Monday, October 17, 2011

Backyard Tour: Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts

One Saturday afternoon as I stood in the airy David Rubenstein Atrium checking out same day discounts available at Lincoln Center, I noticed a small tour group returning to the atrium. Curious, I asked a tour participant how she liked the tour and she replied that it was very good. I began to wonder why do I visit great performance spaces when I am abroad (most recently – La Scala) but not at home. So months later, I ventured out on my first backyard tour of New York’s great performance spaces – first stop Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.  

On the sunny afternoon, a group of 19 from Vienna (of all places) to Milwaukee to NYC (yes NYC representing!) embarked on a 90 minute tour of the Lincoln Center campus; specifically we visited the David H. Koch Theater, the Metropolitan Opera House and Avery Fisher Hall. 

By far, the coolest thing about the tour is that you never know which rehearsals you may encounter. On the day of our tour, we stumbled upon a NYC Ballet seminar, rehearsals for Siegfried and planning for a private event. You learn interesting things such as NYCB dancers only wear their ballet shoes for one performance, that the David H. Koch Theater was designed to resemble the shape of a ballerina’s rounded arms and that the stage and backstage takes up roughly two-thirds of the Metropolitan Opera house building. 

The Lincoln Center campus is very large and unfortunately the tour did not include visits to the drama theaters, the Julliard School or Alice Tully Hall. Also, I would have loved to see backstage at the Met (now that would have been a treat) but this was not included.

So, is the tour worthwhile? For a taste of this great performance space and $15 (less if you can dig up a discount somewhere), I would say yes but you may leave just a little dissatisfied. 

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