The anorexia scandal, started by Teatro alla Scala ballerina Mariafrancesca Garritano, which has had echoes worldwide, at first led to indignation by the public and fellow dancers alike when the theatre fired her for damaging the its reputation. Then the tide started to turn as various professionals – doctors, teachers – with the company and its school said that the accusations were unfounded. Then came various statements from colleagues which said that anorexia was extremely rare.
Now two heavyweight hitters have had their say. Zvetlana Zakharova, in Milan for Giselle which opens tonight, told the Corriere della Sera’s Valeria Crippa,
It is a fake scandal created by an unknown in search of publicity. Also at the Bolshoi there are those who try to profit from exaggerating a story. Anorexia in ballet? At the Bolshoi it doesn’t exist, if you’re not in form you won’t survive on stage: there is a natural selection among the students at the Bolshoi.”
And Carla Fracci in Italy’s Vanity Fair commented,
Maybe [Garritano] has some personal problems which don’t involve ballet. It depends a lot on who you are. Anyway there are other problems. Alcohol for example: in companies abroad especially, you hear of food being replaced by alcohol… beer, vodka, champagne. But also in this case, it is an exception, not the rule… Garritano should examine her conscience.”
Fracci however ended the interview by saying,
Firing her isn’t right… It is absurd, trivial, terrible to fire someone.”
Photo: from left, Fracci in Sleeping Beauty, Garritano in Swan Lake, Zakharova in Cinderella