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I have been reading several postings about casting and Froum members buying tickets for a performance to see their favourite dancer(s) in a particular role. I can understand their disappointment when, due to injury, there is a cast change. I remember years ago being almost sick with excitement getting a ticket to see Jonathan Cope in one of his last performances at RB before his retirement and then for him to go and break his leg!

 

I think we are very lucky here in the UK to know in advance who is dancing a role on a particular date. In my DS company (no name, no pack drill) he might get to know 10 days to a week in advance. The tickets go on sale at the beginning of the season for all performances seem to sell well despite not knowing.

 

Please excuse my ignorance but can anything enlighten me as to whether announcing casting well in advance is the norm in other countries.

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Dutch National Ballet usually post a few weeks before, likewise Paris Opera Ballet and Staatsballett Berlin. Not really much different to here with ENB and BRB. I feel that Royal Ballet and ABT are perhaps the only exceptions who cast months and months ahead.

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American Ballet Theatre announces their spring New York season casting (may-July) the previous October, for most roles anyway. some remain TBA.

Other N American companies usually announce casting 2-3 weeks before. New York City Ballet used to announce casting one week before, but they now do it 2 weeks before, mostly at the request of the dancers, as I understand it. The tradition was one week before because audiences were supposed to be interested in the choreography more than in any particular dancer. But hey, my feeling is, we pay the bucks for the tix, we should be allowed to have our preferences as to which dancer to see! The dancers themselves found out the casting at the same time as the audience, and as a result could never plan their life more than 7 days in advance, and  the dancers' union asked for more lead time on the casting.

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American Ballet Theatre announces their spring New York season casting (may-July) the previous October, for most roles anyway. some remain TBA.

Other N American companies usually announce casting 2-3 weeks before. New York City Ballet used to announce casting one week before, but they now do it 2 weeks before, mostly at the request of the dancers, as I understand it. The tradition was one week before because audiences were supposed to be interested in the choreography more than in any particular dancer. But hey, my feeling is, we pay the bucks for the tix, we should be allowed to have our preferences as to which dancer to see! The dancers themselves found out the casting at the same time as the audience, and as a result could never plan their life more than 7 days in advance, and  the dancers' union asked for more lead time on the casting.

toursenlair - thank you. Couldn't agree with you more regarding paying the bucks for the tickets etc.

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I spent a good deal of my later professional career in planning - often for events well over 12 months in the future.  I accept that it has to be done and, indeed, without attempting to do so, many inter-related activities might be well-nigh impossible.  But, that done, hard experience shows that the further ahead you plan, the more you'll have to change.  In ballet and dance, fairly high-risk environments for those involved, I certainly would not want to devote significant cash on the basis of casting forecasts months ahead.

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I appreciate the difficulty, but I wish we could get back to having casting which includes more than just the two leads. The RB manages this with the Nutcracker now, which is great, but I would like to know in advance about, say, who will play Mercutio in R&J and Lescaut in Manon.

 

Interestingly, the (albeit late) notice of casting for ENB's R&J covers many roles.

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