Acid Thrown In Face Of Bolshoi Ballet's Artistic Director; He May Lose Sight | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

Acid Thrown In Face Of Bolshoi Ballet's Artistic Director; He May Lose Sight

A masked assailant threw acid into the face of the Bolshoi ballet's artistic director on Thursday in Moscow in what may have been a "reprisal for his selection of dancers in starring roles at the famed Russian company," The Associated Press reports.

Russia Today writes that 42-year-old Sergei Filin "may lose his sight." He "suffered severe burns of multiple degrees to his face and eyes," it adds. And, the news outlet reports that:

"It will take Filin at least six months to recover, Bolshoi spokesperson Ekaterina Novikova said. She added that Sergei Filin had received threats from anonymous callers before. 'We never imagined that a war for roles — not for real estate or for oil — could reach this level of crime,' Novikova said to Channel One.

"Bolshoi general director Anatoly Iksanov said he believed the attack was linked to Filin's work at the theater. 'He is a man of principle and never compromised," Iksanov said. 'If he believed that this or that dancer was not ready or was unable to perform this or that part, he would turn them down.' "

The Wall Street Journal writes that "Filin reportedly has been plagued by numerous intimidation tactics over the last few weeks, including tire slashing and Facebook hacking."

According to The Guardian, Filin's family and colleagues say the attack "capped weeks of threats and intimidation."

Filin, "a dancer who rose through the ranks of the world's largest ballet company to become its head," became the artistic director in 2011, The New York Times says. It writes that:

"Among his first big decisions was to hire David Hallberg as a principal dancer — the first American to hold that coveted status, which has traditionally gone to Russian-trained dancers. ...

"Mr. Filin's leadership has not stood out as especially controversial. But Anastasia Volochkova, a former Bolshoi ballerina, said his power to assign roles made him the focus of sometimes passionate resentment. ...

"'The head of the ballet decides everything: what grants each artists receive, or maybe won't receive. Who will dance certain roles, and who won't dance them,' [she said in an interview with Ekho Moskvy, a radio station]. ... 'The cruelty of the ballet world has become surprisingly pathological.' "

Copyright 2013 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Wounded Bull-Runner: 'If You Run Long Enough, You Get Gored'

Bill Hillmann, a writer from Chicago, contributed to the book Fiesta: How to Survive the Bulls of Pamplona. He was gored at this year's running of the bulls in that city, but says he plans to return.
NPR

What If The World Cup Were Awarded For Saving Trees And Drinking Soda?

We thought you'd get a kick out of seeing how the four teams in the final World Cup matches stack up in global health and development.
NPR

What Could $100 Million Buy You — Besides Campaign Ads In Kentucky?

Spending on the Kentucky Senate race might reach $100 million. So what else could that get you in the Bluegrass State? NPR's Tamara Keith finds out when she calls up some local business owners.
NPR

Looking For Free Sperm, Women May Turn To Online Forums

Bypassing commercial sperm banks, thousands are logging on to websites where women can connect with men at no cost. Anecdotes abound, but the scope of the unregulated activity is unclear.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.