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The Gerald Arpino and Robert Joffrey Foundation File Arbitration Deman


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The Gerald Arpino and Robert Joffrey Foundation

File Arbitration Demand Against The Joffrey Ballet
The Gerald Arpino and Robert Joffrey Foundation has filed a demand for arbitration to compel the Joffrey Ballet to pay seven years of past-due compensation for its license to perform the ballets of Messrs. Arpino and Joffrey. The Joffrey Ballet owes the Foundation over $373,000 it promised Mr. Arpino to pay for a blanket license to those ballets, all of which were owned by Mr. Arpino and given to the foundation that bears his name before he died.
The arbitration is to enforce an agreement made in October 1995 in which Mr. Arpino granted the Joffrey Ballet a perpetual license to perform choreography he owned for the ballets that he and Robert Joffrey, the co-founders of the ballet company, created. In return, the Joffrey Ballet promised to pay the foundation $30,000 a year (indexed for inflation) from the date of Mr. Arpino’s death (which was October 29, 2008) as long as the company had a positive net worth. In clear violation of the contract, the Joffrey Ballet has refused to pay anything, notwithstanding the fact that it has had a positive net worth in all the years since Mr. Arpino’s death and, as reported in Crain’s Chicago Business, “ended fiscal 2014 with an operating budget of $15.5 million and a surplus of $789,000.” With the inflation indexing required in the contract and prejudgment interest provided by law, the amount due for the almost seven years of nonpayment comes to over $373,000.
The Foundation’s board decided to file for arbitration after a lengthy attempt to negotiate with the company. Charthel Arthur, the Foundation’s Executive Director, stated: “It is very sad that it has come to this. Most of the members of our board are former Joffrey Ballet dancers and we have tremendous respect and affection for the company, but it has never paid a penny of what is owed and has never come up with any legitimate excuse for not paying. They seem to think that our loyalty to the Joffrey as former dancers will make us ignore our loyalty to the foundation founded by Mr. Arpino to carry on his and Mr. Joffrey’s legacy. The Foundation has so far carried on their legacy by licensing and staging their works, but it could do so much more by educational outreach and encouragement of young dancers and choreographers if it had the monetary resources that would be available if The Joffrey Ballet fulfilled its contractual obligation to Mr. Arpino.”
The Gerald Arpino and Robert Joffrey Foundation is 501©(3) non-profit company committed to preserving and promoting the choreographic works of Gerald Arpino and Robert Joffrey while maintaining the integrity of the works through the highest level of artistic excellence. For any questions or additional information on the Foundation’s dispute with the Joffrey Ballet, please contact the Foundation’s counsel, Kim J. Landsman, of Golenbock Eiseman Assor Bell & Peskoe LLP, telephone number 212/907-7368 or e-mail klandsman@golenbock.com.
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