, I suppose. The configuration of seating in the auditorium is rather strange. One of the things that has to be considered in Southern California in construction is earthquake safety - and many buildings have been retro-fitted.<P>My favorite is the wonderful Academy of Music in Philadelphia which as I understand it is based on La Scala. It is rich in boxes, draperies, the accoustics are wonderful. Of course there are some poles - that go directly through (yes - you read that correctly) some seats. And, no money returned if you happen to get one of those. And yes, the upper levels nose bleed seats are barely benches - but perfect for violin concertos. I sat there often in my younger days.<P>I think that a theater should be a suitable setting for the jewel that is being presented on stage.

Author:  DavidH [ Tue Oct 31, 2000 7:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: New and renovated venues

Well as someone who co-managed the ticket office of the Lesher Center for eight years I'll overlook Grace's comments. Within the structure of the city and neighborhood that it resides in it's quite lovely. What you don't see is the impecable care in which it is managed and maintained (and it hosts more than 700 events a year.) The Center manager and his staff keep the place impeccably clean. The carpets are cleaned every two months, the large windows every month, the stages (all three of them) are repainted and repaired every summer. It's paint is constantly touched up, seats are replaced and refurbished on a regular basis.......... Well, you get my drift so I won't go on and on (and I could) any longer. When I go to other venues(as I do quite often)I am more often than not appalled with lack of maintenance these "temples of art" are given. Okay, off my soap box.......

Author:  Azlan [ Tue Oct 31, 2000 7:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: New and renovated venues

DavidH, thanks for your insider's comments. What amazes me about the Lesher Regional Center is that they will often have all three theatres busy at the same time. One evening, I recall, there were two ballet performances and a play!

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Tue Oct 31, 2000 11:31 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: New and renovated venues

Basheva, I respect your view on the elegant old theatres with bags of charm. However, for me, it's the utilitarian aspects, sightlines and the stage, first, second, third and fourth. If this can be combined with a beautiful theatre then so much the better.

-The new Sadler's Wells has none of the charm of the old and I miss that. But the stage is twice the size and the theatre is now in demand from companies who would never have gone there previously and the sightlines excellent.

-The refurbished and beautiful ROH remains one of the worst theatres for dance in the country, with no seats for those of us who like to look down on the stage from not too far away. The rake on the stalls has been improved, so your view of the stage may now only be restricted rather than zero from a £65 seat.

-I enjoy seeing dance at The Peacock, a black box with good sightlines and an adequate stage.

-The new Lowry is in general the best I have seen, with the caveat that I am told that from the front of the stalls you cannot see the dancers' feet. Fortunately for me this is not an area in which I would ever sit. Although brand new the auditorium has bags of simple elegance. On the second page of the POB 'Bayadere' topic below, I give a detailed description of the Lowry:

- The circa 1900 Coliseum is soon to have a clean-up and refurbishment. This is perhaps the London theatre which best meets your requirements and mine, Basheva. A lovely theatre with art nouveaux influences and great sightlines from most seats.

[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited November 01, 2000).]

(Edited by salzberg to fix link)

<small>[ 08-10-2002, 08:54: Message edited by: salzberg ]</small>

Author:  DavidH [ Wed Nov 01, 2000 8:11 am ]
Post subject:  Re: New and renovated venues

Thanks Azlan. What always amazed me was that in the month of December we would survive up to 11 events a day. Working their was an interesting experience to say the least. :-) <P>DH

Author:  DavidH [ Thu Nov 02, 2000 11:24 am ]
Post subject:  Re: New and renovated venues

Not at all Grace. How could you know? And on another note Makarova is staging Giselle at Hamburg,no Ulanova. <P>DH

Author:  Azlan [ Wed Nov 22, 2000 4:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: New and renovated venues

Image <P><BR>A potentially grave situation for the Boston Opera House:<P><B><A HREF="" TARGET=_blank>Time to raise the roof</A></B><BR>If Boston's cultural community doesn't act soon, historic Opera House will be lost<BR>by Terry Byrne, The Boston Herald<BR>

Author:  Azlan [ Sun Dec 03, 2000 5:44 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: New and renovated venues

From the Detroit News:<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><B><A HREF="" TARGET=_blank>Canton plans to build performing arts center</A></B><BR>Work is expected to start in summer<P>By Jennifer Chambers, The Detroit News<P>CANTON -- Canton is the land of plenty: plenty of people, plenty of homes and plenty of recreation.<P>But one area that has not kept pace with the suburb's booming population and development is the arts. And that you have to have, according to Canton Township officials.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><B><A HREF="" TARGET=_blank>More</A></B>

Author:  Azlan [ Wed Dec 13, 2000 9:20 am ]
Post subject:  Re: New and renovated venues

From the Boston Herald:<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><B><A HREF="" TARGET=_blank>Emerson set to begin work on arts center</A></B><P>by T.J. Medrek, Boston Herald<P>Emerson College expects to begin construction on its new modern performing arts center in the Theater District early next year, pending approval tomorrow by the city's Zoning Board of Appeals.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><B><A HREF="" TARGET=_blank>More</A></B>

Author:  Azlan [ Wed Dec 13, 2000 9:21 am ]
Post subject:  Re: New and renovated venues

And another:<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><B><A HREF="" TARGET=_blank>Cultural makeover in Providence</A></B><P>Boston Herald<P>The Veterans Memorial Auditorium in Providence is in line for a nearly $9 million renovation that will transform the concert hall into a cultural center for arts groups.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><B><A HREF="" TARGET=_blank>More</A></B>

Author:  Basheva [ Thu Dec 14, 2000 6:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: New and renovated venues

New York Times artical about the expansion of a theater:<P>Innovative Theater Space Plans an Expansion<BR> <A HREF="" TARGET=_blank></A> <P>

Author:  Basheva [ Fri Dec 15, 2000 5:41 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: New and renovated venues

Los Angeles Times article about a new theater space at Cal STate Fullerton:<P><BR><A HREF=",1419,L-LATimes-Search-X!ArticleDetail-13700,00.html?search_area=Articles&channel=Search" TARGET=_blank>Small Venue Debuts at Grand Central</A><P>

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