public forum
home forum magazine gallery links about faq courtesy
It is currently Mon Sep 01, 2014 12:57 pm

All times are UTC - 7 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 19 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Cold Peril
PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2001 10:02 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Jul 08, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 5
Location: London, England
You may have seen some of the coverage of the cancellation of ENB's performance in Liverpool last Saturday due to the stage area being too cold.<P>It would seem that many people do not understand the issue, or appreciate the risk that a cold environment poses to dancers. Today's Daily Mail published a particularly ill informed letter from Barbara Maddock(Dec. 20th - Cold Comfort) criticising the dancers and BRB.<P>If you would like to support dancers, company and theatre managers in making an informed, professional decision - then you might like to make your views known to letters@dailymail.co.uk - marking it letter for publication and including a full postal address.<BR>Thanks<BR>Dance UK<P>[With Jeanette's approval Stuart added a couple of points about the letter] <p>[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited December 21, 2001).]

_________________
Jeanette


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Cold Peril
PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2001 10:25 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 255
Summer before last, the San Francisco Ballet had to modify their Stern Grove program due to weather. People may recall the Mark Twain quote that the coldest winter he ever saw was a summer in San Francisco? That day was an example and it was an outdoor performance. They delayed an hour to see if the fog would lift but no luck. Part of the program was canceled. Two of the ballets were performed in costumes that included pants so they went on, and Sandpiper Ballet was performed in leg warmers. Most of the audience was understanding; after all, we'd sat there for hours freezing, but a few people had the same reaction, that the dancers were just being spoiled. I really think some people always look for the worst possible motives for others' actions.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Cold Peril
PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2001 3:31 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Nov 02, 1999 12:01 am
Posts: 2708
Location: Seattle, WA USA
In the USA, I believe there are union rules about things like safety and health within the performing area. I dont' know how much they're enforced. I can tell you personally, when I performed as a modern dancer (no, i'm not totally retired yet!), that several times during a performance my feet were so numb, I couldn't feel them (those modern dancers perform barefoot, remember, by and large). As you might imagine, balance was a problem, at that point!


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Cold Peril
PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2001 7:52 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2001 12:01 am
Posts: 1876
Location: New England
We perform an outdoor "Fall Fest" every year. It's downtown at an outdoor mall, a great way to interest new audience.<P>Problem is, this year's Fall Fest was in 50-degree weather. It was definitely cold, probably too cold. I was lucky in that my part was pretty short.<BR>


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Cold Peril
PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2001 11:30 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Dec 12, 1999 12:01 am
Posts: 3663
Location: The Bronx is up; the Battery's down
Trina, the problem with being protected by the union is that so few companies are working under union contracts. AGMA's <A HREF="http://www.musicalartists.org/companies.htm" TARGET=_blank>web site</A> lists only 20 dance companies as members.

_________________
Jeffrey E. Salzberg,
Dance Lighting Design
http://www.jeffsalzberg.com


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Cold Peril
PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2001 1:08 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Dec 12, 1999 12:01 am
Posts: 3663
Location: The Bronx is up; the Battery's down
To put the above in perspective, the <A HREF="http://dmoz.org/Arts/Performing_Arts/Dance/Ballet/Companies/United_States/Professional/" TARGET=_blank>Open Directory</A> lists 78 professional ballet companies in the US. Add to this the handful of modern companies that are big enough to offer full-time employment and you've got over 100 companies, out of which only 21 (including ABT, whose dancers formed their own union) have union protection.<P>

_________________
Jeffrey E. Salzberg,
Dance Lighting Design
http://www.jeffsalzberg.com


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Cold Peril
PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2001 2:09 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 19975
Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Jeanette's posting on this affair has sparked an international debate which is proving interesting and she has proposed some direct action by writing to The Daily Mail.<BR>So I am copying these posts from 'UK performance' and we can continue the debate here:<P>*********************************************<P>Joanne<BR>Moderator posted December 18, 2001 02:54 <BR>--------------------------------------------------------------------------------<BR>Did I hear this right.<BR>I think it was the ENB cancelled a performance of the Nutcracker yesterday because it was too cold?<P>Can anyone confirm this?<P>*********************************************<P> <BR>Emma Pegler<BR>Moderator posted December 18, 2001 05:57 <BR>--------------------------------------------------------------------------------<BR>Do we need an appeal for thermal undies for the dancers or was it the audience to suffer, I wonder? Makes me wonder if I have to wrap up for The Snowman tonight.<P>*********************************************<BR> <BR>HelenB<BR>Member posted December 18, 2001 07:34 <BR>--------------------------------------------------------------------------------<BR>I can confirm it - I was there. It was last Saturday in Liverpool, and the temperature on the stage was one degree below the Equity requirements. Public relations disaster - there is a thread about it titled "Amazing ENB non-event" on Ballet.co.uk. It was a matinee performance full of excited children, and was cancelled after we were all in our seats. So sad. <P>*********************************************<BR> <BR>Stuart Sweeney<BR>Administrator posted December 18, 2001 07:36 <BR>--------------------------------------------------------------------------------<BR>Bad luck Helen! Here's the link to her description on ballet.co and the interesting subsequent discussion about similar incidents in the past: <P> <A HREF="http://www.danze.co.uk/dcforum/happening/2361.html" TARGET=_blank>http://www.danze.co.uk/dcforum/happening/2361.html</A> <P>*********************************************<BR> <BR>Stuart Sweeney<BR>Administrator posted December 19, 2001 12:34 <BR>--------------------------------------------------------------------------------<BR><B>Chilly dancers call off ballet</B><BR>From BBC News on-line<P>Dancers risk injury if the theatre is too cold<P>An audience was left disappointed after ballet dancers decided it was too cold to perform. <BR>The temperature in Liverpool's Empire Theatre was one degree centigrade below the minimum laid down by the dancers' union. <P>About 2,000 people were hoping to see The Nutcracker, the Tchaikovsky ballet featuring the Ice Queen in the Land of Snow. <A HREF="http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/uk/england/newsid_1718000/1718280.stm" TARGET=_blank>http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/uk/england/newsid_1718000/1718280.stm</A> <P>Stuart adds: A very disappointing response from the theatre, 'A spokeswoman said the Empire Theatre was "very disappointed" by the ballet's cancellation. "We tried to help. It was a health and safety issue for the dancers - there was nothing we could do." <P>Oh right! The fact that it's our theatre and we control what happens is irrelevant! I'm delighted that ENB had the courage to make this stand.<P>*********************************************<P> <P><p>[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited December 21, 2001).]


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Cold Peril
PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2001 2:23 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Jul 08, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 5
Location: London, England
Does anyone know how the widely accepted minimum temperature of 65 degrees was arrived at? I would be particularly interested to know of any scientific basis ...?<BR>Thanks

_________________
Jeanette


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Cold Peril
PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2001 2:52 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Oct 22, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 130
Location: UK
It's a fine line, isn't it, between what is fair to the dancers and what's fair to the public. Certainly, it is risky for dancers to dance when not warm enough. But it is also risky for dancers to alienate their audience. No dancers - disappointed audience. No audience - dancers out of a job.I only hope theatres will take this seriously.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Cold Peril
PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2001 7:49 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Nov 02, 1999 12:01 am
Posts: 2708
Location: Seattle, WA USA
You're right Salzberg. Very few (especially modern) companies have union contracts. Which makes it incumbent upon the artisitic director, company manager, stage manager or house manager to make sure that working conditions are healthy for all.


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Cold Peril
PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2001 8:15 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 214
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Last summer, the Mann Music Center in Philadelphia opened its season in late May with three performances by the Dance Theater of Harlem. This is a large, open-air venue with a canopy overhead. Unfortunately, the air was too chilly on opening night, and the performance had to be cancelled. What was lucky in this case was that it is a huge venue, and none of the three performances were sold out, so patrons of the cancelled performance were allowed to attend one of the other two performances that weekend for free if they brought their ticket stub. People were probably also a bit more understanding because they, too, could feel the chill. The biggest problem in Philadelphia? The audience members were left squirming in their seats for almost an hour until they were told of the cancellation. At least the ENB appears to have notified the audience in a relatively timely fashion. <P>It sounds like the biggest problem in Liverpool was that it was the end of the run, and an indoor venue. It is unfortunate for the children and first-timers in attendance that the performance had to be cancelled, but it is even more unfortunate that the theater saw fit to lay blame on the dancers. (However, I strongly agree with the poster who suggested that the ENB could have improved its image by allowing some costumed dancers to mingle with and sign autographs for the departing children. A little effort by the dancers to explain their situation probably would have created a lot more goodwill at the scene.)


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Cold Peril
PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2001 8:33 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 19975
Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
I've e-mailed the Daily Mail making the points:<P>- dance is a high risk profession. <BR>- The Christmas season is a particularly hard time for dancers<BR>- Cold is an enemy of the dancer <BR>- dance careers are short and the prospect of early retirement because of injury is a nightmare. <BR>- I applaud Birmingham Royal Ballet and Equity for insisting on minimum standards to protect their dancers. <P>If you have views on this sad event do e-mail the Daily Mail. See the top post for details. <p>[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited December 21, 2001).]


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Cold Peril
PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2001 9:25 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Oct 22, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 130
Location: UK
Katydid, I didn't at any point get the impression that the theatre put the blame on the dancers. I think it was the national Press that did that. The articles in the local paper, and the manager's speech when it happened, implied that the theatre was having a technical problem with its heating.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Cold Peril
PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2001 9:32 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 214
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Well, that's good to hear at least. When I said that the theater was blaming the dancers, I think I was reading a little bit into Stuart's post above where the theater spokesperson was quoted as being "disappointed" and saying that there was nothing more that they (the theater) could do.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Cold Peril
PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2001 9:51 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Dec 12, 1999 12:01 am
Posts: 3663
Location: The Bronx is up; the Battery's down
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Does anyone know how the widely accepted minimum temperature of 65 degrees was arrived at? I would be particularly interested to know of any scientific basis ...?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>My bet is that the union wanted 70 and the companies wanted 60.<P>I'm assuming that the 65 degrees in in Fahrenheit (since 65 degrees Celsius would be 149 degrees F). That's already pretty cold. If, as the news story says, the temperature was 1 degree C below that, that's 63F -- <I>way</I> too cold to dance safely.<P><P>------------------<BR>Jeffrey E. Salzberg, Lighting Designer<BR>"Shang-a-lang, feel the <I>sturm und drang</I> in the air!"<BR>Online portfolio: <A HREF="http://www.suncoast.quik.com/salzberg" TARGET=_blank>http://www.suncoast.quik.com/salzberg</A> <P><BR>

_________________
Jeffrey E. Salzberg,
Dance Lighting Design
http://www.jeffsalzberg.com


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 19 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC - 7 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
The messages in this forum are posted by members of the general public and do not reflect the opinions or beliefs of CriticalDance or its staff.
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group