The Russian Labor Ministry says the prestigious Bolshoi Ballet broke the law when it fired a popular ballerina for being too large.

Labor Minister Alexander Pochinok said Monday that Anastasia Volochkova should be returned to her position in the dance company.

Ms. Volochkova's contract with the ballet was terminated two weeks ago. The Bolshoi's management explained that it had no male dancers willing to lift her because she is too heavy.

At 168 centimeters, Ms. Volochkova is taller than most ballerinas. She weighs 50 kilograms.