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Arts Council intervenes over claims of ‘hostile environment’ at English National Ballet

English National Ballet's Song of the Earth. Photo: Tristram Kenton English National Ballet's Song of the Earth. Photo: Tristram Kenton
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Arts Council England has met with English National Ballet amid reports that a “hostile working environment” has led to a third of the company’s dancers leaving in the space of two years.

A report in the Times cited sources that claimed dancers had experienced “verbal abuse and a hostile working environment” at the ballet company, with some alleging they had felt pressured to work while injured and that concerns were ignored when raised with management.

English National Ballet is among the largest dance organisations supported by Arts Council England, receiving £6.2 million a year from the funding body.

The Arts Council confirmed to The Stage that it had met with ENB and “discussed the situation in some depth”.

“We are satisfied that ENB has appropriate policies and processes in place to handle grievances, complaints and conflicts of interest, and that it takes its responsibilities in this regard very seriously,” a spokeswoman from ACE said.

ENB said in response: “As a publicly funded organisations, we know and respect our responsibilities, and we took action to speak to ACE and demonstrate that we comply with their requirements.

“We’re happy that ACE has expressed satisfaction with our policies and processes and will continue to work with our staff to hear any concerns.”