Leonard Leibowitz, lawyer for the American Ballet Theater dancers' guild negotiating committee, said yesterday that the dancers will picket the ABT offices in New York on Monday, and then take their demonstration to the Kennedy Center in Washington on Tuesday, Oct. 30, between 1:30 and 9 p.m., if a permit from the National Park Service can be obtained.
The dancers said they will appear in ballet costume and have emphasized that their picketing of the Kennedy Center is a protest only against ABT management, not against the Kennedy Center or its policies.
Contract negotiations between the dancers and management broke down on Thursday, and ABT promised a lockout starting on Monday unless an agreement could be reached before then. No further talks are now scheduled. The old contract expired on Aug. 31.
Charles France, ABT management spokesman, said yesterday that management still considers the negotiations open and believes that the intended picketing by the dancers is "strictly their business."
A spokesman for the dancers said, "At this point, we are left with no choice but to picket. We are negotiating only for a living wage. Our picketing is to simply put our case befor the public. We are not protesting the ABT star system; at present our wages allow for bare survival at best."
Officials at the Kennedy Center could not be reached for comment yesterday.