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

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44 minutes ago, vagansmom said:

I believe the spelling of Chase's last name is Finlay. Please correct me if I'm wrong. 

 

It is, and I apologize for having misspelled it and thus leading people astray.

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Resigned because he’s guilty; resigned before he could be investigated .... All our assumptions. Perhaps the company gave him a choice ... resign or we let you go. We do not know, and we may never know. 

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1 hour ago, Kaysta said:

I know enough of the facts to come to a reasonable conclusion:

1.  Finlay resigned before he could be investigated

2.  NYCB did an investigation and punished two dancers (one whom is exceedingly popular) and put out a statement essentially saying while they—NYCB—are not guilty, , they did have enough evidence to suspend dancers they were relying on for their fall season.   I’m sure NYCB has seen the texts and did not decide to suspend without evidence.

 

I am not going to feel bad for someone who abuses others.  Women are not farm animals.  Covering up or minimizing abuse is not ok with me, no matter who does it.  No matter how great a dancer they are.  No matter how much I love the institution they are a part of.

Further, whether I, or you, forgive Chase Finlay means nothing.  We are not the victims here.

Thank you Kaysta for  one of the best summaries I've read. I completely agree.  

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2 hours ago, its the mom said:

resigned before he could be investigated .... All our assumptions. Perhaps the company gave him a choice ... resign or we let you go. We do not know, and we may never know. 

According to the NYT,  "The statement said that efforts to reach Mr. Finlay to discuss the matter were unsuccessful, and that he had resigned last week."  So we do know that he resigned before the Company could say anything.  I had made the same mistake earlier and was corrected.

 

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16 hours ago, Drew said:

Good thoughts. The only thing I would add —which may just have seemed too obvious to you to write —is that certain situations still call for taking sides—giving certain kinds of support to some humans and not giving it to others. Even standing with some and not others regarding that particular situation. 

 

Oh, sure. As I made clear in other comments, so far Miss Waterbury has the evidence on her side, the most compelling piece of public evidence being Chase Finlay's sudden resignation.

But having worked with both refugees and prisoners, I'm generally a proponent of "hate the sin, not the sinner." Condemning the (alleged) actions of these men is different from calling them names or making petty comments about their skin color or class background.  (Again, having worked with refugees and prisoners, I can confidently say there is enough bad behavior to go around from every type of person). 

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I wonder to what extent other dancers are getting flak from the public because of this. Huxley seems to have deleted all his posts on Instagram. I hope it’s unrelated to this situation. 

Edited by yukionna4869

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This is my attempt at a general response to ideas expressed upthread. I can’t seem to make the text smaller.

NY Times: Sexual harassment training Doesn’t Work. But Some Things Do  

But while training protects companies from lawsuits, it can also backfire by reinforcing gender stereotypes, at least in the short term, according to research by Justine Tinkler, a sociologist at the University of Georgia. That’s because it tends to portray men as powerful and sexually insatiable and women as vulnerable. Her research has shown this effect no matter how minimal the training. “It puts women in a difficult position in terms of feeling confident and empowered in the workplace,” she said.
 

One thing of interest in this NY Times article is that it shows how certain kinds of sexual harassment training protect companies from lawsuits but make the issue worse by perpetuating gender stereotypes. When women are seen as weak and in need of protection and masculine is equated with strong or powerful then harassment is more likely to occur. Now add that the Waterbury case occurred among people working in an art form that historically portrays women as delicate and vulnerable and men as powerful and strong. For those reasons I think it’s dangerous, and potentially offensive, to assume Ms Waterbury is so vulnerable that we, the uninvolved, should second guess how much she takes on (school, work, etc) and question her decisions about how to proceed with her legal complaint. She was violated without her knowledge or consent over a period of about nine months. However she chooses to work through that, whichever legal remedies she pursues, in whatever order, is now, finally HER choice. 

I understand that this is an online forum and all we do (in a sense) is discuss other people’s choices. Still, we wouldn’t be discussing this issue if it weren’t for her. Dance schools around the country (the world?) wouldn’t know about it. Teachers wouldn’t be giving quotes to Dance magazine, Pointe or whoever. She has moved the needle and if her name comes up on Google for it we should all be grateful. 

I now see that by suing NYCB Ms Waterbury has chosen to make her horrible experience less about just herself and more about the girls and boys, women and men, past, present and future, who might have suffered, or might still suffer similar violations.

How rare and laudable. 
Edited by BalanchineFan

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Also, in terms of motives, they are often not singular, and, in my opinion, martyrdom and purity are not required.  Many birds can be killed with one stone.

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I think we're talking about this case because we're ballet fans and those involved are ballet dancers.   Ms. Waterbury appears to have a legitimate case against Chase Finlay.   There is nothing ballet schools can teach that could have prevented him from taking photos of her.   Everything that happened between them could have happened if she were an accountant.   There are issues in ballet that should be discussed,  and the profession is ripe for reform in a number of areas.  But,  no doubt at the behest of her very able counsel,  Ms. Waterbury  is suing NYCB Inc. because they have deeper pockets than the individual dancers who are involved.

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16 hours ago, Villette said:

 

My comfort level watching these men dance is not a consideration. The well-being of the performers, and not my enjoyment of the performance, is what matters most. 

 

 


They can judge that for themselves. 

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On 9/12/2018 at 8:56 PM, Longtimelurker said:

 I also don't believe she would become marginalized and have that explained away by artistic reasons given the said environment along with her value to the company as both a dancer and choreographer.

Lauren Lovette is only a young principal and has only choreographed a couple pieces for the company. Ashley Bouder may feel more confident in speaking out but that still doesn't mean it's repercussion-free for her.

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15 minutes ago, bcash said:


They can judge that for themselves. 

They can, but they would likely have no power to act on that judgment. That would be up to those with real power in the company.

Some have said that dancers of a certain rank would have power to determine with whom they dance. I’d be interested in seeing any real evidence that that is the case.

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3 hours ago, On Pointe said:

I think we're talking about this case because we're ballet fans and those involved are ballet dancers.   Ms. Waterbury appears to have a legitimate case against Chase Finlay.   There is nothing ballet schools can teach that could have prevented him from taking photos of her.   Everything that happened between them could have happened if she were an accountant.  

People can be wonderfully brought up--given good ethical, personal, and professional guidance and examples and still be horrible. But many people are impacted by the guidance and examples they receive at school as well as the norms etc. that surround them at work. It would need a much more thorough airing of laundry (dirty or clean) to know if ballet schools could do more to make horrible behavior less likely or whether, indeed, they need to do so. In Dance Magazine, commenting on one of Waterbury's statements, Susan Jaffe seems to say NO rather decisively. In a public statement (posted on FB and linked to on Twitter) Leigh Witchel says YES... That doesn't point to consensus.

 

Edited by Drew

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On 9/13/2018 at 8:53 AM, KayDenmark said:

Finlay ... may deserve punishment, but nobody deserves hatred...

There's no way to limit what a victim feels. It is what it is. Remember those famous words... "Never forget"...? It is even a popular hashtag now 

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On 9/12/2018 at 12:33 PM, Olga said:

Lauren Lovette posted these in the comments section of her recent (love to the ladies) post:

 

  • “...thank you so much for your comment ❤️ good is doing more than is being publicized right now... so many of us may not be posting on social media specifically about this, but it doesn't mean that we are staying silent or remaining idle. I promise we are fighting for a safe work environment too. Love to you

 

I just noticed Megan Fairchild's (@mfairchild17) comment as well:

"So perfectly put Lauren!!! Sometimes it's not the most natural for women to do so, especially in our competitive environment..."

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21 hours ago, Villette said:

I appreciate Lauren Lovette and Ashley Bouder for their courage to address the situation via Instagram. They did not have to do so. I see comments in this thread asking for more women, principal dancers, to address these claims. Why isn't the same being asked of the men in the New York City Ballet? They, too, have an opportunity to reach of and address the situation, to stand as allies with their female colleagues. Yet the comments here only mention the women. I can't help but see the double standard.

Yes!

nanushka:

Quote

Some have said that dancers of a certain rank would have power to determine with whom they dance. I’d be interested in seeing any real evidence that that is the case.

Edward Villella, in Prodigal Son, says that after he returned to the company he realized that Jacques d'Amboise seemed to have more pull than was immediately apparent and that he could decide what roles he got to dance during the year.

I've been reading Joan Brady's harshly self-critical memoir "Unmaking of a Dancer" which gives a fascinating and cool-eyed view of life at the San Francisco School of Ballet and later School of American Ballet in 1959, where she was a contemporary and friend of Suki Schorer. Interesting portraits of the Christensen Brothers, Balanchine, Danilova and Doubrovksa, their coaching, and their vanities, but also about the hierarchies, and insider and outsider status, that established itself among the students and dancers.

Brady also says that there was always one or two ex-students – "exiles" – studying at the Columbia School of General Studies since the company began.

 

 

Edited by Quiggin

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It would be very unwise for members of the company to say anything about this case,  unless their idea of a fun day is sitting for a deposition.  Merson would love nothing more than to turn this personal dispute between two people into an interrogation of the entire NYCB.  The overwhelming majority of the company had no involvement in this scandal,  although due to her previous relationship with Finlay,  which was publicized,  Lauren Lovette might be called upon to testify.  The fans who are demanding high-minded statements from the dancers are doing them a disservice.

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There have always been retired dancers studying at the Columbia School of General Studies as well. I can't speak personally to current NYCB dancers studying there part-time, but I'm willing to bet there are some of those too. The G.S. program, at least 3 years ago, was affectionately nicknamed the "Tutus & Uzis" program due to the high number of ballet dancers and veterans that frequent the population. G.S. looks for individuals who pursued some other passion to a high degree of excellence for at least a year post high school. They want intelligent, independent learners with solid work ethic and organizational abilities (this, according to my daughter, who attended their program as a retired dancer and heard it constantly from professors in her years there). They have to pretty darn smart. Many take SATs all over again to get into the program and their scores are similar to that of the CC population. Professors also say that the G.S. students are the most focused and most mature students, and a great pleasure to teach because they care more about learning than a school social life. Their grades, which are not meted out separately from the Columbia College students, compare to those of CC students. The real difference is that social events are separated so they can be with others their own age. And for those who require a dorm situation, they are housed in their own GS wing, again out of respect for their more mature status.

Makes perfect sense to me that ex-ballet students, current and retired dancers would populate GS. I wouldn't want to single out ex-SAB students. They are one dancer group of several who attend Columbia University.

Edited by vagansmom

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5 hours ago, vagansmom said:

There have always been retired dancers studying at the Columbia School of General Studies as well. I can't speak personally to current NYCB dancers studying there part-time, but I'm willing to bet there are some of those too. The G.S. program, at least 3 years ago, was affectionately nicknamed the "Tutus & Uzis" program due to the high number of ballet dancers and veterans that frequent the population. G.S. looks for individuals who pursued some other passion to a high degree of excellence for at least a year post high school. They want intelligent, independent learners with solid work ethic and organizational abilities (this, according to my daughter, who attended their program as a retired dancer and heard it constantly from professors in her years there). They have to pretty darn smart. Many take SATs all over again to get into the program and their scores are similar to that of the CC population. Professors also say that the G.S. students are the most focused and most mature students, and a great pleasure to teach because they care more about learning than a school social life. Their grades, which are not meted out separately from the Columbia College students, compare to those of CC students. The real difference is that social events are separated so they can be with others their own age. And for those who require a dorm situation, they are housed in their own GS wing, again out of respect for their more mature status.

Makes perfect sense to me that ex-ballet students, current and retired dancers would populate GS. I wouldn't want to single out ex-SAB students. They are one dancer group of several who attend Columbia University.

2

I went to Columbia College, and my understanding was that if you were taking more than a gap year after high school, you had to apply to the School of General Studies. I did meet former SAB dancers who were in the School of General Studies. As far as I'm aware, the main difference between GS and CC students was that GS students were not required to take all the core curriculum classes (many of which are of debatable value, IMHO), but otherwise, it's all the same. 

When I read about Waterbury's complaint against NYCB and Finlay, my main feeling was empathy for her situation as an undergrad at Columbia, trying to deal with these legal issues while being a student. In many ways, Columbia can be a big, impersonal research university where the undergrads are sometimes an afterthought. And, perhaps because it's located in NYC, it's not exactly a nurturing bubble where you can find yourself without scrutiny. It can be a difficult environment, and I'm very impressed Waterbury is able to carry on with her studies as she deals with all that she's going through.

Edited by fondoffouettes

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10 hours ago, cubanmiamiboy said:

There's no way to limit what a victim feels. It is what it is. Remember those famous words... "Never forget"...? It is even a popular hashtag now 

Of course, and no one is trying to limit or control Miss Waterbury's feelings.

I'm just referring to the general tone of public discourse about the case - people discussing the case but not personally involved. I dislike stereotyping and hate speech.

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"Hate speech" has a specific legal meaning, and that is not saying that you hate specific behavior or a specific person. 

Whether anyone likes or dislikes the tone of any discussion here isn't relevant: it's discussing the discussion, so don't do it.  No one is forcing anyone to read or participate.

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35 minutes ago, Olga said:

This looks like a petition to hire Wendy, not just a female. See petition photo. That is unfortunate - regardless of views of Wendy - as it shifts the focus and hampers consensus on the basic issue. 

I'm with you, Olga. An utterly ridiculous petition. NYCB should hire the most qualified - male/female, black/white/caramel, alumnus/non-alumnus. Period.

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Leaving reality 100 percent behind, I just had the thought that this situation will probably inspire a Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, ripped from the headlines, episode next season.  The idea of that team, led by the Olivia Benson character, conducting the investigation opposite the real life alleged perpetrators was a very satisfying fantasy.

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