Ministry tells Bolshoi to reinstate ballerina

Ministry tells Bolshoi to reinstate ballerina

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MOSCOW — Thanks to Russia's Labor Ministry, ballerina Anastasia Volochkova may be back at the Bolshoi for an encore.

Labor officials on Tuesday ordered the Bolshoi Theater to reinstate Volochkova, who was fired two weeks ago amid allegations from other dancers that she was too heavy to lift.

The Labor Ministry ruled her dismissal violated labor law, saying she must be rehired by Oct. 6 and given back wages, said Andrei Pryanishnikov, a spokesman for Labor Minister Alexander Pochinok.

Bolshoi spokesman Katerina Novikova said it was too early to comment on how the Bolshoi would react to the decision. Pryanishnikov insisted the Bolshoi has no choice but to comply.

Volochkova, a stylish blonde who exudes movie-star glamour, was fired amid a contract dispute and claims by theater officials that they could not find partners to dance with her because she is too big.

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