NYC Ballet fires 2 dancers over accusations of a nude photo-sharing ring

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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 stated principal dancers Amar Ramasar and Zachary Catazaro, 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, stated 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 towards Metropolis Ballet and Finlay that the corporate tolerated a “fraternity-like environment” the place male dancers understood that “they may degrade, demean, mistreat and abuse, assault and batter ladies with out consequence.”

The lawsuit stated 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 habits, firm officers started an investigation after they have been made conscious of Waterbury’s costs and have been planning to fireside Finlay when he resigned, the corporate stated.

Ramasar and Catazaro, 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 choice to fireside me,” Ramasar stated Saturday in a press release. “I’m an sincere and honorable individual, and have at all times handled everybody, together with my colleagues, workers, mates and others at NYCB, with the upmost respect.”

He stated he was as soon as a “poor, minority child from the streets of the Bronx and have risen towards all odds with onerous work for all the things I’ve been in a position to obtain.” Ramasar added that in coming days, “I might be telling my facet.”

Metropolis Ballet government director Katherine Brown and interim inventive crew chief Jonathan Stafford stated in a press release, “We have now no increased obligation than to make sure that our dancers and workers have a office the place they really feel revered and valued, and we’re dedicated to offering that setting for all workers of New York Metropolis Ballet. We is not going to enable the non-public actions of some to undermine the onerous work and power of character that’s persistently demonstrated by the opposite members of our group or the excellence for which the corporate stands.”

A union representing Ramasar and Catazaro stated it could problem the firings. “Primarily based on all the data obtained from the corporate, the allegations relate solely to non-work-related exercise and don’t rise to the extent of ‘simply trigger’ termination,” the American Guild of Musical Artists stated in a press release. “As AGMA would do for any of its members, we are going to quickly be submitting for arbitration to implement our members’ employment rights.”

Catazaro stated he was “deeply saddened” by the termination of his contract.

“I’ve labored my complete life to succeed in 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 great, proficient artists and my mates there,” he stated in a press release, including, “I respect and admire each ballerina with whom I dance on the firm, and attempt every single day to be the perfect accomplice I presumably could be.”

The ousters of Finlay, Ramasar and Catazaro 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 serious star of the corporate who additionally gained accolades for his efficiency as Jigger Craigin within the Broadway revival of “Carousel.” An lawyer for the dancer stated Ramasar could be on stage for the ultimate performances of “Carousel,” which closes Sunday. A consultant for “Carousel” didn’t instantly return an electronic mail searching for remark.

Waterbury’s lawyer didn’t instantly reply to an electronic mail searching for touch upon the firings of Ramasar and Catazaro.

After Waterbury filed her lawsuit on Sept. four, an lawyer for Finlay stated that the allegations “shouldn’t be taken as reality.”

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