Bolshoi Theater Struggles with 'Heavy' Ballerina
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MOSCOW (Reuters) - Moscow's Bolshoi Theater was embroiled in a high-profile row on Thursday with an ice-cream-loving ballerina it says is too heavy for ballet partners to lift. Anastasia Volochkova, one of Russia's best-known ballerinas, says the theater telephoned her 12 hours before she was due to perform in Tchaikovsky's "Swan Lake" last week telling her not to turn up. She told a news conference on Thursday she had been sacked. But the prestigious theater denies dismissing her. It says it has offered her a new contract but cannot find her a partner for ballets which require lifting. "None of the male soloists at the Bolshoi Theater agrees to dance with her, particularly in her current physical state," Bolshoi Theater director Anatoly Iskanov told Reuters. Volochkova, who is taller than most ballerinas, admits being partial to ice cream although she opts for the lower-fat option of frozen yogurt. "I love ice cream so much that I can't imagine life without it," she said in a statement handed out at the news conference.