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Subject: "Mini-poll on Casting Information" Archived thread - Read only
 
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Bruce Madmin

18-08-01, 12:07 PM (GMT)
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"Mini-poll on Casting Information"
 
   Question: How important is advance ballet casting information?

Answers:
Absolutely vital
Important
Quite important
Of marginal interest
Unnecessary
Other

Please add any observations or thoughts you might have to this thread. At the end of the poll we'll add the results to the thread as well....


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  Subject     Author     Message Date     ID  
  RE: Mini-poll on Casting Information Steven 19-08-01 1
     RE: Mini-poll on Casting Information Ann Welsh 19-08-01 2
  RE: Mini-poll on Casting Information martinjay 19-08-01 3
     Results of mini-poll on Casting Information Ann Williams 02-09-01 4
         RE: Results of mini-poll on Casting Information carly gillies 03-09-01 6
             RE: Results of mini-poll on Casting Information Bruce Madmin 03-09-01 7
                 RE: Results of mini-poll on Casting Information Ann Williams 03-09-01 8
  RE: Mini-poll on Casting Information alison 03-09-01 9
     RE: Mini-poll on Casting Information alison 03-09-01 10
         RE: Mini-poll on Casting Information Jim 03-09-01 11
         RE: Mini-poll on Casting Information lara 03-09-01 12
             RE: Mini-poll on Casting Information Carly Gillies 04-09-01 13
                 RE: Mini-poll on Casting Information Jim 04-09-01 14
                     RE: Mini-poll on Casting Information Paul A 05-09-01 15

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Steven

19-08-01, 07:38 PM (GMT)
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1. "RE: Mini-poll on Casting Information"
In response to message #0
 
   For me, casting information is very important. Like pretty much anyone else, I have certain performers I like and cartain ones I don't like so much so I certainly wouldn't want to pay my money to see those in the latter category when those I prefer may also be dancing the piece on other evenings. The higher the price, the more of a risk this is!

The only time casting information isn't important is when you don't know a company or its work very well - for instance, with San Francisco Ballet I booked two programmes "blind" so to speak, but I only booked Programme 3 when I found Yuan Yuan Tan (whom I've seen and liked in San Francisco) would be dancing in "Prism" on Saturday evening.

I think casting information is important to companies and theatre managements too, because it means:
(i) They sell tickets which they might not sell otherwise;
(ii) They sell tickets FASTER increasing cash flow - some people may wait till the casting is announced and only book once they know what they're getting for their money, so the money stays in their bank account; other people may wait, forget about it and simply not book at all;
(iii) It gives marketing departments the opportunity to build PR campaigns around certain dancers, which is a very effective way of selling seats, particularly when repertoire is unfamiliar.


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Ann Welsh

19-08-01, 08:24 PM (GMT)
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2. "RE: Mini-poll on Casting Information"
In response to message #1
 
   And for those who live in the stix, casting is vital. You don't want to go to the expense of travelling 200 miles (and a possible B&B) unless you know that your favourites are going to be dancing (injuries permitting, of course).


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martinjay

19-08-01, 09:49 PM (GMT)
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3. "RE: Mini-poll on Casting Information"
In response to message #0
 
   Casting is important when booking.

However, I find of almost equal importance would be a regular update on injuries and replacements site/section. Although I'm sure the major companies wouldn't like, or admit, to posting to one it would be most useful.Recent examples where this would have been of use include Inaki Urlezaga, Jonathan Cope and Johan Kobborg at the Royal.

Similarly for career promotions and moves.


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Ann Williams

02-09-01, 11:57 AM (GMT)
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4. "Results of mini-poll on Casting Information"
In response to message #3
 
  
Absolutely vital 56.3%
Important 32.5%
Quite important 8.8%
Of marginal interest 2.5%
Other 0.0%
Unimportant 0.0%

Should we be surprised at this result, given the nature of this board? The only suprise to me is that as many as 32.5% think casting information is only 'important'. It seems to me that the only time casting information is not vital is if the company and its dancers are totally unknown.

As for the 2.5% who found casting information 'of marginal interest' only, are you sure you're on the right board, dear?


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carly gillies

03-09-01, 09:27 AM (GMT)
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6. "RE: Results of mini-poll on Casting Information"
In response to message #4
 
   >
>
>Should we be surprised at this
>result, given the nature of
>this board?

Oh ? I wasn't aware this board had a defined "nature"
And perhaps best to leave it undefined after some of the unpleasant comments made recently.
>

>As for the 2.5% who found
>casting information 'of marginal interest'
>only, are you sure you're
>on the right board, dear?

I'm sure you meant this flippantly Ann, but why not ask why some might have voted that way - or at least given the matter some thought.
-Some people really do go to the ballet for the production and choreography rather than the dancers.
-Some favorite companies just dont have "stars" and produce mainly mixed bills using the talents of the whole company.

From a personal point of view, the only ballet we see in Glasgow is Scottish Ballet 3 times a year, and they don't give casting info anyway claiming they are too small (!) and we also get an annual visit by NBT for a few days with no prior casting.
Travelling to another town usually, for me, gives little choice of day, so casting info would be irrelevant.

If I was planning a trip to London around a visit to the ROH, of course I would value casting info, but it's so often the other way round - the ballet planned into the trip.

Now if you had phrased your question "How important is casting for people living in London and going to see the RB ?"....

Lets try to keep this an 'inclusive' board ?
>



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Bruce Madmin

03-09-01, 11:40 AM (GMT)
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7. "RE: Results of mini-poll on Casting Information"
In response to message #6
 
  
I remember when this one was picked thinking it would be a question of how emphatic the result might be.

You raise a number of interesting points I think...

Agree that for more modern companies the idea of knowing who dances what breaks down. Even so for something like Rambert's Cruel Garden I think it would be nice to chose whose interpretation you might want

I'm sure we all go not just to see the dancer or production or choreography in isolation. The variable in this triumphant is the dancer and they can often sway what you might think of choreography particularly. If you don't want the casting you don't have to read it I suppose, but it would be sad to see choreography murdered by somebody unsympathetic when had casting been available you may have seen a master...

Although it is probably less relevant to SB for the future I have always thought it a shame that SB and NBT do not bother with casting. ENB went through a long phase of saying it was too difficult too. And BRB played without casting in the early 90's when Bintley took over. Now they both have it and AMP have come to take more care in this area too. I really think people are more likely to book twice if they know different casting is available.

Not sure there is anything in this thing that often the night you go is fixed so you get what your given. The reality is that most people in the theatre could have gone on a different night and casting would only be helpful to those that were interested. Even if I'm absolutely fixed on a night I'd still be interested in knowing beforehand and there are some dancers where I just wouldn't bother no matter how many weeks it might be since I last saw something.

Hallelujah on the inclusive board front - that's hallelujah on it being wider than ballet and hallelujah to it being not just London or UK etc. I think Ann has maintained a tongue in check tradition I started and I'm sure no slight was intended.


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Ann Williams

03-09-01, 09:11 PM (GMT)
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8. "RE: Results of mini-poll on Casting Information"
In response to message #7
 
   >I'm sure no slight was intended.<

Absolutely not, and I apologise unreservedly if I offended anyone.


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alison

03-09-01, 09:38 PM (GMT)
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9. "RE: Mini-poll on Casting Information"
In response to message #0
 
   My attitude to this (generally, and I mean for full-length ballets) is that unless I know who's scheduled to be dancing I probably won't book, and I certainly wouldn't book more than one performance in case I ended up with the same cast twice by mistake. It's not necessarily that I'm going for a given dancer or three, but I want to know what choice is available, and I might go for someone I don't usually see simply because I haven't seen them yet. I also appreciate it when updated casting is given immediately it's known. BRB, ENB *and* RB please note!


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alison

03-09-01, 09:45 PM (GMT)
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10. "RE: Mini-poll on Casting Information"
In response to message #9
 
   PS - I would definitely have appreciated casting info from Scottish Ballet as well, especially when Kobborg was guesting in Sylphide. So, Carly, we are looking further afield than the Royal Ballet.


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Jim

03-09-01, 10:15 PM (GMT)
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11. "RE: Mini-poll on Casting Information"
In response to message #10
 
   As with Carly, my visits to ROH are often fitted in with a business trip (travelling expenses) when I will have no choice. Otherwise, casting information is vital - I unashamedly select Guillem performancing.


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lara

03-09-01, 10:21 PM (GMT)
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12. "RE: Mini-poll on Casting Information"
In response to message #10
 
   I think casting is going to be important to those folks who are buying tickets for a specific company, but in my case, I have season tickets to a performing arts center that only has touring groups.

So it really doesn't matter who is dancing because I'll see whomever is dancing the night that I attend. Of course, if I hear that a dancer is performing on a specific evening then I may invest in an additional ticket...costing an arm and a leg.

lara


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Carly Gillies

04-09-01, 01:32 PM (GMT)
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13. "RE: Mini-poll on Casting Information"
In response to message #12
 
   For the record I too think that advance casting info is extremely desirable, but someone else obviously doesn't and my ( probably over hasty )instinct was to protect rather than dismiss the minority opinion.

For the record also I have no problem at all with Ballet.co's London/Royal Ballet "centre" and identity.
I also enjoy the fact that there are obviously readers and contributors from all over the world, and that this site is also one which happily encompasses the entire spectrum of comment from fascinating and detailed analysis from people who know enormously more than me about dance, to the "new convert" who having just seen their first ballet wants to enthuse about it. I think we sometimes need to guard against frighteing off the latter.
Btw I also personally love some of the more off the wall opinionated stuff that this site seems to attract.

Re Scottish Ballet. I asked them 2 or 3 years ago about advance cast information and they responded that because the company was so small they couldnt be sure who was dancing when. - an explanation I found and find unconvincing.

When Adam Cooper was guesting in Hoffman I booked 2 nights in the hope of seeing him (an option not necessarily open to anyone less well off or travelling a distance) and ended up seeing him twice. I'd ideally have booked to see Adam one night and Vlad Bubnov another, but I'd have been furious to have missed Adam.
By the time he was back for R and J some advance casting was being offered but only about Adams performances.- I think SBHQ were probably fed up with the phone constantly ringing.

As for Kobborg, no advance info at all. I remember turning up to see La Sylphide with no idea who was dancing ( and no idea who Kobborg was anyway when I read the name as guest artist ) but arguably this added to the thrill of 'discovering' an extraordinary dancer.
(and anyway this is one RB dancer of whom we can say "we saw him first" )


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Jim

04-09-01, 03:03 PM (GMT)
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14. "RE: Mini-poll on Casting Information"
In response to message #13
 
   >Re Scottish Ballet. I asked them
>2 or 3 years ago
>about advance cast information and
>they responded that because the
>company was so small they
>couldnt be sure who was
>dancing when. - an explanation
>I found and find unconvincing.

Actually, there may be something in this. I once phoned a Midlands theatre to ask about the cast for an NBT performance that evening (mainly to discover if the lovely Jayne Regan was dancing). The telephonist caught Daniel de Andrade as he happened to be passing in the foyer, and he didn't know himself if he was supposed to be performancing within a few hours!


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Paul A

05-09-01, 02:46 PM (GMT)
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15. "RE: Mini-poll on Casting Information"
In response to message #14
 
   In the olden days, well a quarter of a century ago, when I first got interested, casting information was much more complete - you got to know who your lilac fairy, blue birds, Benvolio, Mrs Capulet, Myrthe, Hilarion etc was scheduled to be. I don't know how often the on the night cast tallied with those announced.

Useful I would say. True your choice will probably be swayed most by the principal couple but it is helpful to know if a dancer you actively dislike is in a key role. The RB's Fille casting was helpfully complete in this respect.

But the way casting is constructed usually means you do not get a full-house. The casting for the RB Diaghilev mixed bill last year meant two visits if you wanted to catch everybody in the key roles.


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