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Catazaro Declines NYCB Reinstatement; Ramasar to Rejoin


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3 hours ago, NYCgirl said:

Clearly the arbitrator thought so as well based on the facts.

The arbitrator stated that whatever was presented or argued by the NYCB wasn't a fireable offense based on the contract, but that is not an exoneration: the arbitrator also ruled that the Company was well within its rights to suspend Ramasar and Catazaro, which makes their offenses neither purely personal nor private.

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4 hours ago, Kathleen O'Connell said:

I remain agnostic as to the extent to which Ramasar and Catazaro participated in the most egregious of Finlay's group chats. (The details provided on page 12 of the complaint suggest that Ramasar did actively seek out explicit photos: "52. On May 21, 2018, another NEW YORK CITY BALLET, INC. principal, Amar Ramasar texted Mr. Finlay, "I love you! Text me those, photos/videos!!") 

Since I don't have to work with either man—and they are men, not boys—it's not for me to say whether or not his colleagues can or should "move on." That's for them to decide. 

"Agnostic" is a great word  to express your opinion on this story, and I agree completely.   Thanks also for the emphasis that they are men and not boys.

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On 4/23/2019 at 8:28 AM, NinaFan said:

For what it's worth, Wikipedia has Ramasar as being born 1981/1982.  Elsewhere I have seen an exact birth date of 12/9/81.  Either way he is no older than 37 right now.  Interesting that in an ABT thread everyone wants to see Gomes dance again (me included).  Gomes was born 9/26/79 and will be 40 this year.  So why is Ramasar aging out, while someone two years his senior not?  By the way, I am huge fan of both dancers, and it was a joy to see Gomes dance with Sarasota Ballet.  It left me wanting for more.  As an aside, De Luz was in his 40's when he retired.

Part of the difference is about repertory -- Gomes dances a rep that includes several dramatic roles that require a more mature performer.  He will continue to develop as an actor even as his technical skills begin to erode.  Ramasar works in a rep that doesn't necessarily have the same requirements.

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On 4/22/2019 at 11:48 AM, nanushka said:

Would it be a safe assumption that most of the major casting for the next 6 weeks — not necessarily all the specific dates and details, but the general "who's dancing what" — had already been at least informally assigned before the contract was reinstated?

Probably, but casting is always in flux during the course of the season -- injuries and other limitations make cast lists a moving target.

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1 hour ago, sandik said:

Probably, but casting is always in flux during the course of the season -- injuries and other limitations make cast lists a moving target.

Of course. I was just curious whether it was likely that most initial assignments (for significant roles) had been made.

Edited by nanushka
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On 4/19/2019 at 3:25 PM, Leah said:

I second the ???. This is a guy who shared nude photos of a company member with other company members. The only reason he is not in the same boat as Finlay is that his particular much younger girlfriend whose photos were shared is for whatever reason defending him. Of course coworkers are going to be uncomfortable around him! And to say that they should just “state their case” is unhelpful.

I agree with both of these statements.  I'm glad as an audience member that I'll be able to see Ramasar dance again, but what he did is classic Frat Boy mentality, and he is a man in his 30's.  Not okay.  

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What a mess. Just when it seemed the waters were settling at City Ballet following the long-awaited appointment of successors to Martins, the AGMA decision rocks everything again. Whatever one feels about the validity of the AGMA decision, it’s certainly a nightmare for the company from a donor relations and PR standpoint, and it sounds like it is causing at least some internal tension as well. 

It will be interesting to see how much Ramasar is cast in the fall season, and with whom he dances. I for one will not attend any performances he dances in. 

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25 minutes ago, MarzipanShepherdess said:

What a mess. Just when it seemed the waters were settling at City Ballet following the long-awaited appointment of successors to Martins, the AGMA decision rocks everything again. Whatever one feels about the validity of the AGMA decision, it’s certainly a nightmare for the company from a donor relations and PR standpoint, and it sounds like it is causing at least some internal tension as well. 

It will be interesting to see how much Ramasar is cast in the fall season, and with whom he dances. I for one will not attend any performances he dances in. 

Not to be overly technical, but the decision that is being enforced is that of a neutral arbitrator, not a decision of the AGMA.  The arbitrator's decision has the same force and effect as if rendered by a judge.  Yes, enforcement of the law can become a  pesky inconvenience sometimes.

Added:  I think the firings were a Machiavellian approach by NYCB whereby if they lost  the arbitration (which they must have known was likely) they could argue to their donors that they tried their best to rid the organization of these dancers but they were ordered to rehire them.  The donors can't be angry at the company for the arbitrator's ruling.

If anyone attends the gala, I would love to know if Ramasar attends, and who his table companions are.

Edited by abatt
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30 minutes ago, abatt said:

I think the firings were a Machiavellian approach by NYCB whereby if they lost  the arbitration (which they must have known was likely) they could argue to their donors that they tried their best to rid the organization of these dancers but they were ordered to rehire them. 

Possible — but what makes this a more likely explanation of the events than any other?

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53 minutes ago, MarzipanShepherdess said:

It will be interesting to see how much Ramasar is cast in the fall season, and with whom he dances. I for one will not attend any performances he dances in. 

 

29 minutes ago, Leah said:

I don’t know if I’m comfortable watching Ramasar. I’ve only seen him a couple of times in person and I had been looking forward to seeing him again, but what he did was gross.

I think I’m in the same boat. I admired Ramasar’s dancing, but I don’t think I can do a program where he’s featured.

I recently tried to watch that excerpt from the Tony Awards again, and just felt sick — so I don’t think I could stomach a pas de deux. 

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41 minutes ago, nanushka said:

Possible — but what makes this a more likely explanation of the events than any other?

There can be benefits from the fallout without having designed them in advance, but if they were planning on it, it was expensive, since they needed to spend time and legal $$, risky, since there is no guarantee how an arbitrator would rule, and it's a win for AGMA, which is usually not something Management tends to want to encourage.

But the argument that they tried and were forced to back down could be to their advantage, and, even if not planned, could be useful in some circles.  Taking advantage of the byproduct could be a smart move, although just about anything can backfire.

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NYCB was using the same playbook that Trump uses.  Play to your base by executing an executive order which your  counsel tell you will end up being overturned in the courts.  When the order is indeed overturned in court, you turn to your base and say that you tried your best but lost in the court system. 

Edited by abatt
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56 minutes ago, tutu said:

I think I’m in the same boat. I admired Ramasar’s dancing, but I don’t think I can do a program where he’s featured.

I recently tried to watch that excerpt from the Tony Awards again, and just felt sick — so I don’t think I could stomach a pas de deux. 

I plan on going to one performance in which he's dancing and taking it from there. Before this incident, I admired Ramasar so much because I found his dancing to have such an inherent nobility and masculinity (kind of similar to what I've been seeing from Joe Gordon).

If we take Ramasar at his word and believe that all he did was share intimate photos of one corps member and encourage Finlay to share photos with him, perhaps it wasn't a fire-able offense. But it is the antithesis of noble behavior. I can't say how I'll feel until I actually watch him dance, but I fear that the "magic" he once had will be gone, replaced with a sense of revulsion and sadness.

Edited by mille-feuille
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1 hour ago, Helene said:

There can be benefits from the fallout without having designed them in advance, but if they were planning on it, it was expensive, since they needed to spend time and legal $$, risky, since there is no guarantee how an arbitrator would rule, and it's a win for AGMA, which is usually not something Management tends to want to encourage.

But the argument that they tried and were forced to back down could be to their advantage, and, even if not planned, could be useful in some circles.  Taking advantage of the byproduct could be a smart move, although just about anything can backfire.

The beauty of arbitration is that it is very inexpensive,  unlike most legal proceedings.  Sometimes the parties involved only have to pay $5.00.

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1 hour ago, abatt said:

NYCB was using the same playbook that Trump uses.  Play to your base by executing an executive order which your  counsel tell you will end up being overturned in the courts.  When the order is indeed overturned in court, you turn to your base and say that you tried your best but lost in the court system. 

Or it could be out of the playbook of Cumming, as in Cumming vs. Richmond County Board of Education, which was overturned, along with Plessy, in the Brown vs. Board of Education in Topeka, in which the plaintiffs tried to right what they considered a wrong, and were shot down, even if it took half a century.

Just now, On Pointe said:

The beauty of arbitration is that it is very inexpensive,  unlike most legal proceedings.  Sometimes the parties involved only have to pay $5.00.

That doesn't include the lawyers time in preparing the company's justification for firing the two men.

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By its nature,  arbitration is narrow in scope.  NYCB doesn't  have to justify its reasoning as to the firing of Catazaro  and  Ramasar.  That would be a waste of time and money.  The arbitrator uses the firing as a starting point,  and must only determine if,  according to the terms of the AGMA contract,  the firing is justified.  While the arbitrator determined that the firing was not just,  I am surprised that he or she ruled that the suspensions were allowable.  It seems like an all-or-nothing situation to me.

Individuals will have to determine if seeing Ramasar onstage makes them feel some type of way.  But there are dancers up there now who have engaged in blatant adulterous affairs with other dancers,  and I don't  recall any public outcry against them.

Edited by On Pointe
Repetition
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4 hours ago, mille-feuille said:

I plan on going to one performance in which he's dancing and taking it from there. Before this incident, I admired Ramasar so much because I found his dancing to have such an inherent nobility and masculinity (kind of similar to what I've been seeing from Joe Gordon).

If we take Ramasar at his word and believe that all he did was share intimate photos of one corps member and encourage Finlay to share photos with him, perhaps it wasn't a fire-able offense. But it is the antithesis of noble behavior. I can't say how I'll feel until I actually watch him dance, but I fear that the "magic" he once had will be gone, replaced with a sense of revulsion and sadness.

An interesting parallel between Ramasar and Gordon.   I enjoy watching both dancers as they delight, thrill, and amaze me all at the same time.

I was happy when Amar was re-hired, and very anxious to see him dance again.   For now, I just keep watching the casting sheets.

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1 hour ago, On Pointe said:

The arbitrator uses the firing as a starting point,  and must only determine if,  according to the terms of the AGMA contract,  the firing is justified. 

So as part of the arbitration process, NYCB would never have had an opportunity to make a case that it was?

What, then, was the evidentiary basis on which the arbitrator would have made his or her determination?

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I have been a union arbitrator for a performers' union and when we held hearings,  each side was given time to briefly state their case,  but there were no lengthy legal presentations allowed.  I wasn't in the room where it happened,  but it's  likely that  NYCB maintained that Catazaro  and  Ramasar  were fired because of private communications.   AGMA likely maintained that those communications would never have become public except for the actions of a third party and they didn't rise to the level of fireability  anyway.  It doesn't  take a lot of time or preparation to make those statements.   Unless there is a provision in the contract that allows a dancer to be fired for personal,  non-work related,  legal activity,  the company had no justification for firing the dancers.  And that's what the arbitrator decided.

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Please do not discuss the discussion or each other.

The arbitrator has decided that the company could not fire Catazaro or Ramasar under the contract.  The arbitrator has decided that the company was justified in suspending both men.

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