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Finnish Ballet artistic director stripped of managerial role over improper conduct claims

The artistic director of Finland’s National Ballet, Kenneth Greve, has been dismissed from his managerial position following allegations of inappropriate conduct.

Kenneth Greve Image: Jari Kovalainen / Yle

Finland’s National Opera and Ballet announced Monday that it had decided to relieve National ballet artistic director Kenneth Greve of his managerial position. The organisation said however, that Greve will continue as a director until the end of his contract on 31 July.

The decision to relieve Greve of his managerial role followed accusations by some dancers that Greve had engaged in inappropriate conduct, including comments about their appearance or on matters relating to their private lives.

The organisation said in a statement that it does not condone improper behaviour and indicated that it has specific protocols for preventing and dealing with such cases.

“We have discussed the situation openly within the organisation. From the perspective of the workplace wellbeing, the decision to withdraw the managerial role was made jointly by Kenneth Greve and me,” General Director Gita Kadambi said in the release.

National Ballet shop steward Jouka Valkama said that the situation had been suitably addressed and that it would continue to be dealt with internally. Dancers also reportedly hoped that they would be allowed to continue their work and that the performance season would progress as normally as possible.

"Extremely sorry"

“I am extremely sorry. I am passionate about my work and I acknowledge that I have crossed a boundary as a director. I apologise to the dancers and to the National Ballet for my behaviour. I hope that this will not damage the reputation of the National Ballet and its future in Finland,” Greve said in the statement.

“This is a very unfortunate situation. In spite of it, we still appreciate the commendable work that Kenneth Greve has done for the National Ballet,” Kadambi added.

Danish national Greve became artistic director of the Finnish National Ballet in 2007. Madeleine Onne, a Swedish citizen, will take over from Greve when his tenure ends this summer.

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