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

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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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9 hours 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?

Although it's natural to assume that the texts and emails in question were sexual in nature given the current environment and in light of prominent past offenders like Weiner, it certainly need not be the case. And, It's entirely possible that the person (or persons) with a grievance regarding those messages was not their recipient or their intended recipient. 

There are plenty of ways texts and emails can constitute conduct unbecoming.

Moderators: feel free to delete this post if I've crossed the speculation line — my intention is merely to point out that we needn't assume the communication was sexual in nature.

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10 hours 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?

Technically, the only person who doesn't have a job as a result of this is the one who chose to resign without even responding to his employers' attempts to reach him and discuss the matter. (Not a good look, IMO.)

Edited by nanushka

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I wonder if Finlay was ready to move on from ballet. He's had a hard time. Lots of early hype and pressure/expectations, followed by injuries and tons of criticism about his stamina, technique, and partnering skills. Despite those deficiencies, I will miss him. The nobility of his carriage is second to none, and when his technique is on, he’s beautiful. Now that his bio is down, I can't check on how long he's been with NYCB. Anyone know roughly what is his age and how long was he a principal?

Edited by cobweb

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15 minutes ago, cobweb said:

I wonder if Finlay was ready to move on from ballet. He's had a hard time. Lots of early hype and pressure/expectations, followed by injuries and tons of criticism about his stamina, technique, and partnering skills. Despite those deficiencies, I will miss him. The nobility of his carriage is second to none, and when his technique was on, he was beautiful. Now that his bio is down, I can't check on how long he's been with NYCB. Anyone know roughly what is his age and how long was he a principal?

Apprentice 2008, Corps 2009, Soloist 2011, Principal 2013

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14 minutes ago, cobweb said:

I wonder if Finlay was ready to move on from ballet. He's had a hard time. Lots of early hype and pressure/expectations, followed by injuries and tons of criticism about his stamina, technique, and partnering skills. Despite those deficiencies, I will miss him. The nobility of his carriage is second to none, and when his technique was on, he was beautiful. Now that his bio is down, I can't check on how long he's been with NYCB. Anyone know roughly what is his age and how long was he a principal?

He was born in 1990, making him ~28.

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2 hours ago, Kathleen O'Connell said:

we needn't assume the communication was sexual in nature.

Okay, true. If it turns out not to be sexting, I would kind of be relieved. I feel like sex is getting a bad rap. 

Finlay is still so young. I guess it depends on what the offense is, but if he wants to continue his career, maybe he could thrive in a company with a less demanding schedule, which would be easier on his body. 

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4 hours ago, miliosr said:

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.

Suzanne Farrell and Paul Mejia barely worked because other companies did not want to be cut out of the Balanchine rep and appear disloyal to Balanchine, which they feared if they hired Farrell and Mejia, ie, she was black-listed.  It had nothing to do with her training or talent.  In fact, one of the few gigs she was given was as Odette/Odile with National Ballet of Canada, and Bejart saw it.  While he admired Balanchine greatly, he had nothing to lose by hiring Farrell and Mejia.

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10 minutes ago, Helene said:

Suzanne Farrell and Paul Mejia barely worked because other companies did not want to be cut out of the Balanchine rep and appear disloyal to Balanchine, which they feared if they hired Farrell and Mejia, ie, she was black-listed.  It had nothing to do with her training or talent.  In fact, one of the few gigs she was given was as Odette/Odile with National Ballet of Canada, and Bejart saw it.  While he admired Balanchine greatly, he had nothing to lose by hiring Farrell and Mejia.

Both things can be true. Certainly, there were company directors (especially in the United States) who didn't want to antagonize Balanchine and jeopardize their access to his works by hiring Farrell. And no doubt there were company directors in Europe who saw her as a question mark in terms of how she would adapt to alien repertories and styles and didn't want to take the chance. (Or a third option: Many of the European companies just didn't need her.)

As much as I admire Bejart to this very day for hiring Farrell, I don't know that she was ever a great fit for his style. Someone wrote (maybe Joan Acocella?) that Farrell looked beautiful in Bejart's repertory but it wasn't what she was born to be doing.

In any event, if Chase Finlay does stick with dancing and wants to work in Europe, he can plausibly say that he has danced the classics thanks to the Peter Martins productions.

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It was Croce. The association with Bejart benefited both Farrell and Bejart, I'd say, even if Farrell could not of course never be completely at home in his repertory. She was his prima for as long as she had been Balanchine's, and devoted herself to his work while she was there.
 

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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.


 

 As with sports figures, suspension is an option for a number of reasons. Someone may be under investigation with nothing yet proven, but to play it safe the organization will suspend the person, with or without pay depending on circumstances (and, I assume, union agreements).  An example would be the NYT editor who was suspended after charges of sexual misconduct and later returned to work at a different post following an investigation. Or suspension is employed as a punishment in lieu of dismissal. Firing is a severe step, with potential legal risks if it is done without due care, and depending on circumstances can end a person’s career. The suspended person may be a valued employee, (or a well-connected one) whereas a less valued employee in the same situation gets canned.

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 What's so baffling: after the publicity about Weiner, Cosby, and on and on for years now, wouldn't you think maybe people would be super-careful?

 That’s conflating a wide range of behavior there. Cosby is a convicted rapist. Until we know more about what happened here – and we may never know more – perhaps we shouldn’t rush to judgment. I felt pretty safe in the case of Marcelo Gomes in guessing that he was accused of something quite serious. I’m not so sure here. I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of a company still in turmoil acting out of an overabundance of caution. Did Finlay resign out of pique, or because he had no case to make? I'm thinking the latter, but who knows.

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I just wish, that in cases like these that the companies, together with the dismissed or suspended persons, would come out with a joint statement to quell any interpretations. 

All of them are public figures on Insta. Don't they own it to their fan base to man and fess up? After, everybody can decide to be in support or not. But at least we have a direction to move on without any further speculation. 

I think the abruptness of leaving and not providing (or at least attempting) any explanation, even vague, does make one look even more guilty. 

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17 hours ago, volcanohunter said:

 

 

 

17 hours ago, volcanohunter said:
18 hours 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."

I couldn’t agree more and also wonder if Macaulay gave them the specific quotes to use.

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52 minutes ago, tarantella2000 said:

I just wish, that in cases like these that the companies, together with the dismissed or suspended persons, would come out with a joint statement to quell any interpretations. 

 

 

I don't think they owe a thing to the public except to give their best performances when they are on stage.  Additionally, if the conduct at issue was so awful, hand it over to the police department. If it was a civil infraction like libel or slander, let the person complaining bring a lawsuit. If it is merely unsavory conduct that does not rise to the level of being a felony or even a misdemeanor, why is NYCB the enforcer of promoting civil behavior. What gives NYCB the right to monitor speech or punish speech that occurs on a personal device?  These are very troubling questions, in my opinion.

Edited by abatt

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TOTALLY AGREE with everything abatt said! Troubling questions, indeed. 

Edited by cobweb

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Codes of conduct have been upheld in the courts and are accepted by unions, even strong unions.  

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1 hour ago, abatt said:

I don't think they owe a thing to the public except to give their best performances when they are on stage.  Additionally, if the conduct at issue was so awful, hand it over to the police department. If it was a civil infraction like libel or slander, let the person complaining bring a lawsuit. If it is merely unsavory conduct that does not rise to the level of being a felony or even a misdemeanor, why is NYCB the enforcer of promoting civil behavior. What gives NYCB the right to monitor speech or punish speech that occurs on a personal device?  These are very troubling questions, in my opinion.

We can speculate all we want.  We do not know that a lawsuit has not been brought.  We do not know if the texts or emails included other recipients or if they were slanderous.  Just like the Gomes incident - we do not know what really took place, but it had to be serious enough for Gomes to resign and for Finlay to resign in this situation.  We can speculate that perhaps each of them had planned to do so anyway, but again, all of it is speculation.  If it was only speech on a personal device between the three of them, that might be a different story.  

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The only things we know are:

  • A complainant sent a letter to NYCB, and that complainant was not part of NYCB
  • As a result, there was an investigation of emails and text communications involving three dancers
  • The Company considered email and text communications inappropriate
  • The Company determined that this breached the company's code of conduct
  • Two of the dancers are suspended until 2019; a third resigned.  All were named.

I hope that we can assume that if there was criminal action, the Company would have notified the authorities. 

We don't know what the communications contained, to whom they were addressed, how the complainant became involved, or why either Finlay or Gomes resigned, and there are a number of possibilities for all of these.  As a result, we have no idea whether there are legal, contractual, or labor/union issues involved, aside from the statement about the code of conduct.

Either explanations will come out via official sources, in which case, they can be discussed here, or they won't.  Everything else is speculation, so stop it. 

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OMG!  I just saw this topic!  As noted, this is a huge blow for the male principals.

I was very excited that Ramasar was returning from his stint on Broadway.   Fingers crossed that we still see him this coming Winter season.

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2 hours ago, chicagoballetomane said:

Really devastating news. Difficult to conceive of communications that would merit this type of response.

I guess I am naive about such things. I work at a school. If I sent a text message or email of a sexual nature (I'm picturing you naked) to an adult who had no  connection to my school, i would think it would my personal business. If I sent the same message to a colleague, student, parent of a student etc. that would be different, because it would involve my school. If I sent said message to an individual who had nothing to do with my school, but was a minor it would be criminal. Are there businesses that can intrude upon all personal communications?

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8 minutes ago, vipa said:

I guess I am naive about such things. I work at a school. If I sent a text message or email of a sexual nature (I'm picturing you naked) to an adult who had no  connection to my school, i would think it would my personal business. If I sent the same message to a colleague, student, parent of a student etc. that would be different, because it would involve my school. If I sent said message to an individual who had nothing to do with my school, but was a minor it would be criminal. Are there businesses that can intrude upon all personal communications?

We don’t know that the recipient or recipients weren’t affiliated with NYCB; we only know the complainant wasn’t.

We also don’t know the messages were of a sexual nature.

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13 minutes ago, nanushka said:

We don’t know that the recipient or recipients weren’t affiliated with NYCB; we only know the complainant wasn’t.

We also don’t know the messages were of a sexual nature.

All true nanushka. 

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