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Gomes and ABT


rg

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This situation is getting to a totally ridiculous point. The "me too" wagon seems to be bottomless now. I wish I could really express what I really think goes on with this new allegations on Marcelo. Let me hint that the level of vulnerability... PHYSICAL vulnerability from a woman to a man is not the same as with two men. Child predation -(as with Corey Fieldman)- is a totally different animal, but I have too much of a street knowledge to simply grasp the idea of an imbalanced set of forces in a male to male allegation.

I hope I am not "discussing the discussion" though...

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I disagree. There are plenty of men that could step in for Gomes. Many in the corps actually. Will they ever get the chance though? No, because ABT is not NYCB and does not give those big breaks to corps or soloists. They let them all die on the vine. 

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2 minutes ago, Fleurfairy said:

I disagree. There are plenty of men that could step in for Gomes. Many in the corps actually. Will they ever get the chance though? No, because ABT is not NYCB and does not give those big breaks to corps or soloists. They let them all die on the vine. 

While that has been the trend over the past, say, 10 years, the company seems to finally be correcting this pattern. This year we have a corps member dancing Solor, and another one cast in the lead in Whipped Cream. In general, yes, they are still more conservative with casting than NYCB, but the company is finally giving meaty roles to some soloists and a few corps members.

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Tom Forster is another who should get a shot at something.

True, when it comes to Marcelo, no one in the corps can "fill his spots," if that means dancing as well and partnering as effectively as he does. But how do we get corps dancers to that point if they don't first get some chances to dance not quite as well and partner not quite as effectively? Obviously, I'm not advocating throwing someone on the Met stage who's unequipped to do a decent job, but I don't think the ranks are that barren of talent.

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2 minutes ago, fondoffouettes said:

While that has been the trend over the past, say, 10 years, the company seems to finally be correcting this pattern. This year we have a corps member dancing Solor, and another one cast in the lead in Whipped Cream. In general, yes, they are still more conservative with casting than NYCB, but the company is finally giving meaty roles to some soloists and a few corps members.

Agreed.

Moreover as has been noted before, the difference in rep plays a large role in the difference in casting policy between ABT and NYCB.

You'll notice that in mixed bill pieces, ABT does give leads to soloists and corps members with regularity. Carrying off a full length, however, both in terms of stamina and stage presence is another matter. I'm not saying people shouldn't bemoan dancers they love not getting a shot, but having sat through Hammoudi in full lengths (or Cory Stearns, esp. early on) I'd say a conservative approach is not necessarily horrible.

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59 minutes ago, cubanmiamiboy said:

This situation is getting to a totally ridiculous point. The "me too" wagon seems to be bottomless now. I wish I could really express what I really think goes on with this new allegations on Marcelo. Let me hint that the level of vulnerability... PHYSICAL vulnerability from a woman to a man is not the same as with two men. Child predation -(as with Corey Fieldman)- is a totally different animal, but I have too much of a street knowledge to simply grasp the idea of an imbalanced set of forces in a male to male allegation.

I hope I am not "discussing the discussion" though...

Putting Gomes to the side for a moment: what seems certainly to be "ridiculous" and "bottomless" is all of the unspoken norms and, in some cases, hypocrisies that led to the #metoo movement emerging. I can say that I know directly of problems in my work 'world' -- not the ballet world -- with, in some cases, perpetrators getting kicked not to the curb, but upstairs, effectively being financially rewarded for what they had done.  Truthfully, the problems I know about directly mostly involve heterosexual men and their treatment of women; and there is a range in these behaviors, and my own view is that not all such sexual relations (even when fraught power relationships are involved) can simply be coded as exploitative or harmful.  But still, all too often,  "ridiculous" is what HAS been going on un-talked about and unaddressed to the harm of more people than I think people outside such circuits of corruption may imagine...

Gomes? We just know too little to understand why/how this happened. It may be ridiculous. It may not be. ABT may have been overly cautious in launching an investigation. They may not have. I do think ABT knows as well as anyone posting here just how important he is to them.   (I rather suspect that if no more information comes out, then Gomes is going to have no problem finding dancing opportunities elsewhere.)

This IS a big loss to ABT's roster. Regarding who will be stepping up within the company, I was wondering if Forster has shown promise as a partner. I have only seen him in non-partnering roles.  (Just as I was typing this Nanushka's post turned up mentioning Forster...)

Edited by Drew
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1 hour ago, cubanmiamiboy said:

This situation is getting to a totally ridiculous point. The "me too" wagon seems to be bottomless now. I wish I could really express what I really think goes on with this new allegations on Marcelo. Let me hint that the level of vulnerability... PHYSICAL vulnerability from a woman to a man is not the same as with two men. Child predation -(as with Corey Fieldman)- is a totally different animal, but I have too much of a street knowledge to simply grasp the idea of an imbalanced set of forces in a male to male allegation.

I hope I am not "discussing the discussion" though...

Two simple points:

(1)  "Sexual misconduct" (what Gomes has been accused of) does not necessarily entail a physical threat.

(2)  There are plenty of male-male pairings that, if they involved the threat or occurrence of physical violence, would also involve "an imbalanced set of forces."

These points seem so evident to me that I wonder if I've misread the above-quoted post. My apologies if I have.

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11 minutes ago, nanushka said:

Almost nothing new in this article beyond what we know from the ABT press release, except for  this:

"Mr. Gomes did not immediately respond to an email or a voice mail message seeking comment. But Lisa Linden, a spokeswoman for Mr. Gomes, said in an emailed statement: “This is a time of reflection for Marcelo. He is gratified and strengthened by the support he has received from family, friends and colleagues. We have no further comment at this time.”"

 

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6 minutes ago, California said:

Almost nothing new in this article beyond what we know from the ABT press release, except for  this:

"Mr. Gomes did not immediately respond to an email or a voice mail message seeking comment. But Lisa Linden, a spokeswoman for Mr. Gomes, said in an emailed statement: “This is a time of reflection for Marcelo. He is gratified and strengthened by the support he has received from family, friends and colleagues. We have no further comment at this time.”"

 

And this:

Quote

He was also a choreographer and the subject of a documentary, “Anatomy of a Male Ballet Dancer,” which is scheduled to premier at Film Forum in New York City next month. The film’s directors did not immediately respond to an email or a voice mail message seeking comment on Thursday.

Obviously, the lack of a response isn't terribly newsworthy. But the timing is reminiscent of that of the Louis CK revelation. I'm curious to see how this plays out with Marcelo's other endeavors.

Edited by nanushka
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This news is deeply upsetting, and has chilled me to the bone since this afternoon, especially when I realized I'd attended what was Marcelo's final ABT performance, as the Prince in the Nutcracker with Gillian Murphy two weeks ago in Costa Mesa.  And he was wonderful.  They both were.  Even with the age-related changes to his dancing, he is still top-notch.  I find it best to reserve judgment in this matter till more facts are made available.  And even then, who knows.

Regarding Blaine Hoven, no one would want to replace a beloved performer - as well as a close friend - under such unhappy circumstances.  But based on what I saw of Hoven in the Nutcracker two weeks ago, he is more than ready for the challenge of leading roles in the major ballets.  Sitting in the audience two years ago, I dreamed about him seeing him dance with Veronica Part in Swan Lake.  That won't happen now, but I'd certainly buy a ticket to see him dance with Murphy or Teuscher.  Let's see what transpires over the next few months.

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7 minutes ago, fondoffouettes said:

Not much more in this Washington Post article, either, but it does include a statement from Julie Kent, who indicates she will go forward with presenting Gomes’ new work.

http://wapo.st/2zctaRW?tid=ss_sms-amp

 

A very strong statement of support from Kent, who no doubt needs to defend her decision to local supporters:

“I’ve known Marcelo since he was 15 years old, and he remains somebody that I love deeply and will always support,” said Kent, who danced with Gomes for many years during her career at ABT. “I can testify to his kindness and generosity and his loving character, and his gentleness as a person. He remains one of my dearest friends.”

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5 hours ago, abatt said:

This is horrible.  I have no idea what Marcelo did that led to this result.  However, if someone does something bad that has nothing to do with his employment or any former or present employee of the company, why does ABT feel that it needs to be the enforcer of Marcelo's punishment for this purported bad act.  If there was criminality, then the criminal justice system should be utilized.  If it was a civil wrong, then the person(s_ involved should bring a civil suit against him.   Who appointed ABT judge and jury of wrongs unrelated to his employment?

What a sad day for Marcelo and ABT.

 

The fact that so many of the recent revelations and firings/resignations/suspensions/investigations involve figures in media, arts and entertainment is not a random accident, nor is it just because these fields are under heightened public and press scrutiny. It's also because employers in these fields cannot afford to have their "stars" associated with scandals such as this, particularly at a time when scandals such as this (i.e. those involving sexual misconduct) are so much on the minds of their audiences. For ABT, investigating Marcelo is not primarily about "punishment for this purported bad act." It's also about the brand.

To take another case from recent weeks, imagine the next James Levine performance at the Met. What would happen when Levine walks out to conduct, only to hear, mixed with the applause and "bravos," cries of "PEDOPHILE!" — a mistaken label, as I've noted in another thread, but that's precisely the point. It's not just about what did or didn't happen. It's also about the totally extra-legal liabilities that an organization such as the Met, or ABT, opens itself up to in such a situation.

(BTW, I'm not advocating anything here, just articulating what I think is part of such organizations' logic in dealing with these cases as they have.)

Edited by nanushka
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10 minutes ago, Helene said:

NYCB must have a different take on its ongoing Board support, donor base, and ticket buyers, if that assessment is what's driving ABT's actions.

Maybe. Much would depend on the organization's assessment of the severity of the alleged offense in question. But in one case, we don't know anything about that (other than that they find it "highly concerning" and not to be tolerated), so it seems to me it's impossible to compare.

We also don't know that Marcelo's resignation wasn't totally his own decision, not forced on him by ABT. The underlying similarity between the NYCB and ABT cases is that they both began an official investigation.

Edited by nanushka
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What?! I don't check this site for a few hours and then when I do the whole world has blown up.

Gomes? And, he's left ABT, and under these circumstances? I'm gobsmacked. I can't believe this. No one can replace him. Can the allegations really be true? I can't fathom this. 

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ABT Fan I feel the same way! A few hours on the slopes with my phone in my locker and I come back and see this?!?! I just don’t know to even say. I wish ABT would have just announced his resignation without this cloud hanging over it. If it had nothing to do with his employment, and he resigned whether by ultimatum or by choice, why put that in the press release? Is ABT trying to absolve itself so much as to let such a beloved dancer at least deal with things in a civial court (or settlement) or criminal setting? Could then not a statement be issued that he resigned when the allegation was brought up and since it was directly involving ABT we allowed him his resignation and to deal with all accusations as an adult citizen has the right to do? Or would that now be considered sweeping it under the rug? I still hope, as I do with any of these allegations, that it turns out not to be true so that no victim was harmed and the accused can rebuild with a clear name. But if true, an individual is still innocent until proven guilty in this country unless we are now setting up workplace tribunals. Heart wrenching no matter which way you look at it. 

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From official press releases/ letters

Martins:   general, non-specific allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct in the past . ..  at both the Company and the School. 

   Martins denied allegations

Gomes:  a highly concerning allegation of sexual misconduct occurring 8 years ago. . . . .ABT does not tolerate the alleged behavior. 

   Gomes? 

We have no idea what occurred and Gomes makes no statement. 

 

Edited by balletforme
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I'm stunned by this of course. It is an incident from 8 years ago apparently. I am conflicted. On one hand a criminal or immoral act is what it is and should not be excused. On the other hand I cringe at the Idea of defining a person by the worst thing they've ever done in their life.

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11 hours ago, balletforme said:

From official press releases/ letters

Martins:   general, non-specific allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct in the past . ..  at both the Company and the School. 

   Martins denied allegations

Gomes:  a highly concerning allegation of sexual misconduct occurring 8 years ago. . . . .ABT does not tolerate the alleged behavior. 

   Gomes? 

We have no idea what occurred and Gomes makes no statement. 

 

You ignored all the following more specific accounts of abuse by Martins.

 

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