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Veronika Part leaving ABT


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16 minutes ago, mussel said:

 

Thanks so much for the link.

 

This bit is particularly interesting [from Google Translate]:

 

"At first it was promised to me that I would be partially engaged in some ballets next season, then left only "Swan Lake", and later just was deprived of everything, fired with nothing," said the ballerina. "I was unnecessary." 

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4 hours ago, aurora said:

 

I thought she was less smiley than Shevchenko on Weds.

 

Thats not saying much, as Schevchenko is ABT's "Queen of Perpetual Smile"...with the exception of her recent Myrtha in Giselle. (Thank goodness for that.)

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13 minutes ago, Natalia said:

Thats not saying much, as Schevchenko is ABT's "Queen of Perpetual Smile"...with the exception of her recent Myrtha in Giselle. (Thank goodness for that.)

 

I don't recall ever having seen this remarked upon as a criticism of her. (It's something I've heard said about Sarah Lane at times, but this was not a problem in her Swan Lake.)

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2 minutes ago, nanushka said:

 

I don't recall ever having seen this remarked upon as a criticism of her. (It's something I've heard said about Sarah Lane at times, but this was not a problem in her Swan Lake.)

 

Ive seen less constant smiling from Sarah...but definitely CS since her (very successful) competition days.,, ooh la la! :lol:

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I don't know anything about the source or author of that Russian-language article, so perhaps others can comment on that, but this paragraph also seems to contradict the idea that Veronika was given substantial advanced notice that her contract was not being renewed:

 

The official announcement that she was leaving the troupe came out on Monday, July 3, and on July 8 her farewell performance took place. The ballerina herself, two weeks before that, believed that that day would be just another performance closing the spring season. Veronica is not yet ready to talk in detail about what happened. "I'm in shock. I need time to accept and understand everything. I'm very hurt and uncomfortable, "she said," I do not know why it all happened. " There was no conflict from the beginning. Later, when I was confronted with the fact, I resisted and we argued."

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From my reading of the article in Google translate, it seems to me that she was initially told that she would be engaged for a limited number of performances next year, that was the reduced to Swan Lake only and even that was not given to her. It seems phasing her out turned into a total break. At least that's my interpretation. There is no way to know what was in Kevin M's thinking.

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3 minutes ago, vipa said:

From my reading of the article in Google translate, it seems to me that she was initially told that she would be engaged for a limited number of performances next year, that was the reduced to Swan Lake only and even that was not given to her. It seems phasing her out turned into a total break. At least that's my interpretation. There is no way to know what was in Kevin M's thinking.

 

Yes, that's how I read it. I wonder how that would correspond with the sorts of union protections and typical termination procedures that others on this board have commented on.

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7 minutes ago, vipa said:

From my reading of the article in Google translate, it seems to me that she was initially told that she would be engaged for a limited number of performances next year, that was the reduced to Swan Lake only and even that was not given to her. It seems phasing her out turned into a total break. At least that's my interpretation. There is no way to know what was in Kevin M's thinking.

 

I read it the same way. I don't understand. If she was recently fired (as in this month) where was the union protection? Did she choose to not fight it, and will the union only step in if the dancer asks them to? (I don't know how that works...). Maybe there are some loopholes that allowed ABT to let her go without penalty. 

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10 minutes ago, Balletwannabe said:

Maybe she didn't want to fight it. Who wants to work somewhere when they know they're not wanted (by their employer).

 

Certainly possible. But then by that logic, job protections in general would be pretty useless.

 

And one answer: people who don't have the luxury of easily finding other jobs in their chosen field -- such as 39-year-old ballerinas.

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1 minute ago, nanushka said:

 

Certainly possible. But then by that logic, job protections in general would be pretty useless.

 

And one answer: people who don't have the luxury of easily finding other jobs in their chosen field -- such as 39-year-old ballerinas.

I understand.  Speculation on my part.

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21 minutes ago, ABT Fan said:

 

I read it the same way. I don't understand. If she was recently fired (as in this month) where was the union protection? Did she choose to not fight it, and will the union only step in if the dancer asks them to?

 

And would ABT have really been willing to so blatantly flout the protections with the hope that she wouldn't fight for them?

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Maybe she was informed well in advance that her normal principal contract wouldn't be renewed but that they'd have her sign a guest contract for next season (but retain the title of principal dancer on public-facing materials, like Vishneva and Bolle). The idea of being "partially engaged" next season suggests an altered status with the company. And certainly they wouldn't have her sign a principal contract for just one Swan Lake. Perhaps this would allow ABT to avoid any union issues, if she was notified a while ago that she wouldn't be a full-time company member? And maybe the guest contract for next year was just a verbal promise.

 

This all seems to confirm that she was, in fact, treated quite poorly by ABT. It appears as if they purposely left the door open for firing her on short notice without having to deal with union pushback.

Edited by fondoffouettes
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5 minutes ago, nanushka said:

 

And would ABT have really been willing to so blatantly flout the protections with the hope that she wouldn't fight for them?

 

I certainly wouldn't think so. But, this keeps getting more and more puzzling, which is bound to happen when we don't have all of the facts.

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3 minutes ago, fondoffouettes said:

Maybe she was informed well in advance that her normal principal contract wouldn't be renewed but that they'd have her sign a guest contract for next season (but retain the title of principal dancer on public-facing materials, like Vishneva and Bolle). The idea of being "partially engaged" next season suggests an altered status with the company. And certainly they wouldn't have her sign a principal contract for just one Swan Lake. Perhaps this would allow ABT to avoid any union issues, if she was notified a while ago that she wouldn't be a full-time company member? And maybe the guest contract for next year was just a verbal promise.

 

This is a very interesting idea.

 

And, perhaps they already do this for Bolle (and did so for Vishneva), meaning they call them principals but in fact they're actually paid/contracted like guest artists.

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6 minutes ago, fondoffouettes said:

Maybe she was informed well in advance that her normal principal contract wouldn't be renewed but that they'd have her sign a guest contract for next season (but retain the title of principal dancer on public-facing materials, like Vishneva and Bolle). The idea of being "partially engaged" next season suggests an altered status with the company. And certainly they wouldn't have her sign a principal contract for just one Swan Lake. Perhaps this would allow ABT to avoid any union issues, if she was notified a while ago that she wouldn't be a full-time company member? And maybe the guest contract for next year was just a verbal promise.

 

This all seems to confirm that she was, in fact, treated quite poorly by ABT. It appears as if they purposely left the door open for firing her on short notice without having to deal with union pushback.

 

Definitely conceivable. And if so, a real slimeball move.

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7 minutes ago, ABT Fan said:

And, perhaps they already do this for Bolle (and did so for Vishneva), meaning they call them principals but in fact they're actually paid/contracted like guest artists.

1

Right, and I should clarify that I don't know whether that's the case with Vishneva and Bolle, but I've always assumed as much. I'm guessing guest contracts may be subject to different requirements than full-time employee contracts (full-time meaning 36 weeks of the year or whatever it is).

Edited by fondoffouettes
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I agree with foundoffouettes about the contract change, that makes a lot of sense. Just speculation, but the two week notice timeline Veronika mentions in the Russian article does make sense based on her social media activity. She was all smiles at the Vishneva farewell on June 23, then June 25 posted a series of photos from her Swan Lake taken a few weeks earlier, with sad captions about how it would be her last Swan Lake at the Met.

 

I revisited the facebook page of the protest organizer and there is an exchange between Veronika and Nina Alovert that also seems to confirm. 

 

vpdrama.jpg

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And of course the two-week notice also fits with the reshuffling of the program order for her last performance. It really seems like that was not initially intended to be her final performance with the company. 

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The suggestion is that she be downgraded to part time, perhaps paid

per performance rather than full contract salary. But unlike Bolle, Vishneva,

and the guest artists, she was a full time company member. She always

participated in the Fall Seasons and tours. A team player, as it were.

She never gave anything but a class A performance and ABT was lucky to

have her. And Ratmansky created works on her and cast her often.

This has gotten so sordid - all in the name of saving money? It's awful.

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It's even more awful when one thinks she could have said farewell to some of her major roles next year -- Nikiya, Odette/Odile, Lilac Fairy, Myrtha. This is assuming that ABT follows their normal two-years-on, one-year-off pattern for the warhorses. I take what Part says in the article at face value. Everything seems to point to her expecting to dance next season, up until sometime around her Swan Lake performance this year.

Edited by fondoffouettes
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I loved Part's performances and always went to her shows.   ABT's conduct is reprehensible. They behave more like Walmart every year.  I understand that McKenzie probably did not have the funds to make all these promotions and keep Part as a full time worker, but would it have been so awful to make Shevchenko or Teuscher wait one more year for the promotion?

Edited by abatt
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