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Jack Reed

FREE: Chicago Dancing Festival 23-27 August, 2011

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The schedule (scroll down) for the fifth occurrence of this event seems to have gone up just recently. Not a lot of ballet on offer here, although Balanchine's Stravinsky Violin Concerto, performed by local troupe Joffrey Ballet, and his Tchaikovsky pas de Deux, performed by Tiler Peck and Gonzalo Garcia of NYCB, are billed for the final (outdoor, unticketed) performance on 27th August; but you can't beat the price: If you show up at the right place and time, it's free! (Actually, I think Violin Concerto might be a pretty good ballet choice for this modern-dance-oriented festival.)

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Has the Joffrey settled it's labor dispute in time to perform?

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Has the Joffrey settled it's labor dispute in time to perform?

Oh I hope so -- I worry about this kind of conflict.

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With six weeks to go until the scheduled Festival performance, we can hope, I suppose. And dream?

Decades ago, when NYCB dancers struck (they wanted to continue to draw pay in case their orchestra struck), some enterprising fans or somebody arranged some performances at Queens College, but as Stravinsky Violin Concerto calls for as many as twenty dancers (two principal couples, eight men, and eight women), such an independent performance seems to be more in doubt this time, regardless of precedent.

As to the larger issue of the contract dispute (the company wants another five hours a week of rehearsal time without raising the dancers' pay, apparently) and consequently, the Fall season, no, while local Chicago media, especially the radio stations, just might "scoop" the national ones with news about this situation, I've heard no new developments in several days, not even on WFMT, our surviving classical-music station.

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