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
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
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