Fall (in line) for Dance

Sunday, September 9th, 2007 | All Things, Arts

Fall for Dance is the annual dance festival presented by New York City Center every autumn since 2004. This year will see 10 evenings of dance and 28 companies, for $10 a seat anywhere in the venue, first come, first served. Approximately 85% of the festival’s cost is subsidized by donation, allowing City Center to sell the tickets that can cost as much as $125 for a full dollar less than the cost of a regular-priced movie ticket at my local cineplex. At those prices, even the dancers themselves can afford to attend.

The festival was established as a means to attract a younger and more diverse audience to dance, and according to City Center President and CEO Arlene Shuler, was modeled after the Delacorte Dance Festival, a free event that was held in Central Park’s open-air Delacorte Theater through the 1960s and 70s, inspiring a generation of dance lovers.

City Center has been increasingly successful in attracting not only unusual and interesting smaller troupes to the festival, but also some of the high-profile names familiar even to non-dance enthusiasts, such as the Paul Taylor Dance Company, St. Petersburg’s Kirov Ballet and The New York City Ballet. The FFD bills typically juxtapose classic ballet alongside modern, ethnic and experimental work.

Is it any wonder the line for tickets stretched for blocks (and blocks and blocks) the Sunday morning the tickets went on sale?

Fall for Dance line

Fall for Dance line

Fall for Dance line

Fall for Dance line

Clearly I had vastly underestimated the appeal of $10 dance tickets. It could be hours before I made it to the box office, during which (I was certain) our desired Friday night program would be sold out. Every other person on line seemed to be on his or her cell phone calling the box office, so I knew that this was not the way to go. Plan C: a pleading call to SYB at home (service fees be damned – it’s still a tremendous bargain) after which he managed finally to access the crawling City Center website to order our tickets online.

The September 28 program will feature five companies, including both the American Ballet Theatre and the French-Algerian troupe Compagnie Käfig, compagnie de danse Hip-Hop. Yes, that means just what you think it means. Should be an interesting night.

And though this has nothing to do with dance: I love weekends in New York.

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