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 Post subject: Re: £120,000 for a weeks wage...crazy or what.
PostPosted: Sat Jun 28, 2003 12:35 pm 
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Location: SF Bay Area
Looks is an issue in sports too...

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Looks remain a hot topic in women's tennis

Bruce Jenkins
SF Chronicle

Wimbledon, England -- Sports has a way of showcasing the extremes of human development, from 400-pound offensive linemen to tiny gymnasts. <a href=http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2003/06/28/SP222441.DTL target=_blank>more</a>


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 Post subject: Re: £120,000 for a weeks wage...crazy or what.
PostPosted: Sat Jun 28, 2003 1:12 pm 
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Location: SF Bay Area
I guess Becks is worth his wages:

Quote:
Fever pitch in Vietnam as Beckham sends fans wild

HO CHI MINH CITY (AFP) - Football superstar and fashion icon David Beckham was greeted by over 15,000 ecstatic fans as he showcased his skills in Vietnam's southern metropolis of Ho Chi Minh City. <a href=http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/afp/20030625/wl_uk_afp/fbl_eng_spa_beckham_030625081012 target=_blank>more on Yahoo</a>
&nbsp

Quote:
Jubilant Real Fans Bring Madrid City Center to Standstill

Simon Baskett

MADRID (Reuters) - Thousands of jubilant Real Madrid fans brought the center of the Spanish capital to a standstill as they converged on the Cibeles fountain to celebrate their team's 29th league title triumph Sunday. <a href=http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/nm/20030623/sp_nm/soccer_spain_celebrations_dc_1 target=_blank>more on Yahoo</a>


<small>[ 28 June 2003, 03:27 PM: Message edited by: Azlan ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: £120,000 for a weeks wage...crazy or what.
PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2003 7:30 pm 
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Location: New England
Matthew... As dancers, we spend our time in a world of highly educated, wealthy people. We're like our patrons, except that many of us traded education for dance training and ballet makes very few people wealthy. It's no surprise that ballerinas would marry wealthy men because those are the type of people one meets in ballet outside of the studio.


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 Post subject: Re: £120,000 for a weeks wage...crazy or what.
PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2004 7:14 pm 
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Copied from another topic:

<hr>

Matthew
Member
Member# 1646

posted 06 January 2004 06:43 PM
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Woops everyone. Sometimes I write a quick comment and then am tied up for a few days with work. First, let me say that the book is absolutely beautiful, and it really shows that the essence of these dancers is their creative energy, and clearly it is not limited just to dance.
What I should have said more clearly is this. PNB is doing reasonably well financially relative to quite a few companies, but they still have a deficit, and I believe had linmit a few performances last year a shut some non essentially services for a couple of weeks after the Nutcracker. Still, they are a large, robust organzation, have recently opened up a second school, have been one of the driving forces for the new Hall, placing Seattle in the the big leagues artistically. PNB the organization really is one of the jewels of Seattle, but we shouldn't forget that the core of PNB are their dancers, and although it is unbelievably great the extra effort that the dancers have contributed to the general fund through this book, specifically I would like the dancers to somehow to get reimbursed more for what they do. Whether or not that is in the form of Second stage scholarships, better retirement funds, higher salaries, etc, I am not sure, but in my opinion, what these dancers offer, the training that they have, and the time that they have spent warrants a six figure salary ( and yes, that includes the corps ). Not financially realistic perhaps, but what I basically wanted to say was that dancers at this level should be getting paid ALOT more, at least enough to have reasonable long term financial security, and I think this she should one of the focuses of the PNB board. For example, a 20 million dollar endowment at 5%/year would give each of the 40 dancers an across the board 25,000 $ per year raise. Anyway, just a thought.
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trina
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posted 06 January 2004 07:04 PM
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Wow, Matthew, some audacious suggestions there. I love it...six figure salaries for the dancers! Why are professional athletes paid so astronomically more than dancers? I think it has something to do with mega-million television/network deals and pop culture in general. I dont' think we'll see that kind of pop star status for dancers in this country but I think that a book such as "Eleven" is a small step in the right direction.

[ 06 January 2004, 07:05 PM: Message edited by: trina ]
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Matthew
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Member# 1646

posted 06 January 2004 07:41 PM
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Yes, I definitely understand the theory that entertainers get paid a certai amount because that is what the market will bear. I think what really am proposing is a paradigm shift in what we value as a society.
Anyway, let me tone down my rhetoric a bit, but i really think that a reasonable goal for a community and an arts organization would be to at least give enough financial security that a professional dancer with the company for 3-4 years can afford a nice condo on his or her own. I mean, lets consider what they have sacrificed? Am I way off the mark to say that your averag 23 year old dancer with a professional company has been dancing 5 days a week for perhaps 13-14 years? Not to mention the cost of lost opportunities during that time.
I never really even considered that these dancers couldn't make a success out of this creative endeavor, or questioned their pride in being a part of PNB, or their unselfishness in helping PNB out on their own time. And that really is my point. That is why they are very special people, and don't we as a community owe it to them to help them out more directly? And although PNB dancers are being reimbursed at a reasonable competitive rate relative to other companies, I am just trying to point out that when in comes to fund raising and endowments, expansions, etc, there should be AT LEAST as much emphasis placed on rewarding THE DANCERS financially.
I just think it's a little bit crazy that when PNB is undergoing tough times in a city with a large chunk of the richest people in the world, that it is the dancers that have to help out PNB instead of this relatively wealthy community.
( Don't get me started, but we certainly had enough money as a community to help fund the third richest man in the world's football stadium at the tune of millons of dollars ).
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Andre Yew
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Member# 1175

posted 07 January 2004 12:08 PM
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I don't think 6-figure salaries for dancers in top-tier companies are out of the question, especially considering their limited career length. Players in a top, big-city orchestra start in the 70s and go on up from there, and those guys and gals last forever compared to dancers. Whether the market and patrons will support such a thing is unfortunately another question altogether.

--Andre

edit: sorry I should read the whole thread before replying. Feel free to move this to another thread


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 Post subject: Re: £120,000 for a weeks wage...crazy or what.
PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2004 10:13 am 
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Location: new york city
To open up this conversation somewhat, it's more personally interesting for me to look at the people who aren't in huge ballet companies. Comparing Beckham/Real Madrid to PNB is an apt metaphor, but if you look at the disparity for all the folks who aren't playing on that level, it's even more appalling.

I and others like me (ie, modern dance kids who aren't likely to affiliate with a company but who also have years of training, create work, perform, etc) all are basically required to accept that all our time in the "minor leagues" is going to be more or less unpaid. Shows my friends have been in pay per performance, not per hour -- meaning that 3 months of 9 hours of rehearsal a week culminate in, what, $300 or $400. (Slightly better than $4/hr, not counting the actual time they're performing.) The only people I know who don't have day jobs are living on trust funds, credit cards, or luck. If you're lucky, you can teach and otherwise support yourself in ways that are flexible to your schedule and relate to dance. Otherwise, it's a choice between rent and dancing as much as you'd like.

For now, I'm working a 9-to-5 job that's gotten in the way of my performance opportunities, technique classes, and choreographing. I'm making this choice because I have no trust fund and I'm trying to clear the credit card slate post-college. I cannot *imagine* the luxury of being paid full time for taking class and working my ass off all the time in dance. And it's unlikely that that'll ever happen for me, especially if I stay where I am (ie, not in NYC.) There's dance, and then there's what pays the bills. I'd love to be able to take a plunge and start really persuing dance as a full-time profession, but first I have to have enough saved up that I can live. Even w/in modern dance, even in New York City, I am guessing that the percentage of dancers who get paid full time to dance is pitifully small -- by which I mean get PAID full time. Most people I know who are serious about dance hold down two full time jobs: dance, and their day job.

Discussions about money in dance, it seems, often center around the state of affairs in the big companies. It's a lot more dire when you get into all the other dance artists who are trying to work independently. This isn't to say that the big ballet company dancers shouldn't be paid well -- merely to say that it isn't as if company-affiliated ballet dancers are the only way to frame this discussion, and I'd like to see it expanded.


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 Post subject: Re: £120,000 for a weeks wage...crazy or what.
PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2004 9:02 am 
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Location: London UK
I can really sympathize with ari's dilemma. Many, many moons ago I used to work with a modern dance troupe and was acutely aware of the financial problems facing many of the dancers. They all came from very different backgrounds; some were supported by affluent parents while others existed on state benefits. Most were working with more than one dance group at a time and many were able to get some sort of salary by dancing in pop music videos or picking up casual work: others were still students. As one of my jobs was scheduling rehearsals, it was on ongoing headache trying to remember who was doing what and when.

I suppose in a city like London there are always more opportunities to find the kind of part-time work that enables dancers to get to classes and rehearsals and the dancers I worked with were ingenious at finding work as artists models, window cleaners and odd-job men. One dancer actually lived in a squat, I seem to remember, but there was always a great sense of camaraderie and they were always prepared to help one another out in times of need. But I appreciate that this very Bohemian way of life doesn't suit everyone.


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 Post subject: Re: £120,000 for a weeks wage...crazy or what.
PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2004 9:10 pm 
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Location: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Quote:
Originally posted by Matthew:
I just think it's a little bit crazy that when PNB is undergoing tough times in a city with a large chunk of the richest people in the world, that it is the dancers that have to help out PNB instead of this relatively wealthy community.
That's because to the dancers, the company matters, whereas this "relatively wealthy community" doesn't care.


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 Post subject: Re: £120,000 for a weeks wage...crazy or what.
PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2004 10:05 pm 
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Failli - I think you absolutely nailed it - plain and simple - the community "Doesn't Care". Why should they be responsible for something they dislike, disregard and discard?

Now for the sports thing, that business is for profit, not non profit and generates a huge amount of dough. Those amazing athletes deserve what they get for the seats they fill/sell, and for the skill, strength and stamina they have achieved. Maybe if dance attracted a larger audience, sold more seats, etc.. salaries would be higher, but like it states above, the public, "Doesn't Care."

Also I know many football players who cross train with pilates and ballet. I would love to see some dancers try their hand at "anybody can do it" football. Now that might sell seats.


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 Post subject: Re: £120,000 for a weeks wage...crazy or what.
PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2004 10:20 pm 
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Quote:
"So those of us in the arts have to keep the pressure on to adjust the relationship of forces. One important arena is youth: bring the arts into the schools, and recruit boys to dance. The less dance is viewed as a silly, frivolous passtime and the more it is taken seriously as an art form, the better armed we will be to win the battle."

Some would look at this as brainwashing or propaganda. Win what battle? Dance is viewed as art, but if it is a non profitable, short lived career, maybe it is frivolous. I know I wouldn't encourage my kid for a career in dance - just for arts sake.


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 Post subject: Re: £120,000 for a weeks wage...crazy or what.
PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2004 4:10 am 
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Location: The Bronx is up; the Battery's down
Quote:
Now for the sports thing, that business is for profit, not non profit and generates a huge amount of dough. Those amazing athletes deserve what they get for the seats they fill/sell
...Those seats having been, for the most part, built with public money.

Is there any other for-profit enterprise that's as heavily subsidized as sports?

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 Post subject: Re: £120,000 for a weeks wage...crazy or what.
PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2004 12:41 pm 
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Are you saying it is the public money that has built the sports stadium, and that no revenue was made in return?


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 Post subject: Re: £120,000 for a weeks wage...crazy or what.
PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2004 12:22 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
An interesting article on the financial problems facing many professional dancers in the UK:

Paying to Dance
By Helen Parlour for Article 19


"By loving what we do can we excuse the standards of living that our payment offers? " Helen Parlor asks why dancers should expect such poor financial returns for their skills.

When I was 18 and deciding where to go and what to do with my life, I had a thousand possibilities. Passing my A Levels and looking toward a bright future excited me. I did not want to enter a mundane career; I wanted a career with versatility and challenge.

click for more

<small>[ 15 April 2004, 02:22 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: £120,000 for a weeks wage...crazy or what.
PostPosted: Tue May 18, 2004 12:47 pm 
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Posts: 270
Location: Birmingham Uni / UWM Milwaukee
It seems to me that the general trend is: the more famous you are, the more money you earn. unfortunately dance is, and probably never will be, as popular as a sport like football. Christopher Bruce and Matthew Bourne are the only two people that i can think of from the dance world which are 'household' names. while the amount of practice footballers have put in over the years should not be underestimated, i'm sure a dancer must put in the same amount, if not more.
also, more money is put into football because it is a sure way to distract the public from how bad a state the country is in right now!


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 Post subject: Re: £120,000 for a weeks wage...crazy or what.
PostPosted: Fri May 21, 2004 8:22 pm 
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Location: Toronto, Canada
This is an interesting thread. I'm not a dancer so I can't fully relate but ever since I was a poor student, being able to experience the culture of performing arts like the ballet, opera, symphonies was not always possible. The continuing trend of high prices of tickets make it impossible for the general public to enjoy these luxuries. However on the other hand, sport stars, movie stars, their fame is catered to the masses. It doesn't cost much to turn on the TV to catch a game or to see a movie. And with the support and popularity of the masses this in turn affects the payroll of the stars.
I was watching a tape of a gala performance in Russia danced by the Kirov. It was performed in the town square and there were thousands of ordinary people gathered there even as night fell just to watch them dance. There you can feel that dance, as an art form really belonged to the people.
Perhaps with the use of media, educationals, tv programs, it's possible to bring the performing arts to the general public. It's possible to make ballet dancers household names. Baryshnikov, Nureyev, Kain, these are dancers who have been able to capture an expansive audience (although the first two are exceptional examples). The public needs to be able to stop viewing culture such as opera and dance as something that only the rich can enjoy and then maybe their awareness of how hard dancers work to attain their goals will have an impact. Of course we don't live in the ideal world so until then, the rich will still attend gala functions and many dancers will still be struggling.


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 Post subject: Re: £120,000 for a weeks wage...crazy or what.
PostPosted: Sat May 22, 2004 6:47 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
I really like your vision lilliana. There are soem good signs - I was at the Queen Elizabeth Hall last night for the Cholmondeleys and the Featherstonehaughs and there were 800 people watching their performance which may be the largest ever in the UK for them in 20 years. there were about 1200 in Sadler's for Preljocaj on Thursday and 10 years ago there were about 200.

However, the mass media seems to be moving the other way. The major websites only cover "entertainment" - films, football and soaps. Tiscali used to cover the arts and dance, but not any more. Still I hope you're right that dance will become more of a household name. BTW, Matthew Bourne was at the Chums and the Fans.


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