The Wall Street Journal reports tonight that ABT is leaving New York City Center and has signed a three year deal to perform at the Koch Theater for two weeks each October beginning in 2013. The Spring Season at the Met remains intact.
Per Pia Catton:
New artistic possibilities are also on the table: More of the company's repertory can now be dusted off and put onstage. Because of space limitations at City Center, which was built by the Shriners as a meeting hall in 1923 and has limited wing space, ABT could only present small-scale or contemporary works without scenery.
To balance that, ABT saved its full-length classics, such as "Swan Lake" and "Giselle," for the Met Opera House, which is well-suited to ballets on a operatic scale. "There are works that could not fit into City Center, but would be lost on the Met's stage," said Ms. Moore, citing Twyla Tharp's "Bach Partita" as an example.
But it also sounds like the move is being made to justify gouging more money out of ticketbuyers:
ABT's chief executive officer, Rachel Moore, said the company has both artistic and financial motives for the move. The Koch Theater presents revenue opportunities, even though it comes with higher costs, such as a pricier union contract, than City Center: With a greater number of prime orchestra seats, the company can charge top dollar for more tickets, especially for its gala evenings. "They don't have a radically different number of seats, but it's the nature of the seats," said Ms. Moore.
There is no mention of how this will affect the NYCB Fall Season. Hopefully, it will move into the end of October and November with a seamless transition into Nutcracker.