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Subject: "matinee v evening" Archived thread - Read only
 
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Conferences What's Happening Topic #1555
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Claire S

14-04-01, 07:13 PM (GMT)
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"matinee v evening"
 
   Having just enjoyed a wonderful matinee of Giselle, I thought I'd open a debate on the merits of afternoon performances as opposed to evening ones.

I'm glad the Royal has been doing so many matinees this season - and that the casting has been so strong. This season I've seen a Benjamin/Kobborg Swan Lake, Wildor/Stiefel and Hatley/Persson Fille Mal Gardees (or should that be Filles mal gardees?!!) and now a Cojocaru/Kobborg Giselle. Coming up we get Benjamin in the Firebird, Acosta in Agon, and Wildor/Acosta in The Dream. The Kirov casting also seems very strong for matinees (though I won't hold my breath on that staying the same!).

It's good to see the management taking the matinee audience as seriously as the evening one - which isn't always the case (try going to see an ENB Nutcracker matinee).

There's often a very different crowd at matinees - not just the families, but people who probably wouldn't want to travel into London in an evening, or who can't for some reason - and this season the atmosphere seems to have been better in the afternoon than in most evenings in my experience. Although there's more glamour about an evening performance, matinees somehow seem to be a bit friendlier. Maybe its the informality.

Let's hope the new regime at Covent Garden carries on the good work.

What do other ballet.co-ers think?


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  Subject     Author     Message Date     ID  
  RE: matinee v evening Ann 14-04-01 1
     RE: matinee v evening Helen 15-04-01 2
         RE: matinee v evening Stuart Sweeney 15-04-01 3
             RE: matinee v evening alison 17-04-01 4
                 RE: matinee v evening Becca 22-04-01 5
                     RE: matinee v evening Shirley 22-04-01 6
                         RE: matinee v evening Becca 22-04-01 7
                             RE: matinee v evening Shirley 22-04-01 9
                     RE: matinee v evening eugene merrett 22-04-01 8
                         RE: matinee v evening Shirley 22-04-01 10

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Ann

14-04-01, 10:24 PM (GMT)
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1. "RE: matinee v evening"
In response to message #0
 
   Living so far from the metropolis, the only performances I can get to are the matinees. And I will (very reluctantly at the moment) only travel by BR if I know who is dancing. This is v.important and no doubt other provincials will feel the same. It seems the RB may be aware of this and cast accordingly. I hope so.


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Helen

15-04-01, 11:05 AM (GMT)
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2. "RE: matinee v evening"
In response to message #1
 
   Like Ann, I often go to matinees because I live a long way from London, and I can (West Coast main line and Richard Branson permitting) get to a Covent Garden matinee and back home in a day, whereas if I go in an evening I have to bother with hotels or finding someone to stay with. I too have been impressed with RB matinee casting - and I also saw Elisabeth Platel at a POB matinee at the Lowry last year. Even with "lesser" casts, you often have the opportunity to see the early performances of young dancers who go on to become stars.

I think one of the advantages of matinees is, as Claire says, their comparative informality. In the more expensive seats - often cheaper at matinees - there are more true ballet enthusiasts and fewer, if any, people who have come for social reasons. That makes quite a difference to the atmosphere.


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Stuart Sweeney

15-04-01, 11:19 AM (GMT)
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3. "RE: matinee v evening"
In response to message #2
 
   I agree with Helen about cost advantage and the atmosphere at matinees. With less corporate entertainment and social cache there are more dance fans in the ROH for these performances. In addition I'm usually fresher in the afternoon.

I think the RB policy of using matinees for new or relatively new casts including First Soloists in the main roles still applies. However, exceptionally this year this has included Rojo in 'Ondine' and 'R&J' and Cojocaru in 'Giselle'. I suspect that these two will be doing far fewer matinees in future.


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alison

17-04-01, 01:06 PM (GMT)
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4. "RE: matinee v evening"
In response to message #3
 
   I don't think the RB actually has such a "policy", Stuart. They may do it for schools' matinees, but I've frequently seen highly-ranked casts doing matinees. But yes, speaking as someone who's had to dash out early from 2 ENB evening performances of Giselle recently to catch trains home, I do think there are definite advantages to matinees. Plus, of course, the seats are often cheaper (except for ENB at the Albert Hall), which means that at Covent Garden I can actually afford to sit in the seats I used to sit in before the prices went up! However, I have to say that the ROH's habit of putting the Saturday matinees on at 2 pm instead of 2.30 because there's an early-start evening performance, immaterial of the length of the ballet, can be somewhat annoying - on Saturday I was in a real rush to get there in time because of circumstances quite beyond my control, and would have welcomed the extra half-hour. Incidentally, I've also been to a couple of ENB's schools matinees (which you might think were the balletgoer's idea of hell) in the past 6 months, and found the audiences pretty well-behaved, given the relative numbers of children and adults there.


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Becca

22-04-01, 10:17 AM (GMT)
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5. "RE: matinee v evening"
In response to message #4
 
   I do think the RB should cast pricipals like Bussell and Cope (I don't imagine Guillem could ever be persuaded) for matinees. The last train back to Durham is at ten o clock-ish so I can only make matinees. I worry that by the time my parents allow me to go to London alone (shock horror etc.) and stay in a youth hostel Cope will have retired and I will therefore never be lucky enough to see him. I think some people dismiss matinees in favour of evening performances and perhaps that is why companies seem to cast their best dancers for evenings.


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Shirley

22-04-01, 10:46 AM (GMT)
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6. "RE: matinee v evening"
In response to message #5
 
   >I do think the RB should
>cast pricipals like Bussell and
>Cope (I don't imagine Guillem
>could ever be persuaded) for
>matinees.

Darcey Bussell has danced many a matinee in the recent past and she was actually scheduled to dance a couple in the next booking period!


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Becca

22-04-01, 03:55 PM (GMT)
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7. "RE: matinee v evening"
In response to message #6
 
   Oh yes...Agon. You would know that, being in her autobiography! But it is Cope that I really want to see!


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Shirley

22-04-01, 11:34 PM (GMT)
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9. "RE: matinee v evening"
In response to message #7
 
   >Oh yes...Agon. You would know that,
>being in her autobiography! But
>it is Cope that I
>really want to see!

Being in her autobiography is not the reason I know that - it's watching the shows. She has danced 3 act ballets in matinees as well but the casting is determined by the director.

I saw Cope dance in the matinee last Monday and from what I heard, if the role was right he would love to dance in every show no matter what time it was!


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eugene merrett

22-04-01, 08:08 PM (GMT)
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8. "RE: matinee v evening"
In response to message #5
 
   I did see Bussell cast in a matinee of Swan Lake albeit on a Saturday. Durante did the evening show with Mukhamdev. It was her third to last shoe before leaving the ROH. But I think Darcey would be unhappy about a weekday matinee as it gives her less exposure. Stars need to be in the spotlight and having the star dance on a quiet night not good for this.

Moreover stars a very sensitive about their hierarchy - The dancer who is top dog will want all the more prestigious performance slots. To allow yourself to be cast in a matinee amd allow someone else to dance the more prestegious evening show is to surrender your position as "top dog...big cheese...head honcho...numero uno etc" to your rival. For a prima ballerian to remain a numero uno he/she must make it clear to the public that she is numero uno by not conceeding top billing to anyone else

An indication of the sensitivities of stars to this when Placido Domingo and Pavrotti were performing in same gala at the Met Opera House in New York. The unwritten rule is that the TOP person has the dressing room which is the closest to the LEFT of the clock in the middle of the hallway. To ensure that niether Pavrotti or Domingo upstage each other they installed another clock next to the adjacent dressing room so that both singers had rooms to the left of the clock(s).

This may sound trivial but put yourself in either Pavrotti or Domingo;s shoes. To allow your rival to have the prized room is to concede to everyone that he is a bigger star then you. Would you so freely concede this!


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Shirley

22-04-01, 11:42 PM (GMT)
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10. "RE: matinee v evening"
In response to message #8
 
   >I did see Bussell cast in
>a matinee of Swan Lake
>albeit on a Saturday. Durante
>did the evening show with
>Mukhamdev. It was her third
>to last shoe before leaving
>the ROH. But I think
>Darcey would be unhappy about
>a weekday matinee as it
>gives her less exposure.
>Stars need to be in
>the spotlight and having the
>star dance on a quiet
>night not good for this.


A quiet night could be a reason for putting the big names on - it would get the crowd in to see that show! Considering Darcey dances in schools matinees where she gets no publicity, I think being asked to dance in a weekday matinee wouldn't bother her at all especially as they tend to be scheduled in holiday periods!


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