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Liam Scarlett, British Choreographer, Dies at 35 Amid Misconduct Accusations

The Royal British Ballet last week canceled one of his productions following new accusations of misconduct

Liam Scarlett, a rising-star British dancer and choreographer until sexual harassment accusations surfaced two years ago, died on Friday at age 35.

No cause of death has been disclosed.

“It is with great sadness that we announce the tragic, untimely death of our beloved Liam,” his family said in a statement. “At this difficult time for all of our family, we would ask that you respect our privacy to enable us to grieve our loss.”

His death came shortly after the Royal Danish Ballet canceled a production of his ballet “Frankenstein” that had been schedule for spring 2022 following accusations of misconduct toward members of the Royal Danish Ballet staff in 2018 and 2019.

Last year, the U.K.’s Royal Ballet severed ties with Scarlett even though a seven-month investigation into accusations into his behavior toward students at the Royal Ballet School found “no matters to pursue.” He also lost his position last spring as artistic associate at Australia’s Queensland Ballet.

Prior to the accusations, Scarlett was seen as a precocious talent with a meteoric rise in the ballet world. He joined the Royal Ballet in 2006 as a dancer and choreographed his first work, 2010’s “Asphodel Meadows,” at age 24.

He soon dedicated himself to choreography full-time, making his mark with his first full-length  ballet, 2014’s “Frankenstein.” As an artist in residence with the Royal Ballet, he created many of the company’s major new productions, including a new staging of “Swan Lake” that debuted in 2018.

He also choreographed the dance sequences in the 2018 Disney film “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms,” featuring the dancers Misty Copeland and Sergei Polunin.

The Royal Opera House tweeted in sympathy: “We are deeply saddened to hear the news of Liam Scarlett’s death. Our thoughts are with his friends and family at this very sad time.

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