Peter Martins, who has led the New York City Ballet since the 1980s, will retire amid an investigation into sexual harassment allegations.
Martins, 71, was accused by two dozen former performers who claimed he bullied them and had sexual relationships with several dancers.
“Peter has informed the board of the New York City Ballet of his intention to retire. We thank Peter for his tremendous contributions to New York City Ballet as ballet master in chief for over three decades, leading the Company to exceptional artistic heights and accomplishments,” Chairman Charles Scharf said in a letter to the board.
“At the same time, the board takes seriously the allegations that have been made against him and we expect the independent investigation of those allegations to be completed soon.”
The Danish choreographer continued to maintain his innocence in a separate letter to the board.
“All of this has inflicted on the Ballet and the School – institutions which I love and to which I have devoted fifty years of my life – a tremendous toll of turmoil, disruption and expense. It also has exacted a painful toll on me and my family,” Martins wrote in the letter.
“To bring an end to this disruption which has enveloped the Ballet and the School, I have decided that it is time for me to retire. Of course, I will provide such assistance as may be desired by the Ballet in accomplishing a successful transition, and will offer such artistic guidance as the new leadership may request.”
Martins took a leave of absence from both the City Ballet and the School of the American Ballet after the allegations came to light