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October 07, 2022


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Totally agree about Ashley Hod. For me, she and Unity Phelan been the standout stars of the season. So much to enjoy about the Stravinsky program.

Re: NYCB orchestra - maybe if the Philharmonic ever needs a night off we could get the NYCB orchestra across the plaza. Looking forward to hearing the acoustics in the new David Geffen Hall next week.

I think we're about to see another standout star tonight when Emma Von Enck jets into Ratmansky's Concerto DSCH.

I'm also looking forward to getting inside Geffen Hall next week. Should be fun!

When you talk of the closing of the 3d and 4th rings I can't help but think of something Mr. B. was quoted as saying when this theater was new and he was trying to drum up new business. Something along the lines of "you can get a ticket for only $3 and if you don't like the dancing you can close your eyes and listen to the music as we have a full symphony orchestra."

From time to time I have heard music on classical stations that was credited to "the New York City Ballet Orchestra conducted by Robert Irving." So I guess it's that long ago that they did recordings. I know that business has changed, but it would be nice if they could do that again.

One other thing about pricing and the closing of the 3d and 4th rings, my understanding of this theater, and remember it was originally called the New York State Theater, was that it was supposed to be a sort of "people's theater" with "popular" prices (I can still remember that word in some of the old ads) where average folks could enjoy ballet and opera; the Met wasn't the only option.

I suppose it's fitting that it was around the same time the theater was renamed for right-wing mogul David Koch that that old policy of accessibility for the masses also changed.

"Back in the day" the 4th Ring Society seats were $10, including those AA side seats, and one could buy his tickets for the whole season ahead of time. It's just stupid how management has allowed attendance to dwindle. They blame pop culture and the internet and anyone they can blame. The blame should go to parents who no longer shuttle their kids to the ballet, symphony, and museums. They just seat them in front of a computer as a babysitter and go on with their lives. Marketing ballet to 20 year olds who already have their cultural bend will not work. The marketing has to be toward the parents to bring their kids to the theater. As a 7 year old, I didn't particularly like having to regularly put on church clothes to follow my parents to the symphony or ballet, and behave in a civil way for two hours, but it changed my life. What I've spent on ballet during my life would amount to a healthy cash down payment on a brand new 3-bdrm condo in Manhattan. All because my parents peeled me away from the TV and shuttled me to the theater.

They should re-open the 4th Ring Society and sell the seats like they're $10 bleacher seats at a ballgame. Let people buy all the tickets they want a year in advance. Make it easy to come to the ballet instead of difficult and expensive.

“Marketing ballet to 20 year olds who already have their cultural bend will not work. The marketing has to be toward the parents to bring their kids to the theater.”

Haglund I could not agree with your comment more. I bring my friends semi-regularly to the theater (all of us are around 25 years old), but I know they will never have the same passion for ballet. It’s insane to see ads for NYCB’s young patrons circle disco party on Instagram stories, while not offering cheap seats in the third and fourth rings. I enjoy the 30 under 30 program, but if I had access to to $10 seats I’d be at the theater every night. They cater too much to aesthetics and insta influencers and not enough to true art lovers.

I will caveat all that by saying, I’m so glad Solange’s new ballet has been paired with Symphony in C. I have a lot of peers attending NYCB for the first time and maybe seeing both will inspire appreciation for ballet’s versatility. Just my hope!

Oh, Haglund... Thank you for bringing up the much missed Fourth Ring Circle.I was very, very fortunate to live in NYC when the fourth ring circle was in existence: $20 membership per year and up to two $15 tickets per show. I would tell local friends and friends who were visiting out of town that it was one of the best deals in town with something like three hours of entertainment of live music and live dance for less than a sit down dinner (that's why then dollar slices or halal food carts with $5 chicken/lamb on rice existed even in the early 2010's). I would more than happily buy tickets for them when they were visiting.

Even if the choreography wasn't a person's cup of tea, the NYCB orchestra has such a varied repertoire that would be the envy of any regular orchestra. And the theatre has practically no bad seats with excellent sightlines! I was very fortunate to see a lot of NYCB's repertory that way.

Even if you didn't like much of the program, at least you were wrong by $15. I would grudgingly accept that the economics would not work (running an arts institution is hard in this day and age!) but I would really hope that cheaper tickets would be more widely available for future audience building and underserved communities.

So true, Anon.

They should sell out the 4th ring at $10 and allow people to buy their dates for the full season. Then offer them the opportunity to upgrade to the next price level. Once a person has put out $10 in the fall, it becomes a little easier to put out another $10-15 months later for an upgrade. Presently, prices are so out of reach that many would only be able to afford single tickets if they were purchased on an installment plan.

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