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NYC Ballet keeping orchestra hidden from audience for this very specific reason: ‘Desperate move’

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The New York Metropolis Ballet thinks its orchestra must be heard and never seen — not less than not in these shirts!

The famend ballet group indefinitely cancelled particular performances during which the orchestra is raised up for the viewers to see earlier than a present begins — because the musicians insisted on sporting T-shirts demanding larger pay, The Put up has discovered.

“Administration has been clear that it is a conditional choice based mostly upon these shirts,” a Native 802 insider mentioned, calling the transfer to scrap the orchestra’s time within the highlight a “determined” and “petty overreaction.”

Almost the entire orchestra’s members have been sporting the black short-sleeved shirts with “Honest Contract” emblazoned in white amid a dispute over what they are saying are unfair wages, union sources mentioned.

“I believe the message on [the t-shirts] actually will get below the pores and skin of the ballet,” the insider mentioned.

NYC Ballet administration in consequence determined to cancel a programming collection referred to as “See the Music,” during which the orchestra pit is raised to stage stage and the music director speaks to the viewers concerning the piece to be carried out whereas the musicians play chosen excerpts, the sources mentioned.

The packages — which final about quarter-hour earlier than the pit lowers again down and the precise ballet begins – are an opportunity for ballet-goers to study concerning the music and see the orchestra earlier than a present.

The New York Metropolis Ballet indefinitely cancelled particular performances during which the orchestra is raised up for the viewers to see earlier than a present begins.
@musicians_of_ny / Instagram

“That is one thing each the orchestra and the dancers imbue of their work collectively, and it’s actually disappointing to see administration simply drop that completely,” the insider mentioned.

“It exhibits the very low regard with which the NYC Ballet administration holds its orchestra that they’re keen to take such nice steps like that.”

Orchestra members voted on the day the season opened Sept. 19 to put on their wage negotiations on their sleeves, and plan to maintain donning the T-shirts till the wage dispute is resolved — “irrespective of the price,” the insider mentioned.

A few of the shirts embody a quote from famed choreographer and NYC Ballet co-founder George Ballanchine, who mentioned “See the music, hear the dance,” referring to the connection between the ballet’s musicians and its dancers.

Almost the entire orchestra’s members have been sporting the black short-sleeved shirts with “Honest Contract” emblazoned in white amid a dispute over what they are saying are unfair wages, union sources mentioned.
Netania Steiner / Fb

Nonetheless, the shirts are a radical departure from the buttoned-up black and white ensembles the musicians usually put on, the insider mentioned.

“I’m positive that administration isn’t thrilled concerning the decorum,” the supply mentioned, “however they’re particularly not thrilled concerning the very direct message these t-shirts are saying when it comes to the orchestra’s sentiment about how they’re being handled by administration.”

The orchestra’s most up-to-date contract was signed in December 2021 and expired in August, the union mentioned in a press launch.

The New York Metropolis Ballet believes its orchestra shouldn’t be seen — however extra so heard.
AFM union

The musicians, who on common every make about $75,000 per yr, say they took a 15% wage lower within the 2021 contract amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

However they argue ballet ticket gross sales are exceeding pre-pandemic ranges, but wages for musicians haven’t come again up.

The union mentioned it determined to take its message public after “months of bargaining” with the ballet.

The musicians argue ballet ticket gross sales are exceeding pre-pandemic ranges, but their haven’t come again up.
NYC Central Labor Council

The union insider mentioned it was “disappointing” that the dispute has led to the cancellation of the particular performances.

“They (the musicians) really feel a way of camaraderie with their dancer colleagues who’re up on stage, and it is a likelihood for the viewers to get a visible of the place the music is coming from, as a result of the stage is lowered for performances,” the supply defined.

The New York Metropolis Ballet didn’t instantly return The Put up’s request for remark Tuesday.

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