Bolshoi Employees Slam U.S. Ballerina After Corruption Accusations

Nov. 15 2013 — 00:00
The ballerina's former colleagues have responded to her allegations of corruption at the theater.

Employees of Moscow's Bolshoi Theater have lashed out at U.S.-born ballerina Joy Womack after she accused the theater of corruption.

Bolshoi ballerina Anna Rebetskaya questioned Womack's professionalism in comments posted on her Facebook page Wednesday.

"All of us who danced in the Nutcracker supported you despite the fact that you couldn't perform pirouettes and despite your failure to learn the choreography of Mother Ginger," she wrote. "Don't you remember why you couldn't be cast even for a corps de ballet role?"

Marina Kondratyeva, Womack's teacher at Bolshoi, echoed the assessment, saying that the U.S. ballerina was finding it hard to learn dance steps and sequences, Interfax reported.

An unidentified Bolshoi employee told Moskovsky Komsomolets that the theater had not initially been interested in Womack and that she had been hired only because she was persistent.

Womack, who quit the theater earlier this year, said in an Izvestia interview published Wednesday that she had been asked to pay $10,000 to perform at Bolshoi Theater. Despite having a soloist's contract, the ballerina said that she wasn't allowed to perform at all and was told to find a patron or pay her own way.

The accusations came amid a trial over the January acid attack on Bolshoi Ballet artistic director Sergei Filin, which prompted a high-profile scandal and exposed bitter rivalries at the theater.

Click here for more behind Womack's allegations.

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