Kansas City Ballet's Dancers Vote to Unionize

Classic Arts News   Kansas City Ballet's Dancers Vote to Unionize
The dancers of the Kansas City Ballet have voted to join the American Guild of Musical Artists. The results of the election, which was held on November 3, were announced by the union (a member organization of the AFL-CIO) today.

AGMA already represents several major US ballet companies, including New York City Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Boston Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet and Washington Ballet, as well as the dancers at the Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera and Lyric Opera of Kansas City. The union also represents all singers performing at every major opera house in the U.S.

Jeff Bentley, executive director of the Kansas City Ballet, told PlaybillArts that he is optimistic about the new unionization: "We will, if course, work in good faith with AGMA ... [while] always looking towards the health of the organization overall. I take some satisfaction in the fact that the dancers currently enjoy a good relationship with management and are satisfied with their individual contracts."

Alan Gordon, AGMA's executive director, said in a statement, "Dancers come to AGMA because they feel safe being represented by lawyers and negotiators who are all also retired dancers. New York Area Counsel Deborah Allton-Maher danced at the Metropolitan Opera, National Dance Executive Nora Heiber danced for the San Francisco Opera and New York Area Dance Executive James Fayette was a principal dancer at New York City Ballet."

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