Bolshoi Ballet is a giant brothel, says former ballerina

Melbourne, Mar 20 (ANI): A former ballerina of the world famous Bolshoi Ballet has claimed that the company is a "giant brothel" that pimped out its female dancers to wealthy benefactors.

Former Bolshoi soloist Anastasia Volochkova, who was controversially sacked by the company in 2003 for being fat, made the accusations against the scandal-mired Moscow-based Bolshoi Ballet company in a Russian television talk show and repeated them in a radio interview, the Herald Sun reported.

"It mainly happened with the corps du ballet but also with the soloists. Unfortunately, the Bolshoi general director has turned the Bolshoi theatre into a giant brothel," she said.

Ten years ago when she was dancing at the theatre, she repeatedly received such 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 go to bed and have sex," she said.

When the girls asked what happens if they refused, they were told that they would not go on tour or even perform at the Bolshoi theatre, she said.

Bolshoi theatre general director Anatoly Iksanov said Volochkova's allegations were "dirt and ravings".

The claims came as the theatre is battling an unprecedented scandal with one of its top dancers, Pavel Dmitrichenko, who is facing trial for ordering a devastating acid attack on the ballet's artistic director Sergei Filin.

More than 300 staff at the theatre last week signed an open letter to President Vladimir Putin saying that they believed Dmitrichenko was not capable of ordering such a crime and suggesting he had been pressured into making a confession. (ANI)