An American dancer at the Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow has quit the renowned institution, claiming that she would have had to pay a bribe in order to secure a solo role. Joy Womack, who hails from Los Angeles and who studied at the Westside School of Ballet in Santa Monica, is the first American woman to be hired as a soloist at the Moscow company.
Womack said this week that she resigned her position at the Bolshoi because company leaders were demanding $10,000 from her for a solo role, according to initial reports from the Russian news organization Izvestia. She is reportedly joining the Kremlyovsky Ballet Company in Moscow.That follows some unpleasantness earlier in the year;
The new allegations come at a crucial time for the Bolshoi, which is still reeling from an acid attack on its artistic director, Sergei Filin, in January. Pavel Dmitrichenko, who was a soloist with the company and accused of masterminding the January attack, is standing trial in Moscow.