A simmering sex scandal has led to the shock cancellation of a ballet tour, with a choreographer suspended over claims made by Royal Ballet School students.
A simmering sex scandal has led to the shock cancellation of a ballet tour, with a choreographer suspended over claims made by Royal Ballet School students.

Sex scandal puts end to Queensland Ballet tour

A SIMMERING sex scandal in the UK has led to the shock cancellation of Queensland Ballet's April tour to Melbourne.

British choreographer Liam Scarlett's ballet Dangerous Liaisons was a hit in Brisbane in March and April last year and was meant to be one of the jewels in the crown of the state company's 2020 season as well.

But unable to ignore months of scandal surrounding Scarlett, 33, who has been to Brisbane and worked closely with Queensland Ballet (QB), they have now pulled the production.

Scarlett, 33, the Royal Ballet in London's top choreographer, has been suspended amid claims he behaved inappropriately with Royal Ballet School students and encouraged them to send him naked photographs.

The ballet world has been rocked by the allegations which have now reverberated as far as Brisbane.

Ironically the ballet he created for QB is all about sex and is saucy as hell. Now its creator is being investigated for sexual impropriety.

Queensland Ballet’s Dangerous Liaisons
Queensland Ballet’s Dangerous Liaisons

Dangerous Liaisons was meant to tour to Melbourne for performances on April 17 and 18 but a spokesman for QB told The Courier-Mail that the company "has suspended all future engagements with Liam Scarlett pending the results of that investigation".

"This includes the 2020 Melbourne tour of Dangerous Liaisons," the spokesman said. "Queensland Ballet was made aware of the allegations relating to Liam Scarlett at the Royal Ballet Company in October 2019.

Detail was limited as we were told it was the subject of an ongoing investigation. Queensland Ballet has a strong ethos surrounding wellbeing in the arts and is committed to the provision and maintenance of a healthy and safe environment for all.

And there is a code of conduct in place to ensure the entire QB community are always supported in order to achieve this.

Costume & Set Designer Tracy Grant Lord and Choreographer Liam Scarlett at Queensland Ballet in Brisbane. Photo: Glenn Hunt/ The Australian
Costume & Set Designer Tracy Grant Lord and Choreographer Liam Scarlett at Queensland Ballet in Brisbane. Photo: Glenn Hunt/ The Australian

"As the investigation in the UK is ongoing, and as a duty of care to all involved, we are unable to comment further."

Cancelling the tour is likely to cost the company hundreds of thousands of dollars. The young choreographer has had a meteoric rise to fame and has worked closely with Queensland Ballet over the past few years. It has been reported that the claims against him may span a decade but no allegations have been made about his conduct on his visits to Brisbane.

As if the cancellation of its Melbourne tour wasn't bad enough QB now has to consider whether it's much touted visit to Brisbane in March by the Shanghai Ballet will go ahead considering concerns about coronavirus.

Queensland Ballet says it is working closely with Arts Centre Melbourne on a possible alternative.


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