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Extraordinary Risk?

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I found a pretty good website about the American Guild Of Musical Artists (AGMA) one week ago: http://www.musicalartists.org. On this site, you can also view the contract between the AGMA and the New York City Ballet concerning the dancers’ payment and their work schedule, etc.

While looking through that contract, I came across the “Extraordinary Risk” section:

“Extraordinary Risk payment will not be paid for the current repertoire as of August 30, 1993 with the following exceptions:


Mother in the birth scene of APOLLO;

Mother Ginger in THE NUTCRACKER;



“Vision” and UNANSWERED QUESTION the Artist who climbs a rope ladder,

and the role of the Sousaphone”

Now, can somebody tell me why these scenes/roles are so dangerous and risky for the dancers?

Thanks a lot,

-Svenia- :)

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If you look at the contract, they actually specify high risk

) Extraordinary Risk - The term "Extraordinary Risk" shall be defined as any portion of a performance or rehearsal which entails any form of high risk feat exposing ARTIST(S) to possible injury including but not limited to any of the following:

(1) suspension from trapeze, wire or like contrivance more than four (4) feet above stage floor;

(2) performing on stilts or like devices which place ARTIST's feet more than four (4) feet above stage floor;

(3) operating explosive or pyrotechnic devices;

(4) handling fire or performing near or around fire;

(5) any other form of high-risk feat endangering ARTIST(S) to injure as mutually determined by a local AGMA Committee and the EMPLOYER prior to the first performance.

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in MIDSUMMER Puck finishes the ballet rigged to wires (harnassed at his waist)

in HARLEQUINADE Pierrot must dangle momentarily from a missing balcony as he "falls" from a window (eventually he's rescued by other characters who take him down from his tether).

in APOLLO (in the version NYCB has taken to identifying as being "with birth") Leto performs the opening atop a little platform and descends from it in the dark on the same piece's little stairway.

in NUTCRACKER Mother Ginger must negotiate an entrance, circuit of the stage gracefully, and exit the scene while balanced on specially conceived stilts that keep the skirt of the character's costume spacious enough to hide the 8 polichinelle children whose dance dominates this scene.

(i suppose the SWAN LAKE 'vision' refers to some moment in P.Martins's staging of SWAN LAKE, but the execution of this moment now escapes my memory and i'm not now set up to 'go to the videotape' - there is no such vision in the balanchine version of SWAN LAKE done at nycb).

and indeed in feld's UNANSWERED QUESTION various stunts such as climbing a rope ladder and the wearing of a sousaphone as a costume are part of the ballet's choreographic plan.

or so i variously remember.

hope this helps.

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