American dancer Joy Womack quits the Bolshoi, alleging extortionate practices at the company.
"I learnt that I should pay 10,000 dollars for 'variations' (solo performances), to appear in a single show, to get a part," said Ms Womack. "This sum was named by a specific individual, but I will not name him, because I greatly respect him," the paper quoted her as saying.
Womack added that she was not paid or compensated for a number of performances at all, while told that it will improve her reputation as a dancer. Womack said that Filin's former deputy Ruslan Pronin was aware of the situation.
It is not the first scandal to rock the theater, and it is not likely to be the last. When we spoke in January, hardly a week had passed since the theater’s artistic director, Sergei Filin, had acid thrown in his face, allegedly by a rival dancer who is now on trial. “He did right by me,” Womack told me at the time, referring to the director who had given her a chance. “And I can do right by supporting him. Not necessarily that I owe that to him, but I definitely feel like you don’t bite the hand that’s feeding you.” They seemed like the words of a cunning survivor, but not of the delicate creatures she often portrayed on stage.