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piccolo

ABT II/Studio Company

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I know ABT has a second company for younger dancers -- is it ABT II or Studio Company? How does it work? Do these dancers then get taken in by ABT? Do they dance on their own or with ABT or both?

Thanks.

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It's Studio Company (not ABT II). I think, for all intents and purposes, it is a separate ensemble. They might be chosen to perform in the corps of the main company for a certain performance, but in general, they have their own performances.

Some of the dancers do get picked up to join the main company, but it isn't definite. The ones that aren't most likely join other pro. companies.

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So then the next step is usually apprentice, right? What does an apprentice do? Is it like being a permanent understudy or do you get to dance in the corps?

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Apprentice would be the next step up, but it's not automatic. I mean, just because you were in the Studio Company doesn't mean they'll automatically hire you as an apprentice.

I think they do get to perform with the corps. I'm not sure if it's for most of the performances, just some or whatever.

A dancer I know, in the corps (starting her 2nd year), said that her contract is year-by-year. So there's no guarantee she'll still be in the company next year. Is this common, or only with say the corps or newer dancers? Do the stalwarts, like Julie Kent, etc, have longer contracts?

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I think most all companies negotiate their contracts with the dancers on an annual basis.

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There is also a General Contract that the company has with the union that specifies rules to be followed under all circumstances of company operation with union members. In it, the number of performances permitted to apprentices is fixed. Companies who are non-union generally abide by these standards as a matter of professional discipline. At least the good ones do.

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