The Bolshoi's general manager, Anatoly Iksanov, has said that Volochkova's claims that the company pimped out its ballerinas to rich patrons was “nonsense and dirt”.
According to Bloomberg, Volochkova, who was fired in 2003 for being overweight, said:
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.
And who attends these parties?
Certain oligarchs, some of them are members of the board of trustees (of the Bolshoi) or just the person organizing the party.
Tsiskaridze, on the same programme, added that he was ready to take on the top job at the Bolshoi, to which Iksanov responded:
It's up to him to think that he's capable of taking charge of the Bolshoi; I don't think so, because beyond fame and scandalousness other qualities are needed.
With Ballet Director Sergei Filin laying in a German hospital bed as doctors try to save his eyesight after the acid attack instigated by Bolshoi soloist Pavel Dmitrichenko, it is easy to see Tsiskaridze as the bad boy. However, over 300 Bolshoi workers have signed a letter supporting Dmitrichenko, though not for the acid attack, saying that he was forced to ‘confess'.
For several years Filin, even when he was no longer at the Bolshoi as a dancer, headed the theatre's union. This role continued even after he was appointed as the new director of the company, meaning that he was more or less free to do whatever he liked without constraint.
Dmitrichenko criticised this conflict of interests at union meetings, especially being that his girlfriend, 21-year-old soloist Anzhelina Vorontsova, was missing out on roles because she had Filin's rival Tsiskaridze as her coach (and, rumour has it, she was romantically involved with Filin before both arrived at the Bolshoi). Who could she protest to – her union rep?
More mud will be slung…
Photos: top, Anastasia Volochkova and Nikolai Tsiskaridze; bottom, Sergei Filin and Tsiskaridze
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano') about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman's Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia' column for Dancing Times magazine.