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Entries in Bolshoi Ballet (4)

Wednesday
Mar202013

Bolshoi Ballet Denies Claims It Pimped Out Dancers

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(MOSCOW) -- The world-famous Bolshoi ballet has reportedly dismissed claims by a former top ballerina that the dance company pimped out its female dancers to wealthy donors.

Former ballet star Anastasia Volochkova made the claim during an appearance on a Russian talk show on Sunday, calling the theater a “giant brothel.”

She said ballerinas were pressured by the theater’s management to attend parties thrown by its biggest financial backers, often with the expectation that they would then follow the rich businessmen to bed. She said resistance could lead to professional repercussions within the theater.

Volochkova was dismissed by the Bolshoi in 2003, reportedly because the company thought she was too fat.

The Bolshoi’s general manager, Anatoly Iksanov, dismissed the allegations, saying, according to Russian news reports, “I don’t comment on dirt and nonsense.”

Yesterday, theater spokesperson Katerina Novikova declined to comment on the specific claims, saying, “I don’t know yet if the [theater's] management has decided on how to react to everything that was said in the show.”

The claims are just the latest black eye for the Bolshoi, which is still reeling from a vicious acid attack on its artistic director in January.

Sergei Filin was doused with sulfuric acid as he walked to his apartment building on Jan. 17. Earlier this month, police arrested Pavel Dmitrichenko, a top Bolshoi dancer, and two other men for allegedly ordering and carrying out the attack.

The attack sent shock waves throughout the institution, with fingers being pointed at other top dancers who some believe may have instigated the attack. Last week, however, several hundred Bolshoi employees signed a letter siding with Dmitrichenko, suggesting he confessed to masterminding the attack only after being pressured to do so.

Filin suffered severe burns on his face and is currently recovering in a German hospital where doctors are scrambling to save his eyesight.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Mar062013

Bolshoi Ballet Dancer Confesses to Acid Attack

Sergei Filin leaves the hospital in Moscow, on Feb. 4, 2013. AFP/Getty Images(MOSCOW) -- Three suspects, including a top ballet dancer, have reportedly confessed to carrying out a vicious sulfuric acid attack on Sergei Filin, the artistic director of the renowned Bolshoi ballet, in January.

Police said the three men each signed statements admitting their role in the plot.  Russian television aired footage of a confession by Pavel Dmitrichenko, a leading soloist with the Bolshoi, who is believed to have been the mastermind.  The other two men are believed to be the hooded attacker and his getaway driver.  

All three were detained on Tuesday and Dmitrichenko’s home was searched.  According to the newspaper Izvestia, authorities used electronic surveillance to track the suspects using their cell phones.

“The motive for the crime lies in (Filin’s) hostile relations with Dmitrichenko connected to his work,” police said in a statement Wednesday, according to RIA Novosti.

The statement did not elaborate on the nature of their dispute, but according to AFP, the Russian newspaper Moskovsky Komsomolets reported the two clashed after Dmitrichenko’s girlfriend, another up and coming Bolshoi dancer, was passed over for top roles.

In the taped confession that aired on television, Dmitrichenko said, “I masterminded this attack, but not to the extent that it eventually happened.”

Dmitrichenko, who recently performed the lead role in a production of the Soviet-era ballet Ivan the Terrible, has been with the Bolshoi ballet since 2002.  He was next scheduled to appear in the role of a Blue Bird in a production of Tchaikovsky’s A Sleeping Beauty on March 16.

His girlfriend, Anzhelina Vorontsova, was reportedly passed over for top roles, including in a production of Swan Lake, according to Moskovsky Komsomolets.  She was a protégé of Nikolai Tsiskaridze, another former Bolshoi principal dancer and a rival of Filin who wanted the artistic director job.

Filin was once the Bolshoi’s principal dancer and was named artistic director in 2011 amid controversial competition for the job.  He was splashed with acid outside his home in central Moscow on Jan. 17 by a hooded assailant who then fled.  Filin’s face was severely burned and he is currently in Germany as doctors work to restore his eyesight.

In an interview with the BBC before he left Russia, Filin said he had an idea who was behind the attack, but declined to name names.

Early on, fingers were pointed at Tsiskaridze, because of his public criticism of Filin’s work as artistic director and his own ambitions for the job.  He has denied any involvement in the attack.

Filin reportedly told associates in the months leading up to the assault that he had been the subject of an intimidation campaign, including harassing calls and messages, but he declined offers of protection.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Mar052013

Bolshoi’s ‘Ivan the Terrible’ Held in Acid Attack

Sergei Filin leaves the hospital in Moscow, on February 4, 2013. AFP/Getty Images(MOSCOW) -- Police have reportedly detained three men, including a top dancer, for questioning in connection with the vicious sulfuric acid attack on Sergei Filin, the artistic director for the renowned Bolshoi ballet company.

Pavel Dmitrichenko, who has been performing the lead role in a production of  “Ivan the Terrible,” was detained after his home was searched by police earlier in the day. According to RIA Novosti, Dmitrichenko has been with the Bolshoi ballet since 2002. Theater representatives have reportedly said there was tension between him and Filin.

According to Russian news reports, the other two men are Yuri Zarutsky, believed to have been the hooded attacker, and Andrei Lipatov, who is believed to have been the getaway driver. Police have yet to say who they believe ordered the attack.

According to the gossip website Lifenews.ru, authorities used electronic surveillance to track the suspects.

Filin was once the Bolshoi’s principal dancer and was named artistic director in 2011 amid controversial competition for the job. He was splashed with acid outside his home in central Moscow on Jan. 17 by a hooded assailant who then fled. Filin’s face was severely burned and he is currently in Germany as doctors work to restore his eyesight.

In an interview with the BBC before he left Russia, Filin said he had an idea who was behind the attack, but declined to name names.

Early on, fingers were pointed at Nikolai Tsiskaridze, another former top Bolshoi dancer, who has been critical of Filin’s work as artistic director and was said to have wanted the job. He has denied any involvement in the attack.

Filin reportedly told associates in the months leading up to the assault that he had been the subject of an intimidation campaign, including harassing calls and messages, but declined offers for protection.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Friday
Oct282011

Bolshoi Theater in Moscow to Reopen After Six-Year Closure

Konstantin Zavrazhin/Getty Images(MOSCOW) -- The Bolshoi in Moscow will hold a gala performance Friday evening, officially reopening after a six year renovation.

The special performance on Friday will be attended by President Dmitri Medvedev and other dignitaries, and will feature stars of the opera and dance world. Romanian soprano Angela Gheorghiu and prima ballerina Svetlana Zakharova are scheduled to perform.

The Bolshoi's stage was completed in 1824, and has seen the premieres of Tchaikovsky's "Swan Lake," Mussorgsky's "Boris Godunov," and Shostakovich's "Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District."

The Bolshoi garnered headlines in the United States recently for hiring an American to join its ballet company. David Hallberg, a 29-year-old from South Dakota, will start his first season with the Bolshoi on Nov. 4. He is the first foreign dancer to become a Bolshoi ballet principal.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio