Dance + Choreography Associate Chair Lea Marshall wrote “Op-Ed: In the #MeToo Era, Every Word Matters. Including ‘Fuzzy.'” which was recently featured in Dance Magazine.
The New York Times broke a story about ballet that was quickly picked up by other national and international news outlets. Peter Martins, longtime ballet master in chief of New York City Ballet and head of the faculty of the School of American Ballet, has been accused of sexual harassment in an anonymous letter. The dance world may or may not have been surprised by this.
I certainly didn’t feel surprise at the news. Writing this on the day that Time magazine has named “The Silence Breakers” of #MeToo “Person of the Year,” this story seems of a piece with the many others we’ve watched in recent weeks with a mixture of horror, relief and vindication as men begin to face consequences for their disregard for the personhood of the women around them.
But the way this news was delivered by The New York Times angered me even more than the news itself, and it stands out among all the other coverage I have seen of the Martins accusations. The article gives glimpses into ballet company culture which reveal a legacy of profound dysfunction and misogyny, but the writer doesn’t actually call out or examine this legacy and thus ends up perpetuating it.
Read the full article in Dance Magazine.