Below is an excerpt from an article by Deirdre Kelly of the Globe & Mail. It details the financial woes of the National Ballet of Canada. By the way, I number crunched the $4 million debt way back on May 29th. http://forum.criticaldance.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=3&t=000049-3
The bean counters for the NBoC are rather slow.
“The National Ballet of Canada posted a loss of $163,000 for the 1999-2000 season, raising the accumulated deficit to about $4-million -- the highest level in the company’s 49-year history. The figures were announced in Toronto on Thursday night, during the company’s annual general meeting. Without mentioning the words Kimberly Glasco, members of the National’s administrative and artistic staff acknowledged that the year had been particularly challenging. Ms. Glasco, a former principal dancer, had sued the company for wrongful dismissal and in July she reached a financial settlement rumoured to be worth $1.6-million. Artistic director James Kudelka, who repeatedly refused to cast Ms. Glasco after an arbitrator granted her reinstatement, in an official statement referred to the company's annus horibilis as a year of ‘definite challenges and difficulties.’
The lengthy court battle, which made national headlines, was ugly, divisive and cost the company dearly in terms of morale, public image and donations. Fundraising, for instance, is down 21 per cent to 3.31-million from $4.19-million the previous year. The decline is significant, especially given that in 1998-99, the company had experienced an upswing of 51 per cent in fundraising over the 1997-98 season.”
This season could prove to be a disaster if the NBoC suffers more than the usual number of injuries. Their roster is very thin. They’ve been quite fortunate the past few seasons injury wise. They only have 7 principal dancers on the roster. As recently as 1995, the NBoC boasted 11 principal dancers. The NBoC actually lists 11 but 3 of those are character artists and another is a guest principal.
There is definitely more of an emphasis on creating new works than keeping or developing talent. Many of their principal dancers are getting close to retirement. It will be interesting to see how much the Glasco case will effect donations and ticket sales this season.
<font size = -2><center>(Edited by salzberg to fix link)</center></font>
<small>[ 08-11-2002, 13:41: Message edited by: salzberg ]</small>