back to article Ballerina canned for flashing her assets

The Vienna State opera has given ballerina Karina Sarkissova her marching orders after she failed to heed a warning not to pose nude for men's mags. The footloose terpsichorean copped an earful in May for appearing in the German edition of Penthouse, in a spread shot without permission in the opera house. Karina Sarkissova …


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  1. Jo 5
    Thumb Up


    She can crack my nuts any time she likes

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not right

    I think it is wrong that an employer can try to control what people do in their time. F*@king control freaks.

  3. James Dore

    Mmmhemheheh hurrhurr

    You said "Weiner" Mmmmhunhmmeheh!

  4. Dazed and Confused Silver badge

    What she chooses to do in her own time

    She's not your slave, you don't own her body.

    Grow up and stop being so puerile.

  5. JaitcH

    Much a do over a disappointing pair

    Looks like the narrow-minded Cambridge bush guy has some buddies in Vienna.

    I guess Viennese ballet aficionados only have 'miracle conceptions' and get undressed in the dark.

    P.S. The woman looks somewhat anorexic given the view of her ribs.

  6. Monty Burns

    Support her rights....

    I for one, support her human right to express her photgraphic and modeling artistic side! Booo to the Vienna State Opera!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Paris Hilton

      Not anorexic

      Just fit (in at least a couple of senses). I used to tour with a big ballet company - as a lighting guy, I hasten to say - and dancers effectively make it their full time job to keep their bodies in shape. The ones I knew used to eat enormous amounts and burn it off in class and on stage; a lot of the girls used to smoke to keep the weight down.

      In my experience they usually don't have much self-consciousness about taking their clothes off in the interests of, um, art, as evidenced here. The VSO probably have a "don't embarrass us" clause in their employees' contracts, and could fire her on the strength of it; but they still come off as control freaks to me. And what was that about "The ballet corps has been shocked by these new images which appeared in the sex section"? i never came across a shockable corps de ballet.

      Paris, because she keeps herself fit for her art.

    2. Ian McNee

      But check out Wiener #350...

      ...none other than the Web2.0rhea bitch himself: Zuckertwat. Perceptive these German rags, even if <gross-national-stereotype> they have no sense of humour </gross-national-stereotype>

      1. dogged


        >implying Vienna is in Germany

        American detected.

        1. Ian McNee

          Anschluss 2.0??

          You've not heard the rumours? I think I read it on Wikipe...oh...

          Not a bloody Yank though, so yes <shame> should have engaged brain before typing </shame>

    3. Anonymous Coward

      No it isn't.

      This is not about the moral highground, or even public perception. It's about money. It always is.

      I'd wager a crate of our finest local best (which is in fact the world's local best, but I digress) that there's a clause in her contract stating that while ehe is under contract with the opera she cannot persue commercial activities for het own benefit (or something to that extent).

      1. Dazed and Confused Silver badge

        Re: No it isn't

        While many contracts have clauses that limit what people do for their own personal gain, many people in the public eye make large quantities of money by engaging in other activities such as advertising, personal appearances, sponsorship etc...

        Why is it OK for a well know (or perhaps not, I do not know) ballerina to advertise antiperspirant but not to choose to appear in nude photos?

        The answer is that the business is afraid that one will be perceived by the business as not being good for them while the other is neutral or positive.

        It was that perception that I was railing at. Surely she should be allowed to make the decision for herself and people (her employers their business partners and customers) shouldn't be so immature as to view it negatively.

    4. Anonymous Coward

      Reply to post: What she chooses to do in her own time

      While I do agree with this sentiment in general; do remember that some people represent the public face of the business that they work for. Because these people are so associated with the organization they work for, people rarely discriminate between the individual's actions and those of the the organization they represent as their day job. This means that any actions taken by the individual in public--good or bad--are correspondingly reflected upon the organization. If the opera had a series of ballerinas that did nude shoots occasionally, the opera would begin to be viewed as a less savory institution and would begin to lose some of their sponsors.

      I still think firing her is a bit harsh, but these types of employments often include standards of conduct as part of the employee contract. In the US, the NBA had similar issues a couple years back, though on a much larger scale.

      The key issue for me is that she did the photo shoot for a public magazine. If she'd had private photos or a sex tape posted online, then it should be a private matter--at least until they can prove to me that the puritanical minority don't ever have sex and have instead discovered a new means of human reproduction.

      1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

        Re: Reply to post: What she chooses to do in her own time

        Yes, that.

    5. NogginTheNog


      You clearly don't understand the level physical fitness required to perform dance at a professional level do you?

  7. cor

    Really, 'Wiener' Magazine...

    I think they got the wrong model, or does miss Sarkissova have more features than meets the eye?

    [Yes I know 'Wien' is German/Austrian for Vienna]

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I originally read the title as: "Ballmer canned for flashing assets"

    Never been so glad to be wrong.

    1. Danny 14 Silver badge


      but it worried me more that you still clicked it.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    while I respect her right to freedom and to do anything she wants - I gotta say 'schweeeet'.

  10. Chris Hatfield
    IT Angle

    She's lovely

    Such a refreshing change to see her, as opposed to the fat heffers usually associated with opera.

    I have some concerns though:

    - Is she inhaling? Her ribs are very visible. I need to see more photos in order to gauge her overall health, for research purposes. Are said photographs online?

    Ladies such as herself can make substantial revenue from some harmless pictures like this. It may even generate interest in opera. Well, it would do if not for some moral crusade

    1. Groaning Ninny

      Not opera, fool

      Jeez, even the Reg page title says ballerina. Nothing to do with opera. And besides, last time I went to an opera the lases weren't actually all that chunky.

      1. Neoc

        Point of order

        Until recently, most Opera had a Ballet section (generally at the start of the second act). For a modern take on this, see "The Phantom of the Opera" where the Ballet troupe is in evidence.

        If memory serves, a Teutonic king actually banned ballet from any opera being played in his kingdom.

  11. Efros
    Paris Hilton


    is suffering from ED, website seems to have died.

  12. Anonymous Coward

    Lots of classic russian jokes come to mind

    Well, our Russian friends have been having fun on the subject for a while looking for various explanations on why Swan as in Chaikovsky's Swan Lake (Lebed) and Wh**e (Bl*d) rhyme very well in Russian.

    Guess they have a point there...

  13. Elmer Phud Silver badge


    Considering that dancers wear 'clothes' that are skin-tight and you can tell whether the men have been circumcised or not, how is this any different -- Ah, one is art and the other is just a photo.

  14. Version 1.0 Silver badge

    Ballet suddenly looks a lot more interesting

    I never considered going to see ballet before ... I think I just changed my mind!

  15. tardigrade
    Thumb Down

    Still in the 18th century then.

    "The ballet corps has been shocked by these new images..."

    Shame, that picture is absolutely beautiful.

  16. The Vociferous Time Waster


    The server is chucking out five hundreds at the moment. I guess the weight of geeks wanting to see her bare flesh was too much for the poor little thing.

  17. Peter H. Coffin
    IT Angle

    The obvious IT angle...

    Seems to be that as of about noon UTC, their webserver responds only to complain about a misconfiguration... I guess we broke 'em.

    1. Stoneshop Silver badge

      Just do a page refresh

      or copy/paste the URL, and it's fine. Probably something to do with the http-referrer which they decided not to like.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    'Cause I know she's got a little secret

    In the lads' mags she turns out to be....

    Karina, Pretty ex-Ballerina

    Now she is no longer the queen of the dancing floor

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    True, it was mildly NSFW

    But the breasts were in German, so I couldn't understand them.

    1. J 3
      Thumb Up


      The problem really was their Russian accent...

  20. tojb

    The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

    @TVTimeWatser , PeterCoffin:

    Delete the trailing ellipsis from the url.... you weiners

    1. Stoneshop Silver badge

      No need

      the URL as given works fine, and is the actual URL of the article on the Wiener website. When you remove the ellipsis you'll get redirected to a page ... whose URL has them. Just a simple refresh would have been sufficient anyway.

      And learn to spell Wiener, you twat.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Is it just me..

    Or does she need a good meal.....

    Almost skeletal...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      RE: Is it just me

      No, it isn't just you.

      Looks like a couple of fried eggs pinned on an ironing board.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Rank hypocrisy

    Ballet always was a way to titillate in the name of art. It allowed the rich and aristocratic to ogle nubile women (and men!) without any hint of scandal. You only have to look at how in modern ballet and other dance types, the costumes become even more revealing of skin rather than tight-wrapped flesh.

    And in today's world, where nothing is really shocking, this is nothing more than an instance of control freakery. She should check her contract, and if there is nothing explicitly stated about embarrassing her company, sue for wrongful dismissal.

    The fact that it happened in the Opera house could well be more of an issue, however.

  23. Blubster

    Don't know what the world's coming to..

    It's a bit of a bugger when a man can't have a cock-shaped bush in his own garden (see Reg article) and a nice healthy ballerina can't strip off in the name of art without some namby pamby do-gooders take the huff.

    Whatever became of the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few? Many us don't mind seeing willie shaped privet hedges and scantily clad (or non-clad) Russian beauties but a few whinge and the rest of us suffer. Bastards.

  24. Robert Hill

    Ballerinas are a wild bunch...

    I remember reading my gf's copy of Lisa Rinehart's autobiography, when she talked about her first meeting with Baryshnikov. He saw her at a party, and his opening line to her was "Have you ever taken cocaine up the *ss?"

    They went on to have three children together, so I don't think she was exactly offended...

  25. Craig 28

    Re:Rank Hippocracy

    It might also be possible to argue over what constitutes "embarrassment". If a male dancer came out as gay and having a crush on John Prescott (shudder) would that be sufficient reason to fire them for embarrassment? What's more embarrassing, a woman getting them out for a men's mag or a male dancer being turned on by chubby old two-jags? The answer to the first part would be no it probably wouldn't get them fired, the answer to the second is yes it probably is more embarrassing than a sexy pic.

  26. Bob 18

    Ballet Decorum

    I had a ballet career. Part of the reality of ballet dancer life is that you don't really own your own body or image. It's not like other (respectable) jobs in that regard. In posing for a men's magazine, she affected the reputation of the organization that had contracted her services (and body) full-time. No one should be surprised that she was fired, least of all anyone familiar with the dance profession.

    On the other hand, I understand how difficult it can be when you realize you don't really own your body. Leaving the ballet career (which one must eventually do anyway) is the most effective way of getting it back.

    Someone mentioned an extreme comfort with exposure. This is only partially true. Ballet dancer culture has very definite rules of modesty and decorum. Those rules are different from those on the street but definite just the same. Within the studio, being fully clothed (tights and leotard, maybe more) is a requirement. Ballet dancers are almost always discreet with their needs to change clothing, etc. This kind of nakedness just does not happen in a normal ballet environment (although I've found that modern dancers have more comfort with public nudity).

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    She has got nice tits......


  28. Adrian Esdaile
    Thumb Down

    Give me Nigella or Dawn any day...

    Getting frisky with that.. thing... would be like climbing into bed with sack full of sticks.

    Please eat something other than half a lettuce leaf! OK, so they have to look this way or the Evil Russian Ballerina Tamer (they are always russian aren't they) will have her flogged and reduce her rations to 1/4 lettuce leaf....

    Please, women, understand that men like curves; the bigger the better. Ogling people with the bodies of 12-year-olds is just... sick!

    1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Give me Nigella or Dawn any day...

      I appreciate the sentiment but there's no need to refer to her as a 'thing', is there? You don't have to dehumanise her just because you don't find her attractive.

    2. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

      Different people ...

      ... like different things. You seem to be suggesting that a woman (since that is what we are discussing here) who naturally has a slim figure is somehow "wrong", and that for anyone to find her attractive is "sick". There is a huge natural diversity in body shapes, and none of them are prima facie "wrong", and it is not prima facie "sick" to like any of them.

      Are you an Australian internet censor, by any chance? (

  29. Shocked Jock

    Naked pics - yes. Porn - no

    It's clear from the magazine's comments that this isn't about nakedness in publicly exposed pictures (although they are tasteful and not titillating): the man who gave her her jotters had also been shown naked in publicly available photos that included him in close proximity to both men and women. Presumably the Wiener Staatsoper was looking for an excuse to get rid of a ballerina. I hope she's a union member.

    (The lady is married and has a child, by the way.)

  30. Anonymous Coward

    Couple of things....

    1. I am guessing a lot of the "How dare they control me" type comments come from unemployed peeps? As I am pretty sure most of you will be on a contract that say "Thou shalt not...." in the small print, even a supermarket Lateral Stacking Technician is probably forbidden to moonlight.

    2. I imagine that their ticket sales would have increased had they not been quite so narrow minded.

  31. VulcanV5
    Dead Vulture

    I am outraged.

    No way should Lester have been allowed to use a word as long and as multi-syllabic as 'terpsichorean'.

    Who the hell does he think he's writing for?

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A Balerina with Breats?

    Whatever next?

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