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Five City Ballet Dancers Accuse Peter Martins of Abuse

Five City Ballet Dancers Accuse Peter Martins of Abuse

The New York Times reports that five City Ballet Dancers have accused Peter Martins of abuse - with one incident dating as far back as 1993, with no action having been taken at that time.

The New York Times article describes various instances of physical abuse from Martins towards dancers in the school.

In 1992 Martins was charged with assault against a dancer who was his then wife, Darci Kistler. The charges were later dropped.

One of the incidents also involved a physical altercation with a 12 year old student at the ballet school.

The Times writes "Mr. Martins is an outsize figure in the dance world, controlling virtually every aspect of City Ballet - from choreography to casting - and making it nearly impossible for dancers to speak up without professional consequences. Alina Dronova, a dancer in the corps de ballet for 17 years, said Mr. Martins was routinely allowed to be aggressive. "He would grab me by my neck and kick me out of his office," she said. "He would do that to almost everyone."

Read the full article here.

Danish-born Peter Martins began his association with New York City Ballet in 1967, when he was invited to dance the title role in George Balanchine's Apollo during the Company's appearance at the Edinburgh Festival. He then performed as a guest artist with NYCB for three years before joining the Company as a Principal Dancer in 1970. Prior to retiring from dance in 1983, Mr. Martins danced a tremendous variety of roles with this Company, and as a guest artist with companies throughout the world, and was lauded for his outstanding partnering skills and noble stage presence.

In 1981, Mr. Martins was named Ballet Master for the New York City Ballet, a title he shared with George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, and John Taras. From 1983, following the death of Mr. Balanchine, Mr. Martins served as Co-Ballet Master in Chief with Jerome Robbins, assuming sole artistic directorship of the Company in 1989. In addition, Mr. Martins is the Artistic Director and Chairman of Faculty of the School of American Ballet, the official school of NYCB.

During his tenure as Ballet Master in Chief, Mr. Martins has directed several important festivals and anniversary celebrations. In 1988 to celebrate the Company's 40th anniversary, he conceived the American Music Festival, a three-week celebration of American music, art, and dance. In 1993, on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of Balanchine's death, Mr. Martins planned the Company's historic Balanchine Celebration, which featured a season-long retrospective of Balanchine's work performed in chronological order.

In 1998, Mr. Martins planned the 50th Anniversary Season, a year-long celebration featuring an unprecedented performance schedule of more than 100 ballets during the Company's winter and spring seasons. For the Company's 2003-04 season, to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the birth of George Balanchine, Mr. Martins conceived Balanchine 100: The Centennial Celebration as a year-long exhibition-style approach to Balanchine's life and work.

Most recently, in 2008, the Company presented the Robbins Celebration, honoring the 90th anniversary of the birth of Jerome Robbins. The Company presented thirty-three of the co-founding choreographer's work during its spring season.

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