ContractsProf Blog

Editor: Myanna Dellinger
University of South Dakota School of Law

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Labor Dispute at the New York City Ballet

Balletomanes throughout the Great Flyover let out a collective "Hot Diggety!" when we learned that the New York City Ballet was to create a touring company so that the unwashed masses can soon be awash in the creations of George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins.  Alas, there is trouble in paradise.  Who'da thunk there could be tension or conflict within a dance company?  Not Natalie Portman, that's for sure!

As Crain's New York reports here, the union that represents the dancers contends that the plan to create a touring company that does not include the entire company violates the dancers' contracts.  The plan requires the union's consent, the dancers claim, and the NYCB did not get it.  In fact, the union claims that it was not even consulted before the NYCB announced its plans to create a touring company.

If I could, I would now include a video of the NYCB performing, but they are very careful not to let any of their performances make it onto YouTube, so we'll have to make due with with this video of the San Francisco Ballet performing Balanchine's "Serenade"

I have to add that, although the San Francisco ballet is absolutely fabulous, this video does not come close to capturing the emotional punch that "Serenade" packs.  You have to see it live and hopefully, once this little squabble is put behind us, audiences throughout the country will be able to do so.


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