By Alastair Macaulay
28 September 2018
On Thursday night at the David H. Koch Theater, the curtain rose to show the dancers of New York City Ballet, assembled to face the audience. Then Teresa Reichlen, standing center front, delivered a speech — written by her and Adrian Danchig-Waring, another principal — that began with the words, “We the dancers of New York City Ballet.” The unlikely occasion was the company’s fall fashion gala.
This central announcement was crucial: “We will not put art before common decency or allow talent to sway our moral compass.” Ms. Reichlen also spoke of “the high moral standards that were instilled in us when we decided to become professional dancers” and affirmed that “each of us standing here tonight is inspired by the values essential to our art form: dignity, integrity, and honor.”
Why do these words matter so greatly now? Earlier this month, New York City Ballet — and then its affiliate School of American Ballet — became one of the prime targets of a lawsuit, charging the institution with condoning multiple aspects of the abuse of women. The issues involved here are complex; they will not — should not — be dispelled soon. Yet the dancers have been responding all season by showing not just physical skill but also the moral distinction that underlies ballet’s classicism.
Read the full article in the New York Times.