Thanks for all your points, osiris. Taking them one by one:
...what exactly do you mean by "Performance Dance"
as opposed to social dance. We used to define CriticalDance using the term.
what economic sector would dance fall into?
I intended a focus solely on the financial viability of performance dance.
not all smaller dance organizations are "flying on a wing and a prayer" as you say.
That's great to hear. My impression is that the small companies in the US have a much tougher time than their counterparts in Europe - acccessibility of grants, free healthcare, heavily subsidised rehearsal space etc etc. I salute those US examples that are on a stable financial basis despite all these disadvantages.
Additionally, not all "major" companies enjoy the luxury of solid funding from endowment income, take for instance the present situation with Dance Theatre of Harlem, or, the former Cleveland Ballet, or, Joffrey Ballet when it was in New York City, or the former financial woes of American Ballet Theatre.
To be fair, I didn't say that all major companies would survive, but it remains my view that the larger companies have more options because of their social cache and the resultant fund raising advantages.
Re "medium", in ballet, it would include the regional companies and in modern/contemporary those companies with 7 to 12 dancers under contract. But if you define it another way, that's fine.
How can we compare and contrast the two when the government models are so completely different.
I'm keen to do this, as it is always interesting to learn from other models. European companies can certainly learn from their US counterparts when it comes to raising funds from corporates and private donors. Even William Forsythe in Germany is going down this route now.
However, it is perfectly reasonable in my view to compare the good points and bad points of the various systems - the proof of the pudding is in the eating. For instance, the UK's Northern Ballet Theatre, a medium-sized ballet company of around 35 dancers has around 40-50% state funding and that is defined for the next 3 years, regardless of what happens in the UK economy. That gives a stability that most US companies and their dancers would be very pleased to have, I suspect.