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Peter Martins Sexual Harassment Allegations

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1 hour ago, sandik said:

My response to this is pretty much the same as it's been to most of the other revelations -- I'm sad, but not surprised.

For me there has been a dark cloud  hanging over Martin since the dropped domestic violence charges early in the Martins-Kistler marriage. No judgments or proof of anything, just a sense  of foreboding for years.

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John Clifford certainly has an interesting comment on his Instagram feed this morning . . .

Regarding the casting couch allegations themselves, I got to thinking about Benjamin Millepied's ill-fated tenure at the Paris Opera Ballet, and his expressed desire to get rid of the internal competition for promotion and to work around the strict hierarchy in the casting of roles. (He didn't get his wish in either case.) At the time, there was a lot of discussion about whether the promotional competition intruded on the artistic director's prerogatives, and whether the hierarchy led to a kind of sclerosis in casting parts. But the flip side is that the competition and the hierarchy act (however imperfectly) as a bulwark against artistic director abuse.

As for Suzanne Farrell taking over the helm (if Martins doesn't manage to weather the storm), at 72, I don't know that she would want the hassle of managing a big institution like City Ballet when she didn't want to institutionalize her own company in DC as a rival "see" to City Ballet.

Edited by miliosr

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15 hours ago, unicorngabby said:

Oh dear. I was wondering when the world of ballet would be hit with such allegations, in the current wave. Not that this hasn't happened in the past, e.g., the former AD of a Texas-based company in the late 1990s.

https://www.dmagazine.com/publications/d-magazine/1998/october/culture-beauties-and-the-beast/

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1 hour ago, miliosr said:

As for Suzanne Farrell taking over the helm (if Martins doesn't manage to weather the storm), at 72, I don't know that she would want the hassle of managing a big institution like City Ballet when she didn't want to institutionalize her own company in DC as a rival "see" to City Ballet.

I think Farrell's age is an argument against appointing her to be NYCB's AD — not because 72 is too old to successfully discharge an AD's duties, but rather because her tenure would likely be too short to provide the kind of organizational stability the company would need to transition into a new era. 

Frankly, given Martins' age alone (71), a well-run and thoughtful board would have already begun the process of succession planning. If they don't already have a list of candidates in hand, as well as an understanding of which of those candidates might not be available on short notice given contractual obligations and the like, they haven't done their job.

Because they have been in the company and have AD experience, Boal, Lopez, Woetzel, and (sigh) Millepied are obvious candidates, as is Stiefel. (I hadn't thought of him, but he's an interesting suggestion! Thanks for mentioning him, Wonderwall.) Martins is living proof that NYCB's AD doesn't need to be a choreographer.

yukiona4869: I'd wondered if Jonathan Stafford was being groomed as Martins' potential successor. I guess we'll see.

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Hoping that it does not come to the dismissal of Martins, I nevertheless toss another potential hat into the ring: Daniel Ulbricht, who is charismatic & young, has organized and toured his own group of dancers for years, and has raised money (ie, good with donors) for the American Cancer Society through his Dance Against Cancer benefits for over 7 years.

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1 hour ago, Kathleen O'Connell said:

...Martins is living proof that NYCB's AD doesn't need to be a choreographer.....

 

:clapping:

 

Then Ethan Stiefel can also be considered because, by the looks of his recent astronaut ballet at the Kennedy Center (Flight), he's in the same category.

 

All joking aside, Martins has indeed done something right as the AD of NYCB for the past 34 or 35 years. I was floored by the very high level of their dancing and stagings of Balanchine ballets during recent visits to Lincoln Center, e.g., La Valse, Square Dance. Sure, Martins has a great team of coaches, stagers, dancers...but it is *his" team.

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1 hour ago, Kathleen O'Connell said:

Martins is living proof that NYCB's AD doesn't need to be a choreographer.

If I wasn't expected to act like a grownup as Admin, this would be in my signature line.

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While I don't love the idea of an anonymous letter with non-specific details, it could well be that the writer of the letter is in a position where he/she feels like there may be something to lose personally by coming forward. The unfortunate side affect is that there is now someone publicly accused before the allegations have been properly investigated. This is why it is so important for companies to have strict policies in place and a clear process for filing a complaint internally. 

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I don't believe that is correct, legally: there could be consequences if they bin it without any investigation or expert opinion, and it turns out to be true.

The company has started an investigation as a result of the letter, and Frankfurt is on record as having been contacted.  

 

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31 minutes ago, Helene said:

If I wasn't expected to act like a grownup as Admin, this would be in my signature line.

Most importantly, someone who doesn't fancy himself a choreographer, who really isn't. Unless Stiefel's space ballet was a one-off, I'd be worried he might use a company as a vehicle to create more of his own pieces.

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I think the next AD of NYCB could be either Wheeldon or Justin Peck. 

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2 hours ago, CharlieH said:

Oh dear. I was wondering when the world of ballet would be hit with such allegations, in the current wave. Not that this hasn't happened in the past, e.g., the former AD of a Texas-based company in the late 1990s.

Well before (and after) that, even:

Quote

Such gossip is not unusual in the ballet world. Since the early 20th century, when the Russian impresario, Serge Diaghilev took choreographer Vaslav Nijinsky as his lover, ballet companies have thrived on such rumours, which are always intertwined with allegations of "favouritism".
Maina Gielgud, Stretton's predecessor at the Australian Ballet - where he was artistic director for four-and-a-half years - faced similar allegations of favouritism towards her dancers. Ballet is a highly competitive art form in which many suffer due to the decisions of artistic directors, all of whom have preferences for the kind of dancers they like, personally and professionally.

 

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I don't know if people will forgot how Wheeldon walked out of Morphoses.

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40 minutes ago, Helene said:

If I wasn't expected to act like a grownup as Admin, this would be in my signature line.

In fairness to Martins, it's worth repeating that, as many here already know, at the time of his appointment he was considered to be a promising choreographer, at least as good, if not better, than other male NYCB stars who were encouraged to make dances.

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1 minute ago, Helene said:

I don't know if people will forgot how Wheeldon walked out of Morphoses.

Well, I won't. Were I on the Board, I'd consider it disqualifying.

If I were Lopez, and I were interested in the NYCB AD position, and Wheeldon got it instead, I'd be pretty steamed.

 

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1 minute ago, dirac said:

In fairness to Martins, it's worth repeating that, as many here already know, at the time of his appointment he was considered to be a promising choreographer, at least as good, if not better, than other male NYCB stars who were encouraged to make dances.

I hope this doesn't mean that, if NYCB's next AD is indeed a choreographer, we can expect him or her to stagnate and get worse! How many decades of increasingly bad Wheeldon or Millepied ballets could we possibly stand??

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7 minutes ago, dirac said:

In fairness to Martins, it's worth repeating that, as many here already know, at the time of his appointment he was considered to be a promising choreographer, at least as good, if not better, than other male NYCB stars who were encouraged to make dances.

Also in fairness to Martins, although he made too many ballets (or too many of the same ballet), he did not crowd out other promising choreographers. The fact that he made money that he might have spent on his own work available to others is a good thing. I wouldn't have hired some of the choreographers he did, but I applaud his willingness to spotlight - and more importantly, cultivate - other talent.

Edited by Kathleen O'Connell

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33 minutes ago, nanushka said:

I hope this doesn't mean that, if NYCB's next AD is indeed a choreographer, we can expect him or her to stagnate and get worse! How many decades of increasingly bad Wheeldon or Millepied ballets could we possibly stand??

Please no Wheeldon!

I agree with Kathleen O'Connell that at least Martins hasn't really crowded the programming with his works. It's pretty easy to avoid his works in any given season.

Lourdes Lopez would certainly seem to be a top contender for the role. I'm really hoping they don't simply anoint whoever they consider to be their current golden boy.  

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25 minutes ago, fondoffouettes said:

Please no Wheeldon!

I agree with Kathleen O'Connell that at least Martins hasn't really crowded the programming with his works. It's pretty easy to avoid his works in any given season.

Lourdes Lopez would certainly seem to be a top contender for the role. I'm really hoping they don't simply anoint whoever they consider to be their current golden boy.  

So agree with everything fondoffouettes. IMO it would be nice to see a women in the position and there are a lot of women to consider - Suzanne Farrell, Patricia McBride, Lourdes Lopez, Coleen or Pat Neary, Heather Watts, Judy Fugate, Jennifer Ringer to name a few. There are many others. All with experience running schools, companies or festivals. What has Kyra Nichols been up to?

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4 minutes ago, vipa said:

So agree with everything fondoffouettes. IMO it would be nice to see a women in the position and there are a lot of women to consider - Suzanne Farrell, Patricia McBride, Lourdes Lopez, Coleen or Pat Neary, Heather Watts, Judy Fugate, Jennifer Ringer to name a few. There are many others. All with experience running schools, companies or festivals. What has Kyra Nichols been up to?

Kyra Nichols is now the head faculty at University Indiana - Bloomington. I think she got the position when Violette passed away. Lourdes Lopez seems to have a really good thing going in Miami and not sure she'd want to jump ship to run such a behemoth institution. Same for Peter Boal.

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Why no Millpied?  (I mean-- can you explain the objections?)

And the organization will probably act in the way that it has in the past. It will not take big risks at this point, given this set of facts.  So , my thinking would be an insider.  That has been the pattern? No?

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15 minutes ago, balletforme said:

Why no Millpied?  (I mean-- can you explain the objections?)

It’s really just his unimaginative choreography I object to. 

He also left his post as head of the POB after less than two years, complaining of institutional racism. I’d expect an effective leader to try to fix those issues rather than jump ship. I feel like there must have been more factors at play in his departure than he was willing to cite to the press.

Edited by fondoffouettes

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Mr. Daniels, the ballet spokesman, said that since 2010 the company “has had a policy precluding a reporting relationship between a supervisor and subordinate where a romantic relationship exists.”

 

Doesn't this mean that  the policy does not prevent the reporting of relationships between supervisors and subordinates? As in its not required per policy.

 

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There is no pattern really since it hasn't happened often enough.  In any event, almost the entire American ballet scene is populated by NYCB insiders, even if they are currently elsewhere.  I sincerely hope Martins has not so jeopardized his position as to need to leave. He has done a lot for the company. Things could have turned out much, much worse after Balanchine. The company is in very good shape. Sure, there are a few changes I would be happy with, but nothing is perfect. I am in the minority of posters on this particular thread, but let's show some respect and wait and see. This is like dividing the estate up before the body is cold. 

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