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PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2005 2:52 pm 
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Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 290
Location: Ontario, Canada
My true confession..........

I LIKE to consider myself a good audience member. I arrive well before curtain time to take my seat. I don't talk, take flash photos (Honour thy Lighting Designer), or rumble about in my purse during the show. I usually have GOOD seats which I have paid for quite handsomly, so I do take the performances quite seriously.

Usually I show my appreciation by applause at the appropriate times (I try not to do so at inappropriate times, if there are such things). HOWEVER, sometimes I need to leave the theatre immediately following a show. I don't leave early, but I don't stay to applaud either. This is usually because I need to catch a train, or to gather a family member at the train.

Ok, feeling better now I have that off my chest. That being said, in my experience (Toronto, NBOC) it is not typical for many people to leave before the curtain calls are completed. I assume that those of us who do leave, do so for quite valid reasons.

A few years ago there was a very unusual modern-ish piece being performed by the company. Many people did leave even before that piece was performed....I chose to stay, forced myself as I was sure I would learn something. Can't say that I did. I did not like the piece AT ALL, but I did not want to walk out in the middle of it either. This brings me to citibob's point: the audience really needs to WANT to stay for the curtain calls. In my case in point I probably even stayed for the curtain calls as I was still in shock. I doubt that even Misha B himself could have made that dance enjoyable for me. That said, I remember listening to other people at the restaurant after and some had LOVED the performance. Just goes to show that there are many different tastes, and it's the job of the company as a whole to make the experience one that the audience wants to honour with a standing O, or extended applause.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2005 4:22 am 
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Joined: Sat May 28, 2005 8:21 am
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Location: Moscow, Russia
Greetings from Moscow Everyone!

Russian audiences tend to be very touchy, I've seen them walk out in masses right in the middle of a ballet. Here it seems to be more of an honest emotional responce to what they're seeing as opposed to intentionally disrespect. I think it is correct and justified for audiences to react honestly to what they see and feel. As a choreographer, I always appreciate a critical and candid responce to my work; keeps us artists in check and humble. If, for example, many people walked out in the middle of my ballet, I wouldn't feel disrespected, I would feel like I had better get back to work! After all, ballet is a business and a job as well as an art, people are spending their hard earned money and, rightly so, expect something in return. However, I believe it is not the job of audiences (or critics) to determine the direction and evolution of art, that's the job of artists, so it's a tricky balance sometimes. From my experience, if you create something that is honest and beautiful which people can relate to, and if your dancers not suffering from the "me monster" syndrome, you'll EARN the respect and admiration of the public. Artists need to understand that they are accountable for the results of their work like those in other professions. In my case, I would rather an audience "boo" me than to give some artificial praise. So,

a 245 year old quote from Jean Georges Noverre:

"The indulgence with which the public applauds should, in my opinion, urge the artists to seek perfection. Praise should encourage and not dazzle us with the idea that the higest achievement has been attained and that there remains nothing more to accomplish. The false confidence resident in the majority of choreographers, and the little trouble they take to attain further improvement, inclines me to suspect that they imagine they have nothing more to learn."

"I know that applause is food for the arts, but it fails to be wholesome is administered indescriminately..."

hundreds of years later, and we're still asking the same basic questions :?:

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Quote:

It is surely an issue of respect, manners, and the growing trend toward selfishness and self-absorption in our society, but I think it must be stopped. As a performer and lover of dance, I find it very insulting and ignorant.

Little tutu, I think who you just described was in fact the artists and not the audience.

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How do you think we can go about re-educating dance audiences?

First begin by educating the ballet companies beginning with the Directors. In the case of ABT or NYCB, what is "stellar" about these companies are the profound EGO's which drive them. Nobody wants to see this, better to spend $10 and go see a movie.

telling it from the source - Cheers


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2005 10:42 am 
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Joined: Sat May 27, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 1863
Location: Stouffville, Ontario, Canada
The above was very well said. Myself, if I do not enjoy a performance, I either applaud very politely (just a little) or make a quick exit if I’m tight on time to catch transit (Elvis has left the building)! I’ve never actual heard booing at the Hummingbird Centre. Overall, there is way too much applause for the NBoC during the actually performance. People do not know when to show appreciation. For me it reduces ballet to gymnastics when you interrupt the ballet with too much applause.

_________________
The world revolves around the beauty of the ballerina.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2005 9:54 am 
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Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 259
Location: Key Biscayne, Florida, USA
ksneds wrote:
Different people have different experiences...

To start out with, I am referring mainly to ballet audiences,
Kate


So am I.

ksneds wrote:
And as a performer, you should know that very little of that $85 actually makes it to the peformers. So why should they suffer because the theatre (i.e. in this case, the Met) is taking a hefty share of the ticket price, thus raising prices.


I understand what you are saying but ABT at the MET is not a good example, you may not be aware of this but ABT gets a GREATLY reduced subsidized rental of the Metropolitan Opera House and has for years now through the city of New York taxpayers. So does NYCB at the state theatre. I think NYCB's lease began at some point in the 60's when the complex was built for a term of like 100 years, not too sure of ABT's term but they get the place for a steal. The inflation of ticket costs, especially at the MET can be DIRECTLY linked to certain labor organizations and their contracts with any organization that performs at the MET. I don't see how ABT dancers are, as you state "suffering"? Their dancers' work weeks seem to be very good and salaries are slightly above average to say nothing of the VERY VERY RICH repertoire they have the honor and priveledge of performing in a world class venue.
:D LOL about the trains, I wish my train line "NJT - Montclair/Boonton" line had trains that left as late as 1:00AM. All that doesn't matter now though, I am back down here at home in Florida soaking up some much needed sun and using my wireless Internet from the beach. Ciao :wink:


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2005 10:49 am 
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Location: Canada
Actually, to my knowledge, ABT and NYCB have totally different circumstances when it come to the theatre.

NYCB essentially 'owns' the State Theatre - it was built for ballet and Balanchine - and, from what I understand, can dictate when it will perform and how much the tickets will cost, to a certain degree. Obviously labor costs etc. will make a difference.

ABT on the other hand rents out the space at the Met, so is at the mercy of the Met Opera schedule (Met Opera are the 'owners' of the place) and the base price of the ticket is set by The Met, not ABT. And the Met takes a good chunk of the earnings from the ABT gift store (the one that runs at at intermission). And thus the ticket prices go through the roof when labor organizations raise their prices.

You can see the difference just by looking at the websites - to rent out the State Theatre, you go via the NYCB website. For the Met, it's via the Met Opera website.

Yes, the ABT dancers, especially in the higher ranks, are well paid, but I'm sure manyof them don't have huge amounts to spare after paying NYC rent, taxes and other expenses. I do find it interesting that their union does not post the contract, where as AGMA has done that for most of the companies it deals with.

As to work weeks - it ain't the easy life. Not 9 to 5 and six peroformance days a week during the season. If it's anything like NYCB, during performance weeks seeing the sun is a rarity.

kate


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 Post subject: Applause?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2005 9:39 pm 
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I am a dancer and think applause and standing ovations are overused in NYC. Every ballet I have been to by ABT has received standing ovations and bravo's, regardless of who is falling out of turns or phoning-in a performance. As a performer, I usually disregard applause, as I know it is a mere courtesy here. I would much prefer an honest boo. Truthfully, I don't think many American audiences are very educated about dance (or politics or food or other cultures, etc.), so they clap for any neat trick, and, hence, that's what gets put onstage. Over and over. Look at the recycling on Broadway. If we applaud for everything, then we cannot learn to distinguish good art from bad and what makes it so. Sadly, the audiences with money have largely come to accept and pay for watered-down, reliable shows, relegating dance to its lowest denominator: sex and neat-lookin' tricks.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2005 9:34 am 
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Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 259
Location: Key Biscayne, Florida, USA
ksneds wrote:
NYCB essentially 'owns' the State Theatre - it was built for ballet and Balanchine - kate


This is simply not true, you are mistaken, the city of new york (taxpayers) own the entire of lincoln center. Like I said, NYCB and ABT have special arrangements that give them a greatly reduced rental rate and priority at both venues but neither outright owns any part of the facilities. Those buildings were built with taxpayer dollars and will continue to be governed by local and state authorities.
I don't know how long you have been in or around New York City but a while back there was a whole todo about the local 100 union handing out flyers in a labor protest against the powers that be in Lincoln Center on the columbus ave. side of the complex. The high ups at lincoln center tried to have them arrested and the whole thing went to the NLRB which finally handed down the decision that because of the fact that Lincoln Center was a complex owned by the city (essentially the taxpayers) that people were legally allowed to protest or distribute flyers right outside of the facility.

ksneds wrote:
ABT on the other hand rents out the space at the Met, so is at the mercy of the Met Opera schedule - kate

Yes, it is at the mercy of the MET Opera, but they don't rent it from the MET Opera, the rent it from the city and at a subsidized rate.

ksneds wrote:
You can see the difference just by looking at the websites - to rent out the State Theatre, you go via the NYCB website. For the Met, it's via the Met Opera website.- kate

I will be performing at the State Theatre in April 2006 and can tell you for a fact that you do not go through NYCB's website or NYCB at all to rent the space. Sure, you are at the mercy of NYCB for availability, as you are with the New York City Opera, but neither organization owns, has the ultimate power to say ye or nay, or sees money from the rental of the theatre to a third party, the board of directors at Lincoln Center and the city of new york does because that is who owns it. I PROMISE you that this is accurate. Simply do some searching on the Net about the NLRB decision with local 100. The decision talks all about who owns the complex and what rights the citzens of new york had to protest on and around the property.
ksneds wrote:
I do find it interesting that their union does not post the contract, where as AGMA has done that for most of the companies it deals with.- kate

This info would not be hard to obtain though. ABT is a not for profit and all of their financial records must be disclosed to the public in their annual reports, including salaries. Regarding AGMA, well, I won't talk about that because they have a decency rule here at CD that I would surely violate.

ksneds wrote:
As to work weeks - it ain't the easy life. Not 9 to 5 and six peroformance days a week during the season. If it's anything like NYCB, during performance weeks seeing the sun is a rarity..- kate

Sun? who needs sun?? Just the gleaming, blinding, glow of spotlights and life is good. lol :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: Applause?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2005 9:49 am 
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Posts: 259
Location: Key Biscayne, Florida, USA
ChewableC wrote:
I am a dancer and think applause and standing ovations are overused in NYC.

I am a dancer too and agree 100% but it is not just in NYC, that is a dilemna all over.

ChewableC wrote:
As a performer, I usually disregard applause

Right on.

ChewableC wrote:
If we applaud for everything, then we cannot learn to distinguish good art from bad and what makes it so. Look at the recycling on Broadway.

Capitalism/Commercialism at its finest my friend. All Broadway is missing is the slot machines and we have Vegas on the East Coast.

ChewableC wrote:
Sadly, the audiences with money have largely come to accept and pay for watered-down, reliable shows, relegating dance to its lowest denominator: sex and neat-lookin' tricks.

I agree but what about the choreographers who create those pieces? Or the artistic directors that allow the pieces to get on the stage? They too are responsible for giving into that trend.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2005 12:12 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2004 12:01 am
Posts: 81
Location: San Ramon High School
Getting back to the issue of audience etiquette:

As the program annotator for the Oakland Ballet, my Artistic Director had me compose a theater etiquette section for our pages in Playbill. In this I reviewed some basic audience expectations regarding talking, gum chewing, cell-phones, commentary, the "six block rule", etc. We thought, and I believe our perceptions to be accurate, that people were not blindly and inconsiderately rude. Many had simply never been educated as to the difference between "Movie" and "Live" theater. The response from many patrons was that of gratitude.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2005 1:03 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 27, 2000 12:01 am
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Location: Canada
I agree on the standing ovations...way too many.

As to ABT - the requirements for a non-profit only state that the top 5 (or sometimes 10) salaries have to be revealed in the tax statements. In recent years that has included a few dancers, but generally more non-dancers.

Other than that, there is no detail.

And yes, technically the theatres are owned by the City, but NYCB has a muc better deal. ABT gets the raw end of the deal from the Met. And as to rental, NYCB does not rent the State Theatre, but that's where you get the info:

http://www.nycballet.com/about/aboutnyst.html

Kate


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 Post subject: six block rule
PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2005 3:30 pm 
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Posts: 199
Location: California
Shallot, what is the "six-block rule"? I've never heard that expression.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2005 3:31 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 21, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 717
Location: California
Liscarkat, welcome back!

:lol:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2005 10:14 am 
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Location: Birmingham Uni / UWM Milwaukee
This happened last night at the evening performance of Adam Cooper's Les Liasons Dangereuses. Despite the cast dancing their arses off for 2 hours, some people in the stalls decided to get up and leave before the curtain call had finished, and i found this absolutely appauling! Could they really not have waited an extra 30 seconds to a minute to give the dancers and musicians the appreciation they deserve? If health and safety rules would allow it i'd have all theatre auditorium doors locked until the curtain call was over!


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 26, 2005 6:38 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 19975
Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
A theatre incident in London.

Actor snaps over ringing mobile
From the BBC website

The actor has taken direct action against mobile phones before Actor Richard Griffiths ordered a woman out of his West End play, after her mobile phone rang for the third time.
The performance of Heroes at Wyndham's theatre was nearing the end when Griffiths asked her: "Is that it, or will it be ringing some more?"

click for more


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 26, 2005 7:27 am 
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Location: Canada
The ensuing conversation on BBC's feedback board about cellphones and performances was fascinating.

For one, it became very clear to me that some respondents were clearly of the generation who don't understand the difference between a movie and a live performance (say baller or theatre). It might be annoying for a phone to go off in a movie, but you're not disturbing - i.e. disrespecting - a live performer.

And a lot of people thought it was OK to leave a cellphone in silent mode (now, thankfully, illegal in NYC) - but as one sane person commented - what are you going to do - answer the call during the show?

Thus, my feeling is that if it's not possible for you to shut off your cellphone for at least the length of an act, you shouldn't be in the theatre. 99.99% of the population fall into that category - including many people who would claim that they HAVE to have their mobile on all the time.

I think the only exception would be a doctor/paramedic on call, in which case the person should be seated on an aisle and in the back of the theatre so that they can leave quietly and quickly. (Or leave at the next intermission/pause). And it would depend on the performance - it would inappropriate to have to leave during a performance in a very small theatre or during a dance performed without music or a play like 'Long Days Journey Into Night' or say during the final scene of Romeo & Juliet (which someone in the front row of the Met Opera House did, most unbelievabley!!) etc.

And even doctors and the like have to make some choices because the operation of any mobile, whether or not it's in silent mode, is now illegal in NYC theatres. So, I presume, one has to go back to the old fashioned method of leaving one's seat assignment with the theatre, and having the theatre called or waiting until intermission to check for pages/calls. Any doctors out there who have had to deal with this issue?

Kate


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