Graham dancers won't go to Paris because of gulf war

January 22, 1991|By New York Times

NEW YORK -- The American Guild of Musical Artists has informed the Martha Graham Dance Company that because of the Middle East crisis it will not allow the Graham dancers to travel to Paris for the weeklong engagement that was to start today at the Paris Opera/Garnier.

The guild, which is the dancers' labor union, invoked the "force majeure" clause of the dancers' contract, which covers circumstances beyond the control of the company or producers.

The Graham company faces urgent new financial problems because of the lost season, said its general director, Ronald Protas.

Mr. Protas said the cancellation would leave the troupe with $140,000 in expenses that would have been covered by the fee for the season, which was to have been produced by the Paris Opera.

A spokeswoman for the Joffrey Ballet, which opens a two-week Far Eastern tour Saturday in Taiwan, said that company had decided to proceed with the performances.

"The dancers were informed of the Graham decision," she said. "They were concerned. And the company will keep monitoring the situation. But we talked with the State Department and the airline and they all felt it was safe."

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