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PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2007 9:37 pm 
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I’m sorry to read about your poor customer service experience. When will companies learn, your customer service is the face for your product? Truth is most companies operate under the 80-20 rule – meaning they cater to the top 20% customers. In the case of the NBoC, I’m confident those who donate large sums of money receive the most tutu smooching.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2007 7:23 am 
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Heather Ogden and Etienne Lavigne will be dancing the White Swan pas de deux at the Banff Centre's 60th Anniversary Dance Gala on July 28th.
More information on HeatherHighlights


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 10:32 am 
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Location: Stouffville, Ontario, Canada
The NBoC has almost ironed out all the juicy details with Canadian Equity. Below are proposed salaries for the 2007/2008 season. Things certainly have changed from their starving artist days. No doubt, the Ballet would love to continue that poor image to encourage donations. Curiously a 9th year corps de ballet member makes more than a 1st year 2nd soloist. Makes one ponder if you should accept a promotion in that scenario? Good read.

Corps De Ballet 1ST year $29,213.60 to $37,977.68 ?40 to52 weeks
Corps De Ballet 2ND year $29,939.60 to $38,921.48 ?40 to 52 weeks
Corps De Ballet 3RD year $30,665.60 to $39,865.28 ?40 to 52 weeks
Corps De Ballet 4TH year $31,392.40 to $40,810.12 ?40 to 52 weeks
Corps De Ballet 5TH year $32,184.00 to $41,839.20 ?40 to 52 weeks

* Corps de ballet members are not guaranteed a 52 work week until their 6th year with the company.

Corps De Ballet 6TH year $41,839.20
Corps De Ballet 7TH year $42,870.36
Corps De Ballet 8TH year $43,985.24
Corps De Ballet 9TH year $45,101.68
Corps De Ballet 10TH year $46,218.64
Corps De Ballet after 10TH year $47,126.56
Second Soloist 1ST year $43,985.24
Second Soloist 2ND year $45,101.68
Second Soloist 3RD year $46,218.64
Second Soloist after 3RD year $47,126.56
First Soloist 1ST year $51,281.36
First Soloist 2ND year $52,998.92
First Soloist 3RD year $54,713.88
First Soloist 4TH year $56,431.96
First Soloist 5TH year $58,148.48
First Soloist 6TH year $59,866.56
First Soloist after 6TH year $61,042.28
Principal Character Artist $61,325.16
Principal $63,728.60
Stage Manager $63,728.60
Assistant Stage Manager $46,218.64
Ballet Mistress/Master $54,713.88
Resident Choreographer $54,713.88

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Last edited by Michael Goldbarth on Sat Jul 21, 2007 7:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 8:13 am 
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Location: USA (Midwest)
Thanks for that info and link. I have to say that as the mother of an aspiring dancer, those numbers are A-OK by me. A corps dancer living with one or two other dancers, even in a city as expensive as Toronto, would not have to be parentally subsidized. :D And as an audience member, it makes me happy to know that those artists whose work I'm enjoying aren't starving. Those salaries aren't making them rich, by any means, but they aren't being cheated/abused as I think generations of past dancers were.

Incidentally that kind of overlapping progression in the salary steps is similar to how things are in the academic (university) world. I would also have to imagine that someone who has been at the corps level for 10 or more years is unlikely to face a promotion/pay-decrease dilemma. I know it has happened on occasion, but not often. Besides, promotion to soloist or principal rank would probably come with a commeasurate (sp?) increase in outside job opportunities (guest artist, teaching, etc.).


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 11:53 am 
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Not bad pay considering dancers get about 2 months off every year assuming they don’t freelance elsewhere or coach. But when you compare their salaries to other areas of entertainment like acting or hockey, or pro wrestling, it’s elephant wages. Sadly some 250-pound surly smelly oaf working inside a TTC Collector’s Box makes more than a 100-pound pleasing to the eye and nose NBoC principal. We live in a sick society that rewards non-creativity, smelliness, and artlessness.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2007 6:38 am 
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Thanks for the link Michael but if you really feel the need to post somebody else’s salary on a forum, you probably should get the numbers right first.

A first year corps next year will make $35,056.00. If the company decides to go back to the schedule from 2 years ago where a first year corps only danced 40 weeks, they would make $29,213.60. That is; before taxes of course and without any unemployment help from the government since they are self employed. Not quite $37,977.68.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2007 7:31 am 
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Thanks for the correction Mary and welcome to the forum. I was under the impression all dancers had won a right to be paid based on a 52 work week. There is a notation at the bottom of the salary grid talking about 6th year corps de ballet members benefiting from being paid based on 52 weeks. I don’t know how to handle that in my number crunching, as I have no idea what their working weeks will be. I think it best to place a ? and estimate 40 to 52.

Crunching the above adjustment doesn’t make life seem quite so ro$y when you pau$e to con$ider the co$t of living in Toronto, co$t of training at the National Ballet $chool, along with the long odd$ of actually cracking the NBoC ro$ter. You also have to factor in the possibility of being paid 1 year as an apprentice.

As for
Quote:
“feeling the need to post somebody else’s salary,”
well…it is public knowledge with the National being supported by the government along with them being a registered charity and the information was on a public website. It certainly has sparked some debate on CD! Where have you been hiding? Feel free to post more. There is no cost to post!

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2007 7:25 am 
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Thank you, Mary. I wasn't aware that in Canada the dancers can't apply for unemployment benefits during layoff weeks.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2007 1:35 pm 
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Greetings all...

Some ballet salaries are certainly public knowledge -- AGMA in the US has posted copies of each general company contract and companies that are registered as non-profits must list the top 10 non board salaries in their tax turns -- but by no means all. The exact nature of many contracts is unknown, especially those for soloists and principals and there's nothing simple about calculating from the contracts what a dancer will actually make.

Thus if you are going to post about salaries, it is best to do it in the form of an excerpt from an publicly posted contract or article, and be aware that salaries are a sensitive subject. In most work places - government, private or non-profit - it is not at all appropriate to ask about somebody else's salary. Non-profit organizations have to declare general details and highest salaries, but most salaries remain a private matter, and when you donate or buy tickets, you don't 'buy' the right to know everyone's contract and every little financial detail.

That said, few dancers make decent salaries, but these days few people starting out in the workforce have it easy. A corps dancer with about a decade of dance training probably makes more than a medical resident with 12 years of school, 4 of college, 4 of med school and 1 or 2 intern/resident years. I certainly sympathize with dancers, but I think at least the ones in the larger companies need to put things in perspective sometimes.

It's my understanding that most, if not all ballet companies in the U.S. - at least those with AGMA contracts - have less than 52 week contracts, and dancers can claim unemployment outwith contract weeks. However, I suspect that most dancers work during these weeks, and so few actually claim unemployment. A set percentage of their contract goes to AGMA dues, and I think that they do get some medical and possibly umemployment benefits from AGMA membership during lay-off. Also, I believe that contract benefits would continue year-round for any injury sustained during the season.

I do find it odd that NBoC dancers are considered to be self-employed. Are they not employed by the company? Sounds like a loophole someone forgot to close in a long ago contract. But it could be a tax-advantage, depending on how the tax laws are written in Canada.

Kate


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2007 5:10 pm 
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Kate makes a worthy pointe: Principals in particular often earn more than the published contract rate. Kimberly Glasco made about 100k in the final year of her contract with the National in 1998 (not including guest appearances). Back then, in her role of dancer’s representative, she expressed concern over spending large sums on a new Swan Lake when the company was in debt along with serious concerns over a proposal by management to cut the dancer’s paid working weeks to 30. When her fellow dancers penned the below letter to Miss Glasco during her dispute with the ballet I LOL:

Quote:
(February 22, 1999) Dear Kimberly:

We are writing to confirm that when we last met as a group we asked you to resign as our representative on the Board of Directors and that you have refused to do so. Accordingly, you have left us no choice but to elect your replacement. This is your notice that we have held an election and voted a new member to the Board to act as our representative. It is our position that you are no longer our representative to the Board of Directors.

Yours truly,

The Dancers of the National Ballet of Canada


This is the thanks you get for speaking your mind and defending your fellow co-workers. I can’t comment on the self-employed edict, as I have no accounting background. I did find the below worthy of raising an eyebrow or two:

Quote:
Should the Artist not be engaged for the following season, the Artist will receive at the
termination of said Artist’s contract, in addition to all other sums due, the following
compensation:

(1) Apprentices and Artists with three years of seniority or less — no compensation
(2) Artists in their fourth (4th) years of seniority — One (1) week’s fee per year of prior
service
(3) Artists in their fifth (5th) years of seniority — 1.5 weeks’ fee per year of prior
service
(4) Stage management staffing (ASM, SM and PSM) in their fifth (5th) year of seniority
— Two (2) weeks’ fee per year of prior service
(5) Principal Dancers – Two (2) weeks’ fee per year of prior service
The above compensation shall be calculated at the highest weekly fee (not including payments for additional services or other compensation other than the contractual weekly fee) received by the Artist in the previous three (3) years. If the Artist has already received
payment for a year pursuant to 7.03 (B) (ii), the Artist cannot subsequently receive additional compensation relating to those years of prior service already paid.


Below is what you legally have to pay after 5 years of employment:

Quote:
How much severance pay are employees entitled to?
To calculate the amount of severance pay an employee is entitled to receive, multiply the employee's regular wages for a regular work week* by the sum of:
• the number of completed years of employment
and
• the number of completed months of employment divided by 12 for a year that is not completed.
The maximum amount of severance pay required to be paid under the ESA 2000 is an amount equal to the employee's regular wages for a regular work week for 26 weeks.
* See regular wages and regular work week
Note: A special method of calculating severance pay applies to employees who don't have a "regular work week" or are paid on a basis other than time worked (e.g., piece-work rate or commission.)


Most companies give one month of severance for every year of employment. If you stay injury free and in the good graces of management, you can make a decent living employed by the NBoC. However, if you don’t use your 2 months off wisely by making preparations for a 2nd career when your time comes, you may be ill prepared to re-enter the workforce. Let’s say the average NBoC dancer retires at 33, that’s a very short working life. Given those numbers and the cost of training, they’re underpaid but it’s better than it was. Not everybody gets to do what they would love to do for a living. Those who love what they’re doing often don’t get adequate return for that love.

I see no problem with publishing the salaries given they were on a public website. All the major sports publish salaries. Why should ballet be any different :?:

I’m sorry I didn’t pick up on the 5 year option; I thought I read somewhere the dancers won the right to be paid based on 52 weeks. I was wrong. I bet you they wish I was right. I should be more explicit, those who have not served a nickel for the National would like the agreement to change. We learned during Miss Glasco’s lawsuit with the NBoC, things are not all sugar and spice and everything nice. Far from it :!:

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2007 3:02 am 
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Posts: 3377
Location: Canada
That severence pay deal seems to be in line with AGMA contracts, and better than many jobs outside ballet. Remember that though dancers may retire from dancing young, if they've put in those years in the company, they've got a pension and savings already. That's far more than most of us can say at that age, especially in this economy. Apparently, at least in reference to the big companies, dancers often get more of a shock from the lack of earnings when they start non-dance jobs because they aren't used to the non-union world where you don't get paid all sorts of extra overtime and compensation for things.

Ballet company contracts are posted online, not exact salaries. All we would know is that a corps dancer with x years of service would start at $x, not what x dancer makes. So it is not appropriate to state that someone makes $x, because only the dancer knows exactly what actually is written on the paycheck. Which is why I strongly suggest that excerpts from articles or contracts be posted, rather than just stating an amount.

Please refrain from making comments about in the dancers in re the Kimberly Glasco events. Not only did that happen many years ago, but only the people directly involved in the incidents - and certainly none of us - know exactly what went on. Any further speculation or comments about person based on second-hand knowledge (which is what all of us have) is not appropriate on this board.

The company and the dancers would be all accounts seem to have long made peace with the events, and to contintually bring it up again is un-necessary and shows little respect for the efforts of today's dancers, who currently shape and define the company.

Kate


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2007 7:15 am 
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Hi Kate, sounds like you want to do PR for the NBoC. I searched for the word ‘pension’ in the National’s union agreement but nothing came up. In regards to severance, I don’t see how it is better than most jobs outside of ballet as the standard is 1 month per year of service.

In regards to comments about the salary grid, typically principals negotiate for more denaro but Toronto Life published Heather Ogden’s salary last year and it was in line with the grid. Sounds like dancers should hire agents to negotiate for a higher salary.

In regards to your comments about the Kimberly Glasco events, I think it was a beautiful segue, as I tied it into ‘work weeks,’ which was what Miss Glasco was fighting for. As for exactly what was said, the letter is exactly what was written to Miss Glasco. I decided to refrain from publishing meeting minutes, as the media would pick it up. They should source their own stories. I think it was fair for me to say the below:

Quote:
“things are not all sugar and spice and everything nice.”


Anybody who followed the story in the media or court minutes, knows things got very nasty.

My posting certainly has sparked some deep, previously unexcavated emotions! As far as I’m concerned this is what CD is ALL about! BTW: You can read about Kimberly Glasco’s dispute with the National Ballet of Canada and James Kudelka, in Max Wyman’s book, ‘Revealing Dance.’

I think it best that we revisit these issues, so we never forget. You can’t dance away from your past; it’s always a part of you! If only humans could learn from the past and stop repeating their mistakes! I stand by my posting as intelligent thought provoking journalism!

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2007 10:41 am 
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Good news! I just checked the NBoC’s website and they finally REMOVED James Kudelka’s name from their Artistic Staff. I lost much slumber tossing and turning wondering if the Toronto Star story, which was just a footnote at the bottom of another story, was indeed true! Pop open the bubbly and celebrate the end of an era!!!

I’m very curious as to why the National did not make a formal announcement-Especially so considering how much the National trumpeted his leadership and ballet making ability. To the best of my knowledge, there was no formal farewell night at the ballet for Mr. K and only one tiny line in a newspaper making mention of his departure. Even though I wasn’t a big fan given his firing of Kimberly Glasco, I don’t think it very professional for the National Ballet of Canada NOT to make a formal announcement. He also disserved some sort of good-bye evening – given he was their AD for 9 years. What gives?

BTW: I think this as well as salaries of dancers is worthy of discussion. As soon as I’m off work, I’m going to crack open a bottle of Brut and quaff it down courtesy of my autographed Kimberly Glasco pointe shoe. I think it only apropos that champagne be enjoyed in this unusual fashion given the celebratory circumstances! Kimberly Glasco rules!!! :lol: :D :lol:

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2007 6:55 am 
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Wow, we topped 1,700 views. Seriously, does anybody really care? Does the average dance fan even remember Kimberly Glasco or for that matter, James Kudelka?

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2007 10:19 am 
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LMAO! The NBoC has yet to remove the artistic bio for Mr. K! Given the glowing write-up, I’m very surprised there was no announcement of his leaving.

Quote:
He brought to the role an international reputation as one of the most imaginative and vitally important figures in contemporary ballet. His many works, which encompassed a wide variety of forms, from original full length story ballets and re-interpretations of the classical canon to more intimate chamber and solo pieces, exemplified a tireless intelligence, probing and exploration of the emotional and psychological avenues of the human condition with a vision at once forthright yet deeply compassionate. A remarkably prolific artist, his more than seventy ballets have been staged by dance companies throughout the world.


BTW: I believe I have the right to post the above. I am a fan of the NBoC, subscriber and citizen of Canada in good standing :!: :P

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