City Ballet Dancer Caught in Texting Scandal Will Retire
A New York City Ballet principal dancer, who has been criticized for sharing vulgar texts and sexually explicit photos, is considering leaving the company next year.
Dancer Amar Ramasar will retire in May after a 20-year career with City Ballet, according to a 2021-22 season announcement released by the company this month.
Ramasar has been under close scrutiny since 2018, when he and two other dancers were accused of sending inappropriate texts and photos of other City Ballet dancers.
The scandal rocked the ballet company and became a high-profile test of the #MeToo movement. A dancer accused the company of tolerating an “atmosphere of brotherhood”.
In 2018, the City Ballet fired Ramasar. Months later, he was reinstated after an arbitrator ruled the company had overstepped.
The City Ballet confirmed Ramasar’s retirement but did not give further details, saying only that his farewell performance would be in Balanchine’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”.
Ramasar did not respond to a request for comment. He has said before that he learned from the mistakes of the past. He claimed that he only shared photos of his own consensual sexual activity.
Ramasar, a lead dancer, has also been successful on Broadway, appearing in productions of “West Side Story” and “Carousel”.
But the SMS scandal continued to darken his career. Critics protested his performance and called for his dismissal.
Other City Ballet dancers also accused Ramasar of inappropriate behavior. Georgina Pazcoguin, soloist, writes in a new memoir that Ramasar often greeted her by touching her breasts. Ramasar has denied the charges.
The City Ballet has grappled with a series of scandals in recent years, including allegations of sexual harassment and physical and verbal abuse by Peter Martins, its former chief ballet master. (Martins denied the charges.)
The pandemic has also posed a challenge for the company, leading to the cancellation of its winter and spring seasons.
The City Ballet is expected to return to the stage on September 21 with a program featuring “Sérénade” by Balanchine.
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