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Curandera

Joffrey Dancers face lock out

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luceroblanco

Thanks for the link. I also agree that it's good that the link was posted just to have another perspective but that the guy is NO expert. Doesn't matter that he is from U.of Chicago, I'll bet he doesn't have a clue how AGMA works or how ballet dancers live. The prima donna comment doesn't upset me, it just shows that he does not understand at all what your average professional dancer or opera singer is like or what their lives are like. To compare ballet dancers and opera singers with these professional athletes is insane because even the most popular singer or ballet dancer is never going to make the same kind of money as those athletes. Ballet dancers have a short career as these athletes often do, but most do not have the same fame in the mainstream (and the ability to get endorsements and million dollar commercial contracts once they retire) or the money. Also consider how much expenditure parents often have to put out for their dancer children meanwhile most professional athletes don't have to pay anything or much less to train and also some get a free college education to boot.

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MJ

Joffrey may not have any money. hard to demand anything when the cubbards are bare.

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dancemaven

All of these 'reports' are bare bones, vague, and say essentially nothing. We can speculate all we want, but to no end. Negotiations are driven by a number of factors, posturing, history, personalities, and issues. We are privy to none of them.

 

Time to quit speculating, guessing, and attributing unknown positions, issues, and facts to either side. :blush:

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Curandera

Wow! Quite a different story from what had been published previously. It is unfortunate these negotiations have been sent (not leaked) to the press. That blame is clearly on the representatives of the Company.

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bec2

Thanks tzbutterfly for sharing that link. It is good to hear a report from "the other side".

 

I noticed in this report, and in another posted previously on the same website, that one of the topics for negotiation was the terms of Joffrey Academy students performing with the company. This is something that may be of interest to members who have dancers at the Academy, or who are considering Joffrey Academy programs. But based on the comments made by the union's attorney, it sounds as if this matter might have been resolved without issue.

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dancemaven

Union contracts typically address the use of academy students---i.e., unpaid, non-company dancers. The concern is that it is much cheaper for management to populate the company's productions with unpaid non-professionals than it is to hire and pay professional dancers. Thus, the unions, in protecting the interests of their professional dancer members, negotiate a limit to how many non-professionals, students, etc. can be used in the place of paid, contracted professionals in dancing roles.

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bec2

Yes, thanks dancemaven. I can completely understand the concern of the company dancers in protecting their interests where the use of unpaid students is concerned. But by the same token I can also understand why trainees (with tuition-paying parents) would hope to dance on stage with the company as often as possible, thus benefitting from management's decision to use unpaid non-professionals. Hopefully this is a non-issue now as far as the lockout is concerned, because if the comments of the union's attorney prove to be accurate, the union and management may be in agreement, which of course is ideal.

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mom57

Here's another link: http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/...nion-woes-88840

 

Also, in my opinion, it is not fair to diminish the hard work of athletes. As the mom of a son who is playing high school football and baseball, it means very hard practicing every day, time management skills, and the same fear and agony of injury interrupting what you love to do. Further, most athletes are not the high paid free agents we hear about. http://www.al.com/sports/index.ssf/2010/07...seball_pla.html

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gav
I can completely understand the concern of the company dancers in protecting their interests where the use of unpaid students is concerned. But by the same token I can also understand why trainees (with tuition-paying parents) would hope to dance on stage with the company as often as possible, thus benefitting from management's decision to use unpaid non-professionals.

 

Not coming at this as a aspiring professional or parent, I imagine trainees should actually want the opposite: for the company (and all companies) to use as few unpaid dancers as possible and to open up more paid positions to fill the stage. To want otherwise strikes me as an example of cutting off the nose to spite the face.

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pointeprovider

Of course trainees would like to be paid to perform with the company, but it is just a reality in this business that most are just thrilled to be the ones chosen to perform, usually believing it to be a sign of the company's interest in likely hiring in the near future. Because of that, most would dance unpaid, at least from what we have seen. Sometimes they are paid a small amount per performance or are given shoes.

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bec2

I can see your point gav, and I think a trainee's opinion might depend on whether they are company ready or if they are facing another year of the training program (which is tuition-based and part of the Academy). In the long run, anyone seeking a career with a company should be glad someone is protecting the interests of company dancers since paid employment is the goal. But most students will take advantage of opportunities to further their career at that moment, even if it means performing for no pay. And I'm sure many company dancers once cherished those opportunities as students themselves. So while I know student interests are not the issue here, I do hope an agreement is reached that is equitable to the company dancers but still provides adequate performing opportunities for trainees. And with revenues being so crucial, it is especially important that Joffrey continue attracting trainees into their program.

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pointeprovider

I agree, bec2, with your statement that most current company members once cherished those unpaid or low-paid trainee performance opportunities with companies themselves, and it's probable that many of those opportunities were stepping-stones to the jobs they now hold. I hope that an agreement can be reached which, as you said, considers the best interests of the company members and the trainees, if only secondarily.

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napnap

A spoof on the lockout on the link below by TMZ. It "features" the Academy's dancers....... Thoughts?

 

http://www.tmz.com/tmz-tv/

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quill

It would have been funnier if they had actually filmed the "scab ballet", Black Duckling :)

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