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German ballet schools and salaries


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This touches on several threads that are going on at the moment, so I thought it best to start a separate one. An article in the Aachener Zeitung, mostly about whether competition is as nasty in the ballet world as the stories coming out of Moscow might lead one to believe, has some interesting statistics:

Just short of 1400 people are employed full-time as dancers in Germany

Reid Anderson confirms that he hasn't done open auditions for the last five years, he simply recruits new Stuttgart Ballet dancers from the John Cranko School

Almost all graduates of the Cranko School find positions in one company or another, mostly in Germany.

Corps de ballet dancers earn between 2400 and 3000 euros a month; soloists negotiate their own salaries.

 

 

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This is information that parents and teachers should take on board.  A generation ago, graduates from UK schools who didn't get offered a contract in UK would usually manage to find work in Europe, Germany & France being the main destinations.

 

In the meantime many European schools have been established and are now turning out enough graduates to fulfil their own needs with the rest competing for any other jobs.   Add to this the Eastern European  countries who have joined the EU and their excellent ballet schools, and you can see why there is a surplus of classical ballet graduates.  This then feeds back to some of the other threads - how many classical dancers should the UK be training?

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You should add that dancers in Germany get hired for the whole year, holidays and insurance included.

Other companies like Berlin, Munich, Dresden, Ballet on the Rhine, even Hamburg still have auditions, and of course all the smaller companies, too. The salary in smaller theatres is smaller, of course

Edited by Angela
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This is exactly the same with Drama Schools.  When I was young a graduating Drama School class was about 15 or so (after cutting each year coming to graduation.)  Those 15 tended to work ... or at least stay in the business.  Today that is different.  An average class is easily more than double that number and there are MANY more courses in each school.  Now when I do a graduate review I often wonder what all these young people will end up doing.  The Sondheim song lyric 'And another hundred people get off of the plane' keeps running through my head ... persistently.  Innocence I fear is not always bliss.  Well, not what I would call bliss when all is said and done.

Edited by Meunier
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Toursenlair said yesterday that:

 

Reid Anderson confirms that he hasn't done open auditions for the last five years, he simply recruits new Stuttgart Ballet dancers from the John Cranko School.

 

 

However Elisa Badenes joined Stuttgart from the RBS in 2009. There have recently been references here to her debut as Kitri in Stuttgart.

.

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The same point can be made about higher education generally. I feel quite cynical about the policy of pushing as many young people as possible into degree courses. The "graduate premium" has really declined and there seems little evidence that the number of true graduate level jobs has increased. It really annoys me that so many jobs which now require a degree were previously done perfectly competently by school leavers. When you discount these jobs how many jobs are there which really do require a person educated to degree level? And yet, ironically, employers often still complain that they can't find suitable recruits among UK school leavers and graduates. This suggests a mismatch between our education system and the requirements of employers. On the other hand, I feel that employers don't want to train up young people any more. In the past, a bright school leaver might start at the bottom and work his or her way up the organisation with the help and support of more senior employees. Today, employers invariably want people with experience which few school leavers and graduates are likely to have.

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Toursenlair said yesterday that:

 

Reid Anderson confirms that he hasn't done open auditions for the last five years, he simply recruits new Stuttgart Ballet dancers from the John Cranko School.

 

 

However Elisa Badenes joined Stuttgart from the RBS in 2009. There have recently been references here to her debut as Kitri in Stuttgart.

.

 

I was just translating what Reid Anderson said to the German newspaper. I don't imagine he has a ban on non-Cranko-School trained dancers, in fact I expect that whenever he is in London (to stage Onegin for instance) he may well take the opportunity to have a look at the RBS graduating class. But the fact is they don't have open auditions for Stuttgart Ballet anymore, because in fact he can find what he needs at the Cranko School.

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The same point can be made about higher education generally. I feel quite cynical about the policy of pushing as many young people as possible into degree courses. The "graduate premium" has really declined and there seems little evidence that the number of true graduate level jobs has increased. It really annoys me that so many jobs which now require a degree were previously done perfectly competently by school leavers. When you discount these jobs how many jobs are there which really do require a person educated to degree level?

 

Quite, especially since the young people today are taking on such a high financial burden with 3 or more years' worth of fees, and often for no reward (except if they're lucky a job working in a call centre once they graduate, it seems).  I remember when I was looking at possible careers back in the fifth form one of them only required a handful of O-Levels.  Now it's degree-level entry only.  I expect standards have gone up, but whether they've gone up to the extent to justify a degree I wouldn't know.

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I don't imagine he has a ban on non-Cranko-School trained dancers, in fact I expect that whenever he is in London (to stage Onegin for instance) he may well take the opportunity to have a look at the RBS graduating class. But the fact is they don't have open auditions for Stuttgart Ballet anymore, because in fact he can find what he needs at the Cranko School.

That's how it is - I think the last audition they made was in 2009, when Badenes and two other dancers came to the company, but already in the years before there were no regular auditions. There is no ban, absolutely not, but the Stuttgart school, directed by Tadeusz Matacz, is really good and Anderson is proud of it. Daniel Camargo came from the Cranko school, Badenes's partner in DQ. And yes, Badenes is doing just fine - she did Odette/Odile, Kitri and Olga in Onegin, was in many new pieces and is adored by the audience. Great technique, a very easy way of dancing, a wonderful actress, she is just doing everything right and it's a joy to watch her!

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