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


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1 hour ago, CharlieH said:

I’m disappointed that this article includes quotes from negative reviews by Macaulay on two of the guys in question. Was that really necessary?

The authors are not ballet specialists and may know little about the dancers in questions, so all they have to go on are Macaulay's reviews. This is precisely why I wish he wrote in a less personal and more journalistic way, because as it stands his highly subjective take becomes the "official record."

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Just now, Rock said:

Those guys mentioned are all so talented and promising, but it's a longggg waaaaay from the back to the front.

 

I don't think the powers that be at NYCB think it's a longgg way. They throw women in there when they are apprentices. Look at Miriam Miller and Alston Macgill. They danced principal roles while they were still apprentices; Miller in Midsummer and Agon, Macgill in Symphony in C... She's even in the PBS recording of NYCB in Paris. There isn't a man mentioned that hasn't danced at least one principal role.  Though, perhaps I should back up and ask what you mean? 

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5 minutes ago, Rock said:

Those guys mentioned are all so talented and promising, but it's a longggg waaaaay from the back to the front.

 

I agree that it's a long way from tthe båck to the front, until someone steps up to the plate. This could be an exciting time for the men in NYCB.

 

 

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5 minutes ago, BalanchineFan said:

I don't think the powers that be at NYCB think it's a longgg way. They throw women in there when they are apprentices. Look at Miriam Miller and Alston Macgill. They danced principal roles while they were still apprentices; Miller in Midsummer and Agon, Macgill in Symphony in C... She's even in the PBS recording of NYCB in Paris. There isn't a man mentioned that hasn't danced at least one principal role.  Though, perhaps I should back up and ask what you mean? 

Yeah, promotions are one thing, casting quite another. NYCB seems quite willing to take those chances. (In part the nature of their rep helps.)

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Getting a chance, going out there as the Nutcracker Cavalier for one performance, is not the same thing as being a principal. That kind of focus and preparation for one part with one partner isn't always available. And the pressure - mentally as well as physically - to get out there and deliver isn't for everyone, regardless of their dance gifts. There has to be a tough cookie inside. 

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1 hour ago, FPF said:

Macaulay has now posted about this on his Instagram. There's a suggestion in the comments that NYCB should hire Whiteside and McGee Maddox seems to be perhaps suggesting himself. But I agree with Kathleen--there are several tall dancers in the lower ranks who could get new opportunities.

 

Whiteside himself said that he sent his tapes to NYCB when he was trying to come to NY (aiming for ABT of course), and they kinda just said flat-out no.

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14 minutes ago, Rock said:

Miller was not an apprentice when she did Agon. But here's two examples of ravishingly promising young talents. Who wouldn't want to see what they could do? 

Thank you for the correction. Miller is still in the corps, and hasn't lost either of those roles.

I think it's going to be a fascinating season. And I will light a candle for Amar (and Zach, too) to come back from suspension better than ever. After de Luz's retirement there will still be 10 principal men but only 8 principal women dancers (with Megan Fairchild on maternity leave). Why aren't people worried about the paucity of women? Is it because there are only 5 male soloists (only one tall, if you don't count Justin Peck, I mean how much can the guy do?) and so many promising women soloists?

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4 hours ago, ABT Fan said:

And, I don't understand why the other two would be suspended without pay till next year. If what they did was so bad, why weren't they fired? I'm not advocating for them to be fired, I'm just wondering what's the point of the suspension. I have a feeling they'll both resign (or "retire") and not return.

 

I would think that depending on the problem/offence there need to be penalties short of firing to address certain issues as well as firing for the most serious ones -- Abatt already mentioned this happens in the sports world. It happens in other professions as well.  (Of course, the way sports world determines what is more and less serious in terms of penalties to players often seems ludicrous to me--eg at one point smoking pot seemed to be viewed as a more heinous offense than knocking a woman unconscious...Still, in theory, the idea that some offenses merit firing and others lesser penalties seems right--or, at any rate, seems pragmatic to me.)

I can't speak for Catazaro or Ramassar -- or Finlay for that matter -- but even for very good dancers, a job at New York City Ballet is not to be lightly left behind, especially if someone has gotten into trouble for actions that might make other companies think twice about hiring them.  It must be one of the best if not the very best job for a male ballet dancer in the United States, not to say one of the best in the world.

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42 minutes ago, Rock said:

Getting a chance, going out there as the Nutcracker Cavalier for one performance, is not the same thing as being a principal. That kind of focus and preparation for one part with one partner isn't always available. And the pressure - mentally as well as physically - to get out there and deliver isn't for everyone, regardless of their dance gifts. There has to be a tough cookie inside. 

True. 

I've been thinking more along the lines of casting the rep that they've got this fall. Two weeks to learn Emeralds or Diamonds seems par for the course at NYCB. I'm sure the dancers will wish they had longer, but some of these guys have been in the company for years, and many do outside projects where they are featured more prominently. Mejia danced with both Ashley Bouder and Tiler Peck this summer, making a debut in Tschai Pas with Peck at Vail. You hear stories all the time about someone getting injured and another dancer stepping into their role during intermission.

Also, regarding the different penalties I understood the official statement to mean that Finlay chose to resign rather than be suspended or even defend himself to management.  It seems like a strange/extreme stance to take, maybe he doesn't really want to be there.

I agree that there need to be different kinds of penalties for different kinds of offenses. 

Edited by BalanchineFan
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NYCB will manage, although it will be interesting to see what happens. If Carousel wasn't closing, Ramasar would have been out until the winter season anyway. Finley was injury prone & Catazaro uneven. (I was one of his few defenders on his Apollo debut on these boards). Talent abounds, let's see what happens. I wouldn't say there was a paucity of women. With what I've seen recently, Miriam Miller, Unity Phelen, Indiana Woodward, Aslhey Hod (coming båck from injury) - I could name many others who might be ready for prime time. 

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2 hours ago, BalanchineFan said:

Since Ramasar and Catazaro are being suspended without pay I wonder if they'll be able to take class at SAB to stay in dancing shape. I know injured dancers, and other dancers returning from Broadway have done that. Depending on the nature of the offense that might still be allowed.

I would imagine that any dancer who has been reprimanded for even a whiff of inappropriate behavior is exactly who SAB wouldn't want to welcome to avoid potential legal issues of them being around minors, especially since the company seems to be very focused on appearing pro-active after the Martins stuff. But that's just my thinking--perhaps it will be different.

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But what are “inappropriate communications”? It would seem apparent a desire for sexual contact with the recipient was featured, either via words or photos. Ok. Is that grounds for not having a job?

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2 hours ago, BalanchineFan said:

That casting would make sense, and one would have had to read about it, since there was no telling who was in that costume from the audience!

A few years ago they had a huge number of debuts as Sugar Plum Fairy, perhaps 18 corps de ballet women debuted it in one season (some of you must remember). Maybe they'll do the same thing this year with the men... a Parade of Princes.  I also see a lot of opportunities going to Taylor Stanley. He's a beautiful dancer and I don't think he's done Agon. He's not super tall, but I saw him partner one of the taller women (I've forgotten who it was...Tess? Maria?) and they looked great together.

I remembered incorrectly--the first cast was indeed chosen because they were tall, but it was Ask la Cour and Russell Janzen. 

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10 minutes ago, cobweb said:

But what are “inappropriate communications”? It would seem apparent a desire for sexual contact with the recipient was featured, either via words or photos. Ok. Is that grounds for not having a job?

NYCB did not say. That is speculation, since there are many kinds of "inappropriate communications."  Whether the communications were grounds for not having a job, that depends on NYCB's Code of Conduct, since that was what NYCB said the men had violated.

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1 hour ago, bcash said:

Whiteside himself said that he sent his tapes to NYCB when he was trying to come to NY (aiming for ABT of course), and they kinda just said flat-out no.

Yeah. No way. 

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9 hours ago, BalanchineFan said:

After de Luz's retirement there will still be 10 principal men

The number is somewhat inflated in that Angle the Elder appears to be dialing back a bit, Danchig-Waring and Garcia have labored with injuries, and Veyette has lost a lot in recent seasons. Given the resignation of Finlay, the suspensions of Catazaro and Ramasar and the reduced state of the soloists, there's not a lot of room for error (or injury).

 

8 hours ago, Drew said:

I can't speak for Catazaro or Ramassar -- or Finlay for that matter -- but even for very good dancers, a job at New York City Ballet is not to be lightly left behind, especially if someone has gotten into trouble for actions that might make other companies think twice about hiring them.  It must be one of the best if not the very best job for a male ballet dancer in the United States, not to say one of the best in the world.

The skill set (Balanchine, primarily) for a New York City Ballet dancer isn't necessarily an advantage in finding work elsewhere, at least outside of the United States. Suzanne Farrell learned that when she left the company and then barely worked for a year. It was only when Maurice Bejart invited her to join his troupe in Belgium that she found steady work. (And going from Balanchinian neo-classicism to Bejartian theatricality was quite a leap stylistically.) Alexandra Ansanelli left City Ballet mid-career to join the Royal Ballet but I don't know that it was so easy to transition from Balanchine to Ashton and MacMillan (or that the experiment was particularly successful.)

Things are probably better now in that the Peter Martins productions -- love 'em or loathe 'em -- of Romeo and Juliet, Sleeping Beauty and Swan Lake would give a dancer a City Ballet a kind of calling card to European companies. But a dancer attempting to make the transition to Euro dance would still face a fairly big hurdle in terms of different styles and productions.

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Finlay knows that a new AD will be hired and might be choosing to wait until that decision is made to step back into NYCB? At some level, refusing to speak to your boss about your own work infraction is a bit odd. Wondering if he let his emotions get the better of him? Or not? Perhaps he was being more calculated. 

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42 minutes ago, miliosr said:

 

The skill set (Balanchine, primarily) for a New York City Ballet dancer isn't necessarily an advantage in finding work elsewhere, at least outside of the United States. Suzanne Farrell learned that when she left the company and then barely worked for a year. It was only when Maurice Bejart invited her to join his troupe in Belgium that she found steady work. (And going from Balanchinian neo-classicism to Bejartian theatricality was quite a leap stylistically.) Alexandra Ansanelli left City Ballet mid-career to join the Royal Ballet but I don't know that it was so easy to transition from Balanchine to Ashton and MacMillan (or that the experiment was particularly successful.)

Things are probably better now in that the Peter Martins productions -- love 'em or loathe 'em -- of Romeo and Juliet, Sleeping Beauty and Swan Lake would give a dancer a City Ballet a kind of calling card to European companies. But a dancer attempting to make the transition to Euro dance would still face a fairly big hurdle in terms of different styles and productions.

I don’t disagree about the issue of transition, but at any rate the company today is different than in Farrell’s day even beyond the Martins’ full lengths...They have danced Bigonzetti, Forsythe, Scarlett, and Preljocaj as well as Ratmansky and Wheeldon along the way.  It is not their bread-and-butter, but...they have shown what they can do with it. Which is a lot.

And I would say Ansanelli had substantial success at the Royal simply based on the fact that she was not brought in to the company as a principal—I think she came in as a soloist—but was promoted by them to principal. I saw her dance the first fairy variation in Sleeping Beauty with them not too long after she joined and thought she was gorgeous in it. Really memorable. Since she retired early for personal reasons she has publicly discussed, I don’t know that much can be concluded about her long term success with their bread and butter rep. (At least a few fans seemed to have nice things to say about her performances in A Month in the Country.)

Stiefel would be a more obvious example of someone who moved to other companies and other repertory with great success.

I think it may also just depend a lot on the dancer....

Edited by Drew
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9 hours ago, Balletwannabe said:

Mearns seem fine.  Unlike her blackout IG photo when Martins resigned.  

 

The font is really tiny, but Joseph Gordon is tagged in this Instagram story showing him rehearsing with Mearns. I was really hoping he might be the new partner! 94_E6_D426_32_C0_473_D_9_D53_38524_EB6_C

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