hnk rijeka Ivana pl. Zajca.jpg
Photograph: HINA / HNK Ivana pl. Zajca / mm

The Theatre Council of Split's Croatian National Theatre on Friday issued Ballet acting director Dinko Bogdanic with a reprimand pending regular termination for insulting Romanian ballerina Alexandra Bertea.

Earlier this month, during a rehearsal for the "Nutcracker", Bogdanic was yelling and insulting Berteau on ethnic grounds. Those at the rehearsal said that he then broke a mike and continued yelling at the dancers.

Berteau reported the incident to shop steward Damir Punda and Romanian Ambassador Cosmin George Dinescu, who contacted the theatre manager Goran Golovko, Culture Minister Berislav Sipus and the Croatian Helsinki Committee on Human Rights (HHO). The HHO Executive Committee yesterday publicly supported Split's HNK, the workers' council and the union in their efforts to handle Bogdanic's unprofessional and unacceptable behaviour.

"On occasion, Mr. Bogdanic's behaviour can be characterised as behaviour which can hurt someone's feelings, which is why that measure was imposed," Golovko told reporters today.

He said it had not been established that any employee had been harassed but that Bogdanic, because of how he sometimes treated the ensemble, had breached employment obligations and was therefore given a reprimand pending regular termination.

The president of the Theatre Council, Inge Koludrovic-Tomic, said that Bogdanic had apologised to everyone and that the apology was accepted, but that the Council backed Golovko's decision because a certain number of ballet members "felt such behaviour hurt their dignity."

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