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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
    fan, as avid a balletgoer as I can be with two kids
  • City**
    New York
  • State (US only)**, Country (Outside US only)**

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  1. I know nothing about Kent, but this strikes me as exactly the problem we are talking about. It’s not what Balanchine wanted, but what Kent wanted that should have mattered when it came to her personal life. And I think we have ample evidence now that dancers can have children and remain outstanding dancers and that Balanchine’s dislike of this was prejudice on his part - a prejudice that may have been tolerated in his day, but that should be acknowledged today for what it is.
  2. Workplaces can absolutely impose anti-fraternization rules and quite stringent ones. In the US military, an officer cannot date an enlisted soldier. In fact, the military even regulates the degree of friendship permitted between officers and enlisted soldiers. So NYCB could absolutely put into place a policy forbidding NYCB dancers to date SAB students. And, if desired, they could put in a caveat that relationships started while both are at SAB could be allowed to continue or any other exemptions they feel necessary. In terms of Waterbury suing for money, I think there are two factors here, and neither of them necessarily precludes the moral high ground on Waterbury’s part. 1) Lawyers need to get paid. Finding a lawyer who wanted to take this on pro bono for a token $1 in damages a la Taylor Swift would have probably been an extremely tough sell. 2) The most effective way to get an organization to change is to make it more painful for them to continue on their current path than it is to change. And suing NYCB does exactly this by going after two things that are very important to them - their reputation and their finances. As an example of the power of this tactic, universities in America had a terrible track record when it came to dealing with sexual assault victims both because they were afraid that if they acknowleded it was happening, it would hurt their school’s reputation and because if they did anything to the accused, they could turn around and sue the school. Colleges finally began to change their policies and procedures (at least to some extent) only when two women began bringing lawsuits under Title IX providing equal opportunities for women and getting victims at other schools to also file lawsuits. Only when colleges started to get sued for not protecting sexual assault victims did they start to put any meaningful protections in place. So what Waterbury is doing may actually be extremely effective in getting NYCB to address what she clearly sees as a problem with the institution.
  3. I actually agree that NYCB is being primarily driven by PR and perception. I just wanted to clarify that the dancers’ feelings was only one part in NYCB’s ultimate decision and may not even have been an important part. I don’t expect NYCB not to care about PR. Nonprofits have to since they rely on donations to survive. But yes, I would like a little more confidence that when push comes to shove, NYCB is actually thinking about what is right, regardless of its impact. And that they have a sense of moral fiber that is independent of PR. After all, they are the ones who know all the facts. If they truly feel that Ramasar and Catazaro did something that wasn’t that bad, then they should have offered a full-throated defense of them and been willing to take the PR hit. Conversly, if they felt it was bad, then why didn’t they fire them in the first place? Doing first one thing and then the other makes it clear they have no guiding principles behind their actions. As a corollary to that, one of the ways to change organizations that do care primarily about PR and perception is when the general public loudly and publicly advocates for that change. Sometimes organizations that change because they are forced to do end up with genuine change. And as Helene said above, hiring a new AD will be critical in that process. Maybe a small silver lining is the fact that this whole mess happened before the new AD has come in so that finding someone who can change the culture will be more of a priority.
  4. The NYCB community doesn’t just consist of the dancers and employees at the company. Its community also includes audience members and donors, and their opinions count too. The PR fallout from this has been horrific - with articles everywhere, even in international papers. The impact on the community may be referring primarily to the response from the larger community and not the feelings of the various dancers.
  5. In my reading of his comments and what I remember of the complaint, he threads the needle even more finely than this. he says he only possesses a photo of one consenting adult, but he doesn’t actually mention whether or not he shared this photo and whether he had consent to share it. He simply states that he did not share the photos that were sent to him. The photo he has admitted to having may have been taken by him and not been sent to him, so it is not necessarily covered by that statement. He leaves a lot of ambiguity there. So yes, I read it as a denial of things he wasn’t accused of, not a denial of the things he was accused of. Basically, this is either a very poorly written post or a very cleverly written post.
  6. Looking at pictures of naked girls in pornography, which features people who have agreed to have images of themselves naked and having sex, is not rampant sexual misconduct. Distributing photos of someone who has not explicitly agreed to have them shared absolutely is. Just because what Louis CK or Les Moonves did is horrific does not mean this is less horrific. This is a public violation, and a public violation regarding something that many people would consider the most private, personal and intimate thing about them, their body. All of these things are awful and all of them can have a devastating and traumatic impact on their victim.
  7. Just because someone sincerely apologizes doesn’t mean that there shouldn’t be consequences for their actions. I think an apology can be owed and given, but depending on what happened, that is not by itself enough for the matter to be closed and for justice to have been done, especially when it involves criminal allegations. I merely felt that the steps below needed an additional one when it came to the act of apologizing. (I think of forgiveness as necessary, but not necessarily sufficient.)
  8. I would add that the true mark of a sincere apology where the person should be forgiven is if the person who is being apologized to forgives them.
  9. We know for a fact that Finlay, Ramasar and Catazaro did something serious related to inappropriate email communications. NYCB has acknowledged this. We now also know specifics of allegations involving Finlay and Ramasar that fall exactly into that category, which, if true, constitute criminal behavior. (Specifics on Catazoro have not been made public, so I leave him out of this). It’s theoretically possible that the allegation and the evidence that NYCB used to make their decision are not the same, but personally, I find that really hard to believe. After all, the thing about email and texts is that they are not just a question of “he said, she said”, there’s evidence. So in the case of Finlay and Ramasar, I for one, think we know what they did. And what they did was utterly degrading and dehumanizing to women. Their character is not going to magically change just because they were caught. I’m sick of this - I’m sick of seeing men do disgusting and hurtful things to women (and sometimes other men) and get away with it because people don’t care enough. NYCB has already shown for decades they didn’t care enough about a man physically assaulting his wife. I thought maybe things had now changed, but if NYCB lets Ramasar back, it shows to me they still don’t care. And if audiences show up to see Ramasar or Finlay dance, it shows to me they don’t care enough either. And I am tired of people caring more about a dance performance or more about giving men a second chance than they do about standing up for the victims and keeping present and future generations of women (and men too) safe.
  10. I agree with you - I think it’s partly that Finlay’s words make him an easy villain, but also that people are going easier on Ramasar because he’s a more painful loss to NYCB and the dance community. But yes, if Ramasar shared nude photos of a woman without her consent, then he is every bit as culpable as Finlay and deserves the exact same condemnation. I’m assuming the reason Ramasar is not also a defendant is because he allegedly sent photos of another woman, not Waterbury, so she doesn’t have any standing to sue him. And let’s not forget, although the lawsuit is just allegations, not proof, NYCB has confirmed that there is proof of something.
  11. According to the complaint, the donor actually hosted parties and gave speeches at them, including one where the microphone had to be cut because he was so drunk. That doesn’t sound like a couple of friends getting together and having a party - microphones and speeches and someone else cutting the mike strongly imply that this was a formal event. And I can guarantee you that no major non-profit in NYC lets a low level donor host one of their events. That is a privilege exclusively limited to VIPs. Also, anyone who thinks this sort of behavior is limited to the young and foolish should probably read a little bit more about the behavior of NY’s monied elite. It doesn’t surprise me at all.
  12. So does this mean the punishment that NYCB deemed appropriate for Ramasar’s actions was “suspension without pay” for a period of time in which Ramasar was actually employed by another organization and presumably not getting paid by or dancing for NYCB? Does anyone know how long he was supposed to perform with Carousel and whether he was actually scheduled to dance anything with NYCB before the end of the year? For me, this is pretty important in determining whether NYCB acted with any integrity or whether they really did hope they could get away with a token slap on the wrist. I think it’s also important to keep in mind that NYCB is not just a single entity - I’m sure there are many people on the board and at the organization who really do want to do the right thing. The question is whether the truly powerful people (typically the ones who donate a lot of money and/or have access to people with a lot of money) care. And the truly frightening thought is that some of these people may actually be the perpetrators themselves - after all, the anonymous donor listed in the complaint was probably not a low-level donor if he is texting back and forth with a principal dancer at the company. Only the highest level of donors typically get access at an “intimate” level to the dancers, especially to the principals.
  13. Exactly. What they did was wrong in a way that shows a profound, fundamental lack of character and respect towards women. You can’t rehabiliate that. This is not a drinking problem where people can get treatment to help them - this is about their fundamental character, and I am also truly saddened that continuing to enjoy their artistry seems to some to be more important than seeing that people who treat women like this don’t flourish in our society. The reason why people do this and get away with it is that they continue to get the message that they can.
  14. Institutions and people who participate in or allow this sort of horrifying behavior only change when the negative consequences of not changing are so severe that they have to. If we, the audience, continue to go see these men perform because we love their artistry, they will continue to be employed and will suffer no meaningful consequences for their behavior. Is going to see a night at the ballet, no matter how transcendent, worth the suffering Waterbury has gone through? For me, I don’t want to punish the dancers at NYCB who had nothing to do with this, but I will never go see any of these men dance again. And I will not donate a penny to NYCB until they are no longer part of the company. If they are merely suspended for a period of time and then continue merrily along with their career, continuing to attract audiences, then every victim seeing them will understand that their suffering doesn’t really matter and everyone who would potentially do something like this will see it as not a big deal, just “locker room talk”. And nothing will change. If Finlay, Ramasar, and Catazaro lose their careers, and we the audience lose their presence on the stage, but a future generation of ballerinas is spared something like this and able to practice their art unhindered, I consider the exchange well worth it.
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