Photo credit: Faculty Productions.
On Wednesday, after the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 (coronavirus) a pandemic, the dance community began reacting to the serious situation. Prior to this announcement, many arts organizations were taking a wait-and-see approach.
It's not an easy decision for any dance company to pull the plug on an event because it will have major financial implications, but the safety and health of all of their patrons and performers are paramount. Let's take a look at how dance companies, Broadway and tours are currently handling the crisis.
American Ballet Theatre is expected to be in Chicago March 19-22 for its Celebrating 80 Years! program, but their performances at the Abu Dhabi Festival 2020 for April 3-4 have been canceled.
San Francisco Ballet was forced to cancel the rest of the run of George Balanchine’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream because the city has closed the Opera House and other theaters through March 20 in response to the coronavirus. Their upcoming Ballet Accelerator program, including the world premiere of Cathy Marston's Mrs. Robinson, is scheduled to begin on March 24.
Pacific Northwest Ballet has canceled its March performances of One Thousand Pieces and Beauty and the Beast because Seattle is one of the hardest-hit areas.
"PNB's audience is of paramount importance to us: having watched these exquisite programs take shape over the past several weeks, canceling these performances is heartbreaking, but an understandable mandate," said Pacific Northwest Ballet's Artistic Director Peter Boal and Executive Director Ellen Walker in a press release. "Non-profit organizations like PNB have no contingency budgets in the case of civil emergencies like this one; our resources overwhelmingly go to producing work on stage, and the impact of these cancellations will be devastating."
The show must go on in New York and currently, all of the shows are running with a regular schedule. With producers anticipating lighter crowds over the next several weeks, Scott Rudin is offering $50 tickets to his shows Friday, March 12 through Sunday, March 29. Theatergoers will have the opportunity to see normally expensive shows like The Book of Mormon, The Lehman Trilogy, To Kill a Mockingbird, West Side Story and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
“As long as New York City is open for business, its beating heart remains the Broadway stage," Rudin stated in a press release. "This is an unprecedented opportunity for everyone to see a show that they otherwise might not have had easy and affordable access to. I can’t pretend that great theater is the panacea we’ve been waiting for, but in the meantime, I think we could all use a few hours away from the evening news.”
It's business as usual for the dance conventions this upcoming weekend, despite all of the coronavirus news. There are social media posts telling dancers to get ready for the latest tour stop. JUMP Dance Convention is heading to Orlando this weekend and REVEL Dance Convention is preparing for their event in Baltimore. It is worth checking the websites of all major conventions to see if this situation changes in the coming weeks.
Dancing with the Stars Tour:
The Dancing with the Stars Live Tour 2020 has less than a month remaining, but they have cut back on meet and greets for the final weeks. VIP ticket holders received an email on Wednesday that read, "out of an abundance of caution for our cast's health and the health of our fans, we have made the tough decision to cancel meets-and-greet events for the remainder of the tour." Fans should check with their point-of-purchase location to find out about refunds for the meet-and-greet section of their ticket.
For California ticket holders, Governor Gavin Newsom has recommended that all public gatherings of more than 250 people be postponed or canceled for the month of March. Check with the theater box office for more information.
Dance Network will continue to follow the news about coronavirus updates and how it is affecting the dance community.
Don’t miss Dance Network’s latest ‘To The Pointe’ episode with ‘To The Beat! Back 2 School’ stars, Gabe De Guzman and Laura Krystine: