Choreographer Liam Scarlett has been suspended from the Royal Ballet following allegations of inappropriate sexual behaviour with students.
A statement from the Royal Opera House said Scarlett was “immediately suspended” after the organisation was made aware of the allegations in August 2019.
An independent investigation was then opened into Scarlett’s behaviour, which is ongoing.
According to the Times, the inquiry is understood to have received allegations from dancers and former dancers relating to Scarlett’s alleged behaviour over a 10-year period.
The allegations against Scarlett, published in full by the Times, include encouraging students to send intimate photographs, sharing sexual messages on social media, commenting on students’ genitalia and inappropriate touching. It is also alleged that Scarlett took cocaine with the dancers.
According to the Times, the inquiry is also understood to have been told that Scarlett is alleged to have bullied dancers in the main company and “seemed to enjoy people fearing him”.
Scarlett was appointed the Royal Ballet’s first artist in residence in 2012.
A production of Swan Lake, which was choreographed by Scarlett, is due to be performed in March.
Rehearsals for Oklahoma, which Scarlett had been due to choreograph, were postponed in August, with the Royal Ballet blaming scheduling conflicts at the time.
A statement from the Royal Opera House said: “We were made aware of allegations relating to Liam Scarlett in August 2019. The individual was immediately suspended, and an independent disciplinary investigation opened.
“The Royal Ballet Company has a code of conduct in place to ensure staff and visiting artists are always supported.
“As the process is still ongoing, and as a duty of care to staff and artists, we are unable to comment further until the matter has been concluded.”
Queensland Ballet in Australia, where Scarlett was an artistic associate, has also suspended the choreographer.
A statement from the organisation 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 suspended all future engagements with Liam Scarlett pending the results of that investigation. This includes the 2020 Melbourne tour of Dangerous Liaisons.”
Scarlett could not be reached for comment.