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It's now official - Scarlett out


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All this speculation is pointless and unhelpful. Please, can we just let it rest now and concentrate on the important things - in part. the things that those in the dancing community are doing to distract us and lift our spirits.

Edited by David
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I think that if the ROH issues a long-awaited public statement about an investigation into one of its leading choreographers, it's entirely justified to discuss it on this forum and raise any questions. However I do agree that because the statement has been issued at this incredibly difficult time there will be no answers at the moment and so further discussion is likely to be fruitless. (And perhaps there will never be answers that will come into the public domain. Time will tell.)

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Oh no certainly not !  I just wanted to point out they cancel some of his ballets and not his Swan Lake, comme par hasard....

 

 I do think that the way Liam Scarlett is sacked by The Royal Ballet is really revolting (even when you don't know the story which is my case).  But the way they have destroyed  his reputation,  making big announcements like that without explaining anything,  is difficult to understand.

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First of all, we don't know that he was sacked.  They might have come to a mutual agreement.  Second, there is most probably more going on behind the scenes than the public knows about, so better to deal with it now.  Third, in this day and age if there is even any doubt about someone a 'not proven' or 'not guilty' verdict isn't enough.  There will be always be a stain on that person, and the RB clearly doesn't want to be associated with someone whose reputation is tarnished, whether fairly or not.  Finally, I wouldn't call Swan Lake 'his' ballet.  It is much more John MacFarlane's ballet, for me.  Swan Lake has withstood failure, war, illness, endless tampering with...and will always survive.  It is OUR ballet!

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Well The Royal Ballet did not communicate in the right way, if this was the case we would not talk that much about it. 

 

By the way if Liam Scarlet was not sacked how do you call what just happened ?

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The only reason I can think of is that Swan Lake doesn't need Liam Scarlett to oversee it, whereas Oklahoma did and Symphonic Dances probably would, but that is being kind. The virus has probably wiped out Symphonic Dances too now, but I doubt many would have minded it being replaced, can you imagine that happening with Swan Lake.

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Not knowing the full situation, it seems very unsatisfactory all round.   If the ROH thought this announcement would settle the matter, and pass quietly by, they were very wrong.  It is almost as if they wanted to provoke as much speculation as possible.  

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1 hour ago, MAX said:

 By the way if Liam Scarlet was not sacked how do you call what just happened ?

 

It depends on his employment arrangement with the Royal Ballet. A contract can be terminated, discontinued or not renewed etc but none of these amounts to sacking if the person was not an employee per se - which Scarlett probably wasn't. The very nature of working under contract would make invoking any disciplinary procedure more complex than would be the case with an employee who would be firmly bound by the ROH regulations.

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17 hours ago, penelopesimpson said:

I can’t really understand why they needed to say anything at all.  All they needed to do was just not commission him again.  A nasty case of virtue signalling.

 

How can they possibly not say anything, given that the media has got hold of the story?  If it hadn't been made public, I suppose they might just have been able to terminate the working relationship quietly, but not now.  Not in this day and age.

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25 minutes ago, alison said:

 

How can they possibly not say anything, given that the media has got hold of the story?  If it hadn't been made public, I suppose they might just have been able to terminate the working relationship quietly, but not now.  Not in this day and age.

 

They did have to make a statement about the outcome of the investigation, since they had announced (had had to announce) it was happening. But that should have been the point of the press release (rather than added almost as an afterthought, which is very strange). The only real reason they had to say anything now about their future relationship is because they no longer wish to stage Symphonic Dances. But the press release is the wrong way round! And, of course, leaves Scarlett looking as if he was 'guilty as charged' in spite of the outcome of the investigation (and as most of the reporting of this has made it sound).

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7 hours ago, alison said:

 

How can they possibly not say anything, given that the media has got hold of the story?  If it hadn't been made public, I suppose they might just have been able to terminate the working relationship quietly, but not now.  Not in this day and age.

Because at this time, most people don't have Mr. Scarlett top of their worries list. 

 

All they needed to do was let it go and then when somebody decided they must probe the matter, simply say that they have no plans to work with this gentleman in the forseeable future.  I've spent my life in press relations and almost always recommend being open about events, but in this case sleeping dogs would have quietly faded away.  I hold no brief for Mr. Scarlett, but I do think the statement is pretty awful.  But then ROH have form since the late but not lamented Lucy Sinclair took charge.

 

Would also add that the outcome was always pretty much a foregone conclusion.  To have admitted that inappropriate behaviour had gone on at the Royal Ballet SCHOOL, would have been tantamount to admitting that the school was badly run.  You only have to look at the pasting the BBC took over Saville to see what could have happened.

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On 24/03/2020 at 07:54, bridiem said:

because the statement has been issued at this incredibly difficult time there will be no answers at the moment


As much as I love the Royal Ballet, it is very disappointing when they revert to old school control and cover up behaviour. So 19th century.

 

I work in marketing/ PR like penelopesimpson. Agree it is not an accident that the management finally release a statement now, during a time when the news is full of much more important matters. They had more than six months to decide to no longer work with Scarlett. Or, as Luke Jennings points out, 26 years. They just can't bring themselves to be honest about the whole icky subject.

 

I don't agree that this subject is not important. Sexual harassment — and the refusal to accept it — is one of the biggest issues of our time. And like many have said, the secrecy and corporate vagueness is worse for all involved. 

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On 23/03/2020 at 17:52, Lizbie1 said:

 

There might be rights issues? I think I read somewhere that rights typically revert to the choreographer after 3 years, but I've no idea what the arrangement is in this case, considering the large investment and tangled provenance.

On 23/03/2020 at 18:10, JNC said:

Swan Lake was such a huge investment and I do think it's a good production so it would be a shame (and also a huge financial loss which presumably would have wider implications for the ROH) if they decided to scrap it after only 1.5 airings and re-do the whole thing. Perhaps a compromise could be MacFarlane's costumes/sets etc stay

 

On 24/03/2020 at 17:54, Sim said:

I wouldn't call Swan Lake 'his' ballet.  It is much more John MacFarlane's ballet, for me.

 

So let LS have the rights to his inept fiddling. Then let someone else with a better grasp of stagecraft do a new production, using Petipa/Ivanov and MacFarlane’s magnificent designs. What a show that could be. But no doubt too simple and straightforward a solution. 

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23 hours ago, alison said:

Not to mention expensive?

 

When David Bintley re-made Cyrano for Birmingham Royal Ballet he got the RB set and costumes to cut down on costs.

 

With the new RB Swan Lake I don't know how many of the interpolations are Scarlett's but would it be possible to strip them out and employ someone new to use the non-Scarlett bits and create the rest of the production using the new set and costumes - preferably using the Ashton Act 4, the Ashton pdq and, of course, the Ashton Neapolitan?

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1 hour ago, Jan McNulty said:

 

When David Bintley re-made Cyrano for Birmingham Royal Ballet he got the RB set and costumes to cut down on costs.

 

With the new RB Swan Lake I don't know how many of the interpolations are Scarletts but would it be possible to strip them out and empty someone new to use the non-Scarlett bits and create the rest of the production using the new set and costumes - preferably using the Ashton Act 4, the Ashton pdq and, of course, the Ashton Neapolitan?

 

I’m sure that is the way forward. 

 

I thought Ashton’s Act 4 was truly beautiful, although I’ll stand up for LS’s Act 3 Pas de Trois and Spanish Dance (especially for Tierney Heap).

 

One shouldn’t speculate, but does anybody else think we are now unlikely to see Lauren Cuthbertson return to the role of Odette / Odile? Did she ever dance it after those wonderful debut performances with Rupert Pennefather?

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