DENVER (KDVR) – The COVID-19 employment cuts blighting the U.S. economy have hit the Colorado Ballet.
Following a The company announced Sept. 2 that it will temporarily lay off its entire dance troupe and cut wages throughout the business operations side. Social distancing-driven live performance cancellations including this season’s Nutcracker production, the ballet said, are the troupe’s biggest money-maker.
Without live performances, the company payroll is short. Performances will resume January 2021, and with them, the dancers.
“We are truly heartbroken that as an organization we’ve been forced to make this decision,” said Artistic Director Gil Boggs in a press release.
Boggs put a positive note on the hard news however, knowing that the pay cuts will pass with the pandemic.
“While this reality is devastating for everyone at Colorado Ballet, we know that it is a temporary situation. We will get through this prolonged intermission together and we will return from this in a position of strength on the other side of this pandemic.”
To make up for lost ticket revenue, the Colorado Ballet launched a relief and recovery fund with a $3 million goal. Next year marks the troupe’s 60th anniversary with productions of The Great Gatsby, The Wizard of Oz, and Giselle, tickets for which go on sale Dec. 1.
The ballet marks the latest in COVID-19’s Denver arts scene toll. Central City Opera cancelled its summer festival, and Opera Colorado postponed its 2020-21 season until Feb. 21. The Denver Center for the Performing Arts cut staffing costs in half in April, and the Denver Symphony canceled all event through the end of the year.