Actually the couple is still on the roster at ABT!
Yes, but only for a few performances in the Met Season - they are in essence, really just guest performers as opposed to full time principals like (for instance), Marcelo Gomes or Paloma Herrera. I was wondering whether they might have gone 'full time' with ABT, and danced a full Met scheduled, plus City Center and some tours.
Oh right. I had not considered, and don't know that they considered full-time status at ABT. I wonder if they would want that -- already the roster includes Max & Irina, Veronika Part, and Vishneva, all Russians. Another question is would the company have room on the roster (to this day I dont understand who defines how much "room" there is) to add both of them full-time. In other words, would ABT want them with that frequency.
Certainly, North American companies have their issues with dancers going off on guest gigs. However, US companies tend to have much shorter (or spaced out) performance seasons, in contrast to European/Russian companies that tend to perform more often and throughout most of the year. As a results, US based dancers often have more of an 'off season' during which they can take on guest gigs.
I have some sympathy for company directors who aren't fond of their dancers dashing off for guest gigs. Certainly you need to give dancers the chance to 'stretch their wings', get a chance to earn some extra $$ and try something different.
True, but the problem is that if a performing opportunity comes anywhere between September and May in a major US troupe, then there will be a question of the dancer staying in the third cast rehearsals (in a ballet they may not even want to dance, and may not in fact ever dance) vs top billing in an international gala and extra cash.
However, few companies have the luxury of having too many dancers, and having too few casts is far more of an problem than having too many. More than a few times, the 3rd cast has overnight become the 1st cast. Plus, younger dancers sometimes need a reality check about the stresses of travel and extra dancing. And dancers should know full well when they sign their contract what they can and can't do. If you don't want those restrictions, then you go freelance. You have to weigh the restrictions of company life with the lack of pension/benefits that go with the freelance life. Depends on what you value...
Yes, although the cases I know of are top level principals and the director keeps them in toe locally -- they end up missing the international gala exposure *and* they dont dance locally. It does happen.
But I agree with you, if the dancer is very young this is perhaps less of a questionable issue.
I think V&O will make out fine (though I would bet money they won't be with Duato for five years), but too much freedom can be a burden. I often wonder what Rasta Thomas could have become had he settled down with a company for any length of time. Sure, he's making money on his tours and teaching, but I suspect he could have been far more had he stuck somewhere with top quality coaching and repertoire.
I think that's a question a lot of top level principals grapple with, like any self-employed individual: can you manage to publicize yourself, and keep the gigs coming in order to have constant income, or is it better to be a bit more restricted with a company that ensures the salary? It's always kind of a tradeoff...
Agree w/you regarding five years - i wonder even if Duato will stay that long? I am very curious how it pans out and I wish V&O only the very best!