This morning, I saw this statement as the opening log in a new group on Facebook called The Choreographers’ Strike.
“Why the hell do we put up with it?
Dance theaters and City municipalities love having festivals of all kinds. It shows how cultural the city is or how central the theater is. It generates economy for the businesses around the theaters creates income for the theaters themselves. The technicians and light designers get paid. And for the past few years even dancers have started earning a meager living somehow.
All these festivals fall directly on the private shoulders of the choreographers. We not only work for free during the artistic process, we also constantly pay out of our own pockets for the losses of putting on a show. Losses that are too much for an individual to bear. Losses which should be finances by either the ministry of culture, or by municipalities or by the theaters themselves.
But since we are each fighting for recognition and since the only way to succeed is to put on as many shows as we can (so that we MIGHT be considered for support), we give in and as individuals – as private citizens we, the choreographers PAY OUT OF OUR OWN POCKETS for the existence of our artistic scene.
THIS HAS GOT TO STOP!
A business can afford to go bankrupt. A municipality can afford to be in deficit and it is in the interest of the ministry of culture to culture to export and therefore claim as “Israeli Dance/Performance”.
We are not LTD businesses! (At least most of us). We cannot allow ourselves as private citizens to pay for the upkeep of this artistic scene!
I call for us to organize a strike! See how the theaters like it, when no one is willing to put on a show! See how the festivals like it when no one is willing to create! See how city municipalities like it when they cannot boast the existence of a Tel Aviv dance scene! Or see how the ministry of culture likes it when they have no “Israeli dance” to be proud of or export!
Let’s think of when and how we can go on strike most effectively!
AND THEN DO IT!”
As the day progresses, more and more messages are added to the list of gripes. Well-known choreographers have chipped in about their own struggles to make ends meet. The fact of the matter is that producing a dance performance is a sure way to lose money. With theater rentals going through the roof and technicians’ fees to pay, most choreographers go into debt in order to have their work shown.
There have been talks about this kind of strike for years. Maybe this will get the ball rolling…