The ballet corps at Milan’s famous La Scala theater today rejected allegations from a former prima ballerina that eating disorders were rampant among its dancers, according to The Associated Press.
Mariafrancesca Garritano was fired last month for “damaging the image” of La Scala after denouncing what she said was intense pressure on dancers to diet, according to The Guardian.
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According to The AP, the dancers said in a statement that they were "flabbergasted and embittered" over Garritano's statements in media interviews and in a book that anorexia was widespread.
"There is no emergency of anorexia, and whoever is part of our reality knows it well," the dancers' statement said, according to the AP. "To read certain newspapers, and even some internal union statements, it seems that there is one courageous heroine who is fighting solitarily against a hell where many girls suffer in silence with the complicity of everyone else. This is not the case."
Anorexia is an emotional disorder resulting in the refusal to eat and an obsession with losing weight.
The AP said Garritano gave interviews last year claiming that she dropped to 95 pounds after teachers referred to her as “mozzarella” and “Chinese dumpling” in front of other students.
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In an interview with The Observer in December, Garritano claimed she had been pressured to lose weight after being accepted at 16. She also reportedly claimed to suffer intestinal pains, bone fractures and that colleagues had lost the ability to bear children.