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The Paris Opéra Ballet has remained mostly silent in response to the dancers' calls for reform. Photo courtesy Zipporah Films

You'd think the Paris Opéra Ballet would be in damage-control mode after a leaked dancers' survey, in April, brought up worrying reports of harassment and mismanagement. But instead of addressing these issues internally, the French company is suing one of its own dancers in order to strip him of his union representative status and subsequently be free to fire him.

Dalloz Actualité, a French online magazine specializing in legal matters, elaborated on the lawsuit in an article published last week. The corps de ballet dancer taken to court, whom we'll call "S." to protect his identity, wasn't actually a member of the Commission for Artistic Expression, the elected group of dancers who put together the survey. He is described as a "geek" who provided technical support to ensure the validity of the results.

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Alexander Ekman in rehearsal with Paris Opéra Ballet. Photo by Ann Ray, Courtesy POB.

"What does it mean to play as an adult?" This is the question driving Alexander Ekman's Play, a new work for Paris Opéra Ballet that marks Aurélie Dupont's first big commission as ballet director. Though his witty, irreverent work has found a home with ballet companies worldwide, Ekman's choreography has never before appeared on the hallowed Palais Garnier stage. With POB's extraordinary dancers and massive theater at his disposal, one thing is certain: This is going to be fun. Dec. 4–31. operadeparis.fr.

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