The Evil Imp

Dancers For Sale

In a sign of the increasing desperation marketing savvy of the dance world Scottish Ballet has decided to put two of its dancers on the meat open market.

An online auction on eBay offers up dinner for two with either Soon Ja Lee or Jarrko Lehmus, both soloists with the company. The auction entry describes the dinner date as a “once in a lifetime experience” to have a date with their “beautiful and talented dancers”.

Although it’s not hard to grasp the concept that this is nothing more than a way of raising a small amount of money for Scottish Ballet it’s also, at least to us here in TheLab™, more than a little disturbing.

Dancers were always seen as a commodity in the dark days of dance. There to be exploited by the upper class wretches and patrons (take your pick) thant hung around like vultures but in 2007 is this type of cynical marketing crap the way any dance company or arts organisation wants to raise money?

Let’s not advocate the genuine value of the arts or celebrate the skill and talent of a professional dancer, let’s hawk out a cheap date with a pretty girl/boy for somebody to leer at across the candlelit dinner table between courses. Will the eventual winner be issued with a warning notice declaring, in big red letters, “NO TOUCHING”?

To add further insult to injury the user name chosen by Scottish Ballet to sign up for and eBay account is Peter Darrel, after the founder of SB who died twenty years ago!

If you really want to give money to the arts just give them the cash and be done with it. Dancers should not, under any circumstance, be offered up as a benefit or perk of giving money.