Two dancers have been fired from the New York Metropolis Ballet on Saturday amid accusations that they have been a part of a hoop of male dancers who inappropriately shared nude pictures and movies of ladies.
The ballet firm mentioned principal dancers Amar Ramasar and Zachary Catarazo, in addition to a 3rd dancer, Chase Finlay, who resigned final month, “engaged in inappropriate communications, that whereas private, off-hours and off-site, had violated the norms of conduct that NYCB expects from its workers.”
The firings got here after a lady who had dated Finley, Alexandra Waterbury, mentioned in a lawsuit this month that Finlay had despatched express movies and pictures of her taken with out her information to different males together with dancers with the corporate.
Waterbury charged in her lawsuit in opposition to Metropolis Ballet and Finlay that the corporate tolerated a “fraternity-like environment” the place male dancers understood that “they might degrade, demean, mistreat and abuse, assault and batter ladies with out consequence.”
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The lawsuit mentioned a male donor wrote to Finlay suggesting that the lads ought to tie ballerinas up “and abuse them like cattle,” to which Finlay replied, “or just like the sluts they’re.”
Whereas denying that they’d condoned inappropriate conduct, firm officers started an investigation after they have been made conscious of Waterbury’s costs and have been planning to fireplace Finlay when he resigned, the corporate mentioned.
Ramasar and Catarazo, who have been recognized within the lawsuit as having shared nude pictures with Finlay, have been initially suspended with out pay earlier than the corporate moved to terminate them Saturday.
“I’m shocked and deeply saddened by the New York Metropolis Ballet’s resolution to fireplace me,” Ramasar mentioned Saturday in a press release. “I’m an sincere and honorable individual, and have at all times handled everybody, together with my colleagues, employees, associates and others at NYCB, with the upmost respect.”
He mentioned he was as soon as a “poor, minority child from the streets of the Bronx and have risen in opposition to all odds with exhausting work for the whole lot I’ve been capable of obtain.” Ramasar added that in coming days, “I can be telling my aspect.”
Metropolis Ballet govt director Katherine Brown and interim inventive crew chief Jonathan Stafford mentioned in a press release, “We have now no greater obligation than to make sure that our dancers and employees have a office the place they really feel revered and valued, and we’re dedicated to offering that atmosphere for all workers of New York Metropolis Ballet. We won’t permit the non-public actions of some to undermine the exhausting work and power of character that’s persistently demonstrated by the opposite members of our group or the excellence for which the corporate stands.”
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A union representing Ramasar and Catarazo mentioned it might problem the firings. “Based mostly on all the knowledge obtained from the corporate, the allegations relate totally to non-work-related exercise and don’t rise to the extent of ‘simply trigger’ termination,” the American Guild of Musical Artists (AGMA) mentioned in a press release. “As AGMA would do for any of its members, we’ll quickly be submitting for arbitration to implement our members’ employment rights.”
Catarazo mentioned he was “deeply saddened” by the termination of his contract.
“I’ve labored my complete life to achieve the extent of principal dancer at an organization having the very best status, and I’m devastated on the risk to not be capable to share the stage with the fantastic, proficient artists and my associates there,” he mentioned in a press release, including, “I respect and admire each ballerina with whom I dance on the firm, and attempt day by day to be the most effective accomplice I presumably will be.”
The ousters of Finlay, Ramasar and Catarazo go away Metropolis Ballet with out three of its 14 male principal dancers forward of subsequent week’s opening of the 2018-2019 season.
Ramasar had been a significant star of the corporate who additionally received accolades for his efficiency as Jigger Craigin within the Broadway revival of “Carousel.” An legal professional for the dancer mentioned Ramasar can be on stage for the ultimate performances of “Carousel,” which closes Sunday. A consultant for “Carousel” didn’t instantly return an e-mail in search of remark.
Waterbury’s legal professional didn’t instantly reply to an e-mail in search of touch upon the firings of Ramasar and Catarazo.
After Waterbury filed her lawsuit on Sept. four, an legal professional for Finlay mentioned that the allegations “shouldn’t be taken as truth.”