24 September 2018

‘Paris Opera dancers suffer bullying, harassment’

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Dancers in the prestigious Paris Opera have been bullied and harassed at a massive scale, an internal survey leaked to the media shows. reports citing AP.

Some 77 percent of the respondents in an anonymous survey leaked to the French media on Monday said that had been subject to bullying or had seen others being bullied at the Opera.

It said 26 percent of the 132 dancers questioned had been victims of sexual harassment or had seen others suffered from harassment while at work.

Opera officials said they would never tolerate such conducts while criticized those who had leaked the survey. Stephane Lissner, the chief of the Opera, said he was surprised that the survey had been leaked to the press, but said the Opera authorities were open to “to consider this calmly and understand what the dancers are trying to say” if they come forward and clarify the allegations.

The findings are the latest to come from a spate of sexual harassment allegations in the Western countries. People have increasingly spoken about their experiences since revelations emerged in the United States last year showing some Hollywood stars had been involved in years of harassment against women.

However, the bulk of the Paris Opera dancers signed a petition Monday to denounce the publication of the survey, a sign they might be fearful about the future of their jobs after the publication of the findings.

“The divulging of this survey was done without the consent of the dancers,” said the joint statement by the dancers, which added, “At no moment did the performers who were being questioned have any idea that this document would be used for purposes contrary to their interests.”

The Agence France Presse, which first reported on the survey, said dancers in the Paris Opera said they had other grievances when questioned by the news agency, including their increased dissatisfaction with the way director Aurelie Dupont managed and led the dances.

“The current director seems totally incompetent when it comes to management, and has no desire to acquire such skills,” said an anonymous dancer about Dupont, who took over as dance director in 2016 after years of shining as ballerina star at the Opera.

Other dancers also complained about a lack of support and career development at the Opera, saying dancers had become merely “pawns” that the management “can move around as they see fit.”

2018.04.16 / 20:14
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