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Bolshoi Refuses to Re-Hire Ballerina - 2003-10-07

Russia's famed Bolshoi Ballet says it will not reinstate a ballerina fired three weeks ago, despite a recommendation from the Labor Ministry.

The ballet released a statement Tuesday saying it has not changed its decision and will not re-hire Anastasia Volochkova.

The ballerina was fired last month after a contract dispute, with the Bolshoi saying it had no male dancers willing to lift her. The Russian labor ministry has said the firing is illegal and the ballerina should be re-hired, but it cannot force the Bolshoi to do so.

Ms. Volochkova is slender by non-ballet standards, standing 168 centimeters tall and weighing about 50 kilograms. But she is taller than usual for a ballerina and admits she loves to eat ice cream.