On the date of a threatened lockout of the Joffrey Ballet’s dancers by company management, in an ongoing dispute over contract negotiations, it appears as if a gallery of current company members has been deactivated on the Joffrey’s website.
The dispute mostly regards the company’s proposed addition of five working hours to the dancers’ work-weeks, without additional salary increases aside from a 3 percent annual bump for the cost of living, according to Joffrey Ballet marketing manager Sarah Nelson. There also appears to be disagreement on minimum levels of stage management personnel, and circumstances under which academy students perform with the troupe.
A Joffrey Ballet publicist told a Time Out journalist that the company is not commenting at this time on dancer union lawyer Barbara Hillman’s claims that executive director Christopher Clinton Conway has mischaracterized and exaggerated aspects of the situation, including the upper end of the dancers’ salaries, in statements to reporters published earlier this week.
Hillman also contends that the company is not claiming that it cannot afford to meet the dancers’ demands, raising the question of why management seems unwilling to compromise.
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano’) about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman’s Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia’ column for Dancing Times magazine.