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 Post subject: Re: Dancers for Sale
PostPosted: Fri Aug 20, 2004 10:56 am 
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Posts: 602
Location: Seattle, WA,USA
Lets just see how "obscene" that 100,000 price tag is dangling from Patricia Barkers leg.

First, it makes you a member of the Artistic Directors Circle with a right to "sponser" a dancer in a season in the ballet magazine.

You get to have dinner with the ADs in a private home.
You get to have opening night dinners with the ADs the night of the performance.
You get a signed photo from a dancer.
You get a Nutcracker performance named after you.
You get 20 guest tickets.

I don't find anything "obscene" about this. I will admit it buys you persnal access to the ADs, but I am sure they want equal access to thier big donors anyway. Also, I think it is fairly demeaning to think that dancers like Patricia Barker need to be protected from the big bad donors. These dancers are generally sharp men and women that can make there own decisions about what is and is not an appropriate relationship between patrons and themselves. And I think most people would agree that promotion to the level of principal also implies a certain responsibility to represent the company well to the public. Also, since one can't dance forever, some of these dancers might like to meet people outside the world of ballet to discuss other things ( for example investing for a dancewear line, etc ).

My final advice - why don't we treat the dancers like the adults and professionals that they are!


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 Post subject: Re: Dancers for Sale
PostPosted: Fri Aug 20, 2004 12:35 pm 
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Location: New England
You didn't mention anything from the dancer, other than a signed photo. My understanding of the article was that more was required from the dancers.

I generally consider myself to be a sharp man or woman, and I have made my own decision about what is and is not an appropriate relationship between patrons and myself. And I have described that relationship above. Of course, opinions vary, and I can only speak for myself.

Quote:
My final advice - why don't we treat the dancers like the adults and professionals that they are!
Good idea. That begins not with admiring the beautiful bodies you see onstage, but rather with respecting a dancer's opinion when you read it.

<small>[ 20 August 2004, 02:37 PM: Message edited by: citibob ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Dancers for Sale
PostPosted: Fri Aug 20, 2004 1:18 pm 
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Location: SF CA
That is just one dancers opinion. When I was a student I was sponsored by a wonderful lady who wanted to make sure that I had enough money for SI's and pointe shoes. Thank God for her. She also sponsored Leonide Massine to come and set ballets my schood. Through that sponsorship I was chosen to assist him at the Sadlers Wells Royal Ballet. Thank God for Mrs. Wesley Clark. I never once felt disrespect from her and I don't think Mr. Massine did either.


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 Post subject: Re: Dancers for Sale
PostPosted: Fri Aug 20, 2004 4:58 pm 
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Location: Seattle, WA,USA
I think the NYTs article was a little bit inflammatory in that it showed Patricia Barker with that $100,000 price tag dangling from her leg with all that implies, but that isn't really what the sponsership is about.
From a patrons perspective ( though far away from a donation like this), I think it is a way to give the ballet company some money, get to chat with the aritistic directors, and at the same time be a way of saying that "wow, you are my absolute favorite dancer in the whole world." At least that is what it would mean to me.

What would be interesting would be to hear from someone who gives 100,000 donations with a little disposable income. It may be that a person with that level of wealth have a whole different perspective on this that we aren't even considering.


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 Post subject: Re: Dancers for Sale
PostPosted: Sun Aug 22, 2004 10:23 am 
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Location: New England
Thank you Lucy, I was hoping you would add your opinion or experience. As you said, my viewpoint was just one dancer's.


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 Post subject: Re: Dancers for Sale
PostPosted: Tue Sep 21, 2004 7:08 am 
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Location: U.S.A.
I believe this subject needs to be approached from a fairly broad perspective with respect to the organizations that are using dancer sponsorships as a way to raise funds. As was said earlier, the companies that have refused to use this approach are all in VERY good financial shape in comparison to the average dance company. Along with that, they can afford the very best in regard to administrators working in the nonprofit sector. In many organizations, even stable ones, there is an undercurrent of pressure to take full advantage of any opportunity to raise funds.

Most companies spend their existence in a state of fear that they will come up short every season. Most of these organizations, including the one I work for are doing the best they can. They are not staffed by the most brilliant administrators and fund raisers in the world, but they care passionately about their respective dance companies. If dancer sponsorships are the best idea available at the moment, that is what will be done, and I certainly will not fault them for it, it is paying the bills (and my paycheck).

Dancers can not afford to blindly enter the studio every day and never think about the work that is going into allowing them to be there. As a dancer, I have been sponsored, and as a choreographer, my work has been underwritten. I greatly appreciate the contributions these donors have made. The extent to which I am indebted to these people is no greater than that which the Artistic Director is every single day to countless people. Kind words, a little conversation and thank you letters are not to much to ask in exchange for the contributions these people are making. If more is expected and the dancer feels uncomfortable with it, it is their responsibility as an adult and professional to let the appropriate people in charge know about it.

The skill of asking for money and being appreciative of it is a very difficult thing to learn, the dancers of today are the Artistic Directors of tomorrow, they have to learn to deal with donors someday, so now is a good time.

Now, when it comes to HOW this whole endeavor is approached, I believe there are good ways and bad ways. I don’t believe the auction idea is healthy. If the organization relinquishes its control over how those contributions are distributed, you start creating an environment where the donor has more say then the people running the organization. On the other hand, If every dancer sponsorship costs the same amount, regardless of stature, I don’t believe a donor will withhold their contribution because the dancer they like is unavailable.


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 Post subject: Re: Dancers for Sale
PostPosted: Tue Sep 21, 2004 12:59 pm 
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Location: Gangsterdam
My viewpoint on this are mainly here:

http://groups.google.com/groups?selm=eae8129.0409071145.7f0c3ab5%40posting.google.com&output=gplain

and here is the alt.arts.ballet thread on the same subject, where I posted even more:

http://groups.google.com/groups?dq=&hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&threadm=25616-41471FDC-399%40storefull-3157.bay.webtv.net&prev=/groups%3Fq%3Dalt.arts.ballet%26ie%3DUTF-8%26hl%3Den

My question remains:

How does something like this provide leverage to the dancer?

Tex.

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"I'm surprised you decided not to pursue what sounds like Linning's politicization of the ballet body."


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 Post subject: Re: Dancers for Sale
PostPosted: Sat Sep 25, 2004 7:06 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 12, 1999 12:01 am
Posts: 3663
Location: The Bronx is up; the Battery's down
Does anyone else think that this is taking it too far?

Quote:
So maybe there is not interference in the content, and this joint venture allows Batsheva to present performances like never before. Last June the dancers performed 32 live commercials for Isrotel. In eight performances at the Suzanne Delal Center in Tel Aviv, the dancers went out on the stage and did the commercials between other works. The insertion of commercials into an artistic event is an unusual step not only for Batsheva, but for cultural performances in Israel in general.
More

<small>[ 25 September 2004, 09:07 PM: Message edited by: salzberg ]</small>

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 Post subject: Re: Dancers for Sale
PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2004 5:01 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 02, 1999 12:01 am
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Location: Seattle, WA USA
When I went to see ABT last summer in New York, I opened the program, and was quite startled. Underneath each dancer's photo was a bold face name of an individual or corporation who was sponsoring the dancer. I was really taken aback. Although I can surely understand the financial logic behind it, I STILL think it looked extremely commercial, not to mention tacky. Surely this information can be listed along with other beneficiaries at another location in the program. What's next? A ballerina wearing a tutu with a garland hanging down bearing the name of the sponsor on it? Oy. I just thought it was jarring and a distraction.


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 Post subject: Re: Dancers for Sale
PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2004 3:40 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 19975
Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Thanks for the link to the article from the excellent Haaretz, Salzberg.

I am always keen to hear of new variations for the funding of dance companies, because making dance costs money and artists deserve to be rewarded financially as well as artistically from the experience.

The Batsheva example is interesting and no doubt creates opportunities for the company. In addition, it appears that a new audience is seeing their work, which is great.

Several points in the detail of the arrangement give me some concern, however. The advertising interludes are probably the least problematic for me, as long as it is made clear to the audience before booking for the performance. Who knows, maybe these interludes will be more interesting than the "main" works, just as TV ads can be a LOT more interesting than the programmes in which they are embedded.

Two other aspects concern me more. The Isrotel representative says: "There is no artistic interference, but we do try to say that we don't want extreme things that could arouse antagonism, and we do not mount protest performances." This clearly is artistic interfeence and although all promoters will discuss the suitability of a programme for their audience, these selection criteria make me uneasy.

In addition, we learn that "Anaphaza" cannot be performed elsewhere in Israel and thus one of Batsheva's signature works is unavailable to many Israeli dance lovers. As the company cannot programme this work elsewhere, this also constitutes artistic interference.

Thus, while I can see positive aspects to the link-up, maybe Batsheva should have dug their heels in over some of the detail.

Trina, I can understand your surprise at the commercial logos under the artists' details. You say it seems "commercial", but major or even small companies ignore commercial aspects at their peril. Yes the sponsorship credits could be tucked away with the name of the ice-cream supplier, but I know from CD experiences that audiences do not read those sections and thus there is little benefit for the sponsor. If the inclusion of these logos in a visible part of the programme makes it possible for new work to be produced or allows a pay rise for the dancers, then that's fine with me.

There are limits; for instance, I think it highly inadvisable to take sponsorship from tobacco companies in any form.

Maria, it's good that you turned the question around to the viewpoint of the dance. In a sensibly run company with artistic criteria given priority, money raised through sponsorship in any form will flow through in benefits to the dancers through new rep and better terms and conditions. Random Dance in the UK raises a lot of money through sponsorship and the dancers benefit through full-time contracts, good rehearsal conditions and improved medical care. These factors mean that the dancers are teated more fairly and freedom from some areas of worry and unceertainty give them the space for artistic development.

Sorte bleu, thanks for providing the viewpoint of someone at "the coal-face". Everything you write makes good sense to me.

<small>[ 23 October 2004, 06:04 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Dancers for Sale
PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2004 6:31 am 
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Location: The Bronx is up; the Battery's down
Quote:
In addition, we learn that "Anaphaza" cannot be performed elsewhere in Israel and thus one of Batsheva's signature works is unavailable to many Israeli dance lovers. As the company cannot programme this work elsewhere, this also constitutes artistic interference.
Not to argue -- because I agree with you -- but Israel's a very small country; almost anyone can traverse it in a fairly short amount of time. Anyone who wants to a performance anywhere in the country, can. The problem, of course, is with the casual dance goer who might see a piece if it's performed locally but is unlikely to drive for an hour to see it otherwise.

Quote:
I know from CD experiences that audiences do not read those sections and thus there is little benefit for the sponsor.
...And you can take it to the bank that potential sponsors know that, too.

<small>[ 23 October 2004, 08:40 AM: Message edited by: salzberg ]</small>

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http://www.jeffsalzberg.com


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 Post subject: sacra
PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2004 10:59 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 26, 2004 11:01 pm
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Location: Suburban Gotham
ледате допоно
ниласо бодема
немепи сенеба


Last edited by MJ on Tue Nov 24, 2009 9:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Dancers for Sale
PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2004 11:19 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Hi MJ and welcome to CriticalDance. And many thanks for the proposed sponsor list, which did make me smile. Stranger things have happened....


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 Post subject: Re: Dancers for Sale
PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2004 3:29 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 21, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 717
Location: California
That Nut list is priceless.

A friend suggested another category for sponsorhip:

The dancer that should but won't retire - Diehard Batterys

:roll:


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 Post subject: Re: Dancers for Sale
PostPosted: Fri Oct 29, 2004 3:52 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 19975
Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
I've consolidated two topics:

chenix posted 28 October 2004 05:21 PM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Shakespeare's globe Theatre in London have been running an 'adopt an actor' scheme for some time. It might be worth looking into that. They run a very successful programme with absolutely no state subsidy!
With reference to Batsheva's Anaphaza. I was in Israel/Palestine last week and was hoping to get to a performance. Geographically the area is very small but I was trying to get there from Ramallah. The necklace of checkpoints and barriers makes travel hell. You cannot plan anything as at the whim of a soldier you can be stopped for hours with no reason given. Yes, 'almost anyone' can get around, it depends on your ID and ethnicity. Unfortunately I didn't make it.


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