Ballet dancer

City ballet dancer Amar Ramasar retires after text message scandal

A star dancer with New York City Ballet who has come under fire for sharing vulgar texts and sexually explicit photos plans to leave the company next year.

The dancer, Amar Ramasar, will retire in May after a 20-year career with City Ballet, according to a 2021-22 season announcement released by the company this month.

Ramasar has come under intense scrutiny since 2018, when he and two other male dancers were accused of sending inappropriate texts and photos of fellow City Ballet dancers.

The scandal rocked the ballet company and became a high-profile test of the #MeToo movement. A dancer accused the company of tolerating an “atmosphere of brotherhood”.

In 2018, City Ballet fired Ramasar. Months later, he was reinstated after an arbitrator ruled the company overstepped.

City Ballet confirmed Ramasar’s retirement but gave no further details, saying only that his farewell show would be in Balanchine’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

In a statement, a Ramasar spokeswoman said he would turn 40 this year and was ready to retire.

“Amar has had a great career at New York City Ballet,” spokeswoman Kimberly Giannelli said. She said he was exploring other professional opportunities.

Ramasar previously said he learned from his past mistakes. He argued that he only shared photos of his own consensual sexual activity.

Ramasar, a principal dancer, has also had success on Broadway, appearing in productions of “West Side Story” and “Carousel.”

But the texting scandal continued to cloud her career. Critics protested his performance and called for his dismissal.

Other City Ballet dancers have also accused Ramasar of inappropriate behavior. Georgina Pazcoguin, a soloist, writes in a new memoir that Ramasar often greeted her by touching her breasts. Ramasar denied the charges.

City Ballet has been plagued by a series of scandals in recent years, including allegations of sexual harassment and physical and verbal abuse by Peter Martins, its former head ballet master. (Martins denied the charges.)

The pandemic also posed a challenge for the company, leading to the cancellation of its winter and spring seasons.

City Ballet is set to return to the stage on September 21 with a program featuring Balanchine’s “Serenade.”