Vienna Opera fires dancer over risque photos

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The ballet company of the Vienna Opera has fired one of its dancers over a series of risque pictures that appeared in a magazine, the opera's director confirmed Thursday.

Karina Sarkissova had already received a warning for another series of nude photos, said Dominique Meyer.

"She was fired on August 23 after this new publication," Meyer told AFP, confirming a press report.

"The ballet corps has been shocked by these new images which appeared in the sex section," he added.

"On the cover of the magazine, you could read 'The ballerina nude, the ballet as we love it,'" said Meyer.

A situation of this kind was unprecedented at the Vienna Opera, he added.

Sarkissova is Austrian dancer of Russian origin. Born in 1983, she was trained at Russia's famous Bolshoi Ballet and joined the Vienna Opera ballet in 2000.

In comments to the Austrian media, she has said she felt discriminated against.

Meyer, who took up his post a few days after the dancer was fired, said he would shortly be meeting her to hear her side of the story.

© 2010 AFP

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