Alvin Ailey’s annual gala at the Kennedy Center in D.C recently passed; however, several company members chose to boycott the reception. The culprit? Money.
Ailey is the fourth largest dance company in the United States, and yet their paychecks don’t reflect that statistic. Now, the dancers are asking management for new negotiations when it comes to pay. Director Robert Battle told the Washington Post, "We will get through it, because there's a reason that the Alvin Ailey dance company has withstood the test of time. We're a big family, and sometimes we just need to talk, you know what I'm saying?”
Hopefully the “talk” happens soon, because the Ailey dancers have already started to take matters into their own hands. They have started an Instagram page called Artists Of Ailey, and while the page seems fairly neutral right now, you can spot signs of frustration. Hashtags such as #UnionStrong #ReachingForTheStandard #AGMA and #AGMADancers have been used throughout the posts. You can tell that these dancers are ready to fight for what they believe in… but we hope this will end in peace and not war!
photo credit: Andrew Eccles