In recent interviews, 24 women and men — all former dancers at the company or its school — described a culture of intimidation under Mr. Martins, which they said has hurt the careers of generations of performers.
Many in the dance world have expressed hope over the last several weeks that these revelations will prompt overdue changes to a culture in which bullying, body-shaming and sexual favors have long been part of the business.
The relationships were complicated by a power dynamic, they said, in which Mr. Martins was widely viewed as a near deity, particularly to young dancers who might go to any length — from starving themselves to having sex with him — to earn his praise and attention.
Some credit him for balancing the company’s loyalty to Balanchine with the commissioning of new choreography, particularly the opportunities he provided to promising young choreographers like Alexei Ratmansky, Christopher Wheeldon and Justin Peck.
In reviewing “T-al-a Gaisma,” in 2005 — which featured Miranda Weese, Jock Soto and Mr. Martins’s wife, Darci Kistler — Joan Acocella in The New Yorker alluded to “what seems to be his mixed feelings about women.”
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