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 Post subject: National Ballet of Canada - Winter 2012
PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2012 7:43 pm 
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Location: Canada
The National Ballet of Canada’s Winter Season Features Three Full-Length Ballets
Evan McKie, Zdenek Konvalina, Bridgett Zehr and Matjash Mrozewski Guest
La Fille mal gardée is Dedicated to Alexander Grant

January 18, 2012… Karen Kain, Artistic Director of The National Ballet Canada, today announced that the 60th anniversary celebrations continue this Winter Season with four guest artists. Evan McKie, Principal Dancer with Stuttgart Ballet, will perform the role of Prince Florimund in The Sleeping Beauty. Mr. McKie was born in Toronto and trained at Canada’s National Ballet School, the Kirov Academy of Ballet and John Cranko School. He has received critical acclaim for many roles, including Hamlet, Onegin, Siegfried in Swan Lake and Prince Florimund in The Sleeping Beauty, among others. This will be Mr. McKie’s first performance in his hometown since graduating from Canada’s National Ballet School.

Former Principal Dancers and current Guest Artists Zdenek Konvalina and Bridgett Zehr will return to dance the roles of Prince Florimund and Princess Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty. Currently, Mr. Konvalina and Ms. Zehr are Principal Dancers with English National Ballet.

Former Soloist Matjash Mrozewski will dance the role of Widow Simone in La Fille mal gardée. Mr. Mrozewski is a Toronto-based freelance choreographer who has created works for The Royal Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Royal Danish Ballet, The National Ballet of Canada and Stuttgart Ballet, among others.

The three full-length ballets featured in the Winter Season each hold a unique place in the company’s rich history. The season opens with Sir Frederick Ashton’s enduring La Fille mal gardée, February 29 – March 4, 2012. Ashton’s La Fille mal gardée, one of the oldest, yet most beloved, of all narrative ballets, was brought into the National Ballet's repertoire in 1976 by then Artistic Director Alexander Grant. The first of 47 ballets generously gifted to the National Ballet by The Volunteer Committee, La Fille mal gardée is dedicated to the memory of Mr. Grant who died in London, England on September 30, 2011 at the age of 86. A celebrated dancer, ballet master and director, Mr. Grant was a member of the Royal Ballet for 30 years and created more than 20 roles in the works of Sir Frederick Ashton.

The Sleeping Beauty is a ballet that epitomizes, perhaps better than any other, the meaning of classical ballet. Rudolf Nureyev's 1966 adaptation of the ballet was immediately recognized as a landmark interpretation and when he set the work on the National Ballet in 1972, it became one of the most significant milestones in the company’s history. The Sleeping Beauty runs March 10 – 18, 2012.

John Neumeier’s moving and astonishing adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s great play The Seagull bears all the hallmarks of his aesthetic and provides a perfect vehicle for his distinctive dramatic and choreographic gifts. Mr. Neumeier set his first work for the National Ballet, Don Juan with Rudolf Nureyev in the title role, in 1972 and in 1993, he created Now and Then for Karen Kain. The company’s close association with this gifted choreographer culminated with the North American premiere of The Seagull in 2008 which was received to great critical acclaim and this compelling work concludes the Winter Season March 21 – 25, 2012.


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 Post subject: Re: National Ballet of Canada - Winter 2012
PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 3:35 pm 
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Location: Stouffville, Ontario, Canada
I have emerged from my Winter Hibernation! I enjoyed the new R&J but thought the costumes did not display a lot of fashion sense with many weird color combinations and the sets looked like they were done on the cheap. I was very impressed by the comical performance of Jonathan Renna as Romeo’s best friend as well as that of Heather Ogden, as Juliet. The dueling scenes were excellent evoking memories of The Adventures of Robin Hood!

Onto the 2012/2013 season! Mrs. K is bringing us a lot of repeats in case you missed Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland, R & J, Emergence, Pur ti Miro along with Carmen (now full length)-All of which were recently presented. I don’t mind seeing Alice again and okay with a longer Carmen but I thought they would wait on replaying the rest! I am looking forward to seeing Nijinsky. You can view the announcement and read further here.

Note: R & J is not a subscriber ballet.

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 Post subject: Re: National Ballet of Canada - Winter 2012
PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2012 11:11 am 
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Location: Stouffville, Ontario, Canada
National Ballet of Canada ROED Rage!

I’m posting a correction after having been informed I erroneously posted figures which made it appear the NBoC increased subscription process 15.1%. In fact, it was only around 2%. It is 15.1% if you compare next season with HST to this past season without HST. So, it is the HST charged by the government of Ontario that represents most of the higher figure.

I could see many subscribers turning into single ticket buyers for 2012/2013. Why should I pay so much more to see 4 ballets I’ve only recently seen in Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland, Emergence, Pur ti Miro along with Carmen (now full length)?

No doubt, for half the audience money will not be an issue but for some their ROED (Return on Entertainment Dollar) will be. If I do not take advantage of the 10% discount, I will be paying an average of $143 per ballet to sit in my Ring 3 seat, which represents a savings of only $12 total should I forego my subscription to purchase single tickets. This is an outrageous price when you compare it to seeing a production at the Stratford Festival. I purchased A+ Orchestra seats to see the musical 42nd Street for $85.88 and Much Ado About Nothing for $73.45. That’s almost a 2-1 ratio for my ROED!

The move to the Four Seasons has provided a richer ballet experience for both viewing and listening but not for those who sit in the Upper Ring 5.1 oxygen mask/nosebleed seats and not for those who value their ROED. This fiscal austerity measure levied upon loyal subscribers does nothing more than perpetuate the view that ballet is only for the nouveau riche upper crust of society.

If there was a bullet train to the Big Apple, I would be on it in a New York Minute to subscribe to New York City Ballet! Their top Subscription Seats for a 6 performance package cost only $714 compared to $1,419 for the National Ballet of Canada. I save half the price for arguably the best ballet on the planet with 50 plus ballets to choose from compared to only half a dozen for the NBoC. There is no comparison in value. How long can this continue? How long before NYCB offers all ballets to be piped into my home TV? The NBoC could claim to be an A company back in the 70s and to come extent the 80s. Now they are strictly B-class compared to New York City Ballet.

Many dancers have left to dance overseas over the past few years and others are very close to retirement or close to assuming character non-dancing roles. As a longtime ballet fan and albeit spoiled, it is difficult to be motivated to subscribe when other options are much more tempting. I can’t afford to catch a flight to see NYCB half a dozen times but could combine a 1-week holiday with some NYCB to satisfy my insatiable appetite for ballet. I’m curious if anyone knows how NYCB can afford to present ballet for half the price?

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Last edited by Michael Goldbarth on Mon Feb 13, 2012 7:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: National Ballet of Canada - Winter 2012
PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2012 2:30 pm 
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Location: Stouffville, Ontario, Canada
Casting has been released for La Fille Mal Gardée with Sonia Rodriguez starring in the lead role of Lise 3 times!

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 Post subject: Re: National Ballet of Canada - Winter 2012
PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2012 8:19 pm 
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The National Post talks to Heather Ogden and Guillaume Côté about relationships in a perfect article right before V-Day! :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: National Ballet of Canada - Winter 2012
PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 2:40 pm 
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Location: Stouffville, Ontario, Canada
I posted my NBoC ROED Rage Manifesto on the National’s Facebook and it was removed! I guess that is their right but just the same we live in a country of free speech here in Canada and not a dictatorship!! I believe I made some excellent pointes. :D

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 Post subject: Re: National Ballet of Canada - Winter 2012
PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 4:41 pm 
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The prices for the ballet are high, but they are generally in line -- for better or for worse -- with ticket prices for similarly-sized productions in similar seats in Toronto (taking Ring 3 as the example -- Mirvish has front balcony seats for $130 and Dancap for $135 [including the current non-Equity tour stop of In the Heights, for which the cheapest seats are $46!], COC sells ring 3 seats for $185 including fees).

Also, if you don't want to see all of the ballets, why don't you go to a Flex Subscription? The per-ballet price in the 4-performance package is now the same as in the full subscription.

Or you could take advantage of the low-cost tickets, including $12 standing room rush, which you could mix in with some more expensive seats. The standing rush spots are in the backs of Rings 3 and 4, so they're actually great sightlines. That's $12, when the person a few feet in front of you in Ring 3 paid $140!

I assume NBoC charges what they do for tickets because they can sell them at those prices. I heard about people calling the Grand Ring ticket prices outrageous when offered the last two seats left in the entire house for Alice last year... Well, they're obviously not so outrageous that people don't buy them! I personally feel fortunate that these are balanced by inexpensive nosebleed seats, rush and standing room rush tickets, as well as by discounted tickets that are available to young audience members, etc. Would I prefer to sit in amazing seats for every performance? Of course. But I can't begrudge the company for charging what it has to in order to employ 70 dancers full-time as well as pianists and technicians, use a live orchestra, etc.


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 Post subject: Re: National Ballet of Canada - Winter 2012
PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 7:28 pm 
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Location: Stouffville, Ontario, Canada
Thanks for chiming in BDW! I was becoming a little lonely posting all to myself. You made some valid pointes. I can’t blame the NBoC for charging what people are obviously willing to pay. From year to year, the Ballet posts that the actual ticket price only covers 40% to 50% of the actual cost, so I’m getting a bargain when you look at it this way. I used to support the ballet with donations but stopped after they fired Kimberly Glasco. I sense that NYCB must receive much more in donations or sell out every performance to be able to charge half the price of the NBoC. It galls me that we have to pay so much for inferior ballet. I’m not saying our dancers are not talented-They’re just at a different level.

I’ve been satisfied with many of the performances-More so since Kudelka left. Perhaps I will try a flex package. All the dancers I liked have left or retired and thus I’m tired of seeing the same old faces or dancers being forced to perform in a role beyond their talent level. I realize Mirvish productions are pricey but they give you a solid deal on subscriptions. Call me selfish but I feel I should be rewarded for being a loyal subscriber for decades. I was really jolted when I saw the new price.....including the HST! It is within my budget but I just feel like I am disrespecting my hard earned money.

I would be interested in hearing from any Critical Dancers who have made the trek to see NYCB and how the ballet experience compares to NBoC :?: My gut tells me the National could be in for a big surprise after they tabulate the number of subscribers who renew this time around. :wink: The 2012/2013 program is not all that appealing and to be honest, I don’t see many fresh new faces to inspire hardcore ballet fans.

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 Post subject: Re: National Ballet of Canada - Winter 2012
PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 7:56 pm 
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Location: Canada
I wouldn't be wishing for NYCB prices these days...

NYCB has made a lot of enemies by considerably raising ticket prices and using dynamic pricing. Ticket prices change by the night and can be more expensive if you buy closer to the date. There are half of tickets which are sometimes available, but they've changed the venerable old 4th ring society program to something that is sometimes better, sometimes worse. At least NBoC has consistent pricing and doesn't change the price (other than sales).

They are also NOT selling out for many programs - in fact, they are closing the 4th and 5th rings for some performances, which is forcing people to sit in more expensive seats. There are a lot of unhappy ticket purchasers, including subscribers who were faced with substantial increases in ticket prices while seats a few feet away became cheaper.

NYCB does benefit from large donations, but they also have a much larger company (90+ dancers, plus ~10 apprentices and a much larger staff than NBoC). In addition, NYC is a much more expensive place to run a company, both in terms of base salaries and operational costs. However, they have caused more than a little controversy by taking large sums of money from a certain person who is supporting very conservative causes - causes which seems diametrically opposed to much of what is celebrated in the arts. I don't think it's helping their causes... If I remember correctly, NYCB is in the red these days.

I find NBoC prices expensive, but not out of the range you find in North America. They have to make up for being a 'renter' in their theatre, having less of a donor base and smaller audience base, plus it can't be cheap having more guest performers - and having to pay certain dancers well enough to keep them from dancing off to Europe.

I would love to see NBoC give young dancers more of a chance - and I think they're working towards that.

Kate


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 Post subject: Re: National Ballet of Canada - Winter 2012
PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 9:19 pm 
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Location: Stouffville, Ontario, Canada
Wow, now things are really cooking for NBoC Winter 2012! Thanks for the feedback Kate. I recollect reading NYCB goosed their ticket prices about a year ago. You have to admit they do much better rewarding loyal subscribers. How can you beat half off what the NBoC charges?

Of course, I really have nothing to complain about given roughly 30% of the world population lives in poverty. I’m just suffering from NBoC fatigue. Can I sit through another Giselle with the same cast of characters? At least with NYCB you have so much more selection. If there was a bullet train that could whisk you from TO to the Big Apple in 3 hours instead of the current 13, NBoC would lose half their audience.

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 Post subject: Re: National Ballet of Canada - Winter 2012
PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2012 7:51 pm 
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:lol: Mr. :lol: and Mrs. Kain dressed up to the 9s in support of Canada’s National Ballet School at the For the Love of Ballet Gala.

I’m looking forward to seeing the Hen Ballet, which I haven’t seen in the longest time.

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 Post subject: Re: National Ballet of Canada - Winter 2012
PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 11:53 am 
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Location: Stouffville, Ontario, Canada
Casting has been released for Sleeping Beauty!

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 Post subject: Re: National Ballet of Canada - Winter 2012
PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 8:46 pm 
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Location: Canada
Principal Dancers Guillaume Côté and
Jillian Vanstone Recognized for Excellence in Dance

February 22, 2012… Guillaume Côté and Jillian Vanstone, Principal Dancers with The National Ballet of Canada, are being recognized for excellence in dance and culture. Mr. Côté will receive the Medal of the National Assembly of Québec on February 28, 2012 during a ceremony held at the Parliament Building in Québec. Ms. Vanstone will be awarded the Excellence in Culture Award by the City of Nanaimo for her significant contribution to Nanaimo's cultural sector on Wednesday, March 28, 2012 at the Port Theatre in Nanaimo.

Mr. Côté, a native of Lac-Saint-Jean, Québec, has been a Principal Dancer with the National Ballet since 2004. He will dance Prince Florimund in The Sleeping Beauty, March 10 – 18, 2012 and the role of Kostya in The Seagull, March 21 – 25, 2012.

Ms. Vanstone was born in Nanaimo, British Columbia and became a Principal Dancer in 2011. She makes her debut as Lise in La Fille mal gardée, February 29 – March 4, 2012 and will dance the role of Nina in The Seagull.


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 Post subject: Re: National Ballet of Canada - Winter 2012
PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 9:46 am 
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Quote:
If there was a bullet train that could whisk you from TO to the Big Apple in 3 hours instead of the current 13, NBoC would lose half their audience.


If such a bullet train existed I would be spending so much more on Broadway than I already do in my annual Big Apple theatre trip!

Very interesting discussion on prices. With few exceptions, I always do the rush seats for the ballet because I really need to be close to the stage to enjoy a performance and can’t afford orchestra seats. I’ll take the slightly obstructed rush seats any day over the fourth or fifth ring.

I didn’t get to see Alice last year, so am glad they’re repeating it. But I’m surprised about a couple of the other repeats popping up so soon.


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 Post subject: Re: National Ballet of Canada - Winter 2012
PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 12:17 pm 
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Location: Stouffville, Ontario, Canada
Thanks for weighing in Keira99. Maybe I too will go the rush route. In other news…

Michael Crabb dishes out 4 stars for La fille mal gardée. The hens are a smash hit!

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