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SFB 2020 Promotions and New Dancers


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Only bits and pieces of this are made public.  If the company has an AGMA contract, sometimes older versions have been online publicly.  Sometimes dancers who are union reps will speak about terms and/or grievance processes.  When Peter Martins didn't renew a large number of contracts one season, reducing the size of the company, there was a NYT article about it.  In podcast interviews, social media, and Q&A's dancers have spoken about  not having their contract renewed at some point or having a yearly evaluation in which they were told directly how far the AD saw their career going and then left because they wanted more. 

If anyone else has, from official sources, info about other ways this works in other companies, I'd appreciate learning how.  Have SFB dancers talked about this?

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Posted (edited)
19 hours ago, eduardo said:

in the case of NYCB I think every year there are some new apprentices, and also every year some of them get contracts to join the company, right? Is there a similar number of corps de ballet members who leave the company every year? Do those dancers leave by their own will or in some cases the company just don’t renew their contracts and that’s it?

 

5 hours ago, Helene said:

When Peter Martins didn't renew a large number of contracts one season, reducing the size of the company, there was a NYT article about it.

The circumstances involving the New Rock City Ballet and the "non-renewed" corps members in 2008 involved two unique circumstances: (1) a roster that had grown much too large and wasn't experiencing the yearly churn it needed to make room for new dancers fresh out of the school, and (2) the Great Recession of that year. While I don't think it was literally untrue that the company was experiencing financial difficulties in 2008. I believed then (as I do now) that the Great Recession gave Peter Martins cover to do something he wanted to do anyway: get rid of a number of corps members who weren't fitting into his plans or weren't working out generally.

Edited by miliosr
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5 hours ago, Helene said:

If anyone else has, from official sources, info about other ways this works in other companies, I'd appreciate learning how.  Have SFB dancers talked about this?

The dancers don't talk about any specifics that I know of, which makes sense given the legal nature of it all. In the time that I've been paying attention to such things, I can only remember one dancer who seems to have an ongoing feud with SFB (at least in their mind), but I don't think that person is dancing anywhere these days - perhaps too toxic an attitude.

"Pacific Northwest Ballet dancers are offered contracts (or not) and have up to a month to decide whether to sign them (or not)"

I think it is similar at SFB. In the case of dancers such as Kochetkova, Strongin, Scheller, Zahorian, Karpateyan, Sylve and Di Lanno - they each had their own reasons for wanting to make a career change and it was necessary to notify Tomasson of their decision before the next contract was due to be signed. Anyone on good terms with the A.D. is going to let him or her know well in advance. Ana Sophia Scheller's interview with Megan Fairchild was about as explicit as anyone gets regarding reasons to move on (in her case, it was SFB's notoriously harsh schedule and her claim that SFB didn't allow her to do some outside performance(s)). But as usual, we didn't hear anything specific about her contract. [We talked about Scheller's case elsewhere in the forum.]

Of course many of us would like to be a fly on the wall at some of these office visits to the A.D.(!) but I don't know of anyone actually recounting what these talks are like.


An old article from when times were tough (like now):

SF Ballet rethinking dancer's contract / Money-strapped company may keep Boada
https://www.sfgate.com/entertainment/article/SF-Ballet-rethinking-dancer-s-contract-2658827.php


The Contract Behind the Curtain: A Glimpse into the San Francisco Ballet Dancer’s Contract [2008]
https://www.imaginelaw.com/the-contract-behind-the-curtain-a-glimpse-into-the-san-francisco.html


From Dance Magazine:

Why Negotiating Your Salary Matters—Even if You Don't Get a Raise
https://www.dancemagazine.com/dancer-salary-negotiation-2623059523.html

"Rarely, if ever, are contract renewals delivered in personal meetings. Across the country, dancers receive a piece of paper stating their rank—sometimes their pay rate is not even listed—and then they're essentially told to take it or leave it."

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1 hour ago, pherank said:

Of course many of us would like to be a fly on the wall at some of these office visits to the A.D.(!) but I don't know of anyone actually recounting what these talks are like.

 

We sometimes hear about them in post-performance Q&A's, although not in great detail, but exclusively when something encouraging is spoken about.  Not that dancers can always speak freely no matter whom the interviewer is, but Peter Boal almost always does them at PNB, so they're talking directly to the boss.

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