Much support from H.H. goes out to ABT's dancers and stage managers who have authorized a strike in the event that AGMA contract negotiations do not come to a satisfactory resolution soon.
We reported earlier that ABT gave its mediocre artistic director, Kevin McKenzie, a raise of more than $85,000 from 2014 to 2016 when the company barely held even over that period. For the year ending 2015, the company saw a drop of almost 30% in contributions -- the year in which patron disgust over the Misty hoopla and management's reliance on guest artists hit their highs (so far). So by the end of 2016 ABT managed to bounce back to 2014 levels which some how justified an $85,000+ raise for McKenzie. Take note, Dancers, take note.
It simply could not be more ridiculous that ABT refuses to contribute just as generously to the Dancers' retirement fund.
In its article today, the NYT didn't mention a word about ABT's financial health or the manner in which management is compensated compared to the artists and stage managers. But there seems to have been an editorial decision made at the Times to work into every ballet story until further notice the resignation of Peter Martins at NYCB and the circumstances -- most of which were contrived by the New York Times itself.
To claim that either these contract negotiations or Martins' resignation are signs of a "difficult moment in the dance world" or that these situations represent "turmoil in an unusually tumultuous New York ballet season" is typical NYT crap. Does anyone hear the NYT claiming that because the LA Times' publisher has been accused of sexual harassment over his career and has even settled claims, that it suggests a "difficult moment in the newspaper world"? The real story in this LA Times situation is how the publisher got hired in the first place. Did the LA Times not vet him thoroughly or did they vet him thoroughly and decide that his proclivity for sexual harassment didn't disqualify him for the job as publisher? That's the real story.
Similarly, did the New York Times not thoroughly vet Alastair Macaulay for his position as dance critic or did they thoroughly vet him and decide that his arrest and jail time for paedophilia-related stalking of little children on a beach didn't disqualify him for employment? Maybe the NYT bought Macaulay's story that the police (of all people) destroyed all the evidence. Thus, it would not be possible for anyone at the NYT to examine the evidence before making a hiring decision.
When the NYCB winter season opens next week, Alastair will be in his seat squirting all over himself with orgasmic glee at the self-congratulatory thought that he and Gia Kourlas helped push out Peter Martins. Gia has never been able to get over her snit that Martins wouldn't support her on her "Where are all the black ballerinas" crap of a few years ago when she tried to develop and germinate a claim of racism at NYCB. On the other hand, America's National Bend-Over Ballet Company decided that skin color was more important than the ability to dance and promoted the fakerina Copeland. Is it a wonder that ballet is able to keep its pretty head above water?
We just wish Gia would investigate "Where are all the black ballet critics at the New York Times, the Washington Post and Dance Magazine?" Is there any possible explanation for their absence other than racism? We wish Gia would have her NYT music critic colleagues (they're all white) investigate why there is a dearth of Asian double bass players in the three-piece jazz bands in Harlem. It must be a concerted effort of racists; that's the only possible explanation – that would sell a New York Times story, that is.
And off we go into the winter season...