The Week April 28th - May 2nd

panta rei dans lullaby

Video - Panta Rei Danseteater 'Lullaby'

Norwegian dance company Panta Rei Danseteater, late last year, conducted a little experiment whereby three dance makers created two pieces with the same name based on the same idea, featuring three male dancers and two musicians, to see what the outcome was.

June 2nd, 2016

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It would appear that Ms Minogue likes paying dancers even less than our very own Royal Opera House does.

For some dancing folk the holy grail in terms of a dance job is working on a big music video for an A-list music star or going on tour with them to exotic foreign locations and Birmingham (yeah, take that Birmingham! Ed!)

It's not unreasonable to expect, given the huge amounts of money floating around in the music industry, that such jobs would be well paid or, at the very least, just paid.

Not so if you were an Australian dancer and you got a casting call to appear in a new music video for one Kylie Minogue reports the Sydney Morning Herald.

"One agency sent out a text message to dancers that read: "Full-day shoot for Kylie Minogue video clip, unpaid but great opportunity and fun!" Actors Equity Australia director Sue McCreadie says dancers were told that the lack of pay was due to the shoot's "limited budget". McCreadie said it was unacceptable not to pay dancers, who would usually earn a minimum of $550AUS (£301GBP) from a full-day commercial shoot."

In 2014 a company claiming that "limited budgets" and the joy of the experience is enough to explain the lack of money is akin to the chancers who come up to you in the street claiming they need £1 to get the bus home because they've lost all their money.

After the unexpected press coverage emerged some union folk stepped in and the dancers did get paid some money for being in the video. However, an interview piece created by Australian dance website 'Dance Chat' produced a video (below) with interviews claiming that the full amount the production company claimed they were going to pay the dancers never emerged.

A tweet from Ms Minogue herself (or at least one of her PR flacks) claimed that the dancers did get paid although it didn't specify how much.

Whatever the final outcome it's clear that the music industry is not the source of gold some might think it is and multi-millionaire pop stars can be just as cheap as anybody else.

[ Source: Sydney Morning Herald ]

Grease is the Word

The BBC is reporting that the English National Opera is going to do less 5 hour epics from Wagner to woo the punters and do a little bit more commercial theatre to woo the punters.

What this means is the national opera company will be taking on some "modern musicals" in an attempt to remain financially viable. So screw creativity and imagination because 'Jersey Boys' here we come. Here in TheLab™ we are pretty sure that's the name of a real musical.

"The plans are part of a number of new measures announced by ENO aimed at generating extra revenue. The ENO, which receives £17m annually from the taxpayer, reported a loss of more than £2m two years ago. However, it has said it will end this year with a small surplus following better than anticipated box office sales."
The London based opera company is famous for being very tight fisted when it comes to paying dancers who appear in their productions. Ok, they are probably famous for other things we feel sure but do you know how long it take to research that kind of stuff? This is a news round up for crying out loud.

No news as yet about what the first musical will be (come on live action version of 'Frozen') but if War Horse from the National Theatre is anything to by then the musicians at the ENO should probably fear for their jobs.

It does need to be pointed out that ENO lost £2Million a couple of years ago but are now back in the black just doing regular old opera so it's not at all clear why they are having a massive freak out.

[ Source: The BBC ]

The Week in Tweets

Following the debacle over Kylie Minogue and her ilk not paying dancers very well, if at all, our very own Royal Opera House stepped into a dancer's pay debacle of their own.

When we asked them if their over paid music director would still stay in his job for a measly £10 per hour they went quiet.

Have a nice weekend.

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Working The Core™

The Week April 14th - April 18th