Jump to content
abatt

Potential Strike By ABT Dancers

Recommended Posts

I look forward to reading the posts from anyone who gets a chance to see them in DC week.:D

Share this post


Link to post

Some additional details in an article from the Times.

Why it features a tweet from an apparently random individual picking out Misty Copeland for special praise is rather a mystery to me. But then we've seen in the past (when they featured SAB in an article about ABT) that the Times online is a bit slipshod when it comes to images.

Edited by nanushka

Share this post


Link to post
29 minutes ago, nanushka said:

Some additional details in an article from the Times.

Why it features a tweet from an apparently random individual picking out Misty Copeland for special praise is rather a mystery to me.

I had the exact same reaction.  I think it's intentional because any mention of Copeland might get them an extra "click" on the article.

Share this post


Link to post

I got blocked by the NYT paywall. When the photo of the up-until-2am negotiations was posted to Instagram, Misty was the one dancer I couldn’t see. 

Share this post


Link to post
4 minutes ago, AB'sMom said:

I got blocked by the NYT paywall. When the photo of the up-until-2am negotiations was posted to Instagram, Misty was the one dancer I couldn’t see. 

I don't know if this still works, but it used to be the case (before I gave in and paid for a subscription, albeit with a professional discount) that if you entered the article title into Google you could then click onto the article, avoiding the paywall: Ballet Theater Choreographs a Labor Deal, and the Show Goes On.

 

Share this post


Link to post

I'm glad the lowest-paid corps members are getting the highest increases in their salaries, but even those percentages are somewhat similar to cost-of-living raises. Some of the other increases seem so minimal: "The company’s better-paid soloists will not get raises in the first two years, and will get a 1 percent raise in the third year of the contract." A 1 percent raise, really? In three years, some of those "better-paid soloists" may already be retired. 

And the contributions to retirement plans only increase from 3.75% to 4.00% (in the third year of the contract). How will a quarter of a percentage point help these dancers set themselves up for retirement? 

I'm relieved things have been settled, and a strike averted, but I'm sad the dancers didn't get more.

Edited by fondoffouettes

Share this post


Link to post

Wonder what stage managers got

Share this post


Link to post

Possibly the same, but with the possibility of getting the benefits for decades longer.

Share this post


Link to post
20 hours ago, fondoffouettes said:

I'm glad the lowest-paid corps members are getting the highest increases in their salaries, but even those percentages are somewhat similar to cost-of-living raises. Some of the other increases seem so minimal: "The company’s better-paid soloists will not get raises in the first two years, and will get a 1 percent raise in the third year of the contract." A 1 percent raise, really? In three years, some of those "better-paid soloists" may already be retired. 

And the contributions to retirement plans only increase from 3.75% to 4.00% (in the third year of the contract). How will a quarter of a percentage point help these dancers set themselves up for retirement? 

I'm relieved things have been settled, and a strike averted, but I'm sad the dancers didn't get more.

Just a small window into the lives of dancers.  This is one of the large companies protected by AGMA.  Think about what dancers in regional companies must have to deal with in terms of salary, retirement, etc.  I know there have been prior threads on this subject, but it really should give everyone perspective.  Living in NYC is not cheap.  Last I looked, a studio apartment can average around $2700, the last I looked.  Obviously, one can find places to live which are cheaper or one can have roommates.  But for young apprentices and corps dancers, rent eats a big chunk of their pay.  While soloists and principals obviously do fairly well, one must constantly be forward thinking.  In other words, "what do I do when this is over?"  And, we all know that can happen in the blink of an eye.  

Share this post


Link to post
29 minutes ago, its the mom said:

Just a small window into the lives of dancers.  This is one of the large companies protected by AGMA.  Think about what dancers in regional companies must have to deal with in terms of salary, retirement, etc.  I know there have been prior threads on this subject, but it really should give everyone perspective.  Living in NYC is not cheap.  Last I looked, a studio apartment can average around $2700, the last I looked.  Obviously, one can find places to live which are cheaper or one can have roommates.  But for young apprentices and corps dancers, rent eats a big chunk of their pay.  While soloists and principals obviously do fairly well, one must constantly be forward thinking.  In other words, "what do I do when this is over?"  And, we all know that can happen in the blink of an eye.  

I hear ya, its the mom. When I think about the youngest corps members earning somewhere around $1,000 a week, with weeks of work lost to layoffs, I can only imagine it's a struggle to make it in NYC. It brings to mind that scene, I believe from The Company, with corps dancers crashing on the floor of some seedy apartment. 

This is part of the reason why ballet -- and the arts in general -- suffer from a diversity problem in terms of both artistic and management staff. It's easier to take the risk of a career in the arts if you are from a privileged background, and if you are from a privileged background, at least in the U.S., you're more likely to be white. It's not just institutional racism that keeps ballet stages predominantly white. Part of what bothered me about the Copeland narratives from a couple years ago is that most of them didn't delve into the full complexity of why ballet lacks diversity. It's not all about artistic directors or audiences being bogged down in white European tradition and not wanting to see "black swans" on stage. I realize, of course, that there are plenty of dancers from humble backgrounds -- of all races -- that take the risk of pursuing a dance career despite the financial uncertainties. 

I should mention, though, that I've seen lots of positive comments on ABT's Facebook about the degree of diversity in the company, and not just in relation to Misty Copeland.

Edited by fondoffouettes

Share this post


Link to post

Just want to add that, although corps members teach & do gigs in the off seasons, soloists & principals have more opportunities to augment their salaries with guest work, whether it be performing or teaching.

Share this post


Link to post

The ABT dancers apparently are not the only ones unhappy with their wages. According to the Washington Post, the Alvin Ailey dancers skipped a reception after their opening night at the Kennedy Center to protest their salaries.

Edited by YouOverThere

Share this post


Link to post
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×