Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12
Results 11 to 17 of 17
  1. #11
    Member Recnadocir's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    La La Land
    Posts
    463
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Here is the PDF of the contract agreement between Chicago Lyric Opera and AGMA (the American Guild of Musical Artists): http://www.musicalartists.org/Contra...C2003-2007.pdf

    The dancers who work in an AGMA shop are required to pay $500 of their salary to join AGMA (initiation), and I believe this can be deducted from the employees pay in two or more installments, depending on the length of the run. This $500 is a one time union initiation fee, and then annual union dues, which are calculated separately, are due every six months at about $80 per payment.

    From my understanding of AGMA shops the opera company is required to pay AGMA scale to the dancers. The only way around this is to try to classify the dancers as "supernumeraries" (read: "volunteers") or "choristers" who are paid considerably less than the dancers. I don't know that opera companies would try to, or would succeed in, such a ploy, although nothing would surprise me.

    I don't know, for $1000 a week, as hungry as I am, I might walk around on stage for a couple of scenes, "hanging loose." I've never danced nude, and tend to agree with the great choreographer Sir Antony Tudor who said words to the effect that: "I'll never choreograph a nude piece, because I don't want to see body parts that I can't choreograph movement for," (doing their own thing, as it were).

    Leaving aside the pay issue, my firm conviction remains that they should have hired a choreographer with significant belly dance experience. And returning to the pay issue, if I were a top belly dance teacher/choreographer in Chicago, I would be even more offended knowing that $1200 per week or whatever they pay choreographers in AGMA opera houses, was going to someone who probably doesn't know a figure eight from a shimmy, and probably thinks "belly dance" = "exotic dance" and = "second class dancer"

    And if you guys don't think that many if not most ballet dancers and "concert modern dancers" and choreographers have this elitist attitude toward belly dancers, you are not being realistic. I'm in both worlds, and trust me, they do!

  2. #12
    V.I.P. da Sage's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    2,024
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Recnadocir View Post
    I don't know, for $1000 a week, as hungry as I am, I might walk around on stage for a couple of scenes, "hanging loose."
    Me too. But I'd feel *way* better about that if the opera singers were also topless/nude!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Recnadocir View Post
    Leaving aside the pay issue, my firm conviction remains that they should have hired a choreographer with significant belly dance experience. And returning to the pay issue, if I were a top belly dance teacher/choreographer in Chicago, I would be even more offended knowing that $1200 per week or whatever they pay choreographers in AGMA opera houses, was going to someone who probably doesn't know a figure eight from a shimmy, and probably thinks "belly dance" = "exotic dance" and = "second class dancer"!
    Oh yes. Dollars to doughnuts, their artistic vision is to recreate Ingres' "The Turkish Bath" as a tableau, and then have some of the harem women break into modern or ballet with some undulations sprinkled in. I wonder what kind of "veil dance" they'll have their Salome do? :p

    I was in a group choreography set to that "Mata Hari" song twice...same choreographer both times, similar cutesy/fun choreographies both times. Nothing belly-dancey about them at all, that I recall.

    Quote Originally Posted by Recnadocir View Post
    And if you guys don't think that many if not most ballet dancers and "concert modern dancers" and choreographers have this elitist attitude toward belly dancers, you are not being realistic. I'm in both worlds, and trust me, they do!
    Yes, you're right about that.
    Last edited by da Sage; 08-03-2006 at 04:09 AM. Reason: clarification on the "Mata Hari" choreographer I mention above - she's *not* the Chicago/UK "Salome" Opera Choreographer

  3. #13
    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Rocky Mountains USA
    Posts
    15,414
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Recnadocir View Post
    The only way around this is to try to classify the dancers as "supernumeraries" (read: "volunteers") or "choristers" who are paid considerably less than the dancers.
    More like "supermammaries" in this case. That was all very interesting, Rick. Thanks for including the contract and for your commentary.
    "Well, now that we have seen each other," said the unicorn " if you'll believe in me, I'll believe in you."

  4. #14
    Member Recnadocir's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    La La Land
    Posts
    463
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by Shanazel View Post
    More like "supermammaries" in this case.
    Ha ha veeery droll Shanazel! Thanks for making me laugh about this. I feel a little better, though still burning.

  5. #15
    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Rocky Mountains USA
    Posts
    15,414
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    You are welcome. Just don't get too near your sheeps while you are still burning- smoldering wool smells ghastly.
    Last edited by Shanazel; 08-08-2006 at 06:15 PM.
    "Well, now that we have seen each other," said the unicorn " if you'll believe in me, I'll believe in you."

  6. #16
    Junior Member Noiseman433's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Louisville/Indianapolis
    Posts
    48
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Recnadocir View Post
    This is particularly frustrating for me because, having spent many years studying and choreographing belly dance and ballet and modern and jazz, etc., it is still a small circle of choreographers who get all the work in opera. The rich get richer, so to speak, and hence we have choreographers who have apparently no significant background in belly dance, choreographing an opera in which the predominant, if not exclusive dance style, should be belly dance.
    Quote Originally Posted by Recnadocir View Post
    And on that score, leaving my own personal feelings of injustice aside, how is it that Chicago Lyric Opera could not find a qualified belly dance instructor/choreographer right there in Chicago? Apparently they are importing the choreographer from the UK, at what I am sure is considerable expense. What a slight to not only the belly dance community at large, with their topless and "semi-nude" requirements, but to the Chicago belly dance community specifically.
    To be a little bit fair, the Chicago Lyric did have a relatively local belly dancer, Zweena bint Asya as choreographer and a principle dancer (the latter for their production of Thais, however). Though I'm sure that it was her background in ballet, jazz, and modern dance that landed her the gig at the time (well, presumably, that is).
    Quote Originally Posted by Recnadocir View Post
    And if you guys don't think that many if not most ballet dancers and "concert modern dancers" and choreographers have this elitist attitude toward belly dancers, you are not being realistic. I'm in both worlds, and trust me, they do!
    Oh yes, they certainly do. We were playing the Indianapolis VisualFringe (part of Indianapolis' Indyfringe festival) next to a venue that had a number of women (about 30 or so) in veils and "middle-eastern-esque" costumes. We though that surely one of the group was a belly dancer but when my duo partner asked they were very non-plussed and stated they were "modern dancers." We later found out that they were dancers from the Gregory Hancock Dance Theatre and were there to promote their upcoming dance production, "Superhero: the Story of a Man Called Jesus."

  7. #17
    Member Recnadocir's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    La La Land
    Posts
    463
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    "Superhero: The Story of a Man Called Jesus??!!" in dance theater form???!!
    Well, I'll try to keep an open mind...

Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •