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News: Dance
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Washington Ballet Dancers to Perform in Union Benefit

By Ben Mattison
25 Feb 2006

The dancers of the Washington Ballet, idle since the company's season was halted by a labor dispute in December, will appear in four benefit concerts next month, their union announced.

Proceeds from the performances, which run March 9-12 at the American Dance Institute in Rockville, Maryland, will support the dancers through the American Guild of Musical Artists Relief Fund.

The program will include works by Roudolf Kharatian, Michael Bjerknes, Jason Hartley, and Jared Nelson.

Washington Ballet stopped performing midway through its December run of The Nutcracker, with the two sides at odds over a new collective bargaining agreement and dancers demanding an interim agreement including safety guarantees. AGMA, which represents the dancers, refers to the work stoppage as a lockout; the company calls it a strike. The company canceled performances scheduled for February and March, citing the financial losses caused by the cancellation of The Nutcracker.

In a statement, the dancers said, "In our quest and desire to fulfill our artistic lives which have been put on hold by the management of the ballet, we want to share our talent, devotion, and passion for dance with all those who have been supportive in keeping our art alive."

For tickets, visit www.americandance.org or call 301-984-3003.




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