It's unusual for members of the dance fraternity to engage in open warfare, through the media, but that is what's happening between Terry Dean Bartlett and Elizabeth Streb, the AD of Streb Extreme Action (yes, that's really what the company is called!)
Our European readers may be in the dark a little about just what Streb Extreme Action (SEA) is. They are a Brooklyn, New York based company specilaising in a sort of, extreme dance style involving acrobatics, stunts and massive hamster wheels. They are apparently quite impressive, video of their work appears to contradict that assertion however!
Following a serious injury to one of their dancers, deeAnne Nelson who fractured her spine during a show, Mr Bartlett, presumably with a desire to do the right thing, organised a benefit for Ms Nelson to help her with living expenses during her long recuperation.
Mr Bartlett, the associate AD of the company, was promptly fired by the company for "yelling at Ms Streb" (paraphrasing here) or something equally benign. Mr Bartlett says he was fired for drawing attention to the fact that a dancer received a serious injury during one of the company's performances.
Coincidentally SEA is just about to secure a $1,000,000 deal to buy their home in Brooklyn and they are also in discussion to present an "off broadway" production of their work.
It probably goes without saying that dancers with fractured spines don't bring good publicity with them and when seven figure sums of money are involved things start to get very interesting.
The company deny Mr Bartlett was fired for bringing attention to Ms Nelson's injury. However they did not deny that they asked him to sign a non-disclosure agreement so he couldn't talk to the press about anything that went on within the company.
You have to wonder why a dance company would want employees to sign a non-disclosure agreement, especially following a serious injury to one of your dancers? It's not like your average dance company has something to hide. (although some might wish they would hide their work altogether! Ed!)
Fortunately Ms Nelson has health insurance and is currently recovering from her injury. Whether or not SEA recover from this PR nightmare remains to be seen.