To the Editor:
In reading Terry Teachout’s article on morally flawed artists, it disturbed me to see Teachout link George Balanchine’s name to those of prominent artists who were guilty of actual molestation (“The Predatory Genius,” February).
Balanchine never molested or verbally abused his dancers. Numerous testimonies from his dancers confirm that he was polite and treated them with respect. To refer to Balanchine, who fell in love with his muses, as a sexual predator is out of line. His buying them perfume was nothing more than a sign of admiration. Yes, he favored Suzanne Farrell, but this wasn’t predation or molestation; he wanted to marry her.
Balanchine’s genius will outlive these exaggerated and false accusations.
Terry Teachout writes:
Eileen Pollack is both ill-informed about Balanchine and naive about the nature of sexual harassment. Having read all of the existing first-person memoirs by Balanchine’s dancers and artistic collaborators in preparation for writing All in the Dances, my 2004 biography of Balanchine, I am neither. I suggest she take a closer look at the wealth of primary source material on him and reconsider the implications of his behavior, especially in the second half of his life.