April 16, 2021

Liam Scarlett: rise and fall of a ballet star

With only four years he discovered that his body had its own language interpretable only through movement and with twenty-six, that same body got tired and the head took its place. Liam Scarlett left his career as the first British Royal Ballet dancer early to become a prestigious star within the institution and take up a position as a resident artist designed specifically for him by current ballet director Kevin O’Hare. Directly responsible for some of the main shows of the company in recent years – including a new production of “Swan Lake” of 2018 that will return to the scene this spring – it seems that Scarlett not only needed to move her legs. Also the hands. Considered one of the leading choreographers in the United Kingdom, this native of Ipswich he has been suspended by the house that saw him grow up after receiving strong accusations of “inappropriate sexual behavior” On the part of a 33-year-old dancer who only knows the indicative fact that she began her career as a dancer, as did Scarlett, within the walls of the Royal Ballet.

The newspaper “The Times” has extended this accusation to several students and alumni of the school, all of them boys, some of whom, in a completely anonymous way, would have revealed statements like these to those responsible for the disciplinary investigation:Everyone has been too afraid to speak. He is the goose that lays the golden egg. People buy tickets to see their choreographies »or« It’s such a competitive world that you can’t miss an opportunity. So when someone with a lot of power asks you to do something, you are programmed to do it ». From the British Press there is talk of misleading suggestions to some of the students, touching, requests via telephone of sexually charged material by the choreographer to some of the dancers, daily comments on the genitals of some of them and even the newspaper “The Sun” reflects the possibility of Scarlett “taking cocaine with the students”. It was in August of last year when the Royal Ballet admitted that alarms began to jump. As a spokesman for the Royal Opera House, where the Royal Ballet is located, states, “the individual was immediately suspended and an independent disciplinary investigation was opened.”

Code of conduct?

In addition to the impending action, the institution wanted to make clear the absence of doubts about its moral cleanliness through the following statements: «The Royal Ballet Company has a code of conduct to ensure that visiting staff and artists always receive support for. As the process is still ongoing, and as a duty of care with staff and artists, we cannot comment further until the matter has been concluded ».

It seems that the professional trajectory of what was announced in its beginnings as “the wonderful boy of British ballet” could falter considerably as a result of a quite unethical love for the skin of others. If the accusations were confirmed, the dance corps founded by Ninette de Valois would lose one of its current pillars – whose works have been the subject of nominations for such important awards as the Olivier Awards and the National Dance – but would clean up their ranks. At the moment, Scarlett has chosen silence as a defense against the signaling of the dancers. We’ll see how long he decides to keep it.


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