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Washington Ballet cancels 'The Nutcracker'

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WASHINGTON, Dec 19, 2005 (UPI via COMTEX) -- A 40-year Washington tradition has ended with the cancelation of "The Nutcracker" ballet due to a labor dispute.

Both sides are blaming the other, The Washington Post noted.

The Washington Ballet's President Kay Kendall said the decision was made "with regret" Sunday night.

"We offered the dancers a contract proposal that we thought was quite fair and very generous," she said. "We wanted to make this work ... and they didn't accept it. They chose to strike."

A union official, however, said they were shocked by the news.

"I didn't even get a call from the ballet myself," Eleni Kallas of the American Guild of Musical Artists told the Post. "We have to hear this from another local union, who heard it from Warner Theatre."

She said the dancers' union had been ready to go to the table and "if they gave a damn, they'd be at the table with us."

The main issues in dispute were control over rehearsals, hiring and dismissals, the size of the company and the use of students in productions, the Post said.


Copyright 2005 by United Press International

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