Telling her story serves as a warning all by itself.
If Americans stop going to the Bolshoi school, then perhaps the "warning" is meaningful, but the situation of other Americans who've been successful at the Bolshoi tells another story.
1. Yes, often claiming someone who is rightfully "disgruntled" is "effective" and suffices to eliminate any objective review of the content of the fired employees' complaints, Helene. The smear defeats justice and revictimizes the employees.
If the fired employee is in the right. There's no proof that Ms. Womack was right in this situation, because she offers no proof of her accusations.
5. Helene, the threats to be silent were mentioned in the article two days ago.
It is a claim. Who threatened or "threatened" her and what they said would elucidate whether she understood what was said more than she understood her position in the company, what the feedback that said she was unable to fit into the corps meant, or anything else she was told.
In any case, she spoke to the press and continues to speak to the press; threatening her, if it happened was not successful, but I don't know why they bothered, since her credibility in Russia is nil.
Filin's lawyer reserved the right to sue *after* she had made her statement to Izvetsia, in which she claimed she was not going to speak about it anymore.
Here;s the thing: I've seen many things in this thread (and elsewhere) simply shrugged off as the "Russian way." This includes securing rich patrons as lovers, abusive coaching practices, bribery, racism, and most of all, a dictatorial system of management. These are not accusations unique to Womack -- other dancers have complained about the same thing.
My question, is, at what point, does the "oh well, they're Russian" excuse not fly anymore?
I don't see anyone saying that any dancer should have to have sex or give money for parts, directly or indirectly. It is the Russians' company as far as casting, typecasting, assessment of talent, promotions, touring, and advancement, just like you or I don't have a vote at NYCB or ABT. It's their taste and judgement, and the idea that all the swans must look alike is hardly specific to Russia: one look around the companies in the world outside Dance Theatre of Harlem shows that regardless of country.
I don't see NYCB or ABT being any less dictatorial, even if the AD's present more Americanized attitudes.
The Russian employment practices may change if there is social change within the country, if their practices lose them students and dancers -- the pipeline has been Mariinsky to Bolshoi, so I don't see that happening soon -- ifsomeone goes to the UN
, and the UN intervenes, in other words, if there is an actual whistleblower, not an unhappy ex-employee.
Helene says her situation was not unique. Many articles about Womack quote dancers who say that what Womack said is not far off. Others on these boards say it is the Russian way.
In fact, I said that Womack's situation is hardly unique only in there have been dancers of all ranks in the Bolshoi whose contracts have not been terminated even though they are rarely cast.
4. If she would have gone to file a formal complaint in week 2 about nonpayment, as someone above indicates, do you think she would have had a better or worse reputation?
She was not told to file a formal complaint about non-payment. She did not make a complaint about non-payment: she complained that too much withholding tax was taken from her paycheck, i.e., she was paid for the performances listed in her contract, without being issued a Russian tax ID. Urin addressed this and said the theater had handled it poorly. She claims to have done additional unpaid side performances for the experience, but that was her choice
Urin told her to go to the authorities about the criminal accusations she made concerning bribery.
They are apparently acceptable by 21st century Russian standards. It's one thing for Womack to complain about improper sexual advances made to her. But it's not our place as outsiders to protest their system. It's only our place to support Russians who do.
She isn't accusing anyone in the theater of making improper sexual advances: she accused a potential sponsor. Could NYCB prevent a CEO of a company from making the same offer to a ballerina in the company?
She complains she was told that she would have to pay for roles, which implicates employees of the theater and theater management (if only if their oversight capacity) in criminal activity. Even in 21st Century Russia, that behavior is technically criminal, or Urin wouldn't have told her to go to the police with her claim.