New Round Of Accusations Of Widespread Anorexia At La Scala

Dance officials at the world-famous Milan opera house were forced to issue a formal denial this week of reports of rampant ballerina eating disorders. Now a second dancer, and the mother of another, have added new accusations of a troubling atmosphere at

La Scala (angelocesare)
La Scala (angelocesare)


MILAN - La Scala opera house is facing another round of accusations that its world-class dance troupe is rife with eating disorders. Just two days after officials at the renowned Milan opera publicly denied that there was a problem, the mother of a ballerina told an Italian television program that anorexia and other psychological ailments are widespread.

"My daughter suffers from eating disorders, like all her colleagues do. They look at each other obsessively," the dancer's mother told an interviewer for Le Iene, in a report to be aired Friday night. "They check each other's weight." The woman also confirmed earlier reports that many of the ballerinas' menstruation cycles have been interrupted because of stress and dietary ailments.

Another girl told Le Iene that the dance troupe is plagued by a critical and hyper-competitive environment. "Every day they tell us something like, ‘You are an alien, your head is too big, your pelvis is too short, your legs are too long,"" said the ballerina.

Earlier in the week, La Scala formally rejected accusations leveled by Mariafrancesca Garritano, a ballerina who was fired after having spoken of widespread cases of anorexia in an interview with the British newspaper The Observer.

At La Scala "one in five girls is anorexic," Garritano had declared.

The academy rejected the accusations. "There is no anorexia emergency," read a statement from La Scala. "This is not only false, but it is prejudicial to the image of the company and of its members." According to the academy managers, Garritano's accusation were a way to promote her book "The Truth, Please, About Ballet."

Frédéric Olivieri, a well-known dancer and director of the Ballet School at La Scala denies any accusations of a sadistic atmosphere. "Discipline, study and rigor are the three golden rules for any successful dancer," he said. "But I do not agree with charges of any kind of excesses."

Read more from La Stampa in Italian. Original article by Claudia Ferrero

Photo - angelocesare

*Newsbites are digest items, not direct translations.

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A Mother In Spain Denied Child Custody Because She Lives In Rural Area

A court in Spain usurps custody of the one-year-old boy living with his mother in the "deep" part of the Galicia region, forced to instead live with his father in the southern city of Marbella, which the judge says is "cosmopolitan" with good schools and medical care. Women's rights groups have taken up the mother's case.

A child in Galician countryside

Laure Gautherin

A Spanish court has ordered the withdrawal of a mother's custody of her one-year-old boy because she is living in the countryside in northwestern Spain, where the judge says the child won't have "opportunities for the proper development of his personality."

The case, reported Monday in La Voz de Galicia, has sparked outrage from a women's rights association but has also set off reactions from politicians of different stripes across the province of Galicia, defending the values of rural life.

Judge María Belén Ureña Carazo, of the family court of Marbella, a city on the southern coast of 141,000 people, has ordered the toddler to stay with father who lives in the city rather than with his mother because she was living in "deep Galicia" where the child would lack opportunities to "grow up in a happy environment."

Front page of La Voz de Galicia - October 25, 2021

Front page of La Voz de Galicia - Monday 25 October, 2021

La Voz de Galicia

Better in a "cosmopolitan" city?

The judge said Marbella, where the father lives, was a "cosmopolitan city" with "a good hospital" as well as "all kinds of schools" and thus provided a better environment for the child to thrive.

The mother has submitted a formal complaint to the General Council of the Judiciary that the family court magistrate had acted with "absolute contempt," her lawyer told La Voz de Galicia.

The mother quickly accumulated support from local politicians and civic organizations. The Clara Campoamor association described the judge's arguments as offensive, intolerable and typical of "an ignorant person who has not traveled much."

The Xunta de Galicia, the regional government, has addressed the case, saying that any place in Galicia meets the conditions to educate a minor. The Socialist party politician Pablo Arangüena tweeted that "it would not hurt part of the judiciary to spend a summer in Galicia."

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