Switzerland’s Bejart Ballet Lausanne company faces probe over allegations of drug abuse and harassment-World News , Novi Reporter

Switzerland’s Bejart Ballet Lausanne firm faces probe over allegations of drug abuse and harassment-World Information , Novi Reporter

Swiss public broadcaster RTS reported that a variety of unidentified former members of the Bejart Ballet Lausanne (BBL) firm had written to the inspiration, describing the ‘omnipresence of medication, nepotism, in addition to psychological and sexual harassment’.

Switzerland's Bejart Ballet Lausanne company faces probe over allegations of drug abuse and harassment

Representational picture. Bejart Ballet dancers carry out at Igor Stravinsky’s “The Ceremony of Spring” within the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, in 2013. AFP photograph

Geneva, Switzerland: Switzerland’s prestigious Bejart Ballet Lausanne firm faces a probe as allegations of drug use, harassment and abuse of energy increase the query why nothing apparently modified after an earlier investigation raised related points.

The corporate, based by the late legendary French choreographer Maurice Bejart, was positioned underneath audit on 4 June over allegations pertaining to its “working surroundings and inappropriate behaviour”.

The Maurice Bejart Basis introduced the audit only a week after revealing that the affiliated Rudra Bejart ballet faculty had fired its director and stage supervisor and suspended all lessons for a yr attributable to “severe shortcomings” in administration.

Whereas the inspiration has revealed few particulars of the allegations going through the 2 establishments, nameless testimonies gathered by commerce union representatives and the media paint a bleak image.

Swiss public broadcaster RTS reported that a variety of unidentified former members of the Bejart Ballet Lausanne (BBL) firm had written to the inspiration, describing the “omnipresence of medication, nepotism, in addition to psychological and sexual harassment”.

Lots of the accusations allegedly deal with Gil Roman, who took the helm of BBL when its founder died in 2007.

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Roman didn’t reply to AFP requests to the inspiration or BBL in search of remark.

‘Denigration, humiliation’

The French choreographer confronted related allegations throughout a secret audit a yr later, however was permitted to remain on and proceed as earlier than, in keeping with RTS and the union representing the dancers.

“We can’t perceive what might need been in that audit that may have allowed them to clear him fully,” Anne Papilloud, head of the SSRS union that represents stage performers within the French-speaking a part of Switzerland, informed AFP.

“The accusations again then have been word-for-word the identical as right now: harassment, denigration, humiliation, insults, mood tantrums, medication,” she mentioned, citing former firm members who had contacted the union in latest weeks and had mentioned they have been round throughout the 2008 audit.

One dancer informed RTS on situation of anonymity that it was widespread for Roman to publicly humiliate dancers who made a misstep, whereas one other mentioned he typically requested dancers to convey him marijuana.

“Medication have been a part of on a regular basis life at Bejart Ballet,” the broadcaster reported her saying.

Papilloud in the meantime informed AFP that the “overwhelming majority of the testimonies I’ve heard have been about psychological harassment”.

Drug-use had been talked about, primarily linked to how the medication “provoked outbursts of anger”, she mentioned.

She mentioned she had additionally heard a small variety of complaints about sexual harassment, though not involving Roman.

‘Terror’

However what stood out most within the dozens of accounts she had heard in latest weeks was the sheer “terror” individuals described.

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Their response to what they’d been by means of was “extraordinarily robust”, she mentioned, “nearly on the degree of post-traumatic stress”.

Papilloud mentioned that as a union consultant she had lengthy been conscious that BBL was thought of a troublesome place to work, with low pay in comparison with the trade commonplace and little respect for working hours.

However the latest revelations of “an especially poisonous working surroundings” had come as a shock, she mentioned.

Over 30 present and former BBL members had contacted the union following the upheaval on the Rudra Bejart ballet faculty, she mentioned.

The college, which halted lessons and fired its long-time director Michel Gascard and stage supervisor Valerie Lacaze, his spouse, was reportedly fraught with psychological abuse and tyrannical over-training.

One scholar described how she had discovered herself surrounded by academics and different college students who “humiliated and belittled” her, the president of the inspiration’s board, Solange Peters, informed RTS.

One instructor current on the time reportedly in contrast the scene to a “lynching”.

The revelations in regards to the faculty appeared to have “opened a Pandora’s Field”, spurring alleged victims of comparable abuse at BBL to come back ahead, in keeping with Papilloud.

“We now have actually been inundated,” she mentioned, including that many hope that “this time, issues can change”.

Following shut communication with the inspiration, the union too is hopeful that the present audit can be dealt with in a different way than the final one, with extra openness and independence, Papilloud mentioned.

“I feel this won’t be an audit the place issues are swept underneath the carpet.”

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