The American Guild of Musical Artists (AGMA) unequivocally supports the exceptional dancers and staging staff of American Ballet Theatre (ABT) who are currently working under an expired contract. It is with great urgency and frustration that we address this issue once more, noting that we find ourselves in the exact same predicament as we did in 2017. This time though, the Artists have endured even more hardships and sacrifices, particularly in light of the devastating impact of the pandemic.
In 2017, the Artists sent a letter to the ABT Board outlining critical issues that required immediate attention. The following six years have seen no substantial change in the contract conditions of the Artists. Rather, they have been burdened even further, having made concessions due to the pandemic and to ABT Leadership’s pattern of failing to prioritize the Artists’ wellbeing (details of which are outlined in their 2023 letter).
Just the other day, in 2023, the dancers and staging staff once again sent a letter explicitly detailing the ongoing crisis and the pressing need for a fair contract. The dedication and unwavering commitment of the dancers and staging staff of ABT are undeniable. They have consistently gone above and beyond, often at the expense of their own well-being, safety, and financial gain to ensure the success and artistic excellence of ABT.
We strongly encourage readers to examine the letters from 2017 and 2023 and observe the striking similarities and lack of progress themselves. They are embedded below.