I guess Black Swan and The Red Shoes do give you the strong sense that being a ballerina is a prospect filled with sex and unhappiness and probably death, but at least it all seemed very glamorous. Anastasia Volochkova, a former prima ballerina from the Russian Ballet tells a much more sordid story about sexual harassment in the ballet. NBC reports that:
Former Bolshoi prima ballerina Anastasia Volochkova alleged on Russia’s state-controlled NTV station that the Bolshoi was a “big brothel.”
A Russian ballet star, who is famous for playing villains such as Ivan the Terrible has confessed to masterminding an acid attack on the Bolshoi Ballet’s artistic director. Matthew Cain, of Channel Four Europe, reports.
“An administrator would call them to say they are going to a party and a dinner ending in bed,” she said.
“When the girls asked the administrator what would happen if they refuse, the answer was: You will have problems in the Bolshoi then,” she added.
The last time I heard about this happening to dancers, it was in Showgirls. Volochkova further explains that she enjoyed some protection because she was seeing a Russian billionaire.
Again, I feel like we’re going back to the notion of people vs. objects. I mean that insofar as you’re really not supposed to try to buy people (objects are okay! You should buy those!) or otherwise use your money to pressure people into consenting to sleep with you, even if you do have billions. If nothing else, I don’t think the sex will be that great with some terrified 19 year old girl who just wanted to dance and now has to go to bed someone.
So, don’t use your money for terrible things, is what I’m getting at here.
Picture via Black Swan