This can't come as a great shock to the current ballet world. This latest scandal just recapitulates a kind of atavistic behavior orginating with the courts of the royal plunderers of Europe whence ballet was conceived. It certainly isn't the first time in modern dance history that scoundrels have been forced to be ballet benefactors. Consider this quote from Bruce Marks from an interview it was my pleasure to do with him in 2002:
"Toni [Lander] and I recreated the 1855 Bournonville ballet, Abdallah. It was performed before Bournonville left Vienna, during the Lucille Grahn period. All the variations end with pauses, and Bournonville was exiled for speaking in objection (while the King was in the audience) to the clapping, the screaming, and the commotion at the ends of variations. He was to have been jailed, but the sculptor, Torvaldson, intervened on his behalf, and begged that he not be sent to prison. So, instead he took a little sabbatical in Italy. Bournonville wrote Abdallah down because he was going to try to resell it.
“When I was at Royal Danish Ballet, I had a friend working at Sotheby's, and a scenario, the story of a ballet called Abdallah was found. We found it at Sotheby's with the help of a man named Fibica Canada, and paid $150 for it. I joked that some day Toni and I would stage it. Toni read the scenario to me, which was in French, and it was the Aladdin's Lamp story, only about a candlestick. I said something like, 'Those steps don't exist,' and was told 'Oh, but they DO,' by a man from the Royal [Danish] Ballet. I decided that I was going to find money to stage this production. Do you remember during the Lockheed scandal a few years ago that there was a big arms dealer named Kashoggi? He agreed to pay for it. Toni and I found the money! She got the score, asked Flemming Flindt to work on it, and it happened that at the time there was big interest in Bournonville in Chicago, where they were hosting an anniversary season. They wanted our Aladdin's Lamp ripoff!"
If you've got skeletons in your closet, you'd best teach them to dance!
George Bernard Shaw