News: Equity achieves union agreements with independent choreographers

Monday 15 February 2016

New agreements have been reached by Equity with independent choreographers producing small-scale shows. In deals that are the first of their kind, the dancers employed under these contracts will be working on terms and conditions which have been fully negotiated with the union.

Choreographer Yukiko Masui, who received an Arts Council grant for her work It Takes Two Too, has formed a deal with Equity based around the terms and conditions of the ITC Ethical Manager Agreement. She said: “when I got my funding I knew that I wanted to employ the dancers on Equity terms and conditions. It helps me as an independent choreographer to know that I am employing dancers responsibly. Freelance dancers have very little protection in this industry, so this is my contribution to improving conditions in the freelance dance sector”.

Mara Vivas, also a choreographer working in the freelance sector, has signed an agreement with the union based on Fringe Agreement terms and conditions. Whilst Ms Vivas has received no public funding for her project, she will be paying the London Living Wage.

Equity’s Beth Doran said that “the negotiation of these landmark deals proves that it is possible to achieve Equity Agreements at all levels of the dance industry. Dancers and choreographers in the union have been campaigning for a long time to extend union agreements into these areas. This achievement is a credit to their hard work and also to both choreographers, who have shown their commitment to the sector and the dancers they employ. I would urge choreographers and producers working at any level in dance to get in touch and see how we can work together.”

Emmanuel De Lange, Equity’s Low Pay No Pay Industrial Organiser said: “It’s great to see Professionally Made Professionally Paid making an impact in dance. The problems of low and no pay aren’t restricted to theatre – Equity members working as dancers, singers, models and in film are too often asked to work for free or very low pay. I’m confident that Professionally Made Professionally Paid can make inroads into those sectors over the coming months.”

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