By Gia Kourlas
27 March 2020
In a recent Instagram story, the dancer and model Alexandra Waterbury posted that she had just seen the preview for the latest “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” on television. She wrote, “I’ll be watching the ‘Kardashians’ instead.”
The “SVU” episode, “Dance, Lies and Videotape,” shown Thursday night, seemed to be loosely modeled on an incident at New York City Ballet. In 2018, two principal male dancers were fired after they were accused of sharing texts of sexually explicit photos of women, including of Ms. Waterbury. (An arbitrator ordered the company to reinstate them.) A third, Chase Finlay, resigned before he could be fired. Ms. Waterbury filed a lawsuit against the company, the affiliated School of American Ballet and Mr. Finlay, her ex-boyfriend.
In the end, Ms. Waterbury watched “SVU” and wrote a response in her Instagram stories. The episode, which takes her story to a darker place, is unflagging in its attempt to include every ballet stereotype, most predominantly, that all the women in ballet are victims. One character, naturally the gay male friend, sums up their world: “Straight male can’t fail. Gay men, it depends. But girls in ballet? Do what we say.”
It’s telling that the word is girls, not women. Infantilizing ballet dancers is a real thing. In bringing it out into the open, both on television and in life, progress is being made to give women more empowerment.
Read the full article in the New York Times.
See DDP’s related Instagram post here.