OK, so I just listened to the whole broadcast and before I comment I have to say that I just LOVE digital media. I am in Scotland at the moment as was ablen to listen to this radio broadcast via my PC
Could anyone have even imagined that 10 years ago
One thing I wish would have been elaborated on was Mr. Gordon's statements about a 3 year term or something to that effect. Don't quote me word for word here but I think he said something about a 3 year term with a yearly evaluation being the industry norm for dancers. The conversation switched gears after that and it is something that stuck out for me. 3 year durations on a contract for a ballet company are unheard of or atleast in my experience. Maybe he was reffering to the governing contract between AGMA and Washington Ballet? If that is what he meant it didn't come out that way, they way I interpretted it was that he was making reference to the dancers' contracts with the company. I don't know what that point of interest was all about but it certainly didn't make sense to me when listening to it.
Very interesting to hear commentary from a few of the dancers, it breaks my heart to hear them thanking people who donated "Gift Cards" for food. This is the WORST time of the year to be unemployed, not too much going on until March in the way of supplimental/guest work.
Ensemble Vs. Ranked, ooohhh the age old argument
. I have worked in both types of companies and there are positive and negative aspects to both structures. I have a feeling they will argue this point until both sides are blue in the face.
The schedule issue is an interesting one, 3 hours on, 1 hour for lunch, and another 3 hours on is pretty standard. There are many dance companies right now that work this exact same schedule. When some of them go into the theatre for productions they will do 12:00 noon until pretty much 11:30 at night for 6 days straight as long as the theatre run is for. Again, the broadcast didn't elaborate too much on what is being proposed but that schedule seems up to par with as Mr. Gordon says "Industry Standard".
It was also interesting to finally hear some reference to the board of directors being brought into all this. It would have been great to hear some commentary from some of them.
After listening to this I feel very sad for the dancers, it seems to me, and keep in mind that this is just my opinion that they are being misled. Are these issues really enough to call for a complete work stoppage? Enough to have to accept donated Food Cards and not earning a wage? Enough to put yourself and organization's reputation on the line in the public eye? Enough to put your livelyhood in jeapordy? I really don't think so, granted I as well as most in this forum are discussing this as outsiders and we really don't know ALL the specifics. If they weren't being paid for work rendered or working much more than any other full-time employee in the USA then I would say OK it is time to walk and take a stand. These issues seem to be things that through time CAN be worked out and both sides to find middle ground on. These negotiations NEVER should have come to this point and everyone in WB management and AGMA should be ashamed. Dancers are relying on donated food cards in order to eat??? Are you kidding me!!!.
Like I said before, everyone loses in a work stoppage scenario, the question is, how much do you want to loose?