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Alleged abuse at Vienna Ballet Academy; Director relieved of duties


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Just saw an alarming article in the Guardian, which is a follow-up to a report last April about abuse of students at the Vienna State Opera ballet academy.


The original article was mostly about physical and verbal abuse.


This one is adding the almost unbelievable information that young students are apparently being encouraged to smoke to stay slim. This takes body-shaming to a whole new level.  At some point schools, companies, and choreographers are going to really have to revisit this whole business of demanding thinner and thinner dancers. I remember the days when female dancers had breasts and hips and it wasn't a problem.




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On 19/12/2019 at 16:39, Moneypenny said:

Sadly, the ballet profession is pretty toxic in some areas and the more I hear, the less I am surprised.

Couldn’t agree more, I feel exactly the same and questioning if this is the industry I really want my DD to be entering. The more I witness like you the less and less I’m impressed. 


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Yesterday, Director Simone Noja was relieved of her duties at the Vienna State Ballet Academy amid allegations of abuse of students. According to this article, the alleged abuse revolves around weight, such as making children give their first names and clothes size before speaking. Yikes!


(trying to paste a link...it’s on Yahoo News, NY Times and, I’m sure, other periodicals)



Edited by Jeannette
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Tip of the iceberg! Young women are destroying their bodies and risking their future health to conform to an aesthetic which is seemingly still coveted by many company directors. And there are so many talented young women who are so desperate to get work in the ballet industry that enable this kind of behaviour to continue.


There is great training out there and many great dance jobs where artists are treated well at auditions, with respect in work and paid well, but there is also a flip side and this is what parents and dancers need to be mindful of, watch out for and not get sucked into.

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