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NYCB Dancers Cut


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#16 dirac

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Posted 23 July 2009 - 06:56 PM

They are grieving the loss of the thing that gave focus and meaning to their lives.


Dancers are dedicated people, but they are not the only ones who feel a special bond to their work. They are also privileged in that not only do they love what they do but they can earn money doing it, which is rare in the working world. I understand that’s a tough thing to lose.

But many people who have been laid off, even those who don’t love their work as dancers do, often feel the same way – their work gave them a focus and meaning that vanishes when they are unemployed. When workers who’ve spent decades at one firm get fired, it’s like losing a part of themselves. They feel the same feelings described by the dancers in the NYT article, often accentuated by concerns about such matters as health insurance coverage. Marriages break down. People fall into severe depressions. I'm sorry that Ms. Flack lost her childhood dream. Other people are living in tent cities.

I know the fact that other people are worse off doesn't help much when you're the one in pain, and that's perfectly understandable. I don't think that we as observers should lose sight of the big picture, though.

#17 dirac

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Posted 23 July 2009 - 07:02 PM

Here's another story about NYCB cuts on the NYT's ArtsBeat blog. The comments are pretty interesting.

http://artsbeat.blog...mployed-dancer/

Also, Bart -- in England (or at least in London) the euphemism is being made "redundant." I don't think I've ever heard anyone there (I'm in London a few times a year) say
"fired." So maybe it's not a euphemism, but what they say instead of "fired?" (or "let go" etc.).


Redundancy in UK law is not a euphemism for dismissal, (although you could argue that it merely serves to obfuscate).

#18 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 23 July 2009 - 07:19 PM

The use of euphemisms can be(…) a self-interested effort to defuse a fraught situation.
.


Agree. “Self-interest”…One side of the dialogue…(or maybe a monologue…?). Yes, it does sounds indeed as the perfect explanation, but I have to wonder…Did the effort succeeded in "defusing" the whole thing…? That would be a question for the dancer being “let go”.


"let go"(…) does minimize the harshness of the event.


Again...questionable…did both sides of the meeting agreed that the phrase “minimized” the harshness…?


These dancers were not fired. Their contracts were simply not renewed upon the expiration of the contract term.


Every time a contract is renewed it sounds like a re-hiring situation to me, whereas every time one is called upon the boss office to be notified that “We can’t afford to keep you here”…well, it can’t be more explicit.


We learn a lot about the value system of a society by the way it chooses to describe unpleasant things.


That is very true. I remember another thread in which something similar was being discussed. Well, I’ll repeat myself now…I’ll never get use to the “Thank you but not thank you and thank you” stuff or the “sorry-excuse-me-thank-you-very-much” formula repeated thousand times with no real meadning. I don’t appreciate it, I don’t believe on it and I truly think I’m being very disrespected if being played that evil wordy game.

Shame on NYCB!


Yes, shame on them!!


P.S-I confess to be biased in this whole thing, as I’ve been in this same situation before, and for which the only truly thing I wanted at that moment was to jump on top of the person playing the wordy game to scream “Shut up with your nicey/nice stuff…give me my termination notice and let me get out of here already ..!!”

:(


P.S 2- Oops, I hope to still be within the limits of the "Agree to disagree"... :beg:


P.S 3- Edited to add...I found the thread that I was referring earlier...for some reason it sounds VERY close to the "nicey-nice" wording subject. Post # 64... :)

http://ballettalk.in...p...st&p=236410

#19 Helene

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Posted 23 July 2009 - 08:54 PM

I think it was a horrific idea for The New York Times to ask readers for unsolicited advice for these dancers.

#20 papeetepatrick

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Posted 23 July 2009 - 09:23 PM

Here's another story about NYCB cuts on the NYT's ArtsBeat blog. The comments are pretty interesting.

http://artsbeat.blog...mployed-dancer/

Also, Bart -- in England (or at least in London) the euphemism is being made "redundant." I don't think I've ever heard anyone there (I'm in London a few times a year) say
"fired." So maybe it's not a euphemism, but what they say instead of "fired?" (or "let go" etc.).


Redundancy in UK law is not a euphemism for dismissal, (although you could argue that it merely serves to obfuscate).


I hadn't heard this, but being made 'redundant' sounds very searing, much like 'homo sacer', the person become worthless, as Palestinians are often described in Israel or Jews were in the Holocaust by such writers as Giorgio Agamben. Maybe the British don't mean it in the full way it sounds, but that sounds like not just losing a job, but being 'made worthless' (and not just losing a salary or wage.) But then that's not necessarily so, because British English is not the same as American English in many ways, and therefore it's unlikely that it's meant cruelly. It has a quaint sound to us, which is like when I first heard 'ex-directory'.

I've been 'laid off' before, and don't care if it's called that. It's not exactly the same thing as being 'fired', because I've been 'fired' too, and I know the difference! Some of those times were very painful, so it's really the pain experienced and the attendant sense of helplessness, even if temporary, more than any serious upset at the terms or idioms used. You're just upset and angry, and getting annoyed at terminology naturally comes into play as well. One time I asked a supervisor 'Am I getting fired'? and she said 'Possibly.' Looking back, I find that a most amusing answer, but it was only a temp job. When there was more at stake, I really didn't ever care what it was called, the net result was the same thing.

#21 DeborahB

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Posted 24 July 2009 - 03:14 AM

I think it was a horrific idea for The New York Times to ask readers for unsolicited advice for these dancers.


Agreed!
It was set up to get a lot of comments, of course (and it has), but it just seems wrong. Afterall, who are we to give
unsolicited advice to young dancers who have to figure out what to do next? That's what friends, family, colleagues, and professional counselors are for -- not strangers.

#22 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 24 July 2009 - 05:27 AM

I really didn't ever care what it was called, the net result was the same thing.

That's true...

#23 abatt

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Posted 24 July 2009 - 05:34 AM

The dancers can choose whether or not to read the comments on the NY Times blog. If they read the blog comments, they can choose to accept or reject any advice offered in the blog. I don't really see the down side of having the blog. Maybe some good can come of it if a good idea pops up in one of the comments. Maybe some generous NY Time blogger might be able to connect an unemployed dancer with a job interview.

Edit to add: It is particularly disturbing that young people like Darius Barnes are being tossed out, while Nilas Martins is still in his job. Sorry to anger all you Nilas fans on Ballet Talk.

#24 dirac

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Posted 24 July 2009 - 08:55 AM

Again...questionable…did both sides of the meeting agreed that the phrase “minimized” the harshness…?



There is no pleasing many people who get the boot, for obvious reasons.

Sorry to anger all you Nilas fans on Ballet Talk.


There are Nilas fans on Ballet Talk? :)

#25 Pointe1432

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Posted 24 July 2009 - 08:58 AM

Every time a contract is renewed it sounds like a re-hiring situation to me, whereas every time one is called upon the boss office to be notified that “We can’t afford to keep you here”…well, it can’t be more explicit.


http://ballettalk.in...p...st&p=236410



I would have a hard time hearing "We can't afford to keep you" from a man who earned $686,000 according to 2007 public non-profit records.

And I agree that it was a horrific idea for the NY Times to ask for advice for these dancers.

#26 Helene

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Posted 24 July 2009 - 10:22 AM

Maybe some generous NY Time blogger might be able to connect an unemployed dancer with a job interview.

If someone had a job lead and were interested in passing it on, they would not post it on a blog, or they'd get hundreds, if not thousands, of replies. They'd try to find a way to contact the dancer(s), most likely by sending an email to the author of a news article, since the NYT already published one of those.

The cost of "advice", in this case, is reading a suggestion to become a prostitute. How charming.

#27 dirac

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Posted 24 July 2009 - 10:41 AM

You get all kinds in blog comments sections and the source should always be considered. The query sure isn't in the best of taste, though.

#28 papeetepatrick

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Posted 24 July 2009 - 02:52 PM

Big newpaper blogs are a special kind of blog anyway, which I think is important. I don't know about the 'prostitution angle', but they are not like more personal blogs, even the good ones, like Paul Krugman's. There is never real interaction in a serious way, it is mostly just ranting or passing the time. I agree with most of what Helene said, though. But these BIG newspaper blogs just get so much unrelated comment (unlike small blogs where people know each other and interact, often for years) that they (the specific posts and threads, not the general blog itself) disappear in a day or two; they are never resuscitated and read after they've got a new post up. By now, I'm sure this one is worn out, isn't it? I used to post on Krugman's blog once in a while, but it's not becaues I wanted to discuss there, because you can't in a moderated blog where the comments are delayed; it was usually just to tell him what a good job he was doing, etc,. I don't see much value (and therefore probably not much harm in them, no matter how stupid or ill-thought-through the topic, because the remarks evaporate very quickly. BT is much more like more personal blogs, has many of their characterstics, but is the only online forum of any kind I've been able to stay with, strangely enough. Because the more personal, smaller blogs are almost always full of fighting and even psychosis sometimes. But I remember posting on that religion blog in the WaPo, it didn't matter a whit what you said, it was just like an old AOL chatroom.

#29 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 24 July 2009 - 03:13 PM

it was just like an old AOL chatroom.

Oh, those!... :D

#30 vipa

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Posted 24 July 2009 - 04:47 PM

I would have a hard time hearing "We can't afford to keep you" from a man who earned $686,000 according to 2007 public non-profit records.

And I agree that it was a horrific idea for the NY Times to ask for advice for these dancers.


I agree with with the first statement, particularly because the article said that the firings would save 1.2 million. That is less than two years of Martin's salary. I'm not commenting on Martins worth, just trying to highlight the relative numbers.

It was a terrible, embarrassingly terrible idea to ask for advise for the dancers. These are young, talented imaginative people who will ultimately be fine. There are many other unemployed people I'm more concerned about.

Because Martins didn't consult with the union to save jobs, my best guess is that he knew it was a good idea to cut costs and he took the opportunity to pare down the company. He got rid of dancers who he didn't find useful, he felt had grown stale and were going nowhere.


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