Story By: Feza Uzay, Sub-Editor: Marija Stojkoska, Agency: Newsflash
The famous Russian ballerina who was fired by the Bolshoi Theatre, the parent company of the Bolshoi Ballet, in 2003 for being too fat is now suing them for nearly GBP 2 million because she claims they have not paid her or offered her any job since then.
A court ruled in 2004 that the famous ballet in Moscow had to reinstate prima ballerina Anastasia Volochkova, but despite the ruling, the 45-year-old claims she has not been paid and has not been offered a single role.
She is demanding RUB 200 million (GBP 1.984 million) in compensation and is quoted in Russian media outlet Life as saying with tears in her eyes: “Seventeen years of my career were stolen from me when I could still dance roles on the stage of the Bolshoi Theatre.”
Volochkova added: “I have not received a single penny from the theatre since the day I started there in 1998.”
She also claims that theatre bosses paid no money into her pension fund and according to Life, after contacting the prosecutor’s office, it was revealed that labour law violations had taken place and the theatre’s leadership were informed that a case has been opened.
This is not the first time that Volochkova is suing the theatre. After she was fired in 2003, she also sued them and the Moscow court sided with her, forcing the theatre to reinstate her. She was reportedly also awarded back pay and compensation, but never performed for them again.
It did not stop her from continuing to develop her career with solo performances, as well as an actress and a model for clients like Chopard jewellery, and she also landed TV and film roles.
She also carried out lots of projects for charity and in 2010 graduated with an MBA from the Higher School of Economics in Moscow.
She has also continued to be active on social media showing off ballet poses to show that it remains important in her life despite the fact that she has been unable to carry on with her career at the Bolshoi Ballet.
Volochkova caused controversy when she said the world-famous ballet was being used as a ‘brothel for oligarchs’ in allegations made two years ago.
She said: “Ten years ago when I was dancing at the theatre, I repeatedly received propositions to share the beds of oligarchs.
“The girls were forced to go along to grand dinners and given advance warning that afterwards they would be expected to 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?’