Paris Opera dancers complain of bullying and harassment

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In this file photo taken on February 4, 2016, Opera de Paris' director Stephane Lissner, left, poses with newly appointed director of the Paris Opera Ballet and former star dancer French Aurelie Dupont during a press conference at the Palais Garnier theatre in Paris. - AFP



PARIS - A survey of ballet dancers at the prestigious Paris Opera has revealed widespread complaints of bullying and sexual harassment, as well as separate management concerns over the leadership of dance director Aurelie Dupont.

In the anonymous survey, 90 percent said they did not believe the company was being well managed and 77 percent said they had suffered bullying or witnessed a colleague being bullied.

Some 26 percent of the 132 dancers questioned said they had been sexually harassed at work or witnessed a colleague suffering sexual harassment.

Paris Opera chief Stephane Lissner expressed surprise that the unprecedented survey, carried out by an internal body that represents the dancers, had been leaked to the press.

He said there was "zero tolerance" for sexual harassment and urged dancers who made the allegations to come forward, while promising a dialogue with staff "to consider this calmly and understand what the dancers are trying to say".

Lissner also said the ballet company, one of the most prestigious in the world, had "total confidence in Aurelie Dupont", describing the 45-year-old as "an excellent director of dance". - AFP


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