Friday, March 14, 2008

Boston struggles...again

"Boston Ballet to Cut Nearly 20% of Dancers in Company"

In seeing this article in the Times today, I was reminded of my days at Boston Ballet School and was saddened to hear that they have to cut back...and on dancers, of all things! The company has faced many issues while I was there in the school (til '04) and since then, but just the sound of laying off 11 dancers is horrible!

Dancers barely get paid decently in most ballet companies, but from what I had heard Boston seemed to be one of the better ones in terms of taking care of their dancers, even offering full health and dental benefits and show allowance to their SECOND company BBII. Few companies to my knowledge can afford to treat their apprentices that well, nevermind the company. So to hear that 11 company members won't have their contracts renewed because of debt and financial problems is awful.

The news also comes with the announcement that their executive director is leaving to "explore a number of exciting opportunities in the nonprofit world,” according to her quote in the Times. I found this interesting also after reading Danciti's post about the struggle to keep good executive directors in dance (post links to an upcoming panel hosted by Dance/NYC about this probelm). Apparently Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen will be wearing both hats of artistic and executive director until they find a replacement, but won't that create even more challenges?

Oh the trials and tribulations of non-profits. During y rehearsal this morning our director was speaking of a board meeting they had recently where they laughed about the fact that almost any problem could be solved with more money. It's sad that the arts are not well funded today. Sigh.

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