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City Ballet dancer caught in texting scandal will retire
Amar Ramasar and Unity Phelan of the New York City Ballet in a performance of Christopher Wheeldon’s “DGV: Danse à Grande Vitesse,” in New York, Sept. 18, 2019. Ramasar, a principal dancer who was denounced by colleagues for sharing vulgar texts, will leave the company in May 2022. Andrea Mohin/The New York Times.

by Javier C. Hernández



NEW YORK (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- A star dancer at New York City Ballet who came under fire for sharing vulgar texts and sexually explicit photos plans to leave the company next year.

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 intense scrutiny since 2018, when he and two other male dancers were accused of sending inappropriate texts and photos of other City Ballet dancers.

The scandal roiled the ballet company and became a high-profile test of the #MeToo movement. One female dancer accused the company of condoning a “fraternity-like atmosphere.”

In 2018, City Ballet fired Ramasar. Months later, he was reinstated after an arbitrator ruled that the company had overstepped.

City Ballet confirmed Ramasar’s retirement but did not offer 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 previously said that he has learned from past mistakes. He has argued that he only shared pictures of his own consensual sexual activity.

Ramasar, a principal dancer, has also had success on Broadway, appearing in productions of “West Side Story” and “Carousel.” But the texting scandal has continued to cloud his career. Critics have held protests at his performances and called for his firing.

Other City Ballet dancers have also accused Ramasar of inappropriate behavior. Georgina Pazcoguin, a soloist, writes in a new memoir that Ramasar often greeted her by touching her breasts. Ramasar has denied the accusations.

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 ballet master in chief. (Martins has denied the accusations.)

The pandemic has also posed a challenge for the company, resulting in the cancellation of its winter and spring seasons.

City Ballet is set to return to the stage Sept. 21 with a program featuring Balanchine’s “Serenade.”

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.










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