Tough Times

Published in the June/July 2009 issue.

The recession is hitting the ballet world hard. Faced with significant shortfalls, New York City Ballet, Nevada Ballet Theatre, Ballet Florida and Miami City Ballet have been forced to cut dancers from their ranks. Eleven NYCB, nine NBT and nine BF members will not be returning next season, and eight MCB dancers, fresh from the company’s triumphant first NYC season, also discovered that their contracts would not be renewed. American Ballet Theatre’s dancers have accepted a proposal eliminating pension contributions and vacation pay in 2009, but the plan allows the company to retain all 86 of them. There’s happier news at Texas Ballet Theater, which was on the verge of folding last year. The company has made such a strong recovery that they plan to add three dancers to their roster next season and to extend the length of their dancer contracts by three weeks. — MF