However, the controversy isn’t over yet. In a fresh twist, a former dancer has told the press that dancers in the Bolshoi were forced to sleep with wealthy patrons, and said that the current General Manager of the company turned it into a “giant brothel”.
According to the BBC, Anastasia Volochkova first made the accusations against the Bolshoi’s current General Manager, Anatoly Iksanov, on Sunday.
“Girls are invited each in turn by the administrator, who explains that they are going to a party, with dinner and a follow-up, in bed and going all the way,” Volochkova said during a show on state-owned NTV’s March 17 program, Bloomberg reports. When asked who they were forced to sleep with, Volochkova said, “With certain oligarchs, some of them are members of the board of trustees (of the Bolshoi) or just the person organising the party.”
Volochkova later repeated the accusations in a radio interview.
Iksanov has responded to Volochkova’s accusations, dismissing them as “nonsense and dirt”.
The former ballerina may well have an axe to grind. Volochkova was fired from the theatre in 2003, reportedly for being “too fat”. She won a legal case against the theatre, and became a prominent TV personality in Russia.
However, the accusations help bolster the reputation of the 237-year-old company as place of bloody backstabbing and poisoned intrigue: a reputation brought to the forefront in January, when current artistic director Sergei Filin had acid thrown on his face on an attack apparently orchestrated by a dancer.
Last year Gennady Yanin, a deputy director at the Bolshoi, was forced to quit after images of him engaging in sexual acts with other men were anonymously leaked to the internet.
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