It is unknown if he is part of the company’s 30-member ‘headstrong female’ tour group
The Break the Floor dance company has announced that Travis Wall, the company’s founder and artistic director, has been taken off its touring lineup due to “increasing speculation” around sexual misconduct claims made against him by multiple women.
A 26-year-old dancer in Break the Floor, Jess Castillo, recently released a statement detailing alleged sexual misconduct by Wall on Twitter. She wrote that she was initially drunk at the 2013 Break the Floor show in Boston and then he “then had a sexual encounter with me”.
“When I walked out on stage, I was shaking and crying and humiliated,” she wrote, adding that the backstage area where her sexual encounter happened has been spray-painted.
Break the Floor say “multiple women” have made similar allegations against Wall. “Travis Wall did not violate the Break the Floor company or its members with respect to anything said or done at this point in time,” the company said in a statement. “Not only are the allegations false and grossly misinformed, but the jury is still out on the outcome of Travis Wall’s trial.”
Still, the company has announced that Travis Wall will no longer be present at the 2019 Break the Floor tour that begins in July.
Jazk Dance (jazkdance.org) is the self-described “headstrong female” tour group behind Break the Floor. In a statement, a company spokeswoman said: “With this decision, Break the Floor is acknowledging the individual voices, fears, and stories of individuals within the company who wish to speak out about their experiences. This is their right, as it is yours. They are sisters in arms. We will always be a family and a group of friends.”
Briana Tinner, an associate of Break the Floor who worked on its latest tour, said in a video tweeted by casting director Michael Schweich, “women should never go through this”.
“No matter what job and no matter what show, it should never happen,” she said. “We should never be silenced.”
Videos from earlier in the show show a female cast member saying “no” when Wall’s comments about how she has a “big head” and “no bangs”.
Break the Floor has issued a statement that is entirely focused on breaking the silence around allegations against Travis Wall, calling out outlets it says are sensationalizing the #MeToo movement.
Wall’s new show, Painted Encounter, opened in Brooklyn last Friday.
The festival has also canceled an event planned for Friday night that was supposed to feature members of Break the Floor, Travis Wall, Andrea Zhou and a cast member of TOTle Red, a 2019 Break the Floor-affiliated dance company.
“The swiftness with which the events of recent days have unfolded has created unwarranted and intense scrutiny on the industry at large and on some individual companies,” the festival writes. “It has also left us with little room to move forward in a constructive, accurate, or safe way.”