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 Post subject: Re: Budget Cuts and Layoffs
PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 7:18 pm 
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Location: Canada
Yeah, the only other Danish company is the Peter Schaufuss Ballet... and that's not exactly a repertoire of champions. To put it mildly.

I think it's been mad quite clear that the decisions of who to let you were totally up to Hubbe. And that's kind of the breaks in the ballet world - your career is at the mercy of one (or two) person's whims. And that person may make decisions based on solid reasons, or or might make them on personal whims. Sucks.

I have every faith that Andrew Bowman will land solidly on his feet. He will certainly be entitled to a reasonable pension for his 15 or so years in the company, plus Josee Howard is still in the corps with a full pension in a few years. It should also be pointed out that Hübbe apparently did not intend to lay off Bowman from the start, but that that there were apparently negotiations that did not end with terms that worked for both sides.


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 Post subject: Re: Budget Cuts and Layoffs
PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2012 8:48 pm 
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Posts: 3375
Location: Canada
Tensions have flared up again between the dancers and the company Apparently the dancers and actors have sent a letter of no confidence in their directors to the theatre management and the press.

http://politiken.dk/kultur/scenekunst/E ... -alvorlig/

I don't know the details, but this doesn't seem to a story that will end well for any side. Regardless of how Hübbe and this theatre colleague handled the layoffs, their hand was forced by decisions made at levels well above them. I can't imagine that ANY artistic director wants to be making layoffs (at least when they aren't immediately filling those spots), especially when they create real artistic limitations. Plus this is all playing out in a country where thousands of ordinary citizens are losing their jobs and not getting any publicity.

At this point, I don't see getting rid of Hübbe as a real option unless there's concrete proof of illegal behavior - he's been given a 5 year extension very recently and I suspect terminating such a contract would be extremely expensive in terms of payouts. The crux of the matter may well be that you can't just fire an artistic director for being an a**. Especially when it comes to the ballet world where artistic directors have power unheard of in other professions.

I think that the theatre and the artists (actors, dancers) need to get a neutral arbitrator to sit down with all involved. Given the general economic woes, I don't think playing this situation out in the press is going to gain any sympathy in the general public. The internal strife is not healthy for anyone nor does it create situation where the company can excel artistically. And the longer this is left to fester, the worse the long term wound will be.


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 Post subject: Re: Budget Cuts and Layoffs
PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 5:49 pm 
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ksneds wrote:
Especially when it comes to the ballet world where artistic directors have power unheard of in other professions.


That comment is really puzzling to me. From my experience in a few different industries, working for a variety of CEO’s, I see really no differences. What “unheard of powers” might these be?


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 Post subject: Re: Budget Cuts and Layoffs
PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2012 4:20 pm 
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Location: Canada
Sorry, I should have clarified. I was referring to the power (perceived or real) than an artistic director has in terms of hiring/firing dancers based on factors that wouldn't fly in most other large workplaces. Such as weight, personal body type preference etc.

Certainly, in many places you can be laid off with sufficient notice. However - at least where I've worked - the big difference is that I'm almost positive the company couldn't just go out and hire someone else for the job. They can get rid of the position alltoegether, but if they want to refill that job, they'd better have a very clear, legitimate, well-documented reason for terminating the person in that position.

That and the mix of often young, real-world inexperienced workers, the physicality of the job (how many jobs are there where the boss can legitimately put his/hers hands in on your body?) and very short time period to 'make it or break' seem to me to be a recipe for potential abuse of employees.

Maybe I'm wrong, but you often read about workers in other field taking employers to court for wrongful termination. But it seems to be pretty rare in the dance world - you hear about union negotiations and companies with AD vs dancer tension ( a la RDB), but not single dancers battling the AD's decision to fire them.


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 Post subject: Re: Andrew Bowman
PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2012 5:20 am 
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Location: London UK
Andrew Bowman can currently be seen dancing in 'Men in Motion' at Sadlers Wells, and from the enthusiastic audience respose he received I imagine he is earning himself a number of new fans.


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 Post subject: Re: Budget Cuts and Layoffs
PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 6:46 am 
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Joined: Wed Dec 06, 2000 12:01 am
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Location: New York
ksneds wrote:
Certainly, in many places you can be laid off with sufficient notice. However - at least where I've worked - the big difference is that I'm almost positive the company couldn't just go out and hire someone else for the job. They can get rid of the position alltoegether, but if they want to refill that job, they'd better have a very clear, legitimate, well-documented reason for terminating the person in that position.


My understanding is that under normal circumstances, a dancer whose contract was not being renewed would receive ample - like 6 months - notice beforehand; this was part of the union agreement. I don't think that was necessarily the case for those on so-called 'life' contracts, which is a sort of tenure that makes it much more difficult to dismiss a dancer (and something that I understand Hubbe hated, given his years at NYCB). The budget crisis permitted deviation from both of these restrictions.

What's going on now is perhaps more troubling. The dancers appear to have divided into at least two camps; the pro-Hubbe and the anti-Hubbe, and a fair number who are there to dance and just want the whole dispute to go away. Recently, some 30 dancers signed a letter of confidence http://bit.ly/GCtrhH that appears to contradict a number of the complaints voiced by the union that is supposed to represent them. All of this no doubt makes for a very difficult work environment for all, no matter what 'camp' they're in.


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