Orchestra not the scapegoat for ballet

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion Re Dec. 29 letter, “SPAC must support New York City Ballet,” by Sheila Parkert: Since I only attend the ballet once a year, and mainly because the admission comes with the season pass, I admit the announcement didn’t affect me greatly. But I empathized with the concern over something that affects the core group of ballet fans greatly. The NYCB has a passionate following, is an important part of the Saratoga experience and should be retained.Parkert lost me when out of the blue she decided to throw the Philadelphia Orchestra’s residency under the bus, declaring that they have never been threatened with a reduction in their dates. That’s not true, as both classical parts of the SPAC season have been under siege since the Herb Chesborough days. Why a seemingly passionate fan of the arts would think that a reduction in the orchestra’s schedule would translate to a restoration of the ballet residency is kidding herself. Those days of the classics dominating SPAC are long gone. If the orchestra was reduced, those dates would go to Live Nation concerts.The ballet fans were warned in a way when first the NYCB was threatened with outright elimination a couple decades ago, and then with cutting a week out a few years back. That should have caused the ballet fans to rally and attend the subsequently restored performances in greater numbers. But in reality, after a short boost in attendance, things went back to what they were. Those two weeks, consisting of 14 separate performance dates, have contained individual pieces done three or four times each. The repetition keeps patrons from attending more frequently. That is unlike the Philadelphia Orchestra where the 12 dates over three weeks contain different concerts of a wide variety that encourage attending frequently. And many of those dates contain programs like playing along with movies, circuses and Bernadette Peters that fall more under an umbrella of popular fare.I wish ballet fans well in their struggle, but I think that them trying to boost the attendance in the ballet week would be a more effective weapon than offering up the orchestra as the fall guy. Simply wishing for a return to the days of Balanchine and Ormandy and thinking because they were the reason the place was built everything should stay as it was is foolhardy, because that era will never come back.Jim EcclesSaratoga SpringsMore from The Daily Gazette:Schenectady, Saratoga casinos say reopening has gone well; revenue down 30%EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?last_img