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Archived: 2010-2015 European Audition Journeys


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Share your experiences and frustrations!

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I keep hoping someone will post here. DD decided to audition in Berlin in January (open audition) while she visited with friends. She said it was women only and 200 people showed up for 2 contracts. One contract was awarded at the end of the audition and one contract was awarded to a former schoolmate 2 days later. The audition was run efficiently although dd didn't leave with any "warm, fuzzy" feelings and was told during the audition that the current AD was leaving and Nacho Duato would be replacing him after next year. At least the audition was efficient and well-run and no one acted rudely. I think our thoughts that 2% may have shriveled to 1% with the growth in supply of dancers and decreasing demand.


I do hope others will share what they are seeing out there. DD heard from her former schoolmates that it is quite grim for new dancers looking for jobs although the Royal Ballet has hired a record 5 students from the current RBS graduating class!

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Yep, grim is the word, all right.


We have not yet heard of any contracts being given; most dancers appear to be "sitting tight", if they have a job.

For students it is not nice. Many companies either have no contracts or only want dancers with "at least two years professional experience".


After one audition - invitation only - where (still student) DD got to the end and was called in to talk to the AD, she was told that there were no contracts to be given,but that she should "come back next year".




That is great the the Royal Ballet has taken on so many grads this year!



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DD has several friends dancing in Europe. For some, their whole company was closed due to the economic landscape. Their companies' funding were transferred to other companies. So, not only are there the normal 'newbies' searching and the typical moving around of dancers, but there are whole companies whose entire body of experienced dancers are now out looking for contracts who would not normally have been.


DD received an invitation to an "Invitation only" audition in one of the Scandanavian countries. Ultimately, she sent a "thank you, but regrets" because she learned from their additional informational e-mail that there were 250 dancers "invited" for the audition (out of over 500 applicants) and she couldn't justify a plane ticket from the States for a single 'destination' audition given those odds.

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I am a very infrequent poster here, but perhaps someone can offer me some advice... I did a big European audition for a well known theater that was invitation only. I made it to the final cut with very few people remaining and was told that I would hear soon about a potential contract. A few weeks later they notified me by email that they have no available place. Is it appropriate to respond to this email and ask for my information to be kept on file or something along those lines? Is there still a possibility that they may call me? This was a corps contract and I am so frustrated that I almost had it and now am probably going to have to go through a traineeship or something like that in the US.

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Angela, I don't think there's any harm in asking to be kept in mind but don't count on anything. What you've experienced is not at all unusual unfortunately. It happens in Europe and in the States. Good luck to you as you move forward. :flowers:

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Just want to echo something stated over on the USA/Canada Auditions thread. At least in dd's European company, dancers were always notified in December about the AD's intent regarding contracts. This year was different. In prior years, the budget was stable which allowed a clear knowledge of available contracts. This year the government told the Opera management in December that there would be cuts and the extent would not be known until late March. DD's company has "lifetime" contracts available and for the dancers who had already been on these contracts, life went on without much concern. For those younger dancers (like our dd) the budget cuts have caused concern and many have felt compelled to audition while still hoping for contract renewal and continuing with their busy rehearsal and performance schedule. The bottom line is that the budget has prevented the management from being able to renew contracts or even audition for potential vacancies. If others are on this delayed time frame, it may be that contracts are offered later than usual. I'm hopeful that it's just a matter of time before clarity allows companies to renew contracts and hire young dancers too.

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  • 2 weeks later...

So, here's a twist a friend has now experienced several times this year: She attends an audition and is kept at the end. The AD tells her, "we don't have any contracts to offer right now, but I can offer you a contract for 2014." This has happended to this (currently employed in Europe) dancer at least twice this season. She has never seen any paperwork on either of these offered '2014 contracts. :shrug:


Is this something that goes on in Europe? And does it even make any sense, especially given the current financial environment? Another of DD's friends company is closing after this next season. So that is two separate companies we know that are shutting their doors and thus, two full companies of gainfully employed dancers disgorged back into the contract-seeking market.


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DD has never experienced this. Her view is that until the contract is signed, ink dry and in her hands, she doesn't have a job. The closest thing to this happened when dd graduated the company associated with her school told her to get experience and stay in touch. Who knows what that means? For one male dancer who was told the same thing by the same company, it meant a job after a few years experience and others from her class were not given the same advice. Still, I think it's about timing and need (which is better known in the spring before the next season-not 2 springs prior!)


DD has experienced being told that the company would like to hire her but they are still trying to see what contracts are available. She can confirm that there seem to be a lot of experienced dancers looking for jobs this audition season because they haven't been offered renewals and companies are downsizing. Her own company is downsizing and the AD hopes to learn just how many contracts are available in the next couple of weeks. It's a tense time.

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It is sad, but I have also heard of these things happening. Wishful thinking on the part of the directors, perhaps?

No paperwork is ever produced; no promises kept.



My DD has also been told, after staying until the "bitter end", that the AD was "very interested", but there were not any contracts available for the coming season, though the audition had been advertised as such!


There are several companies in Germany and also in the Netherlands, I think, which are closing the coming year. Not nice at all.


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DD's friend is well aware that until the ink is dry, there is no contract. She is just so frustrated with this "You have a contract in 2014". Great! but there is 2013 to get through first. :wry: She's said she'd prefer the 'no contracts available' to this 'you have one in 2014'. That seems so 'sketch' (as the kids say). They aren't tell her 'come back with more experience'; they are actually telling her 'you are hired---for 2014'. She's not expecting to see the paper work--and if she did, I don't think she'd be inclined to commit.


Tough, tough times. I definitely feel for the kiddoes.

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It's just terrible! I'm so sorry for your dd's friend and diane's dd too. I also feel for the dancers who still don't know if they will have a contract in their own company too. Hopefully all of the unknown budgets will soon become clear so the AD's will have concrete numbers and the guessing/promising can stop.

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  • 10 months later...

Share your auditioning experiences and frustrations. (See Company congrats thread for sharing good news).

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  • 11 months later...

My DS has started the audition rounds in Europe; he applied to many and got invited to some and has been to 2 so far but no offers as yet.


He's doing a post grad course in a European school so the travelling isn't too bad but I feel the stress!

Anyone else started the rounds?

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My DS is also auditioning around Europe. Of the videos he sent about half of the companies invited him to audition in person. So far no job offers but several more auditions to attend. This year he is an apprentice for a German company, so he can afford the travelling.

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