Working in Dance

Making contracts part of your process: tips for those just starting out.

Lyne Pringle

This DANZ commissioned resource, by Melanie Hamilton, will encourage dance people to be professional in their approach by having contracts in place so that everyone knows what is expected. A contract will clarify all the relationships and expectations for participants in order to prevent misunderstandings and disputes.

Melanie says, “When learning about contracts it is important to remember that a contract is an opportunity for the producer/company/group to outline their obligations to the performers as well. This is just as important as outlining performers’ obligations to the production and to the producer. Ideally, a contract can transparently meet everyone’s needs using clear language that can be easily understood. A professional contract is not necessarily a difficult contract.

“Considering contracts at the outset provides an opportunity to:

  • Acknowledge that you are in a professional environment, no matter what the pay rate
  • Equip yourself with skills that will be essential when negotiating contracts in the future
  • Learn how to negotiate in a safe environment.

Contracts also help a company/collective/group making a show to:

  • Define the nature of the work environment they wish to create
  • Share and articulate the goals and expectations of the project
  • Clarify each person’s role within the project
  • Set expectations openly and have a way of measuring if they are being met.

Contracts arise from a lot of discussion by the stakeholders and can help to define how the project will progress and provide protection and accountability. They also provide proof to external organisations such as ACC of the status of the working relationship and encourage professional behaviour.

The resource goes on to discuss timeframes and to provide sample contracts.

See the full resource here Making Contracts Easy

Watch DANZ Intellectual Property, Contracts and Copyright Seminar 

Other resources pertaining to contracts can be found on the DANZ website here: Dance Info - Resources

 

 
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