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Subject: "Seating For Ballet Performances" Archived thread - Read only
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Conferences What's Happening Topic #2024
Reading Topic #2024

20-08-01, 08:39 PM (GMT)
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"Seating For Ballet Performances"
   LAST EDITED ON 20-08-01 AT 08:41 PM (GMT)

As someone relatively new it it all, I've just finished my first full season and it's one which may very well live for a number of years as 'something special' in th mind.

Because of a persistent neck injury, I now choose to sit centrally in the rear orchestral stalls at Covent Garden (I originally started in an aisle seat near the stage - far too uncomfortable!).

I'm interested in knowing thoughts firstly, on a number of practical matters:-

Should I stay in the rear stalls, level with the Stage or
Should I levitate upwards?

How much do stage patterns created by choreographers matter to their work?

Who creates the best/most meaningful patterns?

Should I continue to use binoculars to enhance my 'connection' with the physicality of dance or am I losing too much of the overall stage picture, thus reducing the overall experience?

Does any of this matter, or am I just being a paranoid old fart again?

And secondly........

When was the last time you saw a RB Season of this quality?

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  Subject     Author     Message Date     ID  
  RE: Seating For Ballet Performances James W 20-08-01 1
     RE: Seating For Ballet Performances sylvia 21-08-01 2
         RE: Seating For Ballet Performances Helen 21-08-01 3

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James W

20-08-01, 11:02 PM (GMT)
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1. "RE: Seating For Ballet Performances"
In response to message #0
   The rear stalls at ROH is a fantastic place to sit. I would however reccomend the amphitheatre, and not only because of the price. I watched SF Ballet's Glass pieces from there and the patterns created on the stage would have been completely missed form the stalls. A truly magical event.

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21-08-01, 11:21 AM (GMT)
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2. "RE: Seating For Ballet Performances"
In response to message #1
   LAST EDITED ON 21-08-01 AT 11:22 AM (GMT)

I found the lower amphitheatre fantastic as well. I used to think that it was too high, too far away, but boy was I wrong. It depends on the ballet and how heavily the piece relies on the corps. The big mess of swans crammed on stage I saw from the stalls turned into beautiful shapes and patterns from above. But I think gala pieces or more intimate ballets are better seen from the stalls.

I think the view from the lower amphitheatre isn't too different from the grand tier and balcony, and adding to that the atmosphere of enthusiastic ballet fans, it's a much more enjoyable experience and excellent value for money. Of course you miss out on some of the details and dancers' expressions, but when I can afford it, I'll buy a seat in the stalls for one cast or one ballet, and a seat in the amphitheatre for another.

I wouldn't recommend the grand tier though. Something about the acoustics in there - I couldn't hear the music very clearly, and the only clapping you can hear is that of the people around you which distorts your perception of the audience's appreciation for the piece. I haven't tried the balcony yet, and maybe others will say otherwise, but I'm inclined to think that it's more or less the same.

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21-08-01, 11:43 AM (GMT)
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3. "RE: Seating For Ballet Performances"
In response to message #2
   For Dowell's last day, I sat in the stalls in the afternoon and the Balcony - row C, fairly central - in the evening. Same programme, different casts. I think I definitely preferred the balcony. In the stalls you feel a bit more involved, but patterns are important in a lot of ballets, and you do see them better from above. I use opera glasses to see details, but not too much, because you do miss things while you are concentrating on someone's face - you can miss things crucial to the plot. If you know a ballet well, it's easier to know when to use them.

When I was young, I always sat in the front of the amphi, and it was fine, but you need the opera glasses more.

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