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Cleveland Ballet Cancels Season

September 8, 2000

CLEVELAND (AP) _ The money-strapped Cleveland San Jose Ballet has laid off its 41 dancers and 40 staff members, canceled its upcoming season and left the future of its West Coast partner in doubt.

``It’s not fair to the dancers and staff to have to worry every week whether they will be paid,″ said Robert Jones, president of the Cleveland board.

The Cleveland Ballet entered a joint venture in 1985 to create a ballet known in San Jose, Calif., as the San Jose Cleveland Ballet and elsewhere as the Cleveland San Jose Ballet. Although they share dancers, the twin programs are financially independent and governed separately.

Unlike the San Jose end, which is solvent, the Cleveland arm has operated in the red for the last decade, incurring a deficit of $300,000 last year. Two weeks ago, Jones said the season would be canceled unless $1 million were raised. Only $60,000 was raised.

Audience count in 1999 reached 78,000 in Cleveland and 70,000 in San Jose.

San Jose executive director Andrew Bales said he had ``no clue″ whether the San Jose could begin as scheduled next month:

``Obviously, we don’t at this time have the dancers and repertoire we have sold to the community.″

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On the Net:

Cleveland ballet: http://www.csjballet.org

San Jose ballet: http://www.csjballet.org

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