Jump to content
cassieallison

Peter Martins Retired; Succession Discussion

Recommended Posts

The investigation into Martins' behavior started on or about December 4.  We are now almost at the two month mark since it started.  Is the investigation complete?  If so, what was the outcome? 

Share this post


Link to post
13 minutes ago, abatt said:

The investigation into Martins' behavior started on or about December 4.  We are now almost at the two month mark since it started.  Is the investigation complete?  If so, what was the outcome? 

I don't think there's any certainty that we (the public) will ever necessarily know what the outcome was, or even when the investigation is/was completed. As far as I understand, the board has no obligation to make that information public. As with other such cases (e.g. Gomes), we may simply have to accept the fact of our very limited knowledge remaining just that.

Share this post


Link to post

I agree that NYCB may never publicly reveal the results of the investigation. However, since SAB is an institution which teaches and supervises youngsters at its school, and since NYCB employs minors as apprentices and in the corps, I think it is a grave mistake for them not to release the findings.  Let's also not forget that these institutions are supported by both taxpayer funds and by donations, which also heightens the idea that the information should be made public. I don't think either SAB or NYCB can move on if the results are hidden from public view.  Anything less than full transparency will leave a black stain on both institutions that will never be removed.   If necessary, the names of the witnesses can be redacted from any report, but the conclusions of the investigation should be made public.

Edited by abatt

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, abatt said:

I agree that NYCB may never publicly reveal the results of the investigation. However, since SAB is an institution which teaches and supervises youngsters at its school, and since NYCB employs minors as apprentices and in the corps, I think it is a grave mistake for them not to release the findings.  Let's also not forget that these institutions are supported by both taxpayer funds and by donations, which also heightens the idea that the information should be made public. I don't think either SAB or NYCB can move on if the results are hidden from public view.  Anything less than full transparency will leave a black stain on both institutions that will never be removed.   If necessary, the names of the witnesses can be redacted from any report, but the conclusions of the investigation should be made public.

I completely agree, abatt. I've been wondering if organizations like NYCB are hoping and waiting for these stories to fade from public consciousness; as everyone keeps saying, the news cycle feels more accelerated than ever. (I keep thinking, how much longer is it going to take for the Met to change Levine's status from suspended to terminated?) At both NYCB and the Met, I think there are issues of who knew what and when, whether the board and management were complicit, etc. By staying silent, it seems like they are doing so for self-preservation. For the reasons you've stated above, I believe NYCB should be completely transparent.

As curious as I am about the circumstances surrounding Gomes' resignation, I don't see ABT saying anything further on the matter (unless some new allegations or details come to light). If his actions in any way impacted his colleagues at ABT, then I'd feel differently.

In terms of the succession issue, I wonder who would be the best at restoring some of the original details and nuances of Balanchine's works. I hear again and again from people who saw NYCB "back in the day" that details are missing and works aren't danced properly. I'd really like to see these works as Balanchine intended (and not just on video!). Why were these details lost during Martins' tenure? Was it just inevitable with the passage of time? Was he not engaging the right coaches (e.g., Farrell and John Clifford)? Or was it just not a priority for Martins? I realize ballet is a living art form -- and I wouldn't want NYCB to turn into a museum -- but I really hope they hire someone with a keen eye for staging Balanchine works or someone who is willing to engage the best coaches. 

Edited by fondoffouettes

Share this post


Link to post
7 minutes ago, fondoffouettes said:

(I keep thinking, how much longer is it going to take for the Met to change Levine's status from suspended to terminated?)

He's been replaced with Nezet-Seguin  in the brilliant Bloomberg sponsorship video that's the leads into Met Live in HD transmissions. Which says a lot.

I agree that a lot of the delays are based in limiting liability, and that includes, at minimum, the lack of oversight by the people who were supposed to be guarding the chicken coops.

 

7 minutes ago, fondoffouettes said:

wonder who would be the best at restoring some of the original details and nuances of Balanchine's works. I hear again and again from people who saw NYCB "back in the day" that details are missing and works aren't danced properly. I'd really like to see these works as Balanchine intended (and not just on video!). Why were these details lost during Martins' tenure?

They don't need a new AD to do this personally: it would take someone who is interested in bringing in the people who can do this.  A person from the next generation could do this as well.  And they are unlikely to be part of any factions among the Balanchine generations that are still alive and coaching.

Share this post


Link to post
12 minutes ago, fondoffouettes said:

At both NYCB and the Met, I think there are issues of who knew what and when, whether the board and management was complicit, etc. By staying silent, it seems like they are doing so for self-preservation.

And unfortunately, in today's media environment, when the day-to-day news (of all sorts, including political news and news of other similar scandals, among many other topics) is so overwhelming and exhausting, this strategy may just work.

Share this post


Link to post

I think transparency is much more important to SAB and NYCB in comparison to the Met because the alleged misconduct was committed against young people (teenagers and young adults) who were either students or employees at these institutions.  (The claims against Levine  involved conduct elsewhere, not at the Met Opera.) The life blood of these  institutions of SAB and NYCB  depend on parents who are willing to entrust that their young sons and daughters will be treated properly, and in order to move forward there has to be a full public accounting of exactly what  happened.  It cannot be swept under the rug.

Edited by abatt

Share this post


Link to post

That remains to be seen:  there isn't any data yet on whether applications to the summer intensive are down/have been withdrawn or offers will be turned down, students will leave SAB at the end of the year to go elsewhere, SAB students will turn down apprenticeships at the Mother Ship and will take contracts elsewhere, more SAB students will audition elsewhere, etc.  It will take a while to see the results, and parents could feel that with Martins gone, so is the biggest threat, and that they should be more vigilant going forward.

I haven't seen any Board resignations in either institution.  It will take a while to know whether donations are down, if Board members will lower their financial support, if they will have issues raising money from their friends, etc.   

Share this post


Link to post

Let's assume for a second that Martins is guilty of everything he is accused of.  Usually people who are abusive at work are enabled by others who have looked the other way and stayed silent. If all the charges are true, it's not enough that Martins  is gone.  There has to be a top to bottom investigation and accounting of who else at SAB or NYCB was an enabler, and what actions have to be taken with regard to those individuals.

Share this post


Link to post
16 minutes ago, abatt said:

Let's assume for a second that Martins is guilty of everything he is accused of.  Usually people who are abusive at work are enabled by others who have looked the other way and stayed silent. If all the charges are true, it's not enough that Martins  is gone.  There has to be a top to bottom investigation and accounting of who else at SAB or NYCB was an enabler, and what actions have to be taken with regard to those individuals.

In principle, I think you're right. The question remains, though, whether the institution will be held to this principle in actual practice. Is it possible that the prestige of SAB is such that enough parents will still seek to send their kids there that the institution can "get away with" being less than fully transparent? As Helene says, that remains to be seen — and the board may well have some strong enough incentive to wait and see.

Edited by nanushka

Share this post


Link to post
13 minutes ago, abatt said:

Let's assume for a second that Martins is guilty of everything he is accused of.  Usually people who are abusive at work are enabled by others who have looked the other way and stayed silent. If all the charges are true, it's not enough that Martins  is gone.  There has to be a top to bottom investigation and accounting of who else at SAB or NYCB was an enabler, and what actions have to be taken with regard to those individuals.

I'm only one parent and this is only my personal opinion, but I think it's enough that Martins is gone.  My daughter auditioned at SAB this year and I wouldn't think twice about sending her.  I would however be concerned if he were still there.   Other parents may feel differently.

Share this post


Link to post
2 hours ago, abatt said:

I think transparency is much more important to SAB and NYCB in comparison to the Met because the alleged misconduct was committed against young people (teenagers and young adults) who were either students or employees at these institutions.  (The claims against Levine  involved conduct elsewhere, not at the Met Opera.)

There are reports that the son of a cellist in the Boston Symphony Orchestra was warned never to be alone with Levine and there is another report that he had children around during rehearsals.  These were not, apparently, students or employees,  but that would make little difference in terms of public relations, in risk to the kids, or possibly even in legal liability.

An investigation may also remain private because accusers want to preserve their privacy and redactions alone may not be sufficient.

Share this post


Link to post
On January 30, 2018 at 2:34 PM, Balletwannabe said:

I'm only one parent and this is only my personal opinion, but I think it's enough that Martins is gone.  My daughter auditioned at SAB this year and I wouldn't think twice about sending her.  I would however be concerned if he were still there.   Other parents may feel differently.

If there were those who were complicit by looking the other way, I would not trust them for the future either.  They could be looking the other way about many things or simply other people.  This is what bothers me.  I agree with abatt's post above that an investigation needs to be done for the safety of all.

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, its the mom said:

If there were those who were complicit by looking the other way, I would not trust them for the future either.  They could be looking the other way about many things or simply other people.  This is what bothers me.  I agree with abatt's post above that an investigation needs to be done for the safety of all.

I didn't say I didn't want an investigation; but there's zero evidence to suggest that kids are somehow in danger.  

Share this post


Link to post
On 1/30/2018 at 12:10 PM, abatt said:

I agree that NYCB may never publicly reveal the results of the investigation. However, since SAB is an institution which teaches and supervises youngsters at its school, and since NYCB employs minors as apprentices and in the corps, I think it is a grave mistake for them not to release the findings.  Let's also not forget that these institutions are supported by both taxpayer funds and by donations, which also heightens the idea that the information should be made public. I don't think either SAB or NYCB can move on if the results are hidden from public view.  Anything less than full transparency will leave a black stain on both institutions that will never be removed.   If necessary, the names of the witnesses can be redacted from any report, but the conclusions of the investigation should be made public.

Yes. 

And the organizations were both complicit.  Complicit when he beat his wife, complicit when he had a DUI. . . He had issues, clearly and they were tolerated because of his gifts, a trend that goes back in his life to early years when he was locking kids in lockers at Royal Danish, bashing coat hooks with baseball bats,  etc (1992 LA Times article). 

And we can't say that they is "zero evidence to suggest that kids are somehow in danger,'' because the facts are not known.  and very smoothly SAB has taken control of those facts itself by launching an "investigation/risk management analysis."  The entire thing reeks terribly. 

Edited by balletforme

Share this post


Link to post

Just because people are willing to subject themselves to misconduct to get ahead doesn't mean that the misconduct should be tolerated.  There may indeed be a steady flow of applicants to SAB, but the alleged mismanagement at the school and the company needs to be addressed regardless of whether they have a continuous influx of student applications..

However, I don't agree that any info about whether Martins had some DUI's,  had disputes with his wife, cheated on his taxes, jay walked, or destroyed private property when he was a teenager have relevance. The issue is whether he committed sexual misconduct or physical assault during the course of his employment.  This is about the power of an employer or teacher over students and employees.   It's the exact same power issue that was at the heart of the Weinstein, Lauer and Rose debacles.

Edited by abatt

Share this post


Link to post

Alleged misconduct.  Although I'm not quite sure what we're even discussing anymore.  The annonymous claims?  Or the whole organizations (alleged) guilt by association?

Share this post


Link to post

We're talking about all the people that were interviewed by the Times complaining or alleging that Martins had either sexually harassed them, or physically assaulted them.  Presumably those people, and others, were interviewed by the law firm conducting the investigation.  It's not a question of guilt by association.   If the allegations are deemed to be true after the investigation,  who within management knew or should have known about the misconduct that occurred.

Share this post


Link to post
1 minute ago, balletforme said:

and abatt. . will we ever know? 

That remains to be seen. See first two posts at the top of this page.

Share this post


Link to post

Just throwing a name out there, Debra Austin. An African-American woman who was a soloist under Balanchine and then a principal in Pennsylvania Ballet (wonderful dancer). She's been teaching and is a ballet mistress in Carolina Ballet. I don't know what kinds of administrative experience she has. If not a candidate for director, perhaps there is another role for her in NYCB. Especially if the duties of director are divided in some way

Share this post


Link to post

I think Wendy Whelan needs to be taken out of consideration. I had been enthusiastic about her as an option until her recent social media posts glorifying her own emaciation. As AD, she would sow a new generation of dancers with eating disorders. She seems totally in denial about how/why she’s so skeletal. Her own documentary showed a dancer profoundly out of touch with reality.

Edited by fondoffouettes

Share this post


Link to post

I agree fondofouttes!  While I know there are dancers who are naturally thin, Wendy Whelan's recent posts are a cause of concern for many reasons.  They depict a human body suffering and emaciated and unhealthy.  

Share this post


Link to post
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×