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La Scala told to rehire dancer who spoke out about anorexia

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.

La Scala told to rehire dancer who spoke out about anorexia
Italy's top court has told La Scala to rehire a ballerina fired for revealing the extent of anorexia among the dance school's ballerinas. Photo: O2ma/Flickr

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 43 kilos (94 pounds).”
   
Garritano said 70 percent 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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Barcelona fire kills four, including two children

A fire ripped through an abandoned bank occupied by squatters in central Barcelona on Tuesday, killing four people, including a baby and a three year-old boy, Spanish firefighters said.

Police and firefighters gather outside an abandoned building where a blaze broke out early on November 30, 2021 in Barcelona, killing four people.
Police and firefighters gather outside an abandoned building where a blaze broke out early on November 30, 2021 in Barcelona, killing four people. (Photo by Pau BARRENA / AFP)

“While we were battling the fire, we found four people. Emergency services tried to revive them but unfortunately they failed, they could not do anything to save them,” the head of the firefighting operation, Ángel López, told reporters.

Firefighters rescued four other people who were inside the building while putting out the blaze, he added.

Those four were treated for smoke inhalation.

Firefighters rushed to the scene at around 6 am after being warned that a blaze had broken out in the building, Mr Lopez said.

While Mr López said it was not clear how the four dead people were related, Barcelona-based daily newspaper La Vanguardia said they were all members of a Romanian family.

A spokesman for Catalonia’s regional police force, the Mossos d’Esquadra, said an investigation had been opened into the causes of the fire.

In December 2020, four people were killed after a blaze ripped through an industrial complex occupied by squatters, many of them African migrants, near Barcelona.

Over 100 squatters were believed to be living in precarious conditions at the abandoned complex in Badalona, a suburban town north of the city.

In addition to the four deaths, more than 20 people were injured in the blaze.

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