Jump to content
This Site Uses Cookies. If You Want to Disable Cookies, Please See Your Browser Documentation. ×

Peter Martins Sexual Harassment Allegations


Recommended Posts

The SFB AD job is also a multi-pronged job, just like the AD position at NYCB.

I assume that Martins' high salary is based in part on his long tenure, his bonus, and compensation for his intellectual property.

If his job is split in two, let's say that the annual compensation is $400K. 

I bet Wheeldon makes much more than that for his  previously created choreography,  plus new commissions.  I'm also guessing that Peck is now making about that much when you add up his salary as a soloist, plus his compensation as a Broadway choreographer, plus his intellectual property compensation for works performed by numerous companies, plus his new commissions.  So splitting the job may not be terribly enticing financially for the choreographic celebrities like Wheeldon or Peck.

Edited by abatt
Link to comment

Having a high-octane resident choreographer role however it's billed hasn't stopped Alexei Ratmansky from making work all over the place.  Perhaps NYCB will learn from having tried to restrict Ratmansky and watching him walk to a more reasonable stance on outside work that would be more palatable.  

Link to comment

Wow.  Bombshell.  What did Sean Lavery do  that prompted a big payout settlement to Vincent Paradiso?  Also, based on Helene's comment above, why was this listed in the tax return as a key employee payment, rather than a settlement of legal liability?  This is troubling on many levels.  Were they trying to hide it by pretending that Paradiso was a key employee?

 

Edited by abatt
Link to comment

From the above referenced NY Times article:

Quote

Now, as the boards prepare to replace Mr. Martins, many former dancers — about two dozen of whom have complained in interviews about his treatment — are concerned that board leaders and others at City Ballet are not examining their own responsibility for allowing a powerful leader to go largely unchecked [snip]

ok... Two Dozen... that's more than we first heard about. 

Link to comment

So the investigation has morphed from sexual abuse to physical abuse, but now we are focusing on body shame issues.

Weight and being injury prone have always been factors that play a  big part in whether a dancer succeeds.  Is it now deemed misconduct to consider those factors ?  Is NYCB going to start to look like the Mark Morris Dance Group in terms of body types? I sure hope not. 

Link to comment
27 minutes ago, abatt said:

Also, based on Helene's comment above, why was this listed in the tax return as a key employee payment, rather than a settlement of legal liability?  This is troubling on many levels.  Were they trying to hide it by pretending that Paradiso was a key employee?

 

The item was reported in the 990 for the year ending 6/30/13 in Part VII: Compensation of Officers, Directors,Trustees, Key Employees, Highest Compensated Employees, and Independent Contractors and again in Schedule J, Part II - Officers, Directors, Trustees, Key Employees, and Highest Compensated Employees. It appears in the column used for compensation that gets reported on either the employees W-2 or on a 1099-MISC. The amount that appears there would also include Paradiso's salary as a dancer. I don't think the company was claiming he was a key employee, but he did have to be listed there if he was, as a result of the settlement, one of its highest-paid employees. 

PS - I'm pretty sure that organizations have to report the salaries of the five most highly compensated employees or independent contractors who are not also directors, officers, or key employees.

Edited by Kathleen O'Connell
Link to comment

Again I'm coming late to the thread, but I must comment on the sentence about dancers possibly starving themselves for Martins.  If we say that is true, it is also then true of the director of every other ballet company that exists or has ever existed. Anorexia is a known problem within the dance world, and within the wider world too. Sure, dancers in NYCB become anorexic, but, the vast majority do not. Anorexia is a multi-faceted disease with multiple causes, some physical, some psychological. Yes, the culture of thinness in ballet contributes to it, but that is not unique to ballet. Many young dancers who go into ballet are probably more likely than the average population to develop the disease, but I am not sure one can blame that susceptibility on the director.

Link to comment
1 minute ago, Stage Right said:

Again I'm coming late to the thread, but I must comment on the sentence about dancers possibly starving themselves for Martins.  If we say that is true, it is also then true of the director of every other ballet company that exists or has ever existed. Anorexia is a known problem within the dance world, and within the wider world too. Sure, dancers in NYCB become anorexic, but, the vast majority do not. Anorexia is a multi-faceted disease with multiple causes, some physical, some psychological. Yes, the culture of thinness in ballet contributes to it, but that is not unique to ballet. Many young dancers who go into ballet are probably more likely than the average population to develop the disease, but I am not sure one can blame that susceptibility on the director.

As I understand it, he was accused of berating and bodyshaming people.

You can tell a dancer that they need to lose weight without doing either of those things. Their feelings may be hurt, but dancers know the deal.

I remember an uproar here over Macaulay's review mocking Jennifer Ringer's weight--I'm not sure why people are bending over backwards in this thread to let Martins off the hook.

 

Link to comment
29 minutes ago, abatt said:

So the investigation has morphed from sexual abuse to physical abuse, but now we are focusing on body shame issues.

That seems to be true for the press' investigation, at any rate.

(And Vanessa Carlton again?)

Link to comment

The recent article in the NY Times is rather shoddy journalism,  in my opinion.  For example,  even as a non-insider,  I know that Anne Bass' resignation from the board was not quite as simple as reported,  and sneering comments from ex-students and dancers who dudn't have significant careers are not proof of anything except that they didn't like the boss.  The settlements are a different matter,  but Sean Lavery is the instigator in one,  and details are sketchy.  I don't see anything particularly unusual or wrong for students to be told that they shouldn't talk to media about Martins' personal affairs.  The company I work for does not allow employees to speak to the press on company matters either,   and all such requests are handled by public relations professionals.  One thing is for sure - as the old saying goes,  revenge is a dish best served cold.

Link to comment

I don't think it is ever correct to "body-shame" someone else in any context. I don't think I said that. What I did say is that it isn't really possible to blame one person's behavior as THE CAUSE of someone else's anorexia, as much as we might like to. It's just too complex an issue. And though many dancers have been "body shamed" by directors, not all develop anorexia. I once danced in a small company in Canada, where even I, a naive 23-year-old, could tell that the director (a woman) was actively promoting and rewarding extreme thinness in the dancers. At least two were anorexic. But I didn't develop anorexia. My roommate did. Why? Who knows?

Link to comment
29 minutes ago, On Pointe said:

The recent article in the NY Times is rather shoddy journalism,  in my opinion.  For example,  even as a non-insider,  I know that Anne Bass' resignation from the board was not quite as simple as reported,  and sneering comments from ex-students and dancers who dudn't have significant careers are not proof of anything except that they didn't like the boss.  The settlements are a different matter,  but Sean Lavery is the instigator in one,  and details are sketchy.  I don't see anything particularly unusual or wrong for students to be told that they shouldn't talk to media about Martins' personal affairs.  The company I work for does not allow employees to speak to the press on company matters either,   and all such requests are handled by public relations professionals.  One thing is for sure - as the old saying goes,  revenge is a dish best served cold.

Totally agree with On Pointe that this is shoddy work.  Telling students not  to talk to the press seems quite natural to me. Does the NYTimes have no standards about who can publicly speak for the paper, and these are teenagers for goodness sake who would basically be gossiping.

 

Link to comment
11 minutes ago, Stage Right said:

I don't think it is ever correct to "body-shame" someone else in any context. I don't think I said that. What I did say is that it isn't really possible to blame one person's behavior as THE CAUSE of someone else's anorexia, as much as we might like to. It's just too complex an issue. And though many dancers have been "body shamed" by directors, not all develop anorexia. I once danced in a small company in Canada, where even I, a naive 23-year-old, could tell that the director (a woman) was actively promoting and rewarding extreme thinness in the dancers. At least two were anorexic. But I didn't develop anorexia. My roommate did. Why? Who knows?

who says he caused anorexia? Not that NYT article. Where are you getting this?

Edited by aurora
Link to comment
1 hour ago, aurora said:

As I understand it, he was accused of berating and bodyshaming people.

You can tell a dancer that they need to lose weight without doing either of those things. Their feelings may be hurt, but dancers know the deal.

I remember an uproar here over Macaulay's review mocking Jennifer Ringer's weight--I'm not sure why people are bending over backwards in this thread to let Martins off the hook.

 

I believe there is a difference between a critic writing a review which says a dancer is "fat," and a teacher telling a dancer to lose a little weight. Telling a dancer to lose weight is a delicate thing which sometimes is handled very badly. I've witnessed it plenty. However, it's hard for a dancer to hear no matter how kindly it is stated is. Fact is, If you no longer fit into your costume, or your partner is having trouble lifting you or you're not jumping with ease because of recent weight gain, it has to be said.

I've also seen dancers who decided on their own to lose weight, thinking incorrectly that it would help their careers. It didn't, but it briefly gave them a feeling of control.

Link to comment
2 minutes ago, vipa said:

I believe there is a difference between a critic writing a review which says a dancer is "fat," and a teacher telling a dancer to lose a little weight. Telling a dancer to lose weight is a delicate thing which sometimes is handled very badly. I've witnessed it plenty. However, it's hard for a dancer to hear no matter how kindly it is stated is. Fact is, If you no longer fit into your costume, or your partner is having trouble lifting you or you're not jumping with ease because of recent weight gain, it has to be said.

I've also seen dancers who decided on their own to lose weight, thinking incorrectly that it would help their careers. It didn't, but it briefly gave them a feeling of control.

As do I (as I said before), and I don't believe a director saying in a frank way that it would be best if a little weight was lost is what people are making an accusation out of.

Link to comment
3 hours ago, Helene said:

Having a high-octane resident choreographer role however it's billed hasn't stopped Alexei Ratmansky from making work all over the place.  Perhaps NYCB will learn from having tried to restrict Ratmansky and watching him walk to a more reasonable stance on outside work that would be more palatable.  

True, but Ratmansky is a resident choreographer, not an artistic director.  There's an expectation of exclusivity for an AD that you don't have for other positions.

When Ratmansky was head of the Bolshoi, did he make work outside the company?

Link to comment
2 hours ago, abatt said:

Wow.  Bombshell.  What did Sean Lavery do  that prompted a big payout settlement to Vincent Paradiso?  Also, based on Helene's comment above, why was this listed in the tax return as a key employee payment, rather than a settlement of legal liability?  This is troubling on many levels.  Were they trying to hide it by pretending that Paradiso was a key employee?

 

They may have given Paradiso a position as part of a settlement, and so legitimately listed his salary as employee payment.

Link to comment

Yes there is a "piling on" in the Times article of all the sins of the ballet world but here is what is NOT debatable or shoddy. 

-2 DUIs

-1 arrest for assault

-1 anonymous letter calling behavior into question

-Jeffrey Edwards REPORTED abuse

-Kelly Boal tells a story of abuse that she did not report

-Gelsey Kirkland reports him dragging her downstairs by her hair.

Culture did allow this and probably would have continued to had not so many come forward. 

HE IS BEING GIVEN DUE PROCESS. There is an independent investigation. He has decided not to allow that to play out despite the fact that he denies wrong doing. He resigned of his own free will. This man is not a victim of anything but his own choices. 

Yes, he is complicated, gifted, and did some incredible things but there has come a day of reckoning.  I just regret that this has so damaged and traumatized and compromised the organization.  

Edited by balletforme
Link to comment
58 minutes ago, aurora said:

who says he caused anorexia? Not that NYT article. Where are you getting this?

Well,i t's late and I'm not going back through all the comments, but there were some that implied that, certainly. And this from the NY Times articles;

"Ashlee Knapp Stewart said she went from being plucked from the school by Mr. Martins at 13 in 2000 and featured in his new ballet “Harmonielehre” to being shamed by Mr. Martins after she went through puberty. Ms. Stewart said she developed an eating disorder, which led to repeated injuries during the remainder of her seven-year tenure.

“This makes for a very dysfunctional and unhealthy environment,” she added, “especially when the man in charge is reckless with his power.” "

Edited by Stage Right
Link to comment

Please NO Millepied, no leadership quality and his premier work with ABT was dreadful.

How about Lindsay Fisher and his wife Mandy-Jayne Richardson from NBS? They could bring a wealth of experience with them in both, dancing and teaching. I am always enthralled with their company's meticulous and beautiful performances when they come to Lincoln Center.

Link to comment
12 minutes ago, Stage Right said:

Well,i t's late and I'm not going back through all the comments, but there were some that implied that, certainly. And this from the NY Times articles;

"Ashlee Knapp Stewart said she went from being plucked from the school by Mr. Martins at 13 in 2000 and featured in his new ballet “Harmonielehre” to being shamed by Mr. Martins after she went through puberty. Ms. Stewart said she developed an eating disorder, which led to repeated injuries during the remainder of her seven-year tenure.

“This makes for a very dysfunctional and unhealthy environment,” she added, “especially when the man in charge is reckless with his power.” "

I am sorry that Ms. Stewart felt shamed but we don't know what Martins said, we only know how she reacted, and eating disorders are very complex. I know former dancers from other dance companies who had eating disorders and non-dancers who did too.  It's complicated. Ms. Stewart probably felt like a chosen one and losing that position is hard. 

A lot of issues have come up, but the heart of the matter for me boils down to proven incidents of sexual harassment and assault. I am wary of going into hurt feeling, opinions about an unhealthy environment, accusations of bias in casting, perceptions of body shaming. 

Robert Fairchild, in an interview, said he was terrified of Jock Soto when he was in the school. Hostile environment?

Link to comment
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...