As I left work last night, and stood on the corner of 13th and F, I heard the sound of a brass quintet, playing in the rain. I turned down toward the Warner, and listened as they finished the end of Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming. As I listened to the final notes ring out over the white noise of the cabs and cars driving down F St in the rain, and the angry crowd at the doors of the Warner Theater became more clear, I was handed a pink sheet of paper. Reading it, the dancers at the Washington Ballet were claiming all manner of unfair treatment at the hands of the Management. Lacking, however, were specifics about their claims: they complained about the working environment, but made no reference to the problem. They made claims about injuries, but not about what caused them. Essentially, I was given the Union’s propaganda boiler plate without any specifics.
The performance was cancelled for last night, as well as for tonight’s performance. The dancers have chosen to hit the company where it hurts, as the Nutcracker is the best selling show for the company all season. Apparently the dancers want to call it a Lockout, instead of a Strike, so they can collect unemployment while striking. Between that, and the lack of depth in their claims, perhaps it’s the dancers that are to blame if you’re unable to see the show you paid for. Especially in light of this paragraph in today’s Post:
In a letter to AGMA that the ballet provided last night to The Washington Post, Palmquist stated that in the proposed interim agreement he gave to the dancers this week he had included guarantees about continued employment for the company’s dancers “that are unheard of in the ballet world.”
But, strike they will.
This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs