Arts & Culture

One Dancer Speaks Movingly About Scandals That Have Rocked the New York City Ballet

Theresa Reichlen took the stage at the company's fall gala to address the audience.
IMAGE GETTY IMAGES / OWEN HOFFMANN
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Last night's fall gala at the New York City Ballet was a celebration of the storied company and the art form it practices, with three world premieres featuring costumes crafted by fashion designers Giles Deacon (pictured above left, posing with dancers), Gareth Pugh, and Alberta Ferretti.

But before the performance and the party, one dancer took center stage to address recent scandals that have rocked the legendary company. Principal Teresa Reichlen, with the company arrayed behind her, spoke to the crowd on behalf of the dancers of the New York City Ballet.

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"With the world changing—and our beloved institution in the spotlight—we continue to hold ourselves to the high moral standards that were instilled in us when we decided to become professional dancers," she said. "We strongly believe that a culture of equal respect for all can exist in our industry."

Her full speech, a transcript of which can be read in New York Times reporter Michael Cooper's tweet below, did not explicitly mention a scandal that unfolded earlier this summer involving three male dancers and claims of inappropriate behavior; rather, it was an assertion and a restatement of the values of the organization.

"We hold one another to the highest standards and push one another while still showing compassion and support," she said. "We will not put art before common decency, or allow talent to sway our moral compass. New York City Ballet dancers are standard bearers on the stage and we strive to carry that quality, purity and passion in all aspects of our lives."

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Reichlen's statement was also a call for support from benefactors and celebrity guests in attendance at the evening's event.

"Thank you especially for your continued support at this time," she said before concluding. "We are proud of the work we do, and we are grateful for the opportunity—and the honor—to bring beauty into the lives of our audiences."

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According to the New York Times, the New York City Ballet fired Amar Ramasar and Zachary Catazaro earlier this month. Dancer Chase Finlay resigned earlier in the summer.

Even before the dancers' firings, it has been a turbulent year for the organization. In January, Peter Martins, the former chief of New York City Ballet, retired following allegations of sexual harassment and abuse. He denies there was any such misconduct.

This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.

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Caroline Hallemann
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