Big Danish ballet name suspended in US in wake of sexual harassment accusation

Peter Martins temporarily banned from teaching at the American Ballet School

A famous Danish ballet dancer and choreographer, Peter Martins, has been temporarily suspended from teaching at the American Ballet School (ABS) in New York City in the wake of an anonymous accusation of sexual harassment.

Martins, 71, who has been the head of the world-famous New York City Ballet (NYCB) for many years, has been accused of sleeping with dancers and students and often giving them better roles as a result.

“The safety and well-being of our students is our absolute priority,” ABS said in a statement according to the New York Times.

“We recently received an anonymous letter making general, non-specific allegations of sexual harassment by Peter Martins at both New York City Ballet and the school.”

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Yet to be substantiated
The school, in co-operation with the NYCB, has hired an independent law firm to look into the matter, which is based on an anonymous letter that apparently lacked any specifics.

The NYCB issued a statement indicating that Martins would continue as its head as the inquiry has yet to corroborate the allegations.

Martins is the latest high-profile individual to find themselves embroiled in allegations that they used their position of power to make inappropriate sexual advances to women. Other examples include actors Kevin Spacey and Dustin Hoffman, film producer Harvey Weinstein, and comedian Louis CK.

In Denmark, a number of Zentropa employees have come forward with stories of sexual humiliation at the hands of Peter Aalbæk. Prior to this, the singer Björk accused another co-founder of the company, director Lars von Trier, of sexual harassment during the filming of ‘Dancer in the Dark’.