Italy court orders rehiring of anorexia row ballerina

2016-04-18 18:59


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Rome - Italy's top court has ordered the rehiring of a La Scala ballerina sacked after suggesting the famous company's dance school was responsible for multiple cases of anorexia among its young dancers.

Mariafrancesca Garritano was sacked unfairly in 2012, the Court of Cassation concluded in a definitive ruling on a case that turned the spotlight on eating disorders in the high-pressure world of professional ballet.

Now 37, Garritano has told Italian media she is ready for a return to the stage - even if that looks unlikely to be at La Scala, which has been stonewalling requests for comment on the written court order since it was issued on Friday.

"All I am waiting for is a call from La Scala," Garritano said in an interview with Milan daily Il Giorno, while acknowledging there had been no contact from the company about a ruling which confirms an October 2014 appeal court victory.

"Already in 2014, I expected to be rehired after two years of interruption. Now I expect the same thing," said Garritano, who dances under the stage name Mary Garrett.

"I never stopped working on my physical condition to be in the best condition possible when the moment came."

The dancer was dismissed for bringing the name of the company into disrepute with claims made in a book about her experiences and in related interviews.

One of the interviews which got her sacked was with Britain's Observer in December 2011.

"When I was training as a teenager, the instructors would call me 'mozzarella' and 'Chinese dumpling' in front of everyone," she told the Sunday newspaper.

"I reduced my eating so much that my period stopped for a year and a half when I was 16 and 17, and I dropped to 43kg."

Garritano said 70% of dancers who were with her at La Scala's dance school had eaten so little their periods had stopped and linked her own recurring stomach pains and frequent bone fractures to extreme dieting.

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