What does the Joffrey Ballet company, the NBA and the government of Minnesota have in common? Two have already ceased operating in light of failed negotiations and the third could be facing the same fate.
The Joffrey company is up against a stalemate similar to the ones that hog-tied basketball players and politicians alike. Because the company has failed to reach an agreement with the dancers’ union, the American Guild of Musical Artists, the beginning of the 2011-2012 season could be abbreviated and dancers received notice that a shutdown is possible. Part of the disagreement stems from proposed pay raises for the dancers and increased rehearsal time, from 25 to 30 hours a week.
The dancers are on a regularly scheduled break until July 25. The disputing groups are hoping that an agreement will be reached before rehearsals commence, because Christopher Conway, executive director of the company, said the season will not begin without one. The first performance threatened by the potential shutdown is an annual event at the Blossom Festival in Ohio.