Yes, the District of Columbia is not a state, but has its own set of laws, so
in response to Osiris's question about right-to-work laws in the District of Columbia, I googled, and found:
"About half the states have enacted "right-to-work" laws, which guarantee that no person may be denied employment for refusing to join a union or for not paying union dues, thus banning either "union shop" or "agency shop" agreements, or both. In a union shop, an employee not belonging to a union may be hired but then must join the union, usually within 30 days. In an agency shop, an employee need not join the union but, to remain employed, must pay union dues.
The District of Columbia does not have such a right-to-work law and thus allows union shop or agency shop contracts between an employer and a union. "
This suggests it would be harder for Washington Ballet to hire replacement dancers outside AGMA representation.
On another pointe: Osiris: Michael was referring to the recent run of National Ballet of Canada's Swan Lake at the Kennedy Center. In defense of Washington's ballet fans, it should be pointed out that this Swan Lake got (at best) lukewarm reviews, including from Michael Goldbarth, and that the Canadian swans arrived after American Ballet Theatre's last year, and the Kirov/Mariinski's two years ago (I think it was.)
Can Washington support everything that's on its plate: Suzanne Farrell, Washington Ballet, and major productions at the Kennedy Center? I think and hope so: Stuart Sweeney's "division of labor" seems viable.
I have the feeling that outside forces--on both sides--have escalated this conflict beyond what it needed to be: a discussion of workplace rules and safety.
It's really too bad, all around.