Ballet Victoria cuts ties with choreographer facing nude photo allegations

By The Canadian Press
November 1, 2017 - 4:31pm

VANCOUVER — Ballet Victoria has cut ties with a choreographer after renewed media attention to allegations that he took nude photographs of underage dancers in the 1980s and 1990s.

Bruce Monk was fired by the Royal Winnipeg Ballet in 2015 after Maclean’s reported that several women were co-operating with a Winnipeg police investigation into photos he took of them as teenage dancers.

The investigation concluded without charges and Monk has declined comment through his lawyer.

He is currently facing two lawsuits, one filed by a woman in Winnipeg alleging he took nude photos of her when she was 16 and a proposed class-action lawsuit filed in Toronto.

In a statement of defence in response to the Winnipeg suit, Monk denies taking any photographs of the woman when she was a minor and calls her allegations “false and meritless.”

Ballet Victoria says Monk came to the company as a guest choreographer in 2008 and, when criminal allegations were made, the working relationship was suspended, but it resumed when no charges were laid.

It says in late 2016, he began working on small contracts as a lighting and production designer and volunteered his services in the office and as a driver.

“Ballet Victoria cares for the physical and emotional health of all artists, staff and volunteers with great care and diligence,” it says in a statement. “To (ensure) the integrity of the company Bruce Monk will no longer be involved with Ballet Victoria.”

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