Giving Thanks for NYCB, Its Music & Theater

November 24, 2009

I got chills as the NYCB orchestra came into view, slowly rising magically so that the whole audience could see them—and hear them better. I hadn’t known that a movable orchestra pit would be part of the big renovation of the David H. Koch Theater (formerly NY State Theater), so I was completely surprised and moved. What a commitment to the musicians! As the 65-piece orchestra played the grand overture to Sleeping Beauty, we saw a grandeur of another kind: a sped up film of the five months it took hundreds of workers to tear out the old seats and put in new ones, redesign the box office, bring media capabilities up to date. I felt a surge of love for the workers as much as for the dancers. Now there is more legroom in the orchestra seating, and two aisles so you don’t have to stomp on 30 people to get to your seat.

David H. Koch (pronounced Coke) had given $100 million to these renovations, so earned his right to say a few words. I felt sincerely grateful to him for improving our beloved theater. It’s a nice way to feel the day before Thanksgiving.

As the orchestra lowered down, out of view, the conductor, Fayçal Karoui, waved a forlorn good-bye to us. I look forward to saying hello to him and his orchestra during the Winter Season.