Cape Town ballet forced to retrench staff after being hit hard by Covid-19 pandemic, Newsline

CAPE TOWN, September 2 (ANA) – While most industries have been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic, the hardest hit was the arts and culture sectors.

In a statement released by the Cape Town City Ballet, it said it has been forced to retrench some of its dancers.

It said the regulations of having gatherings of more than 50 people which were prohibited during alert levels 5 to 2 has had dire consequences on the industry and all performances at the Artscape Theatre has been postponed until next year even though President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the country’s move to alert level 1 a from September 21.

Suzette Raymond, chairperson of the board of Cape Town City Ballet said their entire planned programme for 2020 has been flushed and thus caused significant financial impact on the organisation.

She said they have managed to sustain the full company for five months of the national lockdown without the usual box office income stream and have explored various alternatives to create additional means of income.

“We have engaged with employees and taken into consideration their suggestions to the best of our capabilities, ” Raymond said.

“We have implemented across the board pay cuts, from our admin staff, to our dancers.”

She said like companies across the globe, they were left with no other decision but to enter into a comprehensive consultative process to retrench some of their dancers.

“The dancers are immensely talented artists and we hope to be able to welcome them back at some point in the future. These are incredibly challenging times for arts and culture companies around the world,” Raymond said.

She is urging anyone to invest into the organisations no matter how small.

African News Agency (ANA)