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Finlay Resigns, Catazaro and Ramasar Suspended -- Update: Catazaro and Ramasar Fired

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9 minutes ago, Balletwannabe said:

The comments on Finlay's IG are brutal.  

It seems like it's been radio silence from NYCB dancers today on Instagram. I wonder if they are either in shock or have been asked to stay off social media for a while. There was an image (a behind-the-scenes shot from a photo shoot) posted by Sara Mearns five hours ago, and nothing since then from any of the dancers as far as I can see. And these are people who are usually constantly posting...

Edited by fondoffouettes

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5 minutes ago, fondoffouettes said:

It seems like it's been radio silence from NYCB dancers today on Instagram. I wonder if they are either in shock or have been asked to stay off social media for a while. There was an image (a behind-the-scenes shot from a photo shoot) posted by Sara Mearns five hours ago, and nothing since then from any of the dancers as far as I can see. And these are people who are usually constantly posting...

Didn't Catazaro post something related to his modeling gigs today? It might have been before the story broke though.

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I can't help wondering what Ashley Bouder will say about this eventually. She's the much admired, and vocal, feminist among the female principals, as profiled in the
New York Times.

 

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Just now, bcash said:

Didn't Catazaro post something related to his modeling gigs today? It might have been before the story broke though.

Yeah, his story was from two hours before the initial story was posted on here, so I'm guessing it hadn't broken yet. I think Mearns (presumably coincidentally) posted hers right around the time the story broke. I can't find a single post from a NYCB dancer after that time, though some have posted stories of rehearsals.

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16 minutes ago, Balletwannabe said:

The comments on Finlay's IG are brutal.  

Amar is getting some too.

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This whole matter is heartbreaking in many ways. I don't know if the company is liable and I'll naively ask what is meant by "the company" in a case like this. Is it the board, management, leadership team - who is the company?

Liability aside, the tone of any ballet company is set, to a great degree, by the principal dancers. It is widely agreed that Wendy Whalen had a positive impact on the company tone. 3 male principals demonstrating such a deplorable attitude towards woman must have had an impact. You enter the company as a 17 or 18 year old boy, and these are your role models. One article mentioned an attitude of being able to get away with anything. That is part of the ballet culture because there are so many fewer boys than girls in ballet classes. A misbehaving boy will get a 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th chance, while a misbehaving girl gets 1 or, if she is super talented, 2. That's the way it is. 

As abatt and others have said, this put more pressure on board to hire a woman AD. The question is will women who are qualified think twice before applying.

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2 minutes ago, vipa said:

I'll naively ask what is meant by "the company" in a case like this. Is it the board, management, leadership team - who is the company?

New York City Ballet Inc. — i.e., the legal entity that files 990s with the IRS, files CHAR500s with the NYS Charities Bureau, pays its employees and issues their W2s or 1099s, etc etc etc.

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7 minutes ago, Rick said:

I can't help wondering what Ashley Bouder will say about this eventually. She's the much admired, and vocal, feminist among the female principals, as profiled in the
New York Times.

 

I was wondering that too Rick. I've heard her say in interviews that Ramasar is a good friend, and she's posted pictures of him with her daughter. I've also heard her mention that Catazaro is an ex boyfriend who she has a good working relationship with. The complexities of people and relationships do not fit easily on an instagram posting. If she is going to comment, I'm sure she's considering what to say. 

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4 minutes ago, Rick said:

I can't help wondering what Ashley Bouder will say about this eventually. She's the much admired, and vocal, feminist among the female principals, as profiled in the
New York Times.

 

Ashley is also Amar's closest friend, he was her "maid of honor" at both her weddings...

From a close reading of the complaint and reviewing the support Amar/Lexi have been receiving from company members on Instagram I think there's more to the story.  I think there were more men involved who were not named in the complaint for various reasons; because Amar and Zach are being punished for something others may have been involved in I get the feeling Amar specifically is being treated as the guy taking the fall for some others.  

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1 minute ago, Kathleen O'Connell said:

New York City Ballet Inc. — i.e., the legal entity that files 990s with the IRS, files CHAR500s with the NYS Charities Bureau, pays its employees and issues their W2s or 1099s, etc etc etc.

Thank you Kathleen. So no individuals would be personally liable but if a suit is lost the entity would have to pay whatever settlement/penalty is decided. It would come out of company funds, or perhaps an insurance policy. Is that correct?

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2 minutes ago, vipa said:

Thank you Kathleen. So no individuals would be personally liable but if a suit is lost the entity would have to pay whatever settlement/penalty is decided. It would come out of company funds, or perhaps an insurance policy. Is that correct?

That would be my assumption. But I am not a lawyer.

Edited by Kathleen O'Connell

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9 minutes ago, FITTB85 said:

I think there were more men involved who were not named in the complaint for various reasons; because Amar and Zach are being punished for something others may have been involved in I get the feeling Amar specifically is being treated as the guy taking the fall for some others.  

If that’s the case, how can such behavior be so widespread and tolerated? 

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3 hours ago, FauxPas said:

What I find telling is that the donor/board member(?) is not explicitly named nor are the other female victims other than Lexi Maxwell (who may have been complicit).

[...]

Based on everything I have read so far, I think speculative hints about Maxwell as "complicit" are very much uncalled for...she did write a generically supportive IG message to her boyfriend/partner when his suspension was first announced--one that said exactly zero about the actual case against him. That doesn't make her complicit with the kinds of activity described in the complaint. I also wouldn't agree that an email or emails discussing Maxwell, emails said in the complaint to have been written by Finlay and Ramasar, somehow implicate her as "complicit"--especially since they could be read as pointing in exactly the opposite direction. I haven't the faintest how serious the systemic problems at the company are, but still find this story demoralizing...to say the least.

Edited by Drew

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23 minutes ago, fondoffouettes said:

Yeah, his story was from two hours before the initial story was posted on here, so I'm guessing it hadn't broken yet. I think Mearns (presumably coincidentally) posted hers right around the time the story broke. I can't find a single post from a NYCB dancer after that time, though some have posted stories of rehearsals.

And Catazaro's account seems to have turned private after that post.

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2 hours ago, mille-feuille said:

 

I too hope they don't return. If they do, I will go out of my way to avoid them.

I agree. If these harrowing allegations indeed prove to be true, I do think that it will (career) end their career for a long time. It's really heartbreaking how one can conduct him/herself this way, absolutely no respect nor decency toward the human being. Just imagine the psychological impact this will cause, not only on the victims, but also on their families.

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2 minutes ago, bcash said:

And Catazaro's account seems to have turned private after that post.

I would imagine that the three men are getting a ton of strongly worded IG posts.

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1 minute ago, tutu said:

If that’s the case, how can such behavior be so widespread and tolerated? 

The plaintiff alleges that it is. If it is, then Im going to be incredibly disappointed in city ballet. We don’t know how much management knew about these goings on. 

I wonder if NYCB will now create policies about company members taking class at SAB. 

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1 minute ago, tarantella2000 said:

I agree. If these harrowing allegations indeed prove to be true, I do think that it will (career) end their career for a long time. It's really heartbreaking how one can conduct him/herself this way, absolutely no respect nor decency toward the human being. Just imagine the psychological impact this will cause, not only on the victims, but also on their families.

I am usually a believer of separating the artist from the art. I do believe that people who have done terrible things can create transcendent works of art or be great interpretive artists. In this case, I feel differently because it would be hard for me to see one of these men on stage touching a woman - partnering her.  

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I wonder if NYCB will now create policies about company members taking class at SAB. 

 

Not so much class but rules about fraternization. 
There are other companies where there rules about fraternization with students. The relationship alone between should have raised concern, at least in some places, even if she was 18 when it started. 

I have tickets for Jewels this season and was initially planning on trying to catch a few other performances in October.  

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8 minutes ago, vipa said:

In this case, I feel differently because it would be hard for me to see one of these men on stage touching a woman - partnering her.

My exact feelings.

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35 minutes ago, FITTB85 said:

 

From a close reading of the complaint and reviewing the support Amar/Lexi have been receiving from company members on Instagram I think there's more to the story.  I think there were more men involved who were not named in the complaint for various reasons; because Amar and Zach are being punished for something others may have been involved in I get the feeling Amar specifically is being treated as the guy taking the fall for some others.  

This, seems to me very speculative. Ramasar and Catazaro are leading dancers with the company--they are not easily replaceable, so the company has no institutional interest in suspending them for the actions of others. Quite the contrary.  Certainly, the person filing the suit is naming the people about whom she feels she has a case to make (evidence, emails etc.); either that or she should sue her lawyer for malpractice.

Will Ramasar and Catazaro continue to be supported by dancers now the fuller story begins to come out...? They may be ... I am sure the two of them (Finlay too)  must have many friends who admire and love them and want to support them, but unfortunately that kind of support by friends doesn't always have much to do with the hard cold facts of cases like this. Right now, we don't yet know what those hard cold facts are. And very probably many of the dancers don't yet know either. When not much is known it's easier for someone to say "but I respect him so much...but he's a wonderful guy" etc. (And indeed people can be wonderful and worthy of respect in many ways and still behave appallingly in others...)

Perhaps some dancers do know some more "inside dope"...but certainly I don't think much can be read into what we are reading online. We only know what the allegations in the suit are, and that in the wake of the company's investigation that Finlay resigned, that Catazaro and Ramasar were given suspensions for the Fall and in the latter case, the penalty seems quite minimal and with minimal consequences to the company, because he was not supposed to return to the company until January anyway. 

Are others involved? Will they be investigated? Who are the unnamed parties in the complaint?? these are unknowns and unknown unknowns...If this story confirms much of anything it's that Instagram makes a lousy source for trying to figure out what's really happening behind the scenes.

Regarding the artists and the art: I always especially liked Finlay's courtly manners onstage!!

 

Edited by Drew

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8 minutes ago, melissaga said:

 

Not so much class but rules about fraternization. 
There are other companies where there rules about fraternization with students. The relationship alone between should have raised concern, at least in some places, even if she was 18 when it started. 

I have tickets for Jewels this season and was initially planning on trying to catch a few other performances in October.  

If she’s 19 now and left SAB in 2016, as stated in articles posted above, then she would have been underage when she was in contact with Finlay or any other company dancers who may have taken class at SAB. It’s unclear to me how old she was when she started a relationship with Finlay, though. 

Edited by fondoffouettes

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3 minutes ago, vipa said:

I am usually a believer of separating the artist from the art. I do believe that people who have done terrible things can create transcendent works of art or be great interpretive artists. In this case, I feel differently because it would be hard for me to see one of these men on stage touching a woman - partnering her.  

I agree on the motion that artistically it can be a loss. It's incomprehensible no matter how you look at it. However, if it would involve, let's say a teacher or a doctor, would you still be going to them, knowing (ok, at this point all are still allegations) what they did, or would you entrust your family members to them, I could not.

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Are we sure that there are not already policies in place about fraternization? Just because they are not upheld or followed doesn’t mean they aren’t there. I had many friends at SAB in the late 1990’s and given what I saw with my own eyes, this has been happening for many years. Grooming at that time was not a term that was used, but looking back it is so easy to see and recognize. As young 16 and 17 year olds, we were just flattered and a bit infatuated. Thankfully in my own case I did not live in the city and was with another major ballet school in a different city so it never led to anything. The same cannot be said for a dear friend.

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