What to Expect
Attending a Ballet 5:8 performance for the first time? Keep reading for everything you need to know.
Before the Performance
Happily, attending a ballet performance is not something that requires significant advance planning.
Even so, a great experience is a smooth one without any unwelcome surprises! Here are some items to consider when planning a trip to a Ballet 5:8 performance.
Great Alone or With Friends
Ballet is great alone or with friends - and dinner! If you plan to attend by yourself, consider bringing a journal or notebook. After the performance, head to a coffee shop or one of your favorite quiet places and write down any thoughts you have about what you saw, perhaps to share with others later. If you have the privilege of attending with a date or friends, consider scheduling time for dinner, dessert or coffee with them after the performance. Exchange impressions and insights based on what you saw and notice if others saw things differently than you did. Some performances include discounts at nearby restaurants along with your ticket purchase.
Dress however you feel comfortable. There is no formal dress code for Ballet 5:8 performances. If you are able to dress up, that's great; however, everyone is welcome, dressed up or dressed down. There is typically a range of attire among audience members at any given performance.
Children are welcome for most performances. Though not all Ballet 5:8 performances are geared toward children specifically, all our performances are open to children and are family-friendly; we never include inappropriate content in performances. Some additional information about how appropriate a particular performance may be for children is included in each of our performance listings. Children between the ages of 3-12 may typically be admitted with a child ticket rather than a full-price ticket. Those attending with children between 3-6 years old should use special digression when judging whether the child is able to sit through the entire two-hour running time of a typical Ballet 5:8 performance. We do not recommend bringing children or infants under the age of 3 to a performance.
Advance tickets are highly recommended but not required. Advance ticket sales typically close 24 hours prior to the showtime of any given performance. Please check the individual listing for the performance you are planning to attend for specific ticket sales information, as details vary depending on the performance. Tickets can also typically be purchased from the Ballet 5:8 Box Office in the venue lobby on the day of the performance, up to 90 minutes prior to start time. At the Box Office, all tickets are full price and subject to availability.
Getting to the Performance
You have your tickets and it is time to head to the theater! Here are some suggestions for getting there without a hitch.
Directions and Parking
Before you head out, look over any directions and parking information. Because Ballet 5:8 does not perform in the same venue from performance to performance, directions, parking, public transit and other information also varies by performance. You can always find detailed information specific to each performance on the individual performance listing, viewable from our Performance Calendar.
Plan to leave in enough time to arrive, park and be inside the theater at least 20 minutes ahead of the performance. It's always better to arrive early than late, so err on the side of leaving extra time for travel and parking if you are unfamiliar with where you are going.
Ballet 5:8’s Will Call and Box Office is typically combined at a single box office window or table in the lobby of the performance venue. Make sure to stop by if you need to purchase a ticket or pick up your advance purchase ticket held at Will Call.
If you end up arriving late, you can still attend the performance. However, the ushers on duty will ask you to wait in the theater's lobby until an appropriate pause or intermission at the performance, at which time you will be able to find your seat.
At the Performance
What to expect during the show.
On the way to finding your seat, an usher should hand you a program. If you like to read ahead, you can find descriptions of each of the performance pieces or, in the case of a story ballet, a synopsis in the program. Some people enjoy having read the piece descriptions and/or storyline prior to watching the ballet. If you prefer, you can also watch the performance first and read the program afterward. This is ideal if you want to see how your objective interpretation matched or differed from the choreographer's notes.
During the Show
The lights in the auditorium will dim usually just a few minutes prior to the start of a performance. When this happens, make sure to find your seat! If you need help finding your seat, see an usher for assistance.
Once the lights go down completely, this signals the start of the performance. It is preferable if you are able to avoid talking and/or doing potentially noisy activities like digging in a purse while the performance is taking place. This ensures that you do not miss anything and prevents you from becoming a distraction to those sitting nearby. Just think about being a "good neighbor" to the people around you and as the old saying goes, do to others as you'd have them to do you!
Please also plan to silence your cell phone and other electronic devices before the performance begins. If you know you will need to use your smart phone during the show, turn the screen brightness setting to low to minimize the distraction to those sitting around you. Plan to defer any voice calls until after the performance.
Enjoy the Performance
Applaud as often as want! Ballet is a very interactive art form in the sense that the performers enjoy and gain energy from live feedback from the audience during performances. Feel free to applaud at the end of individual dances, or even during dances when a performer completes a particularly difficult jump or turn. There is no need to feel timid if you are not familiar with the steps and terminology in ballet. If a step looks difficult to you, it probably is and the dancer performing would probably enjoy being able to hear what you thought!
Make a point to pick out things that interest you while you're watching. Do you like the costumes? Why? What is going on in the story? How is the music informing the emotion of what is onstage? These tidbits will be great food for thought and conversation after the show.
After the Performance
What to expect after the show.
Most Ballet 5:8 performances include a short event called a TalkBack at the end. Generally, two company artists and the Artistic Director will come onstage and will field any questions or comments about the performance. This is an optional aspect of the performance, so you do not have to stay if you were not planning to or are not interested. However, most audience members report gaining an additional feeling of connection to the performance and understanding after having attended the TalkBack, so it is highly recommended!
Additional Information: Tickets
Here are answers to some common questions regarding tickets to Ballet 5:8 performances.
Q: How much do tickets cost?
A: Ballet 5:8 ticket prices vary depending on the performance, the cost of the venue, and the amount of sponsorship provided by hosting organizations.
Q: Are ticket discounts offered?
A: Ballet 5:8 is able to offer ticket discounts from time to time, though discounts offered vary from performance to performance. Typically, Ballet 5:8 offers a ticket discount for advance purchase tickets as well as for children under the age of 10.
Q: What does the cost of a ticket pay for?
A: All funds generated from Ballet 5:8 performance ticket sales are used to support the operations of Ballet 5:8. A typical theater performance takes 2-3 months of preparation by Ballet 5:8’s professional performing artists and staff, including the development of original choreography, the design and construction of sets and costumes, and the creation of publications and media. Ticket sales revenues also go toward covering the cost of theater rental and other performance-related costs, though they rarely cover the full cost of the production.
Q: Are refunds or exchanges available?
A: At this time, refunds and exchanges are not available for advance ticket purchases.
Q: What if a performance is cancelled?
A: Because we do not have an ongoing performance schedule at any given performance venue, we rarely, if ever cancel performances. Performances are typically held even in the event of inclement weather.