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Joffrey dancers locked out?

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Joffrey dancers are facing a lockout and cancellation of part of the season. Story in the Sun-Times:

“We have, with great reluctance, been forced to cancel the beginning of our 2011-2012 Season,” the letter stated. “Without any agreement with your Union, we simply cannot consider going forward with our season under the cloud of a lingering threat that, at any time, AGMA could shut it down with a strike.”

Dancers must clean out their lockers and turn in their keys by this Thursday, according to the letter, signed by chairman of the board Jason Tyler and executive director Christopher Conway.

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The quotes by dancer Fabrice Calmels sound very calm, reasoned, and hopeful. Does anyone know if he is speaking in an official capacity or just voicing private hopes?

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Locking out the dancers is harsh and heavy handed. Although I recently sent Joffrey a donation now I'll reconsider my level of support for next year.

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Changing your level of donation will again affect the dancers. So why not earmark your donation for dancer salaries instead of just dropping the amount of money you give to the company?

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http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/ct-ent-0705-joffrey-labor-20110705,0,7952832.story

This article from today seems very convoluted, and I don't think the Exec Dir of the Joffrey is doing himself any favors by complaining like this to the press. One part stuck out in my mind:

Conway said the company has lost out on opportunities because most internationally renowned choreographers expect to have 30 hours a week to work with dancers... "However, Joffrey already offers weekly wages considerably higher than many AGMA companies that require the six-hour rehearsal day/30-hour week," Conway countered, "and our sole motivation is to attract world-class choreographers for the dancers and audiences."

Perhaps this is my naivete...but is there any choreographer who actually expects the full 30 hours a week for rehearsal? This seem preposterous as does the idea that this is the management's "sole" motivation for increasing the work week.

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Joffrey does have a pretty bad track record when it comes to union relations.... I remember the mess when they left NY for Chicago...

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Changing your level of donation will again affect the dancers. So why not earmark your donation for dancer salaries instead of just dropping the amount of money you give to the company?

I would prefer to support the dancers except there is no apparent way to earmark donations. Maybe there is a non-company specific charity that benefits dancers. Union bashing is all the rage these days, but not for me.

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Changing your level of donation will again affect the dancers. So why not earmark your donation for dancer salaries instead of just dropping the amount of money you give to the company?

I would prefer to support the dancers except there is no apparent way to earmark donations. Maybe there is a non-company specific charity that benefits dancers. Union bashing is all the rage these days, but not for me.

Actually, all you have to say is that you want to earmark the donation for dancer salaries and they have to do it. Write it on the check or on a separate sheet of paper. You are the one that is donating so you have the power to decide where your money goes. If Joffrey doesn't allow you to do so, then that is just weird. In all my years in this industry I have never heard of a company not allowing a donor to decide where the money goes.

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Doesn't the demand for extra rehearsal time seem punitive, unnecessary, and a manipulation?

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From "Friends of the Joffrey Ballet Dancers" on Facebook, this afternoon:

UPDATE! Late this afternoon, AGMA and the Joffrey Ballet reached a tentative agreement. The Dancers will start taking class on Monday and Stage Managers will resume their normal schedule on Monday as well. The next step in the process is for the Dancers and AGMA's Board of Governors to ratify the agreement.

Congratulations to the Dancers and Stage Managers, and thanks to everyone for showing your support!

Imput from the fans may have helped:

Dylan Gutierrez Thank you to the 400 + people who supported us on this page so quickly that was amazing ! It's over now and your support was very appreciated!

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