Joffrey Ballet Faces Lockout: Report

Dancers must empty their lockers and turn in their keys by Thursday

First the NFL, then the NBA. And now, Joffrey Ballet?

Joffrey dancers are being locked out after their union couldn't agree on a new contract, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. As a result, the first part of Joffrey Ballet's 2011-2012 season was canceled, the company said in a letter sent Friday to its dancers. 

“Without any agreement with your Union, we simply cannot consider going forward with our season under the cloud of a lingering threat that, at any time, [American Guild of Musical Artists] could shut it down with a strike," the letter read.

The old contract with the AGMA expired midnight Thursday. It is not known which shows were canceled.

Featured dancer Fabrice Calmels told the Sun-Times the dancers had no plans to go on strike. The union just needs an extension for further talks, he said, and to reach a compromise.

The union is asking for an increase of rehearsal time from five to six hours a day. In the letter, the company said the union had not responded to its final offer.

In the meantime, Joffrey Ballet dancers must empty their lockers and turn in their keys by Thursday.

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