William Christie leads outcry for sacked ballet boss

William Christie leads outcry for sacked ballet boss


norman lebrecht

February 20, 2020

Yorgos Loukos was sacked by the Opéra de Lyon last week as head of its ballet company for punitive discrimination against a pregnant ballerina. The decision was widely applauded.

Now the conductor William Christie and others have signed a newspaper advertisement calling for his reinstatement.

Thise who have signed so far include Robert Wilson, Mats Ek, Ariane Mnouchkine, Jiří Kylián, Sylvie Guillem, Isabelle Huppert and Benjamin Millepied.

Solidarity with a sacked pal is all very well, but can’t they see he was wrong to fire a woman once she was pregnant?

UPDATE: Millipied and Forsyth now deny signing the petition.


  • MWnyc says:

    Norman, for what it’s worth, a story in The Guardian says that Benjamin Millepied and William Forsythe both insist that they did not sign this letter.

  • Karl says:

    Many people think the ballerina was not given a contract for artistic reasons. In this article it says “8 out of 16 dancers in the present lineup are mothers to one or more children and that more than 25 dancers have already faced a similar situation in the past with regards to their contracts”


  • anon says:

    Christie never faced a similar situation with his family, a pregnant wife, so can’t relate or understand why it’s such a big deal.

    • Alviano says:

      Christie is a person of stature and integrity. That he signed the letter suggests that there may be something going here besides victim-mom-meanie-director.

      (and anon’s comment is patently homophobic)

      • J says:

        he is not. eventually when his power wanes, the metoo circus will coral him. i’ve dealt with it, as have many other men. we deal with it because we want employment. and just wow, once he retires… the stories that will come out.

      • Kolb Slaw says:

        Christie has no integrity. The entire period-instrument movement is a corrupt hoax.

      • Sue Sonata Form says:

        It’s just yet more ‘grievance porn’.

  • EricB says:

    Let’s say the situation is pretty incomprehensible, when Loukos might have committed 1 mistake over his 33 year career with the Lyon Opera Ballet, whereas the General Director, Serge Dorny, in spite of numerous grievances from inside and outside, is still “in power”… Who talks of Justice, here ?