Ballerinas Pimped Out: Are Bolshoi Theater Dancers Being Used For Sex?

By Jason Van Hoven on March 20, 2013 1:36 PM EDT

Bolshoi Theater
Will the Bolshoi Theater be tarnished forever if pimping allegations turn out to be true? (Photo: Creative Commons)

Ballerinas have been pimped out at the Bolshoi Theater, one of the world's most renowned ballet companies, in Moscow, Russia, according to one of the company's former top ballerinas.

Anastasia Volochkova, whom Bolshoi dismissed in 2003 for being too tall and heavy for male ballerinas to lift, said in a television talk show on Sunday and in a radio interview with Russian News Service that that the company's female ballerinas have been pimped out to wealthy donors.

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"It mainly happened with the corps du ballet but also with the soloists," claimed Volochkova to Russian News Service radio station. "Unfortunately, the Bolshoi general director has turned the Bolshoi theatre into a giant brothel."

Even Volochkova herself claimed to be one of the ballerinas targeted to be pimped out.

"Ten years ago when I was dancing at the theatre, I repeatedly received such propositions to share the beds of oligarchs," she said. "The girls were forced to go along to grand dinners and given advance warning that afterwards they would be expected to go to bed and have sex."

"When the girls asked 'What happens if we refuse?' they were told that they would not go on tour or even perform at the Bolshoi theatre. Can you imagine?"

General director of the Bolshoi Theater Anatoly Iksanov dismissed Volochkova's claims at a news conference at the theater on Tuesday as "dirt and ravings."

According to RIA Novosti, the Bolshoi said it has not decided yet how to respond to Volochkova's allegations of ballerinas allegedly being pimped out.

The pimping claims come on the heels of one of Bolshoi's current top dancers Pavel Dmitrichenko, being arrested along with two other men for ordering and carrying out an acid attack on the theater's artistic director, Sergei Filin, who was doused with sulfuric acid as he walked to his apartment building on Jan. 17. Filin suffered severe burns on his face and is recovering in a German hospital where doctors are working to save his eyesight.

Because of the acid attack, some pointed fingers at other top dancers, believing they may have inspired the attack, too. But, last week, over 300 Bolshoi employees signed an open letter to President Vladimir Putin siding with Dmitrichenko, suggesting that he was pressured to confess masterminding the attack.

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