New York City Ballet Terminates Zachary Catazaro and Amar Ramasar Following Inappropriate Communications
New York City Ballet announced today that Principal Dancers Zachary Catazaro and Amar Ramasar have been terminated, effective immediately.
Earlier this summer, following an internal investigation, NYCB determined that Catazaro, Ramasar, and former Principal Dancer Chase Finlay had engaged in inappropriate communications, that while personal, off-hours and off-site, had violated the norms of conduct that NYCB expects from its employees and were unacceptable. As a result, on August 27, NYCB took the initial action of suspending Catazaro and Ramasar until NYCB's 2019 Winter Season. NYCB had also made the decision to terminate Finlay prior to receiving notice of his resignation. After further assessment of their conduct and the impact on the NYCB community, the Company has made the decision to terminate Catazaro and Ramasar.
In making the announcement NYCB Executive Director Katherine Brown and Interim Artistic Team leader Jonathan Stafford said, "We have no higher obligation than to ensure that our dancers and staff have a workplace where they feel respected and valued, and we are committed to providing that environment for all employees of New York City Ballet. We will not allow the private actions of a few to undermine the hard work and strength of character that is consistently demonstrated by the other members of our community or the excellence for which the Company stands."
Catazaro has given a statement regarding his termination. Read it below:
"I am deeply saddened by New York City Ballet's termination of my contract. I have been a dedicated and respected member of my beloved company for 11 years, fulfilling all of my obligations of rehearsals and performances, and everything else under my contract, while most importantly, giving my all to create the most artistic performances possible, for our audiences.
Firstly, I want to clarify that I did not initiate, was not involved in, or associated with any of Alexandra Waterbury's personal material that was allegedly shared with others.
Although I was initially suspended for other private and personal communications, the NYCB dancers' union--AGMA (American Guild of Musical Artists)--maintains that these communications were during off-work hours, and do not justify termination.
Clearly, the negative press from the lawsuit filed by Ms. Waterbury--in which I stress that I have not been named as a defendant--has caused harm to the company's reputation, as well as mine. These circumstances could happen to anyone, in any profession, when personal and private communications are involved but where the intent was not to harm or embarrass anyone.
I have worked my whole life to reach the level of Principal Dancer at a company having the highest prestige, and I am devastated at the possibility to no longer be able to share the stage with the wonderful, talented artists and my friends there. I respect and admire every ballerina with whom I dance at the company, and strive every day to be the best partner I possibly can be.
I sincerely hope that my contract is reinstated, based on AGMA's analysis of the situation, and that I can continue to work with my hard-working and dedicated colleagues at the company. They are my "family", and I love and admire them."